Boy’s Near-Hanging Compels Town to Open Discussion on Racism

By Michael Casey, The Grio/Associated Press

CLAREMONT, N.H. (AP) — In this struggling mill town in western New Hampshire, racism was never something people talked all that much about.

There were people who drove around Claremont with Confederate flag bumper stickers in the mostly white town of 14,000 and some instances of high schoolers using racial epithets during football games and on Facebook.

But for the most part, residents had other concerns.

That changed Aug. 28 after allegations surfaced that several teenagers had taunted a 9-year-old biracial boy with racial slurs and several days later pushed him off a picnic table with a rope tied around his neck. The family of the boy, who was treated for neck injuries and has been released, called it a hate crime while the parents of one of the teenagers told Newsweek it was a terrible accident.

The images of the boy’s rope-singed neck were shared widely on social media, prompting an outpouring of support for the family and outrage against the teens. With prosecutors continuing to investigate the case as a potential hate crime, the city known for historic textile and paper mill buildings found itself associated with words like lynching and intolerance.

“Certainly people were shocked by the young age of everyone involved, especially the victim,” said Allen Damren, the town’s assistant mayor who also grew up in Claremont. “That certainly has an impact on people. When you use the word ‘lynching,’ that has all sorts of bad connotations to it.”

“It happened in our hometown. People responded to that,” he added.

The case has compelled city leaders to confront an issue that many had associated with bigger cities far away. Most insist Claremont isn’t a racist place but say the town must consider how its white majority treats those who don’t look like them. The families of the accused teens declined comment.

“This is an opportunity to take a very unfortunate event involving children and have some public discussions about how we treat each other,” said Middleton McGoodwin, the superintendent of the school district that includes Claremont. “Just because you may have a different color skin or different color hair or wear certain clothing, that doesn’t give me license to make you feel uncomfortable or make fun of you.”

City and school officials have since met to discuss new strategies to counter racism, and McGoodwin said the district is developing a plan for elementary through high school that examines school culture, including how students treat each other and how staff respond to issues like bullying. Residents are planning to be outside the high school and middle school this week, holding signs calling for an end to violence and bullying.

“We are not going to say this was an event that took place in late August, wasn’t in school and wasn’t about us,” McGoodwin said. “It definitely is about us.”

Lorrie Slattery, the grandmother of the boy who was nearly hung who had lived in town for 14 years, attended a town discussion group at a nearby church. Slattery, who is white, grew emotional as she recounted how her family had never before felt racism in Claremont and how she would remain the city. The boy’s mother declined to be interviewed.

“From the bottom of my heart, it doesn’t change my views of Claremont,” she said. “This is everywhere. We’re not immune to anything. Things happen. This is something, as horrific as it was, that could be something positive for the future of the kids in this community. I think it’s going to bring us to better places.”

 

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For more information about the history of lynchings, please explore the ABHM galleries.

Most Of America’s Terrorists Are White, And Not Muslim…

By Sarah Ruiz-Grossman-huffingtonpost.com

Source:pinterest.com

When it comes to domestic terrorism in America, the numbers don’t lie, Far-right extremists are behind far more plots and attacks than Islamist extremists.

There were almost twice as many terrorist incidents by right-wing extremists as by Islamist extremists in the U.S. from 2008 to 2016, according to a new report from The Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund and The Center for Investigative Reporting’s Reveal.

Looking at both plots and attacks carried out, the group tracked 201 terrorist incidents on U.S. soil from January 2008 to the end of 2016. The database shows 115 cases by right-wing extremists from white supremacists to militias to “sovereign citizens;” compared to 63 cases by Islamist extremists….

When it comes to right-wing extremism, attackers are also ‘mostly men’ and ‘almost purely white.’
Reporter David Neiwert

Attacks by right-wing extremists were also more often deadly, with nearly a third of right-wing extremist incidents resulting in deaths compared with 13 percent of Islamist extremist cases resulting in deaths….

Despite the facts, many Americans still associate terror attacks with Islamist extremists rather than far-right extremists,…

“The reality is the most significant domestic terror threat we have is right-wing extremism.”
Reporter David Neiwert

Source:democracy now.org

The media has a long history of double standards when it comes to covering terrorism, starting with how slow mainstream media is to label attacks by white perpetrators as “terrorism,” and quick to label them as such when attackers are perceived as nonwhite or “other,” and specifically Muslim….

For instance, many people condemned the government for not labeling Dylann Roof a terrorist after he killed nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, even though he specifically said he was there “to shoot black people,” according to witnesses.

“There’s actually a debate over whether what Dylann Roof did was domestic terrorism, when it so plainly is domestic terrorism,” Neiwert told HuffPost. “A lot of this has to do with embedded judgements about where these threats come from ― and that has to do with fear-mongering around Islamophobia.”

THE INVESTIGATIVE FUND AND REVEAL Investigative Fund’s interactive map showing terrorism incidents by ideology since 2008.

The solution, according to Neiwert, lies with the government first acknowledging the scale of the problem of far-right extremism,…

But it’s not just Trump that’s the problem. The Fund’s database goes back to 2008 and shows clearly how government resources have been disproportionately dedicated to tackling Islamist extremism over right-wing extremism….

When it came to right-wing extremism, only about a third of incidents were interrupted, only 35 percent. And the majority of the cases included acts of violence that led to deaths, injuries or damaged property.

At the end of the day, it’s not only on the government to acknowledge the reality of the growing threat of far-right extremism, according to Neiwert, it’s on everyone from members of the media to average Americans.

“First thing we need to do is recognize that it’s there, it’s a problem, it’s a threat ― as great a threat as Islamists,” Neiwert said. “And it needs to be taken seriously.”

 

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White Supremacist Sean Urbanski Charged With Murder of Black Bowie State Student Richard Collins III

By Kirsten West Savali

theroot.com

L-R: Sean Urbanski; Richard Collins III (Twitter)

Sean Christopher Urbanski, 22, has been charged with first- and second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Bowie State University student Richard Collins III, 23, and the FBI is investigating whether the killing was a hate crime.

Urbanski is a member of the white supremacist Facebook group, “Alt-Reich: Nation,” NBCWashington.com reports.

The completely random and unprovoked attack took place on the University of Maryland’s campus at approx. 3 a.m. Saturday morning near a bus stop. Collins was rushed to a local hospital with a stab wound to the chest and was later pronounced dead.

Urbanski, who was allegedly intoxicated—with alcohol or hate—was still sitting about 50 feet away from where he stabbed Collins when authorities arrived. He was taken into custody at the University of Maryland’s police department.

“It never gets any worse than this,” University of Maryland Police Chief David Mitchell said at a news conference Saturday afternoon. “When I sat with the victim’s father, who is a military veteran, and his pastor and we shed tears together … I can tell you, it rips your heart out.”

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Tulsa Shootings and the Color of Hate

Tulsa Hate Crimes

Tulsa Hate Crimes

The fallout over the killing of three black people in Tulsa, Okla., continues after the arrest of two “white” men, Jacob England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 32, both of whom reportedly confessed to the shooting spree, which occurred in a predominantly black neighborhood.

On April 5, England, who is half Cherokee, posted comments on his Facebook page referring to the 2010 murder of his father by a “F–ing n-word.” According to “locals,” as reported by NPR, England had been troubled since the killing of his father and the January suicide of his fiancée, which left him to care for his 3-month-old child on his own. England’s father, Carl England, was described by locals as a “racist.” Watts’ brothers have said that he can’t be a racist because their family “includes mixed races.”

While media organizations are being cautious about reporting these crimes as hate crimes, possibly because of the controversy over the Trayvon Martin killing, the Tulsa NAACP has called for the crimes to be treated as such based on the racism spewed on England’s Facebook page. Only time will tell how the police will treat these crimes, but what is interesting about this case is how the race of the suspects might affect whether the killings will be seen as hate crimes.

Read more of the story here.

2 Tulsa Shooting Suspects Confess, Police Say

 The two men accused of killing three black people and wounding two others in shootings that terrified this city over the Easter weekend confessed to the police shortly after their arrest Sunday morning, the authorities said on Monday.

The men — Jacob C. England, 19, and Alvin L. Watts, 32 — were arrested after a series of shootings on Friday that city and community leaders believe were racially motivated attacks. Mr. England and Mr. Watts randomly shot pedestrians and residents as they drove a pickup truck through the predominantly black neighborhoods of north Tulsa, the authorities said.

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