[StBernard] "Justice denied anywhere is justice denied everywhere"--even with Grambling..

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Wed Oct 3 00:34:19 EDT 2007

Isn't this a weird society in which we live? How 5yr olds and pre-schoolers who cannot grasp the concept of racism be exposed/forced to understand the very complex term by lacing a rope around the necks of students to force them to understand? I can gather that it's been a while since a 5 yr. old was faced with a lynching.

However, where's the outrage? Where's the Rev. Al and Jackson, Bill Jefferson, all of the "good kindly, law abiding, God-fearing "Church of Al" etc.? Is it a proper technique to instill "lynching skills" in pre-K? Chains around the necks as if on a chain-gang?

We're told that the teacher was "suspended" because of her inappropriate behavior. No outcry for her caucus, (with pay?)

Since when is this serious of actions less serious than one where ropes were in an unattended tree? Blown out of proportion? Well, we can gather that coming from a "historical black college" on the day of marching. You see, it's most appropriate for blacks to "ventilate" in retaliation by dressing as KKK, nooses everywhere, and it goes grossly unpunished as a "school prank". Déjà vu'?? Do we want out teachers to be as poisoned as students who hang nooses from unoccupied trees, that beat other students senseless and that goes away with a reasonable impunity aimed at a one-sided justice for Afro-Americans?

Where's the outcry for justice denied? Equal punishment for equal crimes against the white community and America?

If we are to have a separate but equal society where everyone gets punished on a level playing field, why is it that those of non-color are to be denied equal justice here? Has the prosecuting district attorney, State attorney General, the Federal system and others been informed of the grossness of this action? Suspended with pay??? Is this acceptable or is this one writer just angry because it's quite possible one Caucasian can feel injustices of this sort and no one else?

Why is Grambling allow to go unscathed as if "historical black colleges" are immune so not to upset the status quo or purposely blow what the Afro-Americans deem would be a "march on the horizon" episode.

If whites are allowed "freedom of speech" and "freedom of expression" by exhibiting what some ancestor or white was alleged to have committed 200 yrs. before to their preschooler in demonstration, would this action excuse his activity and thus venerate his actions as a "schooling experience"? We think not. If there must be equal justice panned by one culture, there must be equal justice distributed to all cultures. No one is above the law as a race. The liberals would lead us to believe "righting the wrongs" by Dutch traders, chieftains, and plantation owners overlap to us in some respect. Wrong.

Slavery existed in this writer's own history thousands of years before (in exception, they were fed to lions, forced to build empires and fight in the Roman and Greek Coliseums, and face the misery as slavery is known to do to humans. Americans got it wrong if they believe any one culture is safe from racism and slavery (even today, there exist misery in modern times, no doubt).

If Grambling is responsible for the actions of their personnel who allowed it to happen, for The Gramblinite newspaper for prototing/inciting/harboring/supporting the violence with violence, for spitting in the eyes of innocent readers and the national community, then the insults, hurt and disgrace to other Americans should be addressed with equality.

Race lessons? Since when is only one culture permitted to dole out punishment addressed to all Caucasion-Americans? Was this a lesson to whites? Is it censorable of deeds that occurred as well as in the written word? When the town of Jena was censoring folks so not to make as explosive a situation out of a group of ropes, was the town bombast with outrage?

We've all heard of egregiousness by school officials. Where's the outcry by all who are offended or are hurt by senseless actions aimed toward one race?

The beat goes on and justice, unless distributed equally to all is denied to some.



Grambling launches noose investigation, teacher suspended
By Chris Day, The (Monroe) News Star

GRAMBLING - A question of whether the faculty at the university’s laboratory school here went too far in a teaching lesson about racism has garnered national attention.

Grambling State University President Horace Judson began Monday a full investigation of facts surrounding a Sept. 20 incident at one of Grambling’s lab schools in which a noose was placed around a kindergarten student’s neck.

The investigation into the activity will continue for several days. The university has placed a teacher on administrative leave with pay until at least the end of the investigation, according to GSU alumni and public relations director Debra Johnson.

Johnson said Judson is expected to be interviewed by both CBS and CNN today.

The incident happened Sept. 20, the same day thousands of protestors took part in a civil rights march in Jena alongside the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to speak out against the arrests on adult charges of six black defendants accused of beating a fellow white classmate into unconsciousness. The mock rally of smaller scale took place at Alma J. Brown Elementary School, which is on the GSU campus and run by the university.

Judson met Monday with university personnel while local and national media set their eyes on his school, including CNN and both the CBS and NBC affiliates in Shreveport.

“Everyone wants answers, and I don’t have them right now,” he said between interviews.

Concerns about child safety follow the incident in which teachers used a noose and other means because “the children asked questions" about the Jena Six incident, said Justin LaGrande, the reporter at the GSU student newspaper, The Gramblinite, who originally covered the event.

“I was there and I just want to say this: What happened has been blown way out of proportion,” he said.

Gramblinite editor-in-chief De’Eric Henry said, “I think it was a sensitive thing to do. It was history taught to children, but I think it was too aggressive.”

Henry told The Associated Press that Judson “censored the paper by ordering that a story and photos of a race lesson at an on-campus elementary school be removed from its Web site.”

He told The News-Star that The Gramblinite planned to remove the three photos showing the female kindergartner with a noose around her neck even before Judson “this past Friday ordered us to take everything down as far as the Alma J. Brown coverage.”

Judson was driving to Dallas on Friday afternoon for the Saturday football game between GSU and Prairie View when his secretary called him, describing the pictures of the girl and the noose.

Judson said Friday in a phone interview from his car while en route to Dallas, “Given the nature of the situation, it was certainly my judgment to take those pictures down.”

The university issued a release Monday in which the incident was described as “an unplanned and undocumented lesson, purportedly on the Jena Six saga, which exposed them to materials that are inappropriate for their grade levels.

“It is regrettable and unfortunate that the elementary school supervisors allowed students at these grade levels to be participants in an activity which is not part of the curriculum and which had not been properly reviewed.”

LaGrande, who witnessed the event, said the girl’s grandmother, Irene Booker, picked up her granddaughter during the demonstration and held her while another teacher put the noose around the girl’s neck.

“She explained to them the significance of the noose and what it was used for,” LaGrande said. “It wasn’t on her neck the entire time she was talking. If it was more than 30 seconds, I was surprised.”

He said the incident he witnessed in no way instilled hatred in the kindergartners and first graders.

“Those kids wanted to know what was going on,” he said. “They were asking, ‘Why do people go to jail for getting in a school fight?’ That led the teachers to do this mock rally.”

LaGrande said the children asked, “Why would someone want to hurt someone like that?” when the noose was placed around the small girl’s neck.

Reporters were not allowed to speak with teachers at the elementary school, which is one of the three GSU lab schools along with the middle and high school.

Jackie Tisdell, executive director of student development for the University of Louisiana System, said, “We are aware of the incident and are waiting to hear the rest of the results of Dr. Judson’s investigation. We don’t want to jump forward and make judgment calls without knowing all the back story.”

David Johnson, a 25-year-old GSU education senior who substitute teaches at Alma J. Brown, said the students made paper shackles and wore them on their wrists during the demonstration.

“What the teachers were trying to get across was what the Jena Six incident was all about,” Johnson said. “They don’t know the word ‘noose’ so the point was to show them what a noose is.”

He said the noose placement was harmless yet unnecessary.

“It could have been done another way,” Johnson said. “There are other ways to discuss slavery and the Jena Six.”

Glancing over the photo of the kindergartner with the noose, accounting sophomore Lissa Jean-Baptiste said the children were too young to be taught about racism in that manner.

“Not only the child with the noose, but to the others watching, to me that just brings the violence right to their faces,” said Jean Baptiste, 25. “Having them protest was a good thing, but using the noose on the child they shouldn’t have done.”

Social work sophomore Marleika Williams said she understands teachers appealing to the visual learning style of youngsters with paper shackles and a hanging noose.

“But it still went too far,” said Williams, 23. “At their young age, they can’t differentiate between what happened back then as opposed to today. So they might take it today as, ‘That’s what they do to us’ when they look at white people.”

Looking at the photo released in Saturday’s The News-Star, multi-cultural education professor N. McJamerson said there was “obviously no intention to hurt or demean the child.”

“I think students can be taught at the point to which they can feel and think about racial experiences,” she said in her office. “For me, that was age four.”

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