Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Long Beach Awaits Hate-Crime Verdict

Long Beach Awaits Hate-Crime Verdict - Washington Post

Nine Guilty In Halloween Attack - presstelegram.com

A simple, revealing exercise for anyone who wonders if these Black kids are being prosecuted unfairly is to switch the race of the participants. Consider the case where three Black women are set upon by a crowd of White kids, with the words and injuries they sustained.

How then would Blacks respond to the notion that their concern for the three now-Black women was due to some disproportioned sensitivity. They would show Whites the gruesome pictures of injuries from being kicked in the face, and then tell the good Reverend Wood that his collar is on backwards.

But it gets even simpler than this. The courageous witness may have seen more clothes than faces of the perpetrators, but those kids well know who did the damage that night - and they have chosen to maintain a 'code' of silence. So be the consequences.

I cannot say if protecting the ability to remain in Long Beach is worth jail time for these so-called 'good high school athletes'. Retribution for braking ranks is a real probability, given the intimidating attack on the witnesses' automobile. But if community leaders and the parents of these kids were serious about helping they would see the need to draw a line in the sand on this lawlessness.

We know this for sure. The crowd of kids acted in concert and with racial intent to create the violent engagement. The injuries were caused by kids from within the crowd. The kids present are remaining silent, thereby shielding a more detailed understanding of the attacks. Three women were nearly killed. Let the chips fall.

James C. Collier


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