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  • Writer's pictureDonald V. Watkins

Number One Lesson from Fred "Bubba" Copeland's Tragic Death: Suicide is NEVER the Answer

By: Donald V. Watkins

December 3, 2023

An Editorial Opinion

During the past 30 days, I have written extensively about the media “hit job” that Kenneth Bryan Dawson and 1819 News carried out on Smiths Station, Alabama Mayor Fred “Bubba” Copeland, which caused Copeland to commit suicide on November 3, 2023. Copeland’s death was facilitated by the publication of information that was impermissibly sourced to Dawson, a career criminal and law enforcement informant, by a federal law enforcement agent, in violation of federal statutes and Department of Justice policy guidelines. Copeland's death was the tragic result of a hate crime.

IMAGE: Smiths Station, Alabama Mayor Fred "Bubba" Copeland.

In 2017, I wrote extensive articles about University of Alabama honors student Megan Rondini, who committed suicide in 2015 after she realized that the man she designated as her rapist in a police report would not be prosecuted because his father was a wealthy Crimson Tide football program donor. The criminal justice system in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama failed Megan Rondini. She responded by taking her life. Rondini's tragic death was heartbreaking for millions of Americans.

IMAGE: University of Alabama honors student Megan Rondini.

In 2020, former Alabama state senator E.B. McClain committed suicide after he was targeted by Birmingham federal prosecutors, wrongfully charged with bribery, convicted in a rigged trial, served his sentence, and slumped into a deep depression. The federal criminal justice system failed McClain, who was a modern-era COINTELPRO victim. The COINTELPRO program worked as intended in McClain's case.

IMAGE: Former Alabama state senator E.B. McClain.

In 2012, Soul Train creator, producer, and host Don Cornelius killed himself after enduring serious illnesses, business setbacks, and a nasty divorce. Cornelius had all of the material things in life, but he lacked peace of mind. His death was senseless and preventable.

IMAGE: Soul Train creator Don Cornelius.

Over my 50-year career, I have encountered scores of rape and incest victims, media “hit job” victims, COINTELPRO victims, and men, women, and children who were the victims of incessant bullying, physical and/or emotional abuse who either killed themselves to escape this abuse, or who tried to commit suicide.

Working together, we stopped nearly all of these emotionally distraught victims from killing themselves. A few of them were not emotionally strong enough to hold on long enough until we could get them to the "other side of midnight."

For Those Who are Struggling with Despair and Who are on the Verge of Giving Up -- Please Don't Do It!

This article is written especially for the victims of abuse who think their lives are not worth living and those who are wallowing in depression while contemplating suicide.

Suicide is NEVER the answer. Whatever the abuse is, we will work with you to stop it and get you the help you need.

Your life matters to us.

For six generations, the Carmichael/Varnado/Watkins family has intervened to stop the abuse of human beings and help the abused get to the "other side of midnight." We are committed to serving the “least of these my brethren,” without fear or favor. We ask for nothing in return.

Our blessings come from God. As an American family, we have weathered every kind of adversity imaginable in life since the 1830s. We were helping the victims of abuse while some of our ancestors were still enslaved in Mississippi and Kentucky prior to the Civil War.

God has blessed our family with the relationships and resources needed to help stop your suffering. We are non-judgmental. We do not second-guess your journey in life. We only care about helping you navigate to the "other side of midnight."

No abuser is too powerful for us to neutralize. We fear no man or woman, no matter what title he/she holds, nor what his/her status is in the community.

Your life matters to God, and to us.

We do not denigrate or condemn any person. We uplift all people.

Our family members positively impact the lives of millions of people around the globe on a daily basis. We work in fields of medicine, business, education, energy, human rights, and life sciences.

If you contact a Watkins family member anywhere in the world and ask for help in stopping an abuser from hurting you, he/she will respond immediately.

We are often more effective than a government agency because our help is not dependent on how big and powerful the abuser is. We will level the playing field for you, without hesitation or reservation.

You deserve a chance to live your life, free of the pain and suffering that is inflicted by an abuser.

Our family's blessings in life have come from stopping the abuse of others and from saving lives. “To whom much has been given much is required.” Luke 12:48. Our family understands this Biblical verse and has lived by it for six generations.

We value your life. We love you for who you are, unconditionally. You are never alone. Reach out to a Watkins family member if you start thinking that your life is not worth living. Your happiness is our joy.

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