Friday, October 28, 2005

Jacksonville, old school style

This is classic. Who came up with this great idea? I like how everyone white denies this was about race. Apparently, if you don't actually get to lynch them, then it's just good fun.


At 4:06 PM, Blogger romeotheBT said...

Again though... as I think I have pointed out before, I have a HUGE problem with the idea that a crime was commited here. Was racist stupidity commited? Yes. Was a crime? Emphatically No.

At 4:36 PM, Blogger Ricardo Grande said...

If you don't think a crowd of white people telling a black kid to put his head in the noose can't be interpreted as a threat, I don't know what else will convince you.

At 4:52 PM, Blogger romeotheBT said...

I don't see it. Kids get bullied all the time in high school. I wish I could access the article, but even the way it was phrased was something along the lines of more as a prank then anything else. I know... I know... I'm sure that is what the kids charged would say, but bullying happens all the time in high school and if the event drew as large of a crowd as the article said it did, I doubt there was any real threat involved.

At 5:06 PM, Blogger Ricardo Grande said...

Under what circumstances would you consider hate speech to be incitement or threatening? What if a white student said "I'm going to put a bullet in this nigger's head"? Even if the white student didn't have a gun, that would have to be considered a threat, wouldn't it? So what is the difference between that and the noose scenario? Even if the student was never in danger of actually being hung, it's the threat that's damaging, and because of its racial overtones it's doubly damaging.

What I regret most about this discussion is that I bit for your line about this not being a crime, which is a total red herring. The question of criminality is marginal compared to the disciplining that these kids deserve for ruining the school's learning atmosphere. If you were a black parent, would you want to send your child to school at First Coast the day after this incident? Hell no. To be honest, I am sickened by the response of the administrator in the article who said "some people will probably view this as racial". It was racial, it ruins the school's ability to operate as an instituion where whites and blacks can learn equally and without fear, and the "bullying happens all the time" line in your last comment is another version of the administrator's de-racializing of the incident. This is very different from regular bullying, in that it impacts every black student at the school, not just the one who was told to put his head in the noose. THAT is why a crowd formed - it's not evidence that this was minor because the student was never in danger, it's evidence that this was major because it's about way more than taking someone's lunch money.

At 9:20 AM, Blogger romeotheBT said...

That's the thing... I don't see speech as inciting or threatening. I see it as something that needs to be protected at all costs. Listen to what your saying. It's one step away from Big Brother.

And is threatening someone even a punishable offense? Don't you have to go so far as to get a restraining order for someone who has demonstrated a reasonable threat to your safety.

There are a couple of things I won't argue with you about and that is the idea that this was racially motivated or the idea that the school should punish these students. I never said otherwise. My problem with this whole issue is the officer on duty at the school saying something to the effect that they'll file charges if a crime was commited.

What crime exactly? Being a racist asshole? You're absolutely right, there was definitely a disruption of the learning environment and that should be something the school takes care of... but to file charges? Or if there had been a crime, to consider it more severe because it was racially motivated? That to me is a really scary thought.

At 9:25 AM, Blogger romeotheBT said...

I'm sorry... I just caught your line about the red herring. Please don't misunderstand me... In no way am I trying to say that the incident wasn't racially motivated or the school shouldn't take disciplinary action. I just really have an issue with something being a crime soley based on it being hatefully motivated. There are many crimes that are motivated by hate.

Should a crime of passion where someone walks in and kills his wife and her lover be charged more severely because it was motivated by hatred? If anything else, I think in situations like that the perpetrator gets off a little easier because it was not premeditated. It to me, is a similar situation to a hate crime.

At 11:50 AM, Blogger Ricardo Grande said...

That's the thing though - threatening speech is against the law. No question about it:
This is the problem with extreme forms of libertarianism - speech is in general a good thing, but nobody is free to threaten other people with violence. If you call 'telling people they can't threaten people' the same thing as Big Brother, I think you are losing sight of what real totalitarianism is.
Also, the difference between the hate crime and the crime of passion is that one is against a category of people and one is against just one person. Therefore, the scope of the people directly affected is much larger. Got to go to class, which saves all of us from another one of my marathon posts. :)


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