Monday, October 27, 2008

A Criminal Choice

by Pat Brown

Until the horrific news of the murders on the South Side of Chicago hit the airwaves, Jennifer Hudson's life was many a girl's dream. Ms. Hudson, American Idol contestant and Dreamgirls star, had made it; well, more than made it. She had risen from the streets of Chicago and made the type of choices that eventually brought her fame and fortune.

However, Ms. Hudson couldn't choose which family to be born into, and
even though she loves her mother and siblings, she can't force them to make smart choices for themselves. Sadly, each one of her family members appears to have played with fire and ended up getting burnt by it. Mom Darnell Donerson and brother Jason Hudson ended up being shot in their home. Sister Julia lost her son Julian King (pictured right), found dead the back of his uncle's stolen and abandoned SUV; someone had no problem pumping a number of bullets into a seven-year-old boy. All totalled, this horrific crime left in its wake three homicide victims and two grieving sisters. In my opinion, however, the only truly innocent victims were the little boy himself and Jennifer Hudson. The rest aided and abetted the alleged killer.

alleged killer is William Balfour (pictured below left), estranged husband of Julia and stepfather to little Julian. He is in custody on a parole violation. But give the police a few days and I am guessing he will be charged with a lot more than that. Balfour, a felon with a long rap sheet, is a carjacker and a murderer. (Okay, he only attempted to murder someone but I never have understood how being a failure to succeed allows a criminal to get a lesser sentence and nicer label.) Balfour's past was no secret from the Hudsons but, instead of refusing to allow such garbage into their lives and that of little Julian, they made lethally bad choices.

What bad choices did the Hudson clan make? While Jennifer Hudson became a star and moved away from the streets of her Chicago neighborhood, the rest of her family chose to stay put. The less-than-moral streets continued to influence the family. Brother Jason, who had been living in the family home for the last two years, was recovering from a gunshot injury he received during a home invasion at "another location." One of his friends says he is trying to straighten out his life which makes me theorize that maybe that home invasion was a crime he was actually involved in. If this is true, then Jason was involved in crime and most likely had criminals as friends.

Julia, Jennifer's sister—who wailed at the press conference that "Julian didn't deserve this"—apparently thought he did deserve a violent psychopathic criminal for a stepfather and had no problem moving the man into her son's life. So Julia didn't object to criminal behavior as long as it wasn't directed at her.

And what of Jennifer's mom? She is guilty as well. She let Balfour move into her home while she was taking care of Julian. This was not a reformed man, a man who had been away from a life of crime for a long time and proven himself to be an upstanding citizen. This was a thug right out of prison and still behaving like a thug. No surprise Ms. Donerson finally kicked him out. But yet, until he did something to tick her off, she allowed this creep to be around her beloved grandson.

Some people will get upset with this post and say I am blaming the victims—that the only one I should be angry with is the killer. But, quite frankly, I am fed up with people supporting crime and criminals and then expecting sympathy when they get burned. Did they care about what those criminals were doing to others? Did they speak out then? Did they fight against it? Or did they welcome the criminals into their lives, give them love and support, and enable them to continue in their abuse of the community?

Maybe I am just tired and cranky tonight, but I am fed up with feeling sorry for people who sympathize with the enemy—criminals. I would rather save my tears for those who have clearly stood on the side of good or who are too young yet to make such a miserable choice. I think I will feel sorry for Jennifer Hudson and shed my tears for Julian.


Susan Murphy Milano's Journal said...

Your post today, reflects truth. I say Bravo to you !

Anonymous said...

I so agree with your assessment of the situation. I have been trying to figure out why a woman would marry a man with such a criminal past and then expose her child to that person. What you said, needed to be said. I only hope that Jennifer will recover from the loss of beloved nephew and her mother. When people make really bad choices in life, it sometimes ends in the loss of life (in this case 3 lives). It is too bad Jennifer's mother did not make the choice to leave that neighborhood where gun fire is so common that no one even thought to call the police that morning.

Anonymous said...

Amen - Pat! Right on. Thanks for saying what most of us are thinking but are to afraid to say at this tragic time. People need to think. WOmen need to think. If it looks like a snake and slithers like a snake, it is a snake. That means if you choose to handle a snake....don't cry or act surprised when it finally bites. That's what snakes do!

Leah said...

I think the brother's name is Jason. At least that is what has been reported.

I can agree with you Pat. Unfortunately when people grow up in this environment, generation after generation, they don't necessarily feel unsafe when they are amongst criminals. That is all they know and have known all their life. They have criminals in their own family.

Pat Brown said...

Thanks for the support, folks! I said the same on CNN Headline News last night and expect to get some hate mail from it. However, I figure someone will say that I should be focused on how bad a person the killer is and how none of the victims deserved to be murdered. But while I agree with the fact the killer is the one who must be held accountable and three people shouldn't have died for being involved with him, I just can't get past the problem our society has in its nonchalant exceptence of immoral, unethical, and criminal behavior. Yet, as you pointed out, Leah, as we have more of it around us, more of us just shrug our shoulders and think it is no big deal until it bites us in the ass. I say we need to change our way of thinking and fight for decency in our families, communities, and country. It is a battle we have failed to show up for and we are paying dealing for our apathy.

(And, thanks, Leah, for the heads up on the name of the brother. I had it right in the first paragraph but changed it later while I was writing in my groggy late night state.)


Stacy Dittrich said...

Kudos, Pat!

This situation reminds of the women who move "rehabilitated" sex offenders into their homes and are "shocked" when they find out their children have been molested.


Leah said...

BTW, I saw you last night on CNN Headline News and I didn't recognize you at first with your long hair. I don't see how anybody can be upset with you for stating the obvious.

Pat Brown said...


Julia Hudson pretty much admits her felon husband, William Balfour, killed off her family. Then, she justifies her liason with him, ignores the truth, and then adds a rosy ending. Can you say "It's all about Julia? She may not be so far apart from the psychology of her criminal mate.

"I guess it's time to update this," she wrote in the "About me" section of her MySpace page.

"Because I chose to do what was natural to me and love someone, it cost me my beautiful family my wonderful beautiful loving supporting mother Darnell, my true blue baby brother Jason, I love u big baby…and last but never not least my only son Julian, my innocent baby one that was sheltered from all the evil in the world because we loved him so much."

Hudson went on to thank everyone for their encouragement and prayers and paid tribute to her son.

"His lil soul is at ease, I take comfort in knowing that Julian is with my mother and my brother and most of all the Lord and now he's my angel he's protecting me."

I think I want to throw up.

Leah said...

OMG Pat, are you serious?? I find it interesting that that she admits she CHOSE to love Balfour. Most women like Julia claim: "I can't help who I fall in love with". How very least she is an honest idiot.

Thank you for the update.

Stacy Dittrich said...

What I find appalling is this woman is writing on MySpace a day after her son's body was found!

"Because I chose to do what was natural to me (ie..engage in a relationship with a known, violent,criminal)..." innocent baby that was sheltered from the world of evil..." (I'll improvise here): ..."even though I subjected him daily to a violent killer, I rest assured as I write on MySpace instead of grieving, that my little guy is in Heaven.."

I already did throw up...

Maggie's Rose said...

Thank You for shedding so much light and truth on what really went on as well as for giving every single one of us something of value to take from this horrific crime.

We, the parents, owe it to our children to protect them, if we do not take that role seriously, just look at how tragic the consequences of our failure might be...

Incredible words and wisdom, thank you so much for sharing them!

LadySheila said...


Regan said...

Somebody has to say it. We also need to put those offenders behind bars and not let them slip thru the cracks. We have to protect the helpless kids!

Jessie'sMomGlendene said...

Pat Brown I must say, your words are so truthful it is painful.
Posting comments the DAY AFTER her son's body was found is wrong on many levels. The computer and Internet should have been the last thing on her mind.
My Canadian daughter, Jessie Foster has been an endangered missing person for over 2-1/2 years. She went missing from her home at 1009 North Las Vegas, Nevad under extremely mysterious circumstances on March 29, 2006. Jessie is probably a victim of an international human trafficking ring. Our website is
I mention this for 2 reasons...I need to ensure everyone knows about Jessie's disappearance and to continue my comment...I go online daily, I post, blog, read and repeat. I do this to try to help find my daughter. There was a search in the Nevada desert on Sat. Nov 1/08 and if they had of found my daughter's remains (I doubted they would and they did not - as I truely believe with all my heart that Jessie is alive), the last thing that would have been on my mind would have been to change the status or ANYTHING on my MySpace or ANY of our webpages.
I would have been too deep in my sorrow, mourning the loss of my child.
Anyway...I can always go on and on when it comes to Jessie, but this is not about Jessie, mostly it is about Julian & Jennifer and the tragedies that fell on them from the poor choices of others.