MOVE's Child Brides
(Picture of child-bride Pixie Africa, her "husband" Raymond and MOVE supporter Orie Ross)
There is a kind of self-satisfaction that occurs when I just happen upon MOVE’s dirty little secrets that are hidden in plain site.
Just this evening after my daughter had slipped off to sleep I was looking at the myspace site of a long-time MOVE supporter who resides in New York City named Orie Ross.
On his site, he had, (and has now subsequently taken down), a picture from a wedding. The kind of thing that could be on any thousands of such websites and is generally innocuous.
Except in this case there is nothing benign about this particular image of two people enjoying their first moments of matrimonial bliss. That is because the pretty girl in the picture is only 13 years old and had been impregnated at 12 years old and not by accident either.
This girl was forced to become pregnant and than forced to get hitched in a MOVE show-marriage that was obviously not legal and done simply to exhibit the veneer of credulity.
Now, some have argued to me that it is religious right of MOVE members to do as they please with regards to these matters. An argument to me that falls flat because it assumes free-will and the notion of consent.
The pretty young girl in this picture was not asked if she wanted to be pregnant at 12 years old or if she wanted to be married. She was told to do these things by MOVE’s leaders, specifically Alberta and Sue Africa, and like any child who was raised in MOVE she did what she was told and she did so because she knew there were consequences for disobedience. Pixie clearly did not want to face such penalties for the crime of thinking for ones-self.
And so the question begs to be asked, was she forced into marriage because of some "law" given by John Africa? Perhaps that was the pretext for it, but at the heart of the matter was not a sense of religious devotion, but control.
What happened was that Pixie was starting to exhibit (gasp in horror!) signs of normal behavior for a girl who was just reaching adolescents. She was interested in boys her age, but these were not MOVE members or supporters, they were neighborhood kids, the kind of people that MOVE members and supporters, in a horrific twist of irony refer to as "perverts".
For MOVE this kind of thing is a problem. Outside people bring outside ideas. Pixie might start to question just why it is at 12 years old that she could barely spell her name, could not read a Dr. Suess book, she might have started to do what teenage girls throughout time have done so well and that is to rebel.
MOVE could not accept this.
I remember vividly the discussions going on around me about this issue as it became more and more clear that Pixie was more interested in her burgeoning, outside-of-MOVE social life than she was her mother’s obsession with MOVE and secondary obsession of Mumia. This was a young girl who was naturally intelligent, precocious, and curious. All things that are not considered good attributes for what were to be John Africa’s most pure disciples. The second generation of MOVE was intended to be "clear" of the system’s pollutants and intolerant of all that it was. Going off with the neighborhood kids and that kind of thing was just not in MOVE’s agenda.
So the choice was made. Pixie Africa would get pregnant by a MOVE "man" named Raymond who was also born and raised in MOVE. Being that both of his parents were dead, the group had complete control over him so he was an ideal candidate for this "activity". And so the foul deed was done and the desired affect was achieved. Married at 13, illiterate, with a child in tow, Pixie was now solidly entrenched in the cult and was completely dependant upon it for everything. She would see her non-MOVE friends rarely if ever.
What is particularly sad about this is that it is by no means an isolated incident in MOVE. This is pretty much par-for-the-course for any girls who are raised by MOVE members. But you don’t just have to take my word for it. Last year Ramona Africa, in an email she never has denied sending, had this to say about what I consider to be MOVE’s practice of child-rape.
" Women in MOVE do marry and have babies at what this american society might now consider to be a young age but we follow the coordination of Mother Nature who coordinates it such that she determines when a woman is ready for marriage and babies, which is when a woman has her monthly period, then she is ready to have babies and be married. It's just that simple."
If there was ever more a self-incriminating statement of child abuse I have not seen it.
And just who by the way is the paradigm of responsible parentage who allows her daughter to be violated in such an obvious and contemptuous way? Why none other than the head of International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Pam Africa. And Pixie is not the first child of Pam to be given this treatment, another of her girls named Rose also started popping out babies for the Organization around the same age as Pixie did.
Where I ask is the shame? The outrage? Who will it be to halt MOVE from carrying out this heinous practice?