Tears Of Shame … Again …

I do not know the boy’s name, but I know his age … eight years old.  I also do not know the names of the boys who hung this little boy from a tree.

It happened in Claremont, New Hampshire, where the little boy was taunted, hit with sticks and rocks and later hung from a tree. The reason?  He is a child of racially mixed parentage.  A group of teens put him on a picnic table, placed the rope from a tire swing around his neck, then pushed him off the picnic table to dangle. He swung back and forth three times, before being able to free himself, while the group of teens watched. Below is the result …

lynching.pngThe little boy was flown to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.  He has since been released and is returning to school today.  Claremont Police Chief Mark Chase says the department is ‘investigating the incident”, but refuses any further information.  Okay, I understand the teens that did this are juveniles and as such, Chase cannot release their names.  However, here is what infuriates me …

“These people need to be protected. Mistakes they make as a young child should not have to follow them for the rest of their life.” – Police Chief Mark Chase

Mistakes???  Attempted murder by lynching is a bloomin’ MISTAKE?  No!  Getting caught smoking pot in the parking lot is a mistake.  Stealing a candy bar from the 7/11 is a mistake.  Trying to lynch a child is an indication that something is seriously wrong with the mental status of these teens, or with lessons they learned from their parents, and this needs more than a slap on the wrist and an “oh well, boys will be boys”.  Would anybody like to guess how Chief Chase would be responding if a group of black teens had hung a rope around the neck of a white kid and left him to dangle from a tree? Can we imagine the outrage of the community?  Can we imagine how quickly and broadly the story would have been reported to the public …

Although this happened on August 28th, fully two weeks ago yesterday, it was only reported on Sunday, and then only in a few outlets, such as The Root, Ebony and Raw Story.  Finally on Monday evening, The Washington Post published the bare bones of the story, sans picture.

Writing for The Root, Angela Helm writes …

“Notice how he [Chase] called these predators ‘young children, infantilizing the white teens. Conversely, teens like Trayvon Martin are made out to be hulking, menacing adults. Chief Chase seems to be centering the perpetrators feelings and futures, all but forgetting about the trauma of a little boy who had his so-called friends hang him from a tree to the point where he had to be medevaced to a hospital.

Welcome to Donald Trump’s America. Say what you want, but when the U.S. president defends avowed white supremacists, one can’t be surprised when bullying takes on a decidedly racist tone as it did with an 8-year-old biracial boy who was hung from a tree in the year 2017. The climate has been set.”

This happened in New Hampshire, not Mississippi or Alabama.  New Hampshire, New England, where we do not expect such blatant racism.  The criminals were teenagers … young boys who should have been more interested in playing football and chasing girls than trying to kill a child because his skin was darker than theirs.  What does this say about the direction our country is heading?  Nothing good, for certain.  Where did these teens get their racist views?

Last year, the University of New Hampshire in Durham experienced a series of nearly 100 reported racial-bias incidents. They included the vandalizing of school property with racial slurs and swastikas, while some students report having been spit on and having rocks thrown at them. When I entered a Google search for “New Hampshire racism”, I was ‘rewarded’ with article after article … racist incidents at the YWCA, at the Dunkin’ Donuts when 2 pickup trucks sporting Confederate flags pulled up, a state representative being accused of being racist … and the list goes on.

This, then, has become the face of 21st century America, and it is indeed an ugly face.  One reader informed me yesterday that she came to the U.S. from Australia 12 years ago, made her home here, and planned to stay, but now she is leaving.  I, myself, have considered relocating my family outside the U.S.

An eight-year-old boy, a little boy who should have been giggling over cartoons, or riding his bike, or looking for bugs with which to scare his sister … instead was almost lynched.  Chief Chase may concern himself with the futures of the teens who committed this horrific crime, but I shed a tear for that little boy who grew up too fast on August 28th, that little boy who will never forget and whose life will always be affected by almost being lynched.

83 thoughts on “Tears Of Shame … Again …

  1. They’re probably all suffering now as that can’t be a happy household. There’s in all likelihood a serious problem. Those kids will surely be sent to a facility for young offenders. I’ve read those are often not pleasant places. 😦 — Suzanne

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  2. Pingback: A Few Updates … | Filosofa's Word

  3. Thanks for sharing this story! What a tragic incident and what a shame that even children can be targets of racial abuse in today’s society. I agree with your point and yeah we should definitely be frustrated and outraged about the dismissive attitudes of the police. Sadly things like this will keep happening – even where I live in Sydney, one of the culturally diverse places in the world. This is why I’m motivated to start a social media campaign aiming to tackle the problem of racial abuse (especially those happening in public where people can help but decides to bystand). Your blog really encouraged me to keep push this cause and to protect future generations to having to suffer this kind of harm. Would love if you could check out my blog 🙂 at https://eraseracismblog.wordpress.com/blog/ and give it a follow if you’re keen to be updated!

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    • Thank you for your encouraging words, and I absolutely applaud your intentions to start a social media campaign to tackle racism! The more of us that use our voices to shine a light on these injustices, the more likely we are to make a difference. I will definitely check out your blog, and I am willing to help you, time permitting, in any way I can! Keep up the good work!!!

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    • I just visited your site, liked what I saw, and followed your blog. One thing I would advise is to add a ‘follow’ button on your page, to make it easier for people to follow. I would like to re-blog your post tomorrow, with your permission. I think some of my readers might be interested in your blog. Good job!

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  4. Dollars to a donut…I’d wager that the teenagers involved here are the offspring of well-placed, well-off, well-connected families. Remember that guy that raped the girl at the dorm and the defense was that he should not have the incident cause him to lose his football scholarship…position on some high-class dean’s list someplace?

    Those teenagers should be displayed in old-fashioned stocks in the town square, like the old settlers used to do. Perpetrators would be locked in the contraptions, then other were encouraged to laugh at them, throw things at them, etc. Bet it was never the preacher’s son…or the mayor’s kid…

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    • Oh yes! Brock Turner — Stanford University. They even gave it a name … “affluenze” , which I would simply call “spoiled brat’. And I have no doubt that you are correct about the parents. I like the idea of the public stocks, too, but I would add that I think the parents ought to suffer the same fate, for they forgot to instill any values into their children.

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        • It originated with a picture the mother posted on Facebook, but was picked up first by a local paper, I think the Valley News, or some such. I have an update in my next post, with the governor and attorney general of NH becoming involved, and the NYT and Newsweek are now carrying the story, so I suspect it has gone beyond ‘alleged’. We shall see …

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          • yeah, I saw that. What strikes me as odd is that the Facebook-ers didn’t contact a big newspaper, which would have been happy to dig into the story wherever it led. There’s more to the story than meets the eye…but that’s my suspicious old journalist bones working. There is a local activist stirring the mix, and it appears to me that this was a Facebook story first. I don’t like Facebook, especially as a first-line news site.

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            • I had that same thought … another time or place, and people would be racing to be the first ones to tell the lurid story. I just don’t know … there is undoubtedly more to this than meets the eye, but i don’t know quite what. Very wealthy, powerful parents?

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          • There was a story out of Mississippi I think that I followed for awhile…about a town that had a horrific killing and the police et al were as much as saying there wouldn’t be an arrest, and it is so obvious that the clanclanclan was involved. I’ll have to dig that out again when I remember the victim’s name.

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              • I had to think of her name. The dither on Facebook was remarkable…the single thing that bothered me the most was the original TV thing where the Sheriff and District Attorney told their part, not looking anyone in the eye, saying they probably wouldn’t solve it. The facts all seemed to be out there but officials were reluctant to act on them and “the street” had nothing to say.

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                • Interesting that people did not come forward … in either of these cases. And the officials … afraid of losing a few votes? I was encouraged that the governor in this latest case is … or at least appears to be … willing and determined to pursue it.

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              • By the way…picked up Tinkerbell’s ashes today. However…my poor Maine Coon Moby took a turn for the worse and had to be euthanized today. I can’t get over the coincidence? Now I have five cats. I was with Moby at the end, the least I could do for the old guy after 17+ years. The vet had the usual litany of things they could try…blood work, biopsy, etc etc but there is no way my budget would be able to stand it…as it is my bill for Tink and Moby came to almost $400.

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                • OH NO!!!! How terrible … how heartbreaking. I am so sad for you, for I know what losing one at a time is like, and I cannot imagine losing two within a week. My heart is with you. And yes, we are the same. When the time comes for ours, we do what needs to be done to make them comfortable, but there is no way we can afford lengthy and expensive treatment options. We learned our lesson about that years ago … probably 30 years … with a cat named Whiskey who became very ill. We told the vet to do whatever it took to save his life, which cost us nearly $1,000 (and that was in the 80s). Within a week after coming home, healthy, he got out and was hit and killed by a car. 😥 Hugs to you for all you’ve been through.

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                  • awww… that’s the thing though, expensive treatments come at the cost of lengthy sacrifice to most of us ordinary folks…. and spending money on pets is heartbreaking. I just do not have it… oh yes I parted with almost $400 yesterday…I had better things to do with that money, like pay my tax on my vacant land, get my teeth fixed, put a muffler on my car. But as they say easy come easy go!

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                    • Yes, I agree. I would not be able to afford it either, and I learned my lesson after that one incident. We give them the best we have to give while they are here, we love them unconditionally, and when it is their time to go, we try to make sure they do not suffer needlessly. It is all we can do.

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                    • I think it’s natural. I think that somehow they know, for when we had our Spooky euthanised, the others acted really strangely for several days. I hope they get back to normal soon. And I think you did the right thing with Moby, for otherwise he might have suffered, and that would have made you feel even worse. The other kitties will be okay … they adjust.

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                    • I wonder if it is easier if the other cats are actually around when an old one dies so they can see what happens. My cats all get upset when a cat carrier comes out, they know what that means, and sometimes they never come back. They are doing better already. Except for Moby, the others didn’t seem to be so upset when Tinkerbell died, but she went down hill slowly. They all hung out by her though, with their vigil.

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                    • Yes, ours get upset when the carrier comes out, too, but I always assumed it was because it usually means a trip to the vet. But perhaps you are right and they wonder who isn’t coming back this time. I’m glad to hear yours are doing better now, though. It’s always worrisome when they are acting oddly, and you’ve certainly had your share of worries lately.

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                    • Ah yes, it sounds like life is quickly getting back to normal! We have one who sneaks into the pantry also. Suddenly we will hear boxes of rice or cereal falling to the floor. And Pandora likes to get on top of the refrigerator and she is so still that you don’t know she’s there, until suddenly you sense something as you’re peering into the freezer. It’s a wonder I haven’t had heart failure yet! Glad your babes are doing better now!

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                    • Baby has been hanging out under the table shelf, but this morning I made her get out and she ran up to each of the other three cats, bumped heads, and they all ate. Toby is trying to sleep in the huge cat food bag.

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                    • now we have another issue…fleas! We haven’t had the problem before, but apparently the ancient cat hosts created a haven. I gave the Advantage stuff on each back-of-neck for my four housecats…even Pearl, which is a fete to be celebrated…she is little, but fights like a demon. Now my imagination is running overtime… awk!

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  5. Unspeakably cruel, and unnatural — a symptom of a very sick society. Maybe the parents of the involved teens are cringing with shame… because they should be. They are exposed. It is almost a certainty that these teens come from abusive homes. Our nation must cling, not only to what is virtuous, but what is normal.

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  6. I make no apologies for suggesting a sound public thrashing for each and everyone one. They are old enough to make judgements. Teenagers can be cruel, but never forget they know what they are doing.
    A painful and public humiliation is a just punishment; as the French used to say “Pour encourager les autres”

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  7. This poor 8 year old boy has witnessed first hand that he is no longer welcome in his own country. The heinous reality here is that Trumpest and his trolls (like Chase), have rolled back human rights to 19th century slavery days when such things happened without any penalty for the perpetrator(s).

    What kind of future will this poor boy have if this terrible attitude is not prevented forthwith? Sad times! 😩

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  8. It’s important that we read this although it reveals some very unpleasant truths about ourselves. It would seem Christianity is very flexible and love your neighbor need not be included. Perhaps those who tacitly condone this type of incident believe in the old testament ‘ an eye for an eye’ in which case we know the correct punishment for these wayward teenagers.

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    • Yes, I felt compelled to write this, though I did not want to. And you are so right. People are ‘cherry-picking’ their religion, saying … “yes, I’ll adhere to this part, but this other one is simply too inconvenient, so scratch that …” I fail to see, then, how they are “good Christians”. Since I think the teens almost certainly got their mores and attitudes from their parents, I think the parents ought to be punished. But, sigh, in a 98% white community, and with the attitude of the police chief, the odds of that happening are as great as the odds of me winning the lottery that I did not play.

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      • It’s fine for all the denominations to cherry pick but an unbeliever like me must not do it. What else can you do with the Bible, a bundle of inconsistencies? I cannot complain about cherry picking it is an essential widespread human occupation ; we do it all the time by necessity, since our life spans are so short. Tell me who does not cherry pick on WordPress? If they are still alive let them own up now.

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        • You make excellent points, my friend! We all do it … I am not religion, and have always considered the Bible, the Quran and all the others to be just a collection of stories written by mere mortals. But as to cherry-picking … yes, I try to be fair, but I do choose certain opinions over others, some viewpoints more than others. Thanks … as always, you give me pause for thought!

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    • I was shocked also. We are not, I think, naive, but our hearts simply cannot imagine of such utter cruelty among children, for we are good people and we do not choose to reside in the house of hatred as some obviously do. And then they call themselves “good Christians”! The great divide … 😥

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  9. Racism in this country has been bought to new levels of late and it is disheartening to find that instead of moving forwards we are in a situation of 3 steps forward 4 steps back. Dr. King would be rolling in his grave.
    If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward. (Martin Luther King Jr.)

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    • Yes, I know that MLK and so many others who fought so long and hard in the 50s – 60s would be so disappointed in what this nation has become. We ARE going backward, reversing Civil Rights that were hard won 50 years ago, and a portion of society applauds that. THAT is what frightens me, that there is a part of our society that is hoping for an all-white, Christian society and for everybody else to be gone. We need another Martin Luther King, another W.E.B. Du Bois, Ed Nixon, Stokely Carmichael. And since you quoted King, here is one of my favourites:

      “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Sigh.

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  10. How terribly sad. This pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? “Welcome to Donald Trump’s America. Say what you want, but when the U.S. president defends avowed white supremacists, one can’t be surprised when bullying takes on a decidedly racist tone as it did with an 8-year-old biracial boy who was hung from a tree in the year 2017. The climate has been set.”

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  11. Teens are old enough to know better but probably never will if they’re just echoing their parent’s views which it seems are condoned by your current President. If you want to get rid of racism, start at the top then make all hate groups illegal. Make it illegal also to print anything pro these groups. Freedom of speech can go too far.
    xxx Cwtch xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I happens that I agree with you. There should be some limitations on free speech. But, just as when we attempt to pass some sensible laws about who can own a gun, what kind, and how many, people start screaming and threatening a revolution. Lawmakers will take the freedom of speech away from the press and people like me, who are trying to shine a light on evil, before they will even limit the rights of groups like the KKK. Sad but true. And so … with Trump & Co. saying that it is okay to be prejudiced, it is okay to want a white, Christian nation, we will continue to see an increase in hate crimes. All of which are heart-breaking, but when it’s a little kid … 😥 We have to keep trying … I feel like I’m running in place, but … we have to keep trying.

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  12. This is sickening. And DT wants to put an end to funding for after-school programs. Those programs keep children like that little boy off the streets until a parent or parents are home from work. I’m just glad my children grew up before the DT era. It’s sometimes hard to believe he has a child and grandchildren himself who are growing up in that atmosphere. 😦 — Suzanne

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