Four white San Jose State University students who assaulted a Black teenager for nearly two months have been charged only with misdemeanors, when their crimes actually constitute “felonious battery, terroristic threats, and kidnapping.” The corporate media portrayed the “racist assaults and threats of lynching as nothing more than white rites of adolescent passage” – like “hazing” and “bullying.”
Nov. 27 2013
A 17-year-old Black student is set upon by four white males that inhabit the same suite of rooms on a college campus. Over a period of almost two months, his tormentors force him into a closet and twice fasten a “U” shaped bicycle lock around his neck, once chaining him for at least ten minutes and bruising his lip in the attack. The whole time, the perpetrators prominently display a Confederate flag, a board scrawled with the word “nigger,” and a photo of Adolph Hitler, the mass exterminator of “lesser species” of humanity, while verbally assaulting the victim with racial slurs, calling him “three-fifths” and “fraction” to dramatize their view that he is nothing but a slave to whites. The victim would sometimes barricade himself in his room to escape the assaults.
The initial police report describes the assaults as “hazing.” CNN insists on calling the prolonged attacks a form of “bullying.” Journalists refer to “three-fifths” and “fraction” as the victim’s “nicknames.” Ultimately, the four whites are charged only with a misdemeanor hate crime and simple battery, for which they face a maximum of one year in county jail and possible fines.
The criminal offenses committed against the unnamed victim at San Jose State University should, under California and federal law, constitute felonious battery, terroristic threats (which, under California Penal Code section 422, can be charged whether or not the person making the threat has the ability to carry out the threat or even intended to carry out the threat), and, if the police were serious about deterring such atrocities, kidnapping. If vigorously prosecuted in the penal dystopia that California has become, the four white boys would emerge from prison as middle-aged men, covered in Aryan Nation tattoos. But that’s not going to happen, because these are the children of a white society that is incapable of acknowledging – or even perceiving, on the cognitive level – the violence that it daily perpetrates against Blacks.
Black students and the local NAACP made the same point in a demonstration beneath the 22-foot statue commemorating Tommie Smith and John Carlos’ “Black Power” salute at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games. “The community will not stand idly by and allow for any student of color to be terrorized simply due to the color of his skin,” said the Rev. Jethroe Moore II, president of the San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP. But, there is no Black Power on San Jose State’s campus. At just three percent of the student body, there is hardly a Black presence.
African American enrollment was reduced by one back in 2008, when Gregory Johnson’s body was discovered in the basement of the Sigma Chi fraternity house. The police ruled it a suicide by hanging, despite the wound in the back of his head. “He died like a dog,” said Johnson’s tearful mother, Denise, holding pictures of her son as students consoled her at the demonstration.
University President Mohammad Qayoumi, who had initially failed to even suspend the white supremacist assailants, presented words of contrition for his cognitive dysfunction. “By failing to recognize the meaning of a Confederate flag, intervene earlier to stop the abuse, or impose sanctions as soon as the gravity of the behavior became clear, we failed him. I failed him.”
Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, Qayoumi has assimilated the values of his adopted country. White supremacy oozes from the digital pores of Atlanta-based CNN, which peppered its coverage of the San Jose assault with links from an article on “bullying” that featured a photo of young white actresses from the 2004 movie Mean Girls: Are we too quick to cry ‘bully’?, When friends become bullies and Bullying among boys easily dismissed? For CNN, racist assaults and threats of lynching are nothing more than white rites of adolescent passage – like “hazing,” the term used by Raw Story, the Los Angeles Times (“NAACP seeks harsher charges in San Jose racial hazing case”) and the San Jose police, themselves, to describe the crime.
White America invented lynching as a broad category of practices inextricably entwined with the peculiar institutions of U.S. chattel slavery and Jim Crow. There are as many variations on the tree-and-rope motif as racist minds can imagine. Lynching is not a punishment for any defined infraction other than the race of the victim. It is a weapon of racist oppression, which can be unleashed for the most whimsical of reasons, or for no purpose other than to terrify the targeted population. Lynching is white supremacist violence, in all its purposeful manifestations – judicial and extrajudicial. It is endemic to the white supremacist USA.
The United States has never defined lynching, much less outlawed it – although the U.S. Senate apologized by voice vote, in 2005, for failing to pass an anti-lynching law “when it was most needed.”
Legal definitions of crime are rooted in the intent of the perpetrator. George Zimmerman lynched Trayvon Martin as part of his effort to maintain the racist social order. The police did not, initially, charge him because they shared Zimmerman’s motives. A jury eventually agreed that no lynching occurred, because Zimmerman “meant well.” They, too, were invested in preserving the racist social order.
The prosecutor in the San Jose case defended his decision to charge the four white students with misdemeanor crimes. “While we understand the outrage of those calling for even stiffer charges in this case, the charges are not a reflection of the degree of their racism,” said District Attorney Jeff Rosen. “The charges are a reflection of their criminal conduct.”
Anybody who lives in the ghetto knows that police and prosecutors routinely pile on layers of escalating charges, all stemming from one discreet crime (and often charge defendants with every unsolved crime in the neighborhood). In the San Jose case, nearly two months of daily crimes that can easily and reasonably be charged as felonies were stripped down to the barest misdemeanors. The DA claims he is not allowed to prosecute people simply for being racist – which is true. But racism was the obvious motive for the white supremacist students’ physical assaults, terrorist threats, and kidnapping of the Black victim from August 20 through October 13 of this year. It is central to the crime. When the larger society dismisses or diminishes racism as an element of the crimes committed against Black people, it exposes us to an infinity of assaults.
That’s why we have the right and duty of collective self-defense.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.
How to Cure the Freedom Disease —- The Theories of Dr. Samuel Cartwright.
Dr. Samuel Cartwright was a famous physician in the early and mid 19th century with practices in Mississippi and Louisiana. A student of Dr. Benjamin Rush, he was known for his work with yellow fever, cholera, and was once the personal surgeon to President Andrew Jackson. However Dr. Cartwright’s legacy focuses on one aspect of his practice; slavery.
During the mid 19th century Dr. Cartwright was considered the preeminent physician who specialized in treating slaves. In 1851 he published an article called “Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race” in the popular magazine De Bows Review. In it he described a mental disease illness “Drapetomania”, or the compulsion to flee from servitude. According to Dr. Cartwright this disease was especially common to the “negro race”, especially those who are treated too well. His overall treatment for Drapetomania was to treat slave kindly, but not too kindly,
"If treated kindly, well fed and clothed, with fuel enough to keep a small fire burning all night—separated into families, each family having its own house—not permitted to run about at night to visit their neighbors, to receive visits or use intoxicating liquors, and not overworked or exposed too much to the weather, they are very easily governed—more so than any other people in the world."
However for slaves who still suffered from Drapetomania, Dr. Cartwright recommended the following prescription,
"Before the negroes run away, unless they are frightened or panic-struck, they become sulky and dissatisfied. The cause of this sulkiness and dissatisfaction should be inquired into and removed, or they are apt to run away or fall into the negro consumption. When sulky and dissatisfied without cause, the experience of those on the line and elsewhere, was decidedly in favor of whipping them out of it, as a preventive measure against absconding, or other bad conduct. It was called whipping the devil out of them."
Later in his practice Dr. Cartwright also recommended the removal of the big toes of any slave that continued to be disobedient, permanently preventing him or her from running.
As well as Drapetomania, Dr. Cartwright also described a condition he called “Dysaesthesia Aethiopica”. According to Dr. Cartwright, Dysaethesia Aethiopica was an insensitivity of the skin “peculiar to negroes”. This condition also disrupted a slave’s intellectual faculties and caused disobedience and “rascality”. To treat Dysaethesia Aethiopica Dr. Cartwright recommended the following,
"The best means to stimulate the skin is, first, to have the patient well washed with warm water and soap; then, to anoint it all over in oil, and to slap the oil in with a broad leather strap; then to put the patient to some hard kind of work in the sunshine."
Dr. Cartwright continued his practice until his death in 1862. Today his theories have been easily debunked as pseudoscience and scientific racism. It also serves as a reminder of the more shameful aspects of American history and social issues today.
To read a copy of Dr. Samuel Cartwright’s “Diseases and Pecularities of the Negro Race” click here.
what my blog is named after.
Welcome back to Shaming Racists: the Halloween Edition! Ladies and gentlemen, I present:
Caitlin Cimeno, also known as Kt Cimeno of Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts. Employed at Our Market Package Store
William Filene from Quincy, Massachusetts.
This is all public on facebook. All three pictures can be found on Caitlin Cimeno’s Instagram, @ktcimeno.
There’s no question that the three of them are racists, but Caitlin disgusted me by taking an unconsented picture of somebody else’s little girl, somebody else’s child, and using them as the target of racism for a facebook status. I’m including that too because how nasty do you have to be? As if the Halloween photos don’t answer that question.
Ugh. Happy fucking Halloween.
And when people say that the people who do stupid shit like this aren’t racist or don’t mean any harm, look at all the other shit she’s doing…and she’s taking pictures of little black children to shame them out of believing they have the right to self-confidence…
Fuck this really pisses me off. The little girl?? Really, bitch.
Matthew Barnett admitted to raping a 14-year-old girl.
Matthew Barnett admitted to raping a 14-year-old girl.
Matthew Barnett admitted to raping a 14-year-old girl.
He admitted to it. On fucking camera. He and another boy recorded the rape and that of a 13-year-old girl.
Why aren’t they in prison for sexual exploitation of a minor and production/possession of child pornography?
Oh, right, because they’re popular football players and Matthew Barnett is related to a politician! Therefore, nothing they can do is wrong or bad and they should never face punishment and should instead be rewarded for raping young teenage girls and filming their assaults.
I just looked this up; it gets worse.
raise awareness to this shit and change something about it.
(CNN) — [Breaking news update at 5:29 p.m. Monday]
The teacher killed in a shooting at a Nevada middle school Monday was Mike Landsberry, Sparks Mayor Geno Martini told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
[Breaking news update at 5:25 p.m. Monday]
The shooter who opened fire at a Nevada middle school Monday used a handgun taken from his parents to shoot a teacher, according to a federal law enforcement source who has been briefed on the situation. The shooter then used the handgun to shoot and kill himself, the source told CNN’s Evan Perez.
I am the LIVING WOMAN…not a strong black woman. I live my life, and there are times when I am very weak, times when I need my children’s support or the love and understanding of a man. I always need GOD, I need black women friends. So I am not comfortable with that blanket label - strong black woman. Black women have been unfairly demonized by White Supremacist Culture and we are called ‘Strong’ as a way of not including us alongside other women. The purpose is to breed blacks out of the land by disallowing the black woman being acknowledged, and I’m against that. I truly believe that the Black woman is the meteor that is coming to this earth.