I’m going to pile on here. Hope you don’t mind.
THE FACTS (MORE OR LESS)
You know about the (very inviting) shade tree that only white kids sat under. Black kid asks principal if it’s okay if he sits there. Principal says, “You can sit anywhere you want.” Few black kids do. Next day, three nooses are hanging from the tree.
White kids were suspended. School board said it was a prank. Racial tensions simmered and roiled for a year. Many scuffles, many fights. A white kids gets beat up and left unconscious. Six black boys are arrested and charged as adults with 2nd degree attempted murder. One of them was convicted, by the way, by an all white jury.
Have to use a deadly weapon in order to warrant a 2nd degree murder charge (with a possible 100 year jail sentence). DA says that their shoes were deadly weapons.
Here are some quotes from an article by Gary Younge — I heard him in an interview on NPR’s PRI — a journalist for the Guardian in the UK. America is his beat:
“A few days later, Justin Sloan, a white man, attacked black students who tried to go to a white party in town. Sloan was charged with battery and put on probation.
“A few days after that another white boy pulled a gun on three black students in a convenience store. The black student wrestled the gun from him and took it home. The black student was charged with theft of a firearm, second-degree robbery and disturbing the peace. The white student who produced the gun was not charged.”
And one more quote from Younge:
From an article on the CNN website yesterday:
The black boys who beat up the white kid should be punished. Maybe with battery and probation, for instance. There should be consequences for beating someone to a pulp, into unconsciousness. That kid they beat could have died or suffered some kind of brain trauma. So there should be punishment. But charging kids as adults with attempted murder with a deadly weapon? No.
That DA and school board are racists in a traditional sense of the word. Black people must be contained and held in check. You can’t let them get out of hand.
I’m not going to mess with all of the statistics about the number of blacks in prison compared to whites. If more black men are committing crimes, per capita, then more black men more capita are going to be imprisoned. I make no excuses for criminals and predators. BUT black men tend to get harsher sentences than whites FOR THE SAME CRIMES.
This is what people are talking about when they say that blacks are treated differently than whites. There’s another justice for minorities and the poor. Separate and unequal.
When I was in the 6th grade at Dundalk Middle, I got into two fights with the same kid, a white guy who vascillated between friend and enemy. Long story short, he was beating up my friends on a semi-regular basis. I took up for them after the fact. There was a fight after a game of some sort, which ended when an older girl sat on us. No teachers around. The second fight was a day before the last day of school in the hallway on the way to social studies. A teacher broke it up and said, “Do you want to go to the principal’s office?”
In typical boy-after-a-fight bravado, we both said “I don’t care.”
We were suspended a day before the last day of school. My first school fight and his bujillionth. My mother and stepfather came to school the next day to talk to the principal to get that suspension off my record. And they said to a few people, “This white kid has been in fights all year and has never been suspended. This is my son’s first fight and he’s suspended? What is this?”
One woman working in the office said, “Oh, at the end of the year they usually just …”
Wow, I don’t remember the rest of that sentence. I do remember that what she said was bulls—, though. Like, they don’t bother to weed out the truth or details if it’s near the last day of school? What kind of system is that?
Now. What if my parents hadn’t the time or intent to talk to the Principal? Or what if it were the legal system and I had been in a fight leaving a white kid unconscious and I couldn’t afford good, honest representation like that?
Well, I’d be be in jail with $90,000 bail charged with second degree attempted murder.
Yes, America. Racism is alive and well overtly and subvertly, if that’s a word. And just as critical, classism is alive and well.
|Currently watching :
Ugly Betty – The Complete First Season
Release date: By 21 August, 2007