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Old 09-23-2007, 02:35 PM   #76
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Originally posted by Butterscotch
You also need to understand that my view of 'justice' in this is coming from a different place than yours because of what happened to my cousin.
I already asked this in the other thread, but what state did that incident with your cousin happen in, and which protected service are they arguing your cousin interfered with to warrant federal hate crime charges?
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Old 09-23-2007, 03:09 PM   #77
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IT WAS NOT A SCHOOL FIGHT IT WAS A BEATING!!!! One on one is a fight. Six against one is no 'fight'!! It makes no difference if this happened at school, the mall, or someone's yard, six people attacked one and beat the shit out of him, they intended serious harm to him and could have killed him. That's a crime, not the petty little schoolyard 'fight' you're trying to make it out to be. Even in schools, when someone harms someone, it's punished like any other crime, not laughed off as a 'school fight.' This makes me sick.
It absolutely matters that it was at school because of the age groups involved.

They didn't hurt him enough to threaten to kill him nor attempted to, so I don't see why it's so serious. I'm not laughing it off or making it petty, but the charges they currently have are very excessive. They should be punished, but not excessively.

I don't know anything about your cousin's situation, so I can't comment on that at all to draw a comparison or understand why there aren't marches being held for him.
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Old 09-24-2007, 03:07 AM   #78
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Exactly what I've been saying about all of this, including my cousin! Getting 20 years for defending an attack while he was repo-ing is extreme too, but you don't see 60,000 marching about that injustice.
It sounds like what has happened to your cousin is really wrong and I know it's very painful for you. It must be frustrating to listen to the rest of us sitting about pontificating dispassionately about an issue that really hits home for you in a way that doesn't for the rest of us. I'm really sorry about you cousin.

I'm sensing that some of your frustration is that there's no grass roots movement to protest the injustice of what happened to your cousin. But the thing about grass roots movements is that they're just that. . .It's not like the Black Community (whatever that is) got together and said, hey likes make a national scene about this. The story got out, some various people in positions of influence thought it was wrong and it snowballed from there. You can't just "order up" a 60,000 person march, and thus complain when your march hasn't been delivered.

It's clear that what happened to your cousin was a miscarriage of justice, but I'm not sure I'm hearing you saying that the same thing happened with the Jena 6. It sounds more like you're saying, "My cousin got screwed by the system, so these Jena guys should get screwed as well. And I'll be damned if they escape their injustice just because they're black while my cousin has to endure his because he's white." If injustice is to be righted, someone has to step up and make their voice known and fight for change. There are people who decided to do that regarding the Jena 6. People--starting, perhaps, with you and your family--can do the same about your cousin.

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This is families where everyone is the same color, but if you get black against white all of a sudden it's an international incident? Even in football, it's always the guy who retaliates who gets the penalty. We need to compare things objectively.
Societal injustice is a strange thing though. Historically, and even presently when a white person gets killed, raped, kidnapped, whatever, it typcially generates a whole lot more media consternation than when it's a black person. For years blacks in America endured all kinds of miscarriages of justice with a hardly a ruffle of concern from society at large. It happens still today. . .it's almost like you have to have 60,000 person march, a book published, and a movie made to see justice done. Which is sad.
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Old 09-25-2007, 08:54 AM   #79
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chicagotribune.com
White supremacist backlash builds over Jena case

By Howard Witt

Tribune senior correspondent


No sooner did tens of thousands of African-American demonstrators depart the racially tense town of Jena, La., last week after protesting perceived injustices than white supremacists flooded in behind them.

First a neo-Nazi Web site posted the names, addresses and phone numbers of some of the six black teenagers and their families at the center of the Jena 6 case and urged followers to find them and "drag them out of the house," prompting an investigation by the FBI.

Then the leader of a white supremacist group in Mississippi published interviews that he conducted with the mayor of Jena and the white teenager who was attacked and beaten, allegedly by the six black youths. In those interviews, the mayor, Murphy McMillin, praised efforts by pro-white groups to organize counterdemonstrations; the teenager, Justin Barker, urged white readers to "realize what is going on, speak up and speak their mind."

Over the weekend, white extremist Web sites and blogs across the Internet filled with invective about the Jena 6 case, which has drawn scrutiny from civil rights leaders, three leading Democratic presidential candidates and hundreds of African-American Internet bloggers. They are concerned about allegations that blacks have been treated more harshly than whites in the criminal justice system of the town of 3,000, which is 85 percent white.

David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader, last week announced his support for Jena's white residents, who voted overwhelmingly for him when he ran unsuccessfully for Louisiana governor in 1991.

"There is a major white supremacist backlash building," said Mark Potok, a hate-group expert at the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group in Montgomery, Ala. "I also think it's more widespread than may be obvious to most people. It's not only neo-nazis and Klansmen—you expect this kind of reaction from them."

Controversy over the Jena 6 case has been percolating for months but it exploded into national view last Thursday when a crowd of at least 20,000 peaceful demonstrators from around the country marched through the central Louisiana town.

They came to support the six black high school students who were initially charged by the local prosecutor with attempted murder for attacking Barker, a white classmate who was beaten and knocked briefly unconscious last December. The charges were later reduced to aggravated second-degree battery.

The incident capped months of racial unrest after three white students hung nooses from a shade tree at the high school after black students asked permission to sit under it. School officials dismissed the noose incident as a prank, angering black students and their parents and triggering a series of fights between whites and blacks. The whites involved were charged with misdemeanors or not at all while the blacks drew various felony charges.

McMillin has insisted that his town is being unfairly portrayed as racist—an assertion the mayor repeated in an interview with Richard Barrett, the leader of the Nationalist Movement, a white supremacist group based in Learned, Miss., who asked McMillin to "set aside some place for those opposing the colored folks."

"I am not endorsing any demonstrations, but I do appreciate what you are trying to do," Barrett quoted McMillin as saying. "Your moral support means a lot."

McMillin declined to return calls seeking comment Monday.

Barker's father, David, said his family did not know the nature of Barrett's group when they agreed to be interviewed, adding, "I am not a white supremacist, and neither is my son."

But Barrett said he explained his group and its beliefs to the Barker family, who then invited him to stay overnight at their home on the eve of last week's protest march.

Rev. Jesse Jackson told the Tribune that he had grown so concerned about white extremists' threats against the Jena 6 families and perceived injustices in the town that he called the White House over the weekend to ask for immediate federal intervention. Jackson said the acting head of the U.S. Justice Department's civil right division phoned him Monday to say that the agency had begun investigating the Jena situation.
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Old 09-25-2007, 09:08 AM   #80
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chicagotribune.com
White supremacist backlash builds over Jena case

By Howard Witt

Tribune senior correspondent


No sooner did tens of thousands of African-American demonstrators depart the racially tense town of Jena, La., last week after protesting perceived injustices than white supremacists flooded in behind them.

First a neo-Nazi Web site posted the names, addresses and phone numbers of some of the six black teenagers and their families at the center of the Jena 6 case and urged followers to find them and "drag them out of the house," prompting an investigation by the FBI.

Then the leader of a white supremacist group in Mississippi published interviews that he conducted with the mayor of Jena and the white teenager who was attacked and beaten, allegedly by the six black youths. In those interviews, the mayor, Murphy McMillin, praised efforts by pro-white groups to organize counterdemonstrations; the teenager, Justin Barker, urged white readers to "realize what is going on, speak up and speak their mind."

Over the weekend, white extremist Web sites and blogs across the Internet filled with invective about the Jena 6 case, which has drawn scrutiny from civil rights leaders, three leading Democratic presidential candidates and hundreds of African-American Internet bloggers. They are concerned about allegations that blacks have been treated more harshly than whites in the criminal justice system of the town of 3,000, which is 85 percent white.

David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader, last week announced his support for Jena's white residents, who voted overwhelmingly for him when he ran unsuccessfully for Louisiana governor in 1991.

"There is a major white supremacist backlash building," said Mark Potok, a hate-group expert at the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group in Montgomery, Ala. "I also think it's more widespread than may be obvious to most people. It's not only neo-nazis and Klansmen—you expect this kind of reaction from them."

Controversy over the Jena 6 case has been percolating for months but it exploded into national view last Thursday when a crowd of at least 20,000 peaceful demonstrators from around the country marched through the central Louisiana town.

They came to support the six black high school students who were initially charged by the local prosecutor with attempted murder for attacking Barker, a white classmate who was beaten and knocked briefly unconscious last December. The charges were later reduced to aggravated second-degree battery.

The incident capped months of racial unrest after three white students hung nooses from a shade tree at the high school after black students asked permission to sit under it. School officials dismissed the noose incident as a prank, angering black students and their parents and triggering a series of fights between whites and blacks. The whites involved were charged with misdemeanors or not at all while the blacks drew various felony charges.

McMillin has insisted that his town is being unfairly portrayed as racist—an assertion the mayor repeated in an interview with Richard Barrett, the leader of the Nationalist Movement, a white supremacist group based in Learned, Miss., who asked McMillin to "set aside some place for those opposing the colored folks."

"I am not endorsing any demonstrations, but I do appreciate what you are trying to do," Barrett quoted McMillin as saying. "Your moral support means a lot."

McMillin declined to return calls seeking comment Monday.

Barker's father, David, said his family did not know the nature of Barrett's group when they agreed to be interviewed, adding, "I am not a white supremacist, and neither is my son."

But Barrett said he explained his group and its beliefs to the Barker family, who then invited him to stay overnight at their home on the eve of last week's protest march.

Rev. Jesse Jackson told the Tribune that he had grown so concerned about white extremists' threats against the Jena 6 families and perceived injustices in the town that he called the White House over the weekend to ask for immediate federal intervention. Jackson said the acting head of the U.S. Justice Department's civil right division phoned him Monday to say that the agency had begun investigating the Jena situation.
Justin Barker, urged white readers to "realize what is going on, speak up and speak their mind."


Well that's nice Justin...guess what, I'm white and I realize what was going on - and if that's how you feel I'm glad you got your ass whipped.

Could someone explain to me how Bell's JUVENILE record is all over the internet? It's bad enough these boys were charged (incorrectly) as adults, but I was under the impression that juvenile records are generally sealed?

And the mayor is in bed with the white supremacists too? He says he doesn't want anyone to think his town is racist...well Mr. McMillan, I don't think your town is, but I think you are, and the DA is, and a good portion of the school board clearly is. You see, it's better to have the fringe hate groups out in the open. When they skulk in the shadows it's hard to know who's with them, but when they show their faces in public at least the rest of us can identify them for what they are.

to Jesse Jackson for getting involved in this and getting the Feds involved - we'll see if they actually DO anything, but at least he tried.
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Old 09-25-2007, 09:12 AM   #81
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chicagotribune.com
School discipline tougher on African Americans

By Howard Witt

Tribune senior correspondent

September 25, 2007



In the average New Jersey public school, African-American students are almost 60 times as likely as white students to be expelled for serious disciplinary infractions.

In Minnesota, black students are suspended 6 times as often as whites.

In Iowa, blacks make up just 5 percent of the statewide public school enrollment but account for 22 percent of the students who get suspended.

Fifty years after federal troops escorted nine black students through the doors of an all-white high school in Little Rock, Ark., in a landmark school integration struggle, America's public schools remain as unequal as they have ever been when measured in terms of disciplinary sanctions such as suspensions and expulsions, according to little-noticed data collected by the U.S. Department of Education for the 2004-2005 school year.

In every state but Idaho, a Tribune analysis of the data shows, black students are being suspended in numbers greater than would be expected from their proportion of the student population. In 21 states—Illinois among them—that disproportionality is so pronounced that the percentage of black suspensions is more than double their percentage of the student body. And on average across the nation, black students are suspended and expelled at nearly three times the rate of white students.

No other ethnic group is disciplined at such a high rate, the federal data show. Hispanic students are suspended and expelled in almost direct proportion to their populations, while white and Asian students are disciplined far less.

Yet black students are no more likely to misbehave than other students from the same social and economic environments, research studies have found. Some impoverished black children grow up in troubled neighborhoods and come from broken families, leaving them less equipped to conform to behavioral expectations in school. While such socioeconomic factors contribute to the disproportionate discipline rates, researchers say that poverty alone cannot explain the disparities. "There simply isn't any support for the notion that, given the same set of circumstances, African-American kids act out to a greater degree than other kids," said Russell Skiba, a professor of educational psychology at Indiana University whose research focuses on race and discipline issues in public schools. "In fact, the data indicate that African-American students are punished more severely for the same offense, so clearly something else is going on. We can call it structural inequity or we can call it institutional racism."

Academic researchers have been quietly collecting evidence of such race-based disciplinary disparities for more than 25 years. Yet the phenomenon remains largely obscured from public view by the popular emphasis on "zero tolerance" crackdowns, which are supposed to deliver equally harsh punishments based on a student's infraction, not skin color.

That's not what the data say is happening. Yet the federal Education Department's Office of Civil Rights, which is charged with investigating allegations of discriminatory discipline policies in the nation's public schools, has opened just one such probe in the past three years. Officials declined requests to explain why.

There's more at stake than just a few bad marks in a student's school record. Studies show that a history of school suspensions or expulsions is a strong predictor of future trouble with the law—and the first step on what civil rights leaders have described as a "school-to-prison pipeline" for black youths, who represent 16 percent of U.S. adolescents but 38 percent of those incarcerated in youth prisons.

Relatively few school districts scattered across the country have begun to acknowledge the issue of racial disparities in discipline and tried to do something about it.

In Austin, after administrators discovered that black youths accounted for 14 percent of the school district's population but 37 percent of the students sent to punitive alternative schools, they introduced a program in some schools based on encouraging positive student behaviors rather than punishing negative ones.

At one school, Pickle Elementary, which serves mostly Hispanic and black students, the results were dramatic—disciplinary referrals dropped from 520 in 2001-2002 to just 20 last year.

"I am not going to give up on a child and suspend him or send him to an alternative school," said Julie Pryor, who was the principal of the school when the behavioral program was implemented and is now a district administrator. "Washing our hands of a child will never change his behavior, it just makes it worse. These are children. It's up to us to be creative to find ways to help them behave."

But academic experts say many more school administrators, when confronted with data showing disparate rates of discipline for minority students, react like officials in the small east Texas town of Paris and strenuously deny accusations of racial discrimination.

Paris is the sole school district in the nation currently under investigation by the federal Education Department to determine whether higher discipline rates for black students there constitute institutionalized discrimination. The probe has been under way for more than a year.

"The school district has been a leader and very progressive when it comes to race relations," Dennis Eichelbaum, the attorney for the Paris Independent School District, said in an interview earlier this year.

That perspective is not shared by the families of many of Paris' black students, who make up 40 percent of the school district's nearly 4,000 students.

"They say there's no racism here, but if you go inside a school and look in the room where they send the kids for detention, almost all the faces are black," said Brenda Cherry, a Paris civil rights activist who assembled some of the complaints that sparked the federal investigation. "Unless black people are just a bad race of people, something is wrong here."

Exactly why black students across the nation are suspended and expelled more frequently than children of other races is a question that continues to perplex sociologists.

Socioeconomic factors are certainly at play, researchers believe.

"Studies of school suspension have consistently documented disproportionality by socioeconomic status. Students who receive free school lunch are at increased risk for school suspension," according to "The Color of Discipline," a 2000 study by Skiba and other researchers in Indiana and Nebraska. Another study concluded that "students whose fathers did not have a full-time job were significantly more likely to be suspended than students whose fathers were employed full time."

But those studies and others have repeatedly found that racial factors are even more important.

"Poor home environment does carry over into the school environment," said Skiba, who is widely regarded as the nation's foremost authority on school discipline and race. "But middle-class and upper-class black students are also being disciplined more often than their white peers. Skin color in itself is a part of this function."

Some experts point to cultural miscommunications between black students and white teachers, who fill 83 percent of the nation's teaching ranks. In fact, the Tribune analysis found, some of the highest rates of racially disproportionate discipline are found in states with the lowest minority populations, where the disconnect between white teachers and black students is potentially the greatest.

"White teachers feel more threatened by boys of color," said Isela Gutierrez, a juvenile justice expert at the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, a watchdog and policy group. "They are viewed as disruptive. What might be their more assertive way of asking a question, for example, is viewed as popping off at the mouth."

Nor has the decline of court-ordered integration across the nation and the gradual resegregation of urban schools in recent decades made much difference in disciplinary rates. Even in urban schools where most of the students are black, black youths are still disciplined out of proportion to their population, the data show. In Washington, D.C., for example, black students are 84 percent of the public school population but 97 percent of the students who are suspended. Other researchers believe that zero-tolerance policies, which encourage teachers and administrators to crack down on even minor, non-violent misbehavior, are exacerbating racial disparities. Some states, such as Texas, are so zealous that they have criminalized many school infractions, saddling tens of thousands of students with misdemeanor criminal records for offenses such as swearing or disrupting class.

The school security climate, in turn, can reinforce race-based expectations about which students are most likely to require discipline.

"Most suburban schools, where the students are more likely to be white, purchase security equipment that is meant to protect children—for example, hand scanners that make sure that the parent/guardian picking up the child is legitimate," said Ronnie Casella, an expert on the criminalization of student behavior at Central Connecticut State University. "In contrast, urban schools choose equipment such as metal detectors and surveillance cameras that are meant to catch youths committing crimes."

The new behavioral program being tried in Austin, and some 6,500 schools nationwide, seeks to turn zero tolerance on its head in a bid to slash the number of suspensions, expulsions and other punishments meted out by teachers.

Called "Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports," the intensive regimen requires a commitment from an entire school, including training of students in the behaviors that are expected of them and re-education of teachers and administrators in the use of positive motivational techniques.

The interactions of individual teachers with their students are minutely scrutinized by a team of experts to pinpoint communication breakdowns, and specialized counseling teams are deployed to work with students who present the most serious discipline issues so that classroom teachers are not left to deal with the problems on their own.

"Most schools use a get-tough, punish-the-kids kind of perspective, which results in the kinds of racial disciplinary disparities we see across the country," said George Sugai, a professor of education at the University of Connecticut who helped create the positive behavioral program. "We come at it from the other perspective: If you teach kids the behaviors that are expected, you have a greater likelihood of success. It's really more about changing how adults interact with kids than it is about changing the kids."

Schools like Pickle Elementary in Austin that are using the positive behavioral program often report sharp reductions in their disciplinary referrals. But Skiba, who is currently studying the effectiveness of the program, cautions that it does not always eliminate racial disparities.

"They've been very successful at reducing rates of suspension and expulsion while making schools function more effectively," Skiba said of the schools using the program. "But if you look at the data by race, what you find is that some discrepancies still exist. It's not enough to put this program in place and say, 'We are happy to reduce our rates of suspension,' because what we might have done is reduce our white suspensions and increase our African-American suspensions. There's just no silver bullet for this problem."
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Old 09-25-2007, 10:06 AM   #82
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That's a great article Mrs. S, thaks for posting it. Sadly it doesn't surprise me, though.
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Old 09-25-2007, 09:11 PM   #83
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Could someone explain to me how Bell's JUVENILE record is all over the internet? It's bad enough these boys were charged (incorrectly) as adults, but I was under the impression that juvenile records are generally sealed?
It was unsealed at his first post-conviction bond hearing back in August, as evidence for why his bail shouldn't be reduced (he was/is still on probation for an earlier battery offense). And at that point the case was still in adult court, meaning the proceedings were public record. Not sure, but I think that's why the list of charges (not the actual court proceedings) from his juvenile record are now out there.

I would want to know more about what exactly the Barker family understood the nature of Barrett's "group" to be, and what the context of whatever they said to him was, before passing judgment on that...they may very well just be bluffing, but on the other hand, this is a tactic white supremacist groups have used before to get the 'scoop' on some sensational(-izable) crime story involving a black perpetrator and a white victim--they'll dispatch someone to track down the victim, falsely present himself as a legal writer with such-and-such victims' rights advocacy group or the like, then 'package' the resulting story for their audience.

The mayor, on the other hand...as the highest-ranking local government official, there can be no excuse for remarks like that. "Moral support," well that makes it pretty clear what his stand on the whole thing is.

And I could go on about how familiar this whole dynamic of white defensiveness and distrust predictably snowballing into white paranoia about being the victim of a smear campaign looks...

No surprise that all this national attention is bringing the rats out of the woodwork, though--sorry to say, I'm just surprised it didn't happen sooner.

(I've never heard of "Learned," Mississippi--probably because it's only population 50, according to Wiki--but that's a nice irony that this group is based there, isn't it?)
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Old 09-28-2007, 02:00 AM   #84
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Associated Press, Sept. 27

JENA, La. — A black teenager whose prosecution in the beating of a white classmate prompted a massive civil rights protest here walked out of a courthouse Thursday after a judge ordered him freed. Mychal Bell's release on $45,000 bail came hours after a prosecutor confirmed he would no longer seek an adult trial for the 17-year-old. Bell, one of the teenagers known as the Jena Six, still faces trial as a juvenile in the December beating in this small central Louisiana town.
......................................................................
[DA Reed] Walters said the demonstration had no influence on his decision not to press the adult charges, and ended his news conference by saying that only God kept the protest peaceful. "The only way — let me stress that — the only way that I believe that me or this community has been able to endure the trauma that has been thrust upon us is through the prayers of the Christian people who have sent them up in this community," Walters said. "I firmly believe and am confident of the fact that had it not been for the direct intervention of the Lord Jesus Christ last Thursday, a disaster would have happened. You can quote me on that."

The Rev. Donald Sibley, a black Jena pastor, called it a "shame" that Walters credited divine intervention for the protesters acting responsibly.

"What I'm saying is, the Lord Jesus Christ put his influence on those people, and they responded accordingly," Walters responded.
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Old 09-28-2007, 01:37 PM   #85
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Wow, praise be to Jesus for controlling those violent African Americans, huh? I am very suspicious of that guy Walters.
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Old 10-01-2007, 02:44 PM   #86
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chicagotribune.com
District unshaken by racial incident
But Gurnee teen's act tied by some to national tensions

By Courtney Flynn and Susan Kuczka

Tribune staff reporters

September 30, 2007

What local officials are calling an isolated event that led to charges against a high school student in Gurnee is apparently the latest in a series of incidents across the country causing heightened concern in the racially explosive aftermath of the Jena 6 case in Louisiana.

A Warren Township High School student was charged with disorderly conduct for making "racially charged" statements to two female students, police said. The student drove into a campus parking lot with a noose hanging from his rearview mirror and a Confederate flag displayed in his vehicle, officials said.

In North Carolina last week, four nooses were found dangling from trees and a flagpole at a North Carolina high school, a local newspaper reported. A Louisiana man was charged with inciting a riot after two nooses were found hanging from the back of his pickup truck. Nooses were left this summer in the bag of a black U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadet and in the office of a white female officer conducting race-relations training.

On their own, the incidents might not have garnered much attention. But against the backdrop of the Jena 6 case in Louisiana, where nooses found hanging from a tree set off a chain of events that polarized the town, local officials and experts say similar occurrences -- even if they might be unrelated -- can be especially troubling.

"I think what all of these incidents reflect -- from Jena to the reaction to Jena -- is the worsening of race relations in America," said Mark Potok, a hate-group expert at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. "What one would hope is that an event like Jena starts a real dialogue that takes us forward and not backward."

Potok said in recent days the leader of one neo-Nazi group has been fanning the flames on his Web site, encouraging followers to hang nooses in their communities. The site even has a link to news reports of the Gurnee case.

Tensions at Jena High School began in August 2006, when a black student asked whether he could sit beneath a tree where white students traditionally sat. He was told yes. The next day, three white students hung nooses from a tree limb. The school superintendent dismissed the nooses as an "adolescent prank," according to news reports.

Fights between black and white students broke out on and off campus, culminating in an attack on Justin Barker, a white student who was knocked briefly unconscious on school grounds. White students who were accused of fighting black students had faced misdemeanor charges or none at all, but the six black youths who were accused of attacking Barker were initially charged with attempted murder. In the case of the Gurnee student, some experts said, young adults don't always realize fully what certain images represent.

"A child who lives in Chicago may not understand the real implications of what they're carrying around, like a [Confederate] flag or a noose," said Peggy Riehl, an early childhood development expert with the Chicago Metro Association for the Education of Young Children. "They may not have the real experience that children in other communities that may have seen what that means."

Curtis Hiett, 17, of the 900 block of Charles Avenue in Gurnee, was arrested Thursday. He posted $100 bail and was released to his parents, said Deputy Police Chief Kevin Woodside. He is scheduled to appear Oct. 23 in Lake County Circuit Court in Waukegan.

Attempts to reach Hiett and his parents Friday were unsuccessful.

Although the misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge against the teenager stems from the statements he made to the two female students and not to the noose and Confederate flag, police said they found those items in Hiett's vehicle as part of their investigation, Woodside said. The noose was made out of a shoestring, he said. Police would not elaborate on what Hiett allegedly said.

A spokeswoman for the school district, which notified police about the matter on Thursday, said classes and activities continued normally on Friday, and school officials considered the matter closed.

"As far as we're concerned, it was an isolated incident," Carolyn Waller said. "I haven't seen anything out of the ordinary today."

Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik, who has actively promoted diversity in hiring and contract awards in her town, said she learned about the incident from her two children, a senior and a freshman at Warren Township High School.

"My daughter asked, 'why do people still do this today?' and I told her, 'because there's still people who aren't tolerant and do hateful things,'" Kovarik said. "But the important thing is how we respond to it. I think a little parental guidance might help."

Gurnee, a predominantly white community of 30,000, has seen its minority populations increase, Kovarik said.

Census figures in 2000 showed Gurnee was 5 percent African-American, 6 percent Hispanic and 8 percent Asian, Kovarik said.

Marian McElroy, president of the Lake County branch of the NAACP, said the incident showed there was more work to do to bridge racial divides.

"It's sad because when you see adults do things you are outraged because you know they should know better," she said. "But when you see kids involved, it just makes you feel really sad because we know we still have our work cut out for us, and that we better do something fast if these kids are involved in this kind of behavior."

Potok agreed and said the extent to which incidents like the one in Gurnee affect the community depend on how quickly authorities react.

"Local officials need to deal with it in some way," Potok said. "If incidents like this simply get buried, it only gets worse."
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Old 10-01-2007, 02:49 PM   #87
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It's downright frightening if some police officers think they should not have to take orders from an African American (or another minority or a woman)

Newsday.com
Deputy chief says he's not intimidated by noose

BY SID CASSESE

October 1, 2007

Two days after a hangman's noose was found in the Hempstead Police locker room, Deputy Chief Willie Dixon vowed yesterday not to be intimidated.

"If anybody thinks this kind of cowardly act will keep me from doing my job as effectively as possible, they're badly mistaken," Dixon said in an interview.

Nonetheless, he called the incident deeply hurtful.

"It's the ultimate symbol of disgust if you know American history, especially if you're black. It's a great insult," said Dixon, 57, who is black and has been with the department since 1981.

"There's no difference between a noose and a swastika, except who they're aimed at," he said.

The noose was found hanging from a pipe and old newspaper stories about criminal charges Dixon faced in the early 1990s were found posted nearby, according to village sources who did not want to be named.

Dixon is the third-highest ranking officer on the 107-member force. His promotion in May made him chief of patrol and supervisor of department civilians, and may be behind the incident, according to the sources.

Dixon, who declined to discuss specifics of the incident, did say that he has previously heard that some officers were angry with him because of changes he made in some squads.

"In trying to increase efficiency and save on overtime, I made some changes," said Dixon. "Nobody was placed on a different shift, but some people ended up working with different officers. One comment was that I was wrecking families, and I don't understand that."

Corey Pegues, a New York Police Department captain who lives in Hempstead and is the president of the Long Island chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, said issues related to race need to be explored.

"Some officers think they should not have to take orders from a black person," Pegues said. "And if that's the case here, we need to get to the bottom of it quickly before this becomes the norm."

Dixon said he is confident the district attorney and Chief Joe Wing, his longtime colleague, will thoroughly investigate the incident.

Hempstead Trustee Perry Pettus said he works closely with the police and doesn't know anybody who would commit such an act. "But somebody with access did this and has left a smudge on the village and its police department," he said.

Only police and janitors have authorized access to the locker room.

A janitor discovered the artifacts and reported it to Dixon.

The stories posted were about charges against Dixon for dragging a local woman with his car. A jury acquitted him of all charges in 1993.
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Old 10-10-2007, 06:21 PM   #88
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Quote:
After the Jena 6 Case, a Spate of Noose Incidents

By Mike Nizza
New York Times, Oct 10


The Jena Six case resonated widely enough in the United States to spark the largest civil rights protest in years and a fierce national conversation, but the emotionally fraught object at its center appears to be ascendant as well.

In addition to other racially charged incidents, an article in USA Today noticed nooses in almost a dozen recent news reports. [NYT blog] The Lede tracked down a bunch of them: At a Home Depot store in South Elgin, Ill.; on the campus of the University of Maryland; in a police-station locker room in Hempstead, N.Y.; at two Coast Guard facilities, one in Connecticut and one at sea; at high schools in North Carolina and South Carolina; and at least two cases of nooses with black dolls in Pittsburgh.

Initial reports on yet another noose incident may be linked to an academic dispute. A noose was found hanging on the door of a black professor at Teachers College, part of Columbia University, our colleagues at The City Room report.

Mark Potok, who monitors hate crime activity at the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, told USA Today that a typical year passes with about five reports of incidents involving nooses. Brian Levin, executive director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, told USA Today what kinds of people are usually responsible:
"Copycat offenses are most often committed by men under 22 who are bored or drunk and looking for attention," Levin says. "They generally are not members of hate groups, but they harbor racial animosity or feel threatened by racial groups they think have unfair advantages, such as affirmative action. Those prejudices are already there for the most part, and what the Jena incident did was give them a green light on repeating this novelty...It’s a way of reasserting their importance.”

Whatever their motives, this much is clear: in the wake of the Jena Six case, when nooses ignited a town and then a nation, officials are not suffering noose incidents gladly.
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Old 10-10-2007, 07:26 PM   #89
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Gee, such happy news . Sick idiots.

*Goes to check her calendar just to make sure that we are, in fact, in the year 2007*

Angela
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Old 10-10-2007, 08:11 PM   #90
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Quote:
Originally posted by unico
there were 3 white students that were accused of being responsible for the nooses. the superintendent dismissed it as "a prank"

jeez,

these are just pranks

doesn't anyone have a sense of humor anymore?

why do we always have to be so damn p c
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