Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Why isn't anyone out protesting for him?


I was going to blog about the teabaggers (Or whatever the hell they call themselves. Pay your fucking taxes like the rest of us and shut your mouths), but someone sent me a story (Hat tip"Horrible Leftist") that pissed me off so much that I can't help but blog about it.

Folks who know me know that there are three groups of people who I believe should never be fucked with in a civilized society: Those are children, the elderly, and the disabled. If we want to be proud of the country we call home we should always make sure that the weakest and most helpless among us are protected.

Which is why when I heard about what happened to 11 year old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover I was fit to be tied:

"Sirdeaner Walker, who has survived domestic violence, homelessness, and breast cancer, knew death could come suddenly -- but she could not have predicted it would find her 11-year-old son first.

Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover was a sixth-grader at New Leadership Charter School in Springfield, Mass. There, many of his classmates were initially strangers, as few of his friends from Alfred Glickman Elementary followed him.

On April 6, Sirdeaner Walker came home, walked up the stairs to the second floor of her home, and saw her son suspended from a support beam in the stairwell, swaying slightly in the air, an extension cord wrapped around his neck, according to police. He apologized in a suicide note, told his mother that he loved her, and left his video games to his brother.

Walker said her son had been the victim of bullying since the beginning of the school year, and that she had been calling the school since September, complaining that her son was mercilessly teased. He played football, baseball, and was a boy scout, but a group of classmates called him gay and teased him about the way he dressed. They ridiculed him for going to church with his mother and for volunteering locally.

"It's not just a gay issue," Walker said. "It’s bigger. He was 11 years old, and he wasn't aware of his sexuality. These homophobic people attach derogatory terms to a child who’s 11 years old, who goes to church, school, and the library, and he becomes confused. He thinks, Maybe I'm like this. Maybe I'm not. What do I do?"

His birthday, April 17, falls this year on the 13th National Day of Silence, a day on which individuals observe vows of silence for students bullied at school. But instead of silence, Walker wants action from the school, which she said continuously ignored her, chalking the situation up to student immaturity. She said that every day her son left for school, he walked into a "combat zone" assigned to him because of his inner-city address. But he would not point a finger at specific classmates for fear he'd be called a "snitch."'


And black folks, can we talk? This severe homophobia that most of you are guilty of and pass down to your children has got to stop. The shit is seriously fucked up, and it is ignorant. But field how do you know the the kids taunting the little boy was black? I don't, but it doesn't take away from my point. I am not even as mad at the children in this story as I am at the adults in this school who were charged with protecting this little boy. The boy's mother said that she complained to the school that the boy was *"mercilessly"[*thanks for the correction "Actsoffaith"] teased", and yet they did nothing. So now, sadly, a child, who by all accounts was going to do something with his life, is dead.

Which caused this poster from the original article to write the following:

"Shame on the politicians , if they are homophobics with the army ( don't tell don't ask ) with the marriage ( gay marriage forbiden ) how can kids won't be homophobics ? A politician ( president , governor , senator ...) must be an example against HOMOPHOBIA ! Poor carl josef , for you , we have to fight against homophobia everywhere in the world ."


Sorry poster from Nice, France. We can't fight against homophobia just yet; we are too busy fighting against paying our taxes.




141 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pay your fucking taxes like the rest of us and shut your mouths ''''''''''''''

couldn't agree more. but obama's staff might. Don't trouble me with this when 200 black kids have been kicked out of the privite scholld obomba's kids attend because of political actions by his party. jeez

szpork

Seattle Slim said...

FIELD! Thank you!!! I thought I was the only one blogging about Carl!

This breaks my heart. Not trying to plug, but I've got some info on contacts on my blog and I'm adding some more in a minute.

Will comment more later!

Jody said...

spork.... you are out of line. Sit with it for a minute. THIS CHILD killed himself because he could not bare the daily sufferings he endured because flippant, unfeeling people didn't care and were cruel.... stay with THIS....
Your words are those of someone who does not want to deal with the harm that homophobia causes. Stop it.

Seattle Slim said...

Field,

It apppears that it's a high probability they were black. I saw a picture of the vigil with students. Predominantly black.

cinco said...

I get pissed @ homophobes also; especially the religious asses. I don't give a damn about any one else's sexual orientation; sexual habits or desire to marry. People can do what they want except when it affects the 3 groups listed in your intro.
This country has a long ways to go...

Lola Gets said...

In my forays around the Black blogosphere recently, I read that several young people have hung themselves recently, perhaps for different reasons, but its still problematic.

And Springfield, MAs population is predominately Black.

L

field negro said...

Seattle Slim, I will check in on your blog for the post, and please share anything with us that you have on this story.

Thanks.

Lola, I know you have done work with troubled and at risk people, so I am sure that you are correct.

Part of the problem is that black folks need to stop being afraid to see the shrink, or talking and opening up to people who they trust and care about. Stop depending on your preachers to be your damn shrink.

Amen cinco!

szpork, I take it you were at a "Tea Party" today?

Anonymous said...

jody. i didn't read the whole article. Going to sit down new. szpork

Racist Poster said...

"Sorry poster from Nice, France. We can't fight against homophobia just yet; we are too busy fighting against paying our taxes. "


The leftwing in this coutry has really failed us.

Where's Jesse Jackson?

Where's Al Sharpton??

Where's the NAACP??

Where's Rev. J. Wright??

Where are the black voices that speak for all of black America?

Why isn't Democrats out fighting against homophobia??

Thats right. You crazy Democrats are out protesting tax rates.You should be ashamed of your selves.

And shame on you for tryin to tie something you don't agree with to this sad happen.

The Modern Left said...

This story made me both sad and furious. While I applaud you for taking a stand and making it clear that homophobia needs to stop in the black community, it needs to stop everywhere. I don't know that any one race is carries more guilt on this issue than another but it needs to stop.

Of course, with commercials like these airing, it is no wonder children are often so rabidly homophobic.

Seattle Slim said...

Well Field,

The Urban League established the school. Matter of fact, here's the link:

http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/04/mother_of_springfield_boy_who.html

Please read it folks. It's got info on the school, who's in charge of it, who established it. I'm adding the Urban League of Springfield to my list of people to bother until they fix it.

Marketing Diva said...

Unfortunately this sweet young man is not the only one. I have included another link about 10-year-old Aquan Lewis. He was found hanging from a coat hook in the bathroom at his elementary school. The cook county medical examiner ruled it a suicide but the mother is protesting this find.
I feel you Field a country that does NOT care for it’s children, elderl, and disabled should be ashamed.

Here is the link: http://www.blackvoices.com/blogs/2009/02/05/chicago-ten-year-old-commits-suicide-at-school/2

QB said...

First I want to thank you Field for writing about things like this. You are right - why isnt anyone protesting? Why isn't this story all over Nancy Grace (i can't stand that woman but you know what i am saying).

Besides the homophobia (which is a huge issue in more than just the black community - trust me) is that "he didnt want to snitch" part. Yes "snitching" can be pety and stupid, but when it gets to the point where an 11 year old boy feels like he would rather kill himself than point out who is treating him so horribly that he actually does kill himself, we have a problem.

Anonymous said...

I honestly think this situation is more than homophobia. Knowing Black folks, these kids probably called little Carl "faggot" instead of gay because he was a well behaved little boy who attended church with his mother. I don't know if they actually believed he was gay or not, but in the sick minds of too many certain Black people, a Black boy who is not a thug in training or full fledged bad ass is soft, or a "faggot". I can see an 11 year old boy like Carl as the victim of this kind of abuse.

He was a beautiful child who was a gift to his mother.

Anonymous said...

We may be the only people to kill ourselves through homophobia -- voting against our best economic interest; attack children because of their assumed sexual preference; and the toxic nature of the "Down Low" culture.

and btw: to "szpork" who so eloquently wrote:

"when 200 black kids have been kicked out of the privite scholld obomba's kids attend because of political actions by his party. jeez"

You lie as well as you spell.

affrodite said...

I put up a blog post about this today. I've also blogged about 11 year old Aquan Lewis from Evanston, IL who also committed suicide, although his was at school. That story barely got attention and this one got a little more. Both are definitely worthy so I encourage you to read about him as well. It's a sad thing, indeed.

Aquan Lewis posts- http://affrodite.net/?p=380 and http://affrodite.net/?p=396

Hathor said...

szpork,
Once again you need to get your story straight. How does a $7,000 voucher keep someone in a school where the tuition is $28,000?

FN,
I am sure the teachers heard that crap, but probably might have been suspicious themselves. I have seriously heard adults question the sexual orientation of toddlers. If they had put the bullies on the spot, challenged what they say, they might have stymied the harassers. I found that when I confronted neighborhood kids, calling names like faggot or gay, they were usually confounded at that age. I also don't know why so many adults fear children smaller than they are. The school system may get sued, but why do they think they would lose.

FlyNMy40s said...

As a former teacher in an inner city high school, I didn't tolerate any foolishness in my classroom. The problem is that there are too many teachers who don't give a damn about these kids.

Antonio said...

This is a terrible, tragic story. My heart goes out to his mother. I'm glad this is getting some media coverage, Andersoon Cooper did a good segment about homophobia and teen suicide because of this case. But will mainstream black organizations and magazines finally start talking about this? Essence? Ebony? Jet? Bueller?

field negro said...

"But will mainstream black organizations and magazines finally start talking about this? Essence? Ebony? Jet? Bueller?"

Quick answer Antonio: NO!

@Aon 10:47PM. That's a deep point, and I honestly never even thought of that angle.

QB don't even get me started on Nancy Grace. Now there is a prosecutor I would have paid to go up against when she was practicing.

"The Urban League established the school."

Now that calls for a double wow. Thanks for the 411 and the link SS.

Shabazz said...

We're here discussing a tragedy and szpork comes on here talking about fucking taxes. It's always about money with you people. Been teabagging today?

Anonymous said...

Im not sure this is about "homophobia" per se. Kids always refer as those weaker than them as "gay" or "fag".Kids that dont play sports, or dont fight, or arent thuggish are labeled "gay" meaning weak or wonanly. NOT trying to minimize this AT ALL! Tragedy that I cannot find words to describe. I think it might be more of a "jock" or parernal culture thing. If you arent tough, youre a woman. Shocking and devastating.

Just thinking of the depths this kid was at to write a note before...my hands are shaking typing this.

Black male culture puts more emphasis on physical rather than mental prowess. No doubt a reason we are where we are socially.

Cocoa Fly said...

I saw this on Anderson Cooper last night and it broke my heart. That little boy was so cute. People need to teach their kids sexual tolerance. I'm almost 30 and my mother taught me to be tolerant of gay people when I was young b/c I lived near San Francisco so I would see two men holding hands or one dressed up like a girl. She didn't make a deal out of it and I didn't as I got older.

field negro said...

"Black male culture puts more emphasis on physical rather than mental prowess. No doubt a reason we are where we are socially."

...as I make a note to blog about this one day.

innercityrose said...

I saw the coverage on CNN last night and really made angry. You guys might not agree with me on this one, but why didn't the mom do more? She stated that this mess had been going on for 8 months etc and all she did was call the school? I'm sorry had that been my son I would have done more than call the school..I would have gone up there and it would have been live and in color. Someone messing with my child..WHAT?? I would have had those kids and their parents at that school for a meeting or some kind of intervention. I don't know what the law allows for children but could she have had some kind of charges of harassment filed. I'm sorry but the entire board of education for that state would have known about my child. I'm not blaming the mother, it just seems ludicrous to me that this went on for 8 months and all she did was call the school. Just my two cents..

Seattle Slim said...

Innercityrose,

I see what you're saying and I had my own questions having had that happen myself. I put my son in the martial arts. I also told him to fight and I would handle the school, but there were times when I felt like there was nothing I could do. I'm just so stubborn, and it took one match to light my fire, I was reignited. I don't think Sirdeaner got that chance. Sad all around. This poor child.

True Blue Texan said...

This is so sad. My heart goes out to his mother.

Vérité Parlant said...

The school administrators took the easy way out, saying the equivalent of "kids can be so cruel. your child should toughen up." That's so often the answer given when a child admits he or she's being bullied, "Don't be so sensitive." We don't honor that mental and emotional abuse does a lot of damage.

And yes the African-American community needs to re-educate itself on homophobia and stop it. I had a male friend who grew up in Jamaica who would verbally "gay bash" constantly. One day I said, "You know, ___, I think that sometimes when men show extreme homophobia it's a sign they have doubts about themselves."

I thought he was going to implode. But he got over it and I didn't hear that stuff from him anymore.

My own son, I noticed, around 6th grade, was making statements that I found insulting toward homosexuals. I checked him on it. He doesn't do that anymore, now 18.

A while back the AdCouncil launched a campaign targeting teens and tweens about how hurtful the saying "that's so gay" is, but it seems it also was confined to suburban girls.

We have to do more.

Seda said...

Thanks, Field. You're not the only one - http://suburblezmom.blogspot.com/2009/04/faith-community-and-lgbt-community-come.html .

You're right, it's time to make this stuff stop. It's all tied together. Marriage, and the military, and housing, and job discrimination, and the double standard that says you can only hold hands in public if you're a man/woman couple. To hell with that. Stand up, stand tall, and end this shit.

Thank you

La♥Incognita said...

This is so sad. Sometimes I wonder if there are signs that people just don't pick up on when a child or person is in that much pain. You know, this isn't just a homophobia issue, it's the tip of the iceberg.

As for bullies, anyone could be a target. Adults in the educational and juvenile environments don't take the time to vet, identify and stop these problem children. So these little fucks also grow up to be a problem in the workplace and elsewhere.

Not only do we have a homophobic culture, but we have a bully enabling society because we put the "too sensitive - thin skin - complain too much" stigma on victims just the same. So the poor "only acting out" child bully gets yet another pass to move on to the next hapless target. And dare that victim to even complain!

Bullies have more protection, period.

Anonymous said...

"Part of the problem is that black folks need to stop being afraid to see the shrink, or talking and opening up to people who they trust and care about. Stop depending on your preachers to be your damn shrink."

Field, you hit the bulls eye again. Until Blacks start getting much needed therapy, there won't be a lot of change in behavior or thinking for generations to come. Blacks need to stop going to their local pastor for help. That’s like going to the library looking for milk. Besides, some of those good Reverends need more therapy than their faithful followers.

B#

Anonymous said...

As a mother this wounds my heart and soul.

Anonymous said...

I looked at the photo over and over. I'm going to have my grandsons read the article. It's so sad.

I find it shocking when I hear any child hurt. It doesn't matter what color the child is or anything else.

Please find all the black children in the IRS 1040A book. This book is mailed to over 100 million people. You might have seen one of the black children. We might be preventing what happened to this child.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

An 11 year old killed himself? What is going on? This is just heartbreaking.

I agree that the glamourizing of "thug" culture really hurts young black men. Where does this idea that black men (and women) can only act a certain way to be "down". Everything else is suspect? I thought we were getting away from that kind of small minded thinking.

Frank Drackman said...

Can you blame the little guy...first President that looks like him and he's more Homophobic than Fred Sanford after a case of Colt 45... Well maybe not that bad, but if Barak won't make SSM the law of the land with his Presidential Executive Order Pen, who will?? And I wouldn't mind payin taxes either if I had 42 kids like Y'all do...

Just bustin balls...

Frank

Mrs. Chili said...

Field, I've been writing about this boy on my blog since I learned about him a week ago. My daughter is eleven. I go weak in the knees thinking about that poor baby's mother, and I'm campaigning my daughters' schools to see that decent diversity programs make it into the curriculum.

Jody said...

And in related news... if we wonder how this mindset gets perpetuated.... This is Sarah Palin's nominee for Attorney General of Alaska (from the Mudflats blog):

[Sarah Palin's Attorney General Nominee Wayne Anthony] Ross wrote a letter to the Alaska Bar Rag in March 1993 in response to an appeal from “Lawyers Against Discrimination,” a group that opposed the repeal of a non-discrimination ordinance, approved by the Anchorage Assembly, which prohibited the Municipality from employment discrimination on the basis of “sexual preference.”

“It was a big messy battle in Anchorage in late 1992/early 1993,” writes Mel Green. “The ordinance was ultimately rescinded.” Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or preference remains legal today in Anchorage and the rest of Alaska.

This is Ross’ response to Lawyers Against Discrimination:

“Dear LAD: (LAD??? Intentional, on your part? Or merely a Freudian slip?)
I received your letter of 23 February 1993 regarding the Anchorage homosexual rights ordinance. While I am not surprised to see some of the names on your letterhead, I am most disappointed in other names thereon. I had more respect for some of you than I do now.
I am in favor of repeal of the measure. I see nothing involving civil rights in this matter. We all, heterosexual or homosexual, have certain rights. This bill seems to give extra rights to a group whose lifestyle was a crime only a few years ago, and whose beliefs are certainly immoral in the eyes of anyone with some semblance of intelligence and moral character.
It is a shame that you folks don’t have some causes you could become involved in that are of benefit to society in general. Instead, you support degenerates. No wonder the legal profession is treated with less respect than we wish.
If, as you apparently believe, morality is not based on long-standing God-given and God-instilled principles, but is something that changes from time to time based on public perception of right and wrong, then that is even more reason for you to allow this referendum to go to a vote of the people. After all, isn’t it your position that public morality is based upon whatever the public decides?
None of you has done anything publicly (to my knowledge) to attempt to protect the millions of lives of innocent children killed each year through abortion, yet you collectively contribute $5,000 to the cause of sexual perversion. It is quite disheartening to me to see my fellow members of our honorable profession display such a lack of proper priorities.
Wayne Anthony Ross
(from page 7 of the May-June 1993 Alaska Bar Rag)

Shabazz said...

Hey field- could you block this frank drackman asshole. He's very disrespectful and it's getting on my fucking nerves now.frank you fucking turd, I hope you die a miserable death you piece of shit.

Frank Drackman said...

But I already did Shabaz, I already did...

Mwahahahahahahah

Frank

Anonymous said...

it sounds like the school did take action. if he was depressed enough to kill himself, his mother should have had him in therapy.

it's very convenient--blame the school, blame black homophobia, even tho you don't know the race of the bullies or whether it was even bullying for apparently being gay. never let facts get in the way!

La♥Incognita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
La♥Incognita said...

Anony 7:58, so we should feel much more comfortable blaming the mother, right?

Hey Franko, is this you in the link below? Gee, no wonder you have that severely unnatural complex against "thugs". Cmpetition? I just knew you were into selling illegal substances. No wonder you keep thinking you're a physician.

"Richardson received payment for the illegal steroids in cash, in checks made payable to the defendant in his own name or to Kingfisher Services, and via wire money transfers made payable to Richardson’s alias, “Frank Drackman”. "

http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txs/releases/June2007/070613-Richardson.htm

Sick waste. Why don't you just go away for the love of steroids, you're so friggin boring. This gig isn't working out for you Frank, we have had much more entertaining racist trolls on this blog. And we at least deserve a racist who has tax morals... wtf?

alicia banks said...

thank you so much fn!

i was an undergraduate at uiuc at age 12...and i was bullied too

i just quit my job as a teacher due to the heathen spawn that have ruined most schools

i was also a national award winning teacher who had 0
tolerance for bullies in my class...but vicious bullies still ruled the playground/buses/homes etc...

i have honored carl too at:
OUTLOOK
HTTP://aliciabanks.blogspot.com


verite parlant:
merci pour tout!
c'etait magnifique...

shame!!!
ab

Jody said...

La Incognita.... I love you!!!! You found out who this shmoo is!!!
Hello Vernon.... still in the Fed Prison in Louisiana?? Oh my god..... for those that don't think he is one in the same.... here is an earlier post from his blog:

http://drackies.blogspot.com/2008/10/inportant-blogging-note.html

Bwahahahahahhahha!!! Drug pusher, tax evader.... really Vernon.... after all the unkind things you have said here..... what a friggin hypocrite!!!

hennasplace said...

This is shameless what happened to this boy, and we still are not paying enough attention to children who are bullied at school. Kids can be very mean-spirited and sometimes just downright rotten when it comes to treating their peers, and adults allow it to happen because for some reason they think it is a part of growing up and they will get over eventually.

Perhaps sometimes will be done about this, it's unfortunate it was not done in time to save Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover.

lyfesimplified said...

Good post...but sad story. Yeah it has gotten out of hand. I have friends that are gay/lesbian and people constantly constantly are judging them and sometime even ME when I'm around them!

go.

NSangoma said...

~
What is wrong with you punk-assed Negroes?

If he committed suicide because he was called a fag, good.

No need in him reaching adulthood and passing on his pussy-assed genes to another generation of pussy-assed Negroes.
`

Anonymous said...

To NSangoma,

You are a hateful idiot who doesn't care if a child dies. God have mercy on your pitiful soul. To say what happened to this little boy is heartbreaking would be a gross understatement. I am so fucking angry at right-wing bigots like yourself who don't care about their fellow human being. I hope this boy's mother will find peace in our Lord's grace. If we as a society don't do anything to protect our children, shame on us!

Whitney B. said...

Hey Field,

Just checked back in after soooo long away.

Interesting first read as I had just gotten finished reading an Atlantic Monthly article about the schism in the Anglican church over the "homosexual issue". The African and South American churches decided to break away from the Epicopalian and Anglican Catholic (Church of England) last year, with some of the churches here joining their ranks (like the diocese of Pittsburgh, PA).

Homophobia has deep roots in African culture, as it does here among African Americans. It is disturbing to me as I have known many closeted and openly GLBT black people who have become alienated to their culture and their faith. These folks have come to the Episcopal church for spiritual fulfillment and acceptance for who they are, not what others wish them to be. We welcome all persons of all colors,
orientations, and even Republicans (this is hard to believe, but we do accept them, too: George HW Bush is a member).

The first gay wedding I attended was (illegally) was held in an Episcopalian church in Chicago, IL and was a black man and a white man. Not one of the attendees was black, except for one of the groom's mother (I guess you can figure out which one that was).

I agree that homophobia is a huge big-assed pink elephant in the head-room of black folks, and still a big issue with the majority of white folks, too.

It's time for all of us to spend a little time preaching, and not to the choir. I go out of my way to talk about my gay and lesbian friends and family members with those whom I perceive to have a "problem" with the issue. Oft times, I have put a little chink in their grey matter and the conversation can lead to some very civil debate......I usually win by bringing a smile to the face of my "friend" with a hand shake and a grin.

My grandmother Jessie always said you can attract more flies with honey, especially through reasonable discussion and examples from real life.

Hatred and bullying are ugly things and do more harm to those that hate and bully than realized. But, the casualties they cause have a far greater ripply effect in the population as a whole.

It is time for us to love and understand more and hate less. For us to unite and not divide. For us to honor our fellow human beings for what they bring to the table, not what we can take away.

Educate your kids and friends and family about cultural differences and teach love and kindness through example. Is it not true that for most of us that little Downs Syndrome "kid" at the grocery store brings a smile to our face when we see him working so hard and so cheerfully?

Consider the lillies of the field.

Let freedom for all ring,
Whitney

Anonymous said...

What a sweet child (and I mean that in a good way!)I would love to have a son just like him. It makes me sick to my stomach to think that an 11 year old could be driven to suicide! Black folks have some serious issues: An abandonment of nuclear families, homophobia, tolerance of ignorance (such as the belief that Blacks don't commit suicide or need psychological therapy). As much as we are beset by racism, we have some of our own house cleaning to do. We need to stop living in denial!! One aspect of Jewish culture that I admire is their willingness to TALK about what ails them emotionally. They seek therapy. They will let their families know what emotional turmoil they may be experiencing. It might make for some uneasy family gatherings, but at least they express themselves and release the tension. We would do well to adopt these methods of therapy for our own emotional health.

alicia banks said...

ditto

torture/hate/sexism as tradition are still wrong!

the first humans/gays were african

and there are a lot of african tribes who revere gays

many egyptian pharoahs were gay

king tut was very femme etc

many gay africans were unlabeled and accepted....even revered as "gatekeepers"

see more on gays in africa:

http://www.geocities.com/ambwww/GAYS-IN-AFRICA.htm

peace
ab

cinco said...

The spewing of hatred and lies never stops...there always seems to be more than enough trolls on these blogs. And some want to remain anons as if we know or care who you are. Even in a non threatening media forum like the internet blogs you're cowards!

********************************

I don't undeerstand this school's discipline policies. I live in bordering CT and we have strick "no bullying laws" that are distributed to parents and FOLLOWED!

There's plenty of blame to go around. As a parent I know there's no advocate for my children better than me. I don't want someone to pacify me. If any of my children have issues with their teachers, classmates, assignments etc., I want it discussed and dealt with.
***********************************

(I beg to differ about Springfields' population being mostly Blacks, I believe that there are more Puerto Ricans. But that's not really the issue here.)

Seattle Slim said...

Anon 7:58

According to the website, the school is 97% of color. It was established partly by the Urban League of Springfield. Springfield, according to a poster here, is PREDOMINANTLY black. Are you KIDDING?

I don't know how good you are at math, but I know enough 'rithmetic to make some pretty good estimates.

Seattle Slim said...

Very revealing about the City of Springfield.

http://www.springfieldcityhall.com/planning/fileadmin/Planning_files/Springfield_Market_Study_2006.pdf

ActsofFaithBlog said...

Shouldn't that have read mercilessly teased? There was nothing merciful about it. This has been covered at a few other smaller blogs like fem.in.ist which I think you should highlight. It's rare to find Black male bloggers who identify as feminists and fight for gender equality. Glad you chose to write about this.

TRESAMEHT said...

How very,very sad and tragic.

ActsofFaithBlog said...

Also let's be clear about who these kids were that bullied that little boy: it's a predominantly black residential area of lower class people who have some twisted idea of what it means to be black. They probably make fun if you speak proper English and want to do well in school as well. They are focused on mediocrity. And the neighborhoods they're in are probably not the safest. After the mother complained repeatedly it would've been best to have removed her child from that school and leave that area. I hope for the sake of her other child that she does. You can't reason with people hell bent on being destructive.

Anonymous said...

but why didn't the mom do more?


WHERE IS THE FATHER!!!!!

eby said...

I wrote about this on my blog too.http://whatlookslikecrazy.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/students-use-day-of-silence-to-remember-carl-walker-hoover/
The mom said she was going to the school on the regular to stop the bullying. The school tried to do a form of mediation between Carl and one of his bullies, but it didn't help.

Anonymous said...

As a retired educator - a 20-year veteran of a SF Bay Area inner-inner city school system/schools - I have yet to see Afrocentric homophobia abate. It is just as virulent as its twin, "snitch-phobia".
Too bad this parent, Ms Walker, now has to bury her child and, hopefully, litigate this school into extinction. Our hearts should go out to the numbers of young black boys who are forced to suffer the daily taunts and challenges to their "manhood" or black "authenticity", i.e., "...you a punk-ass faggot or you down with us thugs...? The KKK and Aryan Nation couldn't do a better job of ethnic spiritual cleansing.

Mack Lyons said...

"One aspect of Jewish culture that I admire is their willingness to TALK about what ails them emotionally. They seek therapy. They will let their families know what emotional turmoil they may be experiencing. It might make for some uneasy family gatherings, but at least they express themselves and release the tension."

This likely stems from institutional memory, something that I commented about on another blog.

What do I mean when I say "institutional memory"? It's a collection of behavioral traits and safeguards consciously and subconsciously developed by Blacks during the days of slavery as a protective mechanism. One of these traits is perpetual emotional stoicism. Back when there was no one to vent to, Blacks ended up holding in all of the distress and tension and "kept on keeping on" until "things got better". If you didn't do this, you were considered "weak". Strong Blacks kept their emotions inside, no matter what.

Blacks are still holding it all in and "keeping on keeping on", led on by pastors and clergy who basically regurgitate all of the institutional conditioning they received, setting themselves up for failure when it comes to handling issues like homophobia. Blacks always have to be strong, so any behavior that's considered "weak" is mercilessly stomped out. Explains why so many people cling to the Thug culture -- it's an easily obtainable symbol of strength. Studying, getting good grades and being respectful is considered "weak", so is being open about being homosexual (also "weak").

Love to go on more, but I need a lil' powernap after a morning of moving around heavy furniture :D

west coast story said...

Don't a lot of kids every year commit suicide because they are gay or lesbian? I'm sure some are black. I don't know if this poor child was in fact gay but he still paid a price.

Black folks just tire me out with we cannot tolerate.

Black macho culture believes that a boy should learn to fight and defend his honor. If you go running to your parents or a teacher, you are a sissy.

This isn't true just in black culture. There have been some awful stories about bullying that have come out of upper middle class schools where kids have had to change schools. This is not just a black problem but a problem with schools and (broken record) parents.

DuchessDee said...

My heart goes out to the mother and the rest of the family.
If anyone need to talk please call the National Suicide Hotline

Suicide Prevention Helpline:
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

or

National Hopeline Network
1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
www.hopeline.com

I hope this helps.

Frank Drackman said...

His Mom went to school to stop the bullying?? Yeah, that really works..about as well as the Mediation Route... Only thing those Gorillas understand is a Steel Tipped Kodiak Workboot kick in their gold plated Grills... %97 "of Color"?? in the old days they called that "Segregrated" and it was a bad thing... and ya wonder why noone wants to live next do' to y'all, heck y'all don't even wanta live next door to y'all...

NSangoma said...

~
Anonymous 10:43 AM, the strong survive; we have too many punk-ass, hoe-ass, bitch-made Black men as it is, now.

Why grow more.
`

alicia banks said...

the gaybashers and racists who are posting such vulgar hatred about this beautiful lost baby boy herein are the very same fertile "parental" fools that spawn the illiterate
bully seed that slew him...

they and the preachers who teach kids to hate and abuse will NEVER wash carl's blood from their collectively infectious and evil "holy" hands...

shame!!!!!!!

most schools today are deeply racially segragated...public ed = clandestine apartheid

and most children of all races are proudly ignorant, uncivilized, and amoral...they learn to be so at home...

see more re all here:

http://www.geocities.com/ambwww/schools.htm

dear god help us all,
ab

glory said...

that wasn't just homophobia. that was communal hatred of the pursuit of excellence. i relate to this boy's story - i went through the merciless teasing that happens when you're the new kid in a school and you stand out for the pursuit of excellence. if i had been a boy, they would have called me gay, too.

the teachers knew i was being teased because of how they fawned over me, but they didn't care, and they continued to do it. i was depressed. i tried to hate myself because everyone else did. i was 10/11 years old. my only resources were my parents. there were no counselors at my private school. and i imagine that this boy begged his mother NOT to come to the school, just like i did, knowing it would only have made the situation worse with the other kids.

he knew the school wasn't going to do anything about the teasing - adults don't take child teasing seriously. they don't see a line between friendly teasing and the chronic kind between enemies that makes you depressed and suicidal. they don't even think kids would get depressed like i did, or suicidal, like this young man. they think eventually the bullies will tire of the game, and that the victim will get over it with the resiliency adults think all children have. i can tell you that is not how it works. it took me years to get over what happened to me in the sixth grade. years.

and part of the problem is that black people, in fact low-income people of any race (whether or not they have pastors) often don't take mental illness seriously. it may not have occurred to this boy's mom that a shrink was necessary. she probably had no suspicion that he was so far gone that he would ever be tempted to kill himself. and her son probably covered it well by continuing to put on a front that nothing within him was changing. that's what i did. sometimes i would cry or complain, but when i realized nothing could be or would be done by adults, like when i was molested by another child, or when i was teased mercilessly at school, i got real stoic, and covered my inner turmoil as best i could.

some of our children are suffering in silence because they don't see any other way.

and too many adults don't think of bullying as life-or-death, wellness-or-illness dangerous to the well being of a victim. especially in low income black communities, where hazing is done both within the home and in the neighborhood from early ages, to harden children and make them tough enough for a world seen as inherently hostile. nobody wants their kid to be the soft one, and in the minds of parents like these, whoever their kid is picking on could probably use the toughening up, anyway, since the victim's parents obviously didn't do a good enough job of it. i have a friend whose three year old son is being targeted - not by strangers but by his own grandmother and father - as needing to toughen up. they don't want him to cry or ever act like his feelings are hurt. at three.

homophobia is part of the problem, yes, because of the 'gay' label, which children aren't just using for labeling homosexuals, but for any behavior they see as out of the stereotypes of what it means to be black, or appropriately hard - sometimes it doesn't have anything to do with gayness, but the fact that it connotes gayness is an added emphasis or bonus to the slur. "not only are you acting like a soft white boy, but you like boys, too."

this is a multifaceted problem that can't be solved by a lawsuit, or prayer without action, or a bunch of shrinks. it is a societal and cultural problem.

alicia banks said...

ditto

i was beaten for being the teacher's smart pet too...

but
even carl's own mom described him as "feminine and flamboyant"

and
even macho thuggish boys who are smart are called "gay"
even deeply closeted butch gay men are bullied when brainy

again, ignorant bigoted adults teach kids to be clones...

and today on the huffington post, a gaybashing fool columnist calls tax day tea parties "gay":


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/drew-westen/the-five-strands-of-conse_b_187675.html

if/when obama is interantionally outed as bisexual/gay only then may some gaybashing obama nazis wake up...

because homohatred always trumps racism/sexism...

shame!
ab
see more on my own beatings at
OUTLOOK
http://aliciabanks.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

most schools today are deeply racially segragated...public ed = clandestine apartheid

If you live in black neighborhood, you go to a black school; if you live in a white neighborhood, you go to a white school. What's the problem?

knockoutchick said...

I am inclined to believe it is as sociologists suggest and 10% of our population is indeed homosexual.

I know of grown black men afraid to come out as gay, so I know there are children as well.

Makes me wonder about the boys who were doing the taunting. Homophobia is so virulent in the black community that we have awful trends like the "homo-thug" and the like.....showing any kind of softness or emotion is frowned upon. It is indeed very sad.

Make no mistake, there are many gays among us...they are your co-workers...your friends and YOUR family members.

I have wanted to burst out laughing so many times having heard BM declare..."We don't have any of that in my family".....Oh really?????

alicia banks said...

ditto ko:

i am a lesbian

but if you count the bisexuals/DLs, i say we are 50% of the human population globally...or more

peace
ab

knockoutchick said...

Peace to you Ms. Banks ;-)

Here's a chuckle...

A black Central American girl friend once told me...she never met any gay men until she moved to the USA because "they didn't have gay men in her country in large numbers like we have here".

bwaaaa

A Jamaican GF had the nerve to fix her face to say..."you only see the outrageous and flamboyant gays in the States. you don't see that in Jamaica"

so I gave her THE LOOK!

...and she followed up with ..."yes, because of the social pressure placed upon them"

and I said...... Thank you

alicia banks said...

ditto koc:

i am convinced that the most rabid gaybashers are always gay

and it follows that:

the most rabidly gaybashing countries are filled with DL gays...

peace sista,
ab

Seattle Slim said...

I think it's important to note that the Church shouldn't be the only ones teaching kids tolerance. Matter of fact, if no one else does it, the parents should.

We don't really know if he was gay, so let's remember that. If he wasn't but was different, then it would change the dynamics of this conversation.

A note about the church. A church is under no obligation to teach that homosexuality is right. This is the problem. There are so many issues that we have that we are forcing people to be "PC" about as opposed to being respectful for real.

I don't agree with homosexuality. That does not mean that I cannot be respect Alicia or anyone else on this board who is gay. That doesn't mean that I go on the attack and hurt and kill homosexuals. We can disagree and still respect each other as human beings.

When my good friend came out, I told him point blank I don't agree with it, but I love him anyway.

If we could teach our kids that it's okay to disagree and but to love others regardless, I think it would really solve this problem of addressing homosexuality in the black community.

Anonymous said...

Field, I know it would be easy to ignore the evil, and I am sure that since you are an attorney you take freedom of speech very seriously. But is it necessary to allow this kind of ignorance on your site?

I come here to read informed, educated opinions that may be different than my own, or for a laugh to see which white person is h/fnotd, or whatever else I feel like that day. Not to scroll past a hateful piece of shit who does not even consider a dead child off limits. You can certainly do what you want with your own blog, but I think many of your readers would like to not have to wade through sewage just to get through the posts.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify, I am referring to the resident cracker who makes its way here on the regular.

Anonymous said...

Field,
More reasons to read the Field, his regular readers do their homework. (Thanks to La Incognita), Now we really know who Drackman is and just how sleazy.
Guess he had to have his Tea Party in Prison. Do a word search for Vernon Albert Richardson at the following IRS site:
http://www.irs.gov/compliance/enforcement/article/0,,id=174640,00.html

field negro said...

Actsoffaight...you are right, I misquoted that poor mother in the post.She said "mercilessly teased".Not "mercifully"as I wrote. I will correct that as soon as I get off my plantation.

Anonymous said...

But is it necessary to allow this kind of ignorance on your site?

I come here to read informed, educated opinions that may be different than my own, or for a laugh to see which white person is h/fnotd


Wow, hypocrisy knows no bounds.

field negro said...

Anon 3:59 thanks for always checking into the fields.Honestly, I have been torn about the issue with Frank.But as you stated,given who I am and what I stand for I just can't bring myself to banning someone no matter how ignorant or moronic they tend to be.

Fortunately,there are really smart people who comment here and thanks to the work of one of you Frank has been exposed.Let's see if he keeps coming back now that we know who he really is.

Frank Drackman said...

Back like a case of Herpes...
Yeah, thats me, Vernon Albert Richardson, Prisoner #3659127, USP Marion... didn't know we had 24-7 Internet in the Joint did ya???

Frank/Vern

Adam said...

Field,

As a white father of a dark-eyed, dark haired beautiful boy of color, I am grieved by what I have read about little Carl.

Like several other posters, I would like to see you moderate some of the drivel that gets posted here. But I do understand your point in allowing it.

alicia banks said...

ss:

ditto
kids are cruel to any child who is different it anyway...gay or het...

thank you for your respect
i respect you too
and
we agree to disagree

this is how i feel(i am quoting a biblical scholar):

"...'love the sinner, hate the sin'. Many find this perspective illogical. They argue if same-sex attraction or expression is what makes the person gay, then what is being loved? With sexuality being an inextricable part of one’s being, the popular saying has as much success in reality as loving brown-eyed people while hating brown eyes."

see more:
http://www.geocities.com/ambwww/tortn.htm

____
fn:

you are my hero 4 real!

i am far less patient with bigots than you are

i ban the kkk and their blackfaced ilk from all of my websites and radio shows...always have...always will

peace
ab

Adam said...

Hmmmm.

Frank (or Vern?),

I live in Illinois. Marion USP is a supermax prison. Why would a tax evader be placed in a facility that is known for having hardcore prisoners who are on 22-hour lockdown?

Coquinegra said...

This breaks my heart. in about 1990, when I was in graduate school, the 12 year old son of one of my classmates also committed suicide. This brings it all back.

Grata said...

"Those are children, the elderly, and the disabled."

Women, no? And where is the Father of this boy?

La♥Incognita said...

Anony 4:06, the link found was almost lost in the back pages of the cyber world. Don't think it didn't get a priority bump this morning... smh. If it's really him could you imagine how more sick and silly this makes him look.

Don't forget Jody for having the stomach to read the rest of the drivel on his pathetic Shmlog.

Anonymous said...

At eleven years old, no child should even be thinking about death. How in the world did we get to this place of horror that children -- in this case, a little boy who has not even reached his teenaged years -- think about death so much that he thought the best solution to his pain was to hang himself. This is a very, very sad story. Thanks, FIELD, for sharing it. I'd not heard about it before your posting.

field negro said...

""Those are children, the elderly, and the disabled."

Women, no? And where is the Father of this boy?"


Women? No! Not unless they are elderly women,disabled women, or little girls. Context my dear Grata, context. Of course, as a man, I will always look out for the fairer sex. But please consider the context of what I was saying.

La~Incognita, that was some great work. :) And I think it IS him.

grinder said...

What a heartbreaker. The picture reminds me so much of my two AA nephews at that age. They grew up in Massachusetts too, but in a school district that cared. Not gay, but gentle and learning disabled, and could easily have been targeted in a different sort of place.

The statistics will show that black kids don't commit suicide nearly as often as white kids do. For this boy to have hung himself, it must have been really, really bad at school. What in hell were those school officials doing, turning their backs like that? There's no excuse for them at all.

Don't blame the mother. She tried to do something about it, and she was turned away. This was first and foremost the school's fault. It's their job to teach the students, and teaching them surely includes preventing this sort of ganging up.

You look at that young boy, and read the story, and you grieve not just for what happened to him, but for what might have been. Today is a day to shed a tear for young Carl, his mother, and the world that lost him.

Field, kudos to you for highlighting this tragedy and saying what needed to be said. I tend to agree with the commenter who suspected that this kid was taunted not just for being "gentle," but also for being studious. So it's not just black homophobia, but also that whole "acting white" thing. What a cryin' shame. You know, black kids might not kill themselves at the same rate as white kids, but there are other forms of suicide out there.

grinder said...

Was it "black homophobia?" Hard to say for sure, but this link about the tragedy might lend a clue.

Anonymous said...

Wanda Sykes did one of those Ad Council spots targeted toward 16 yr old boys. She rocks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrJrw5ZZfRU

I teach at a small charter high school and call students on every slur I hear. Our school culture is very inclusive and we usually only hear this from new ninth graders who haven't yet learned what we're about. A friend of mine taught me how she handles it---when she hears a kid say "that's so gay" or something similar, she asks "what do you mean by that?" Once they hear themselves say, "I didn't mean gay, I meant stupid" or whatever, they often start to understand, and we help them along by pointing out how that attitude is hurtful to the many students and teachers who are gay, or who have gay friends or family members.

An openly gay student once told me that our whole school is like a Gay/Straight Alliance. That's our goal. And I'm talking about Salt Lake City, here. Even the Mormon kids at our school are very live and let live. I have great faith in this generation of teens---they have the potential to make real change in this area.

@Alicia Banks - thank you for the HuffPost link. I followed it and fully intended to slam Western for his comment. But when I read it, I understood it differently, perhaps, than you did.

He said, "Faux tea parties aren't going to get them there, either (and if you ask me, they seem more than a little elite (tea?) and, well, gay (don't real men drink beer?) for a Party determined to "save the institution of marriage." I perceived that he meant "gay" to mean, well, gay, not anything else. As in, for instance, one might say Thomas Lennon plays Lt. Dangle very "gay" on Reno 911.Anyway, Field, thanks so much for this post. It's heartbreaking, but we need to be in dialogue on topics like this.

AF

---one more thing. Two (out of a senior class of 70) of our students of color won the Gates Millennium Scholarship (https://www.gmsp.org/default.aspx) today. This is a full-ride scholarship to any college or university the student gains admittance. Our school is an open enrollment math/science charter school that recruits primarily students of color and girls. Just had to brag----thanks.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, Carl was a good student who wanted to learn. Who knows? He might have been another Obama. Evidently his desire to learn went against the culture of the neighborhood and school. Those ignorant mindless bullies will probably drop out of school in another year or two, and be dead before they are 20. This is a very depressing story, and one that I will remember for sometime.

Dis-identification with academics is rampant in the black community, and it is ruining the minds of black children, esp. black males. There is a high dropout rate of black high school children. Even worse, children who want to learn, who want to exercise their brains, are bullied, chastised, harashed, looked down on, and left unprotected. Teachers and parents lack the will and desire to help the children who want to learn.

We have a race that is overwhelmed with unconscionable mental, emotional and physical problems. This puts our children’s well-being at risk. At this rate, I wonder if the black race can survive.

I don't know...It’s getting too hard for good kids-who want to learn, to grow up in black neighborhoods and schools where they will be bullied and left unprotected. The Springfield-Hartford area is a potential death trap for kids. Parents and teachers don’t know 'how' to protect and care for them in 'healthy' ways. This is a common problem across America for Blacks. Therapy would be very helpful and useful; I bet we would see positive changes in families, neighborhoods, schools, and churches. The trouble is, everyone is too ashamed to go for help.

B#

Lady-Cracker said...

Field, I am shocked and appalled at some of the "stuff" that gets posted here and I agree with you about letting if fly. I would not have the slightest idea that there were humans capable of some of the "stuff" and the sites that they tout if you had not. I think sensible people hoping to make a change need to know how bad and how much of this there is.

field negro said...

AF congrats to your students! That is serious FN behavior.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

I live in Western Massachusetts, about 20 miles away from Springfield, and I want to second what the others have been saying about the community.

People who live in the area, ie., in the suburbs or the small towns to the north, like Northampton, only go there in the daytime, and they go downtown, or if they go to the fancy theatres and so forth, it is so insulated, with parking for the nice visitors, so that they are not in contact with the war zone.

I'm not surprised that the Urban League sponsored a charter school. The city was bankrupt for a number of years, and the school system was in shambles.

Large proportions of the community are very poor; in earlier times, there was much industry that drew people to the area.

But with industry's collapse, like in many rust belt regions, that was the end of what might have been a black working class/middle class community. The black community areas comprise an underclass: there is great demand for social services, crime is rampant, etc.

I too am disappointed that once again, good black children are taunted with "gayness," even though the children who are identified as "gay," might have no idea of what that even means.

lormarie said...

There will likely be no large scale public outrage for two reasons:

The boy was taunted for being or simply perceived as gay.

The bullies were black. Had they been white, the NAACP, Sharpton, and Jackson would have been all over it.

Anonymous said...

God forbid, anyone in a representative government, should have an opportunity to protest something he or she does not support

Especially if that same person is footing the bill. I have an idea, let's have protest permits only approved via the federal politburo. That way we can better control, or at least delineate, the crazies from the loyalists.

Why is it now, under the current administration, that everyone is supposed to suddenly "shut up"? Only a few months ago protests were en vogue, protected, even sacred, now they are nothing by hypocritical dissent by a bunch of evil crazies. Funny how our society works. The hypocrisy of all sides is truly astounding.

Grata said...

"Women? No! Not unless they are elderly women,disabled women, or little girls. Context my dear Grata, context. Of course, as a man, I will always look out for the fairer sex. But please consider the context of what I was saying."

Still in context. Given the abuse the Black woman in America is currently enduring, I would expect her to be on a black man's list of people needing protection. But, maybe I am expecting too much. Never mind.
That child has a mother and God knows what her story is.

Again where is the father of this child in all this?

momo said...

Thank you for speaking out about this. As the comments of NSangoma show so clearly, homophobia is a weapon of sexism.

I want to give a shout-out to the kids at my daughter's high school. some of them were so distressed by this case and some local incidents of bullying that they got the school administration to have three sessions over two days, in all the classes, created and led by the kids themselves, on racism, homophobia and sexism. My daughter told me about what they did, and they are having a day of silence today to show solidarity with those who face bullying. Although the initiative started with the school's gay-straight alliance, they didn't just stick with homophobia; they thought it was just as important to talk about racism and sexism and about how they are connected (anybody different being targeted). The school has a very mixed population, but a great teaching staff, who encourage the kids to do this kind of thing.
I'm sharing this because we need to hear also about how there are kids who are learning and showing leadership in trying to change the culture around them. The adults in the school model what they want the kids to learn, but they also give the students the space to do it their way: peer-to-peer intervention is as important as adult-led intervention.

Winnowill said...

Thank you for blogging about this, Field. Homophobia, misguided ideas about masculinity and gender roles, and good, old-fashioned bullying of those less physically able to resist are destroying bright, beautiful young children who are full of potential. We have got to address these issues in the community, starting practically from the cradle, to stop this hateful and destructive cycle. I am happy to read in the comments that some people are working to create inclusive, hate-free environments in which this kind of misogyny and homophobia is neither tolerated nor passed on. I was going to link to an entry on Salon's Broadsheet about this story, but I couldn't get the full HTML tag to work. Go to Salon.com and look at the Broadsheet entry for 04/17/09: "No one will miss you".

Anonymous said...

I've done a little work at a good charter school in the City of Brotherly Love. Mostly African-American students. Working one-on-one with students, or reviewing their written work, even a few of those with learning disabilities and serious behavioral issues, I found that most of the students were very, very smart and thoughtful, and a few outright brilliant, and all responded well and took pride in the encouragement and praise when I was alone with them. But when they were in a large class all together, all hell broke out, and very little learning got done, and there were too many who were failing many of their classes, and who shouldn't have been.

I don't want to generalize here, because there were many students who resisted the peer pressure and took pride in their work and were eager to demonstrate it. But too many saw no immediate social benefit with their peers; rather they would be called a smart-ass or mamma's boy or fag, or just generally shunned. And this dynamic also played out with many of the female students, as well. I pray that the students get past this cruel adolescent phase, so they can reach their full potential when they move on to high school, but I fear how many will succumb and become one of the 51% who never make it to graduation from Philly's public schools. It's an issue that has to be addressed on so many levels, and has to include so many people at every level in our community; otherwise it is not going to change, and it will get worse. Suicide at 11! And Carl isn't the only one.

The pressures to conform and deny their own intellectual possibilities for growth, as well their finding comfort in their skin no matter their race, gender, economic background, etc., are just too intense and unrelenting for kids to handle these days (and I saw this dynamic with the white students as well, and know teachers in suburban, more affluent schools who are also facing these issues). The fear of being labeled "different" in any way (intellectually, physically, etc.) is one of the most pernicious forms of social discipline that is practiced daily in our society, and we have definitely passed that on to our kids. And kids are sponges, for better and worse. God, I don't know which I feel more - anger or heartbreak over that angel who lost his life because of the worst and ugliest of our human nature.

By the way, based on my very limited experience, I firmly believe that if we had much smaller classrooms, with more individual attention to students, and more freedom to be creative with curricula to make it relevant to young people's lives, along with just some basic technology that most of our urban and rural schools lack right now, it would go a hell of a long way in ameliorating the issues of bullying and lack of acceptance (I hate the word tolerance) for difference, and many other challenges we are seeing among our youth, but I know for many reasons this sure ain't gonna happen, not in my lifetime. The keys to the solution are not so complex when you get down to it. It's more a matter of political and social will to make it happen. I wish we had 1/16 of the will and money we seem to easily vomit up when it comes time to make war or bailout our captains of titanic industries. But when it comes to our kids, especially those who are most at risk, we as a society and a nation just don't have it. We collectively just don't give a shit ultimately, and all the talk of school reform is going to come to nothing and will change nothing, and I am willing to bet my fast-dwindling savings on this.

blksista said...

Field, see mine over at ThisBlackSistasPage:

http://thisblksistaspage.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/carl-joseph-walker-hoover-11-commits-suicide-over-anti-gay-bullying/

Where it is the highest-rated piece on my blog. I keep looking at this child's face...shameful! He didn't have to do it, but he had no positive reinforcement whatsoever. He listened to his peers, not his mama, not his preacher...

I talk about being bullied and a childhood friend who was bullied at school--and did become gay later. But he was getting it at home, too. He needed to be toughened up, so his daddy said...

Carl didn't need toughening up. He was alright the way he was. But peer pressure is a b*tch. Just like that girl child who pushed him over the brink.

alicia banks said...

anon:

the question you pose about what happened to public protest is an excellent one!!!...

the freedom fighters/bush rebels have become the fascists/obama nazis:

"Political truths have been nullified by idolatry. Fascism and elitism have become afrocentric. Black political suicide has become patriotic. Political logic has become treason. Most 'journalists' are Obama’s fans. Most voters are his drones. Most gays are his doormats. And, most women and men are his groupies. It is truly pathetic to witness…"

see more at:
OUTLOOK
http://aliciabanks.blogspot.com

peace
ab

givepeace05401 said...

I am watching a report of this tragedy on CNN right now. Tonight I weep.

grinder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
grinder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
grinder said...

homophobia is a weapon of sexism<>


With all due respect, I need to correct you on that. Homophobia is a weapon of homophobia. True, you'll often see sexism right along with it, just as you'll often see racism and other manifestations of intolerance. But they are not the same thing.

When I was 19 years old and got the shit kicked out of me by a gang of males for the crime of walking alone toward the entrance of a gay bar, they didn't do it because hated women. They did it because they hated gay men, and I was one of them.

Now, it wouldn't surprise me if those same males treated their girlfriends, if and when they could find any, like shit too. But it ain't what they were about that night. Hope I made my point. Don't render gay people invisible by calling this stuff something that it's not.

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]They ridiculed him for going to church with his mother and for volunteering locally.[/quote]

FILLED NEGRO - There are so many actionable points of information in this story. Why did you ONLY choose the "Gay" issue? ("Homophobia" is a contrived word and I don't use it)


With your continuous focus on the HATRED among Conservatives - why didn't you key in upon the HATRED of this little boy among his peers?
Were the community members of his "Tea Party" attendees and thus full of hatred?

What was behind their teasing him of his CHURCH ATTENDANCE? Maybe his peers were HATE FILLED SECULARISTS who asked him to prove to them that Jesus existed.

A recent reconnection in FaceBook informed me that one guy who was teased as "Gay Wayne" and "Funny Boy" is NOW MARRIED WITH 2 CHILDREN. He now lives in West Oak Lane.

I know that you like to cherrypick your issues Filled Negro. In this case you are leaving too much lumber on the ground as you focus on a splinter.

Constructive Feedback said...

This Black Tea Bagger must be silenced!!!

Who does she think she is Filled Negro? I bet if she did choose welfare - she wouldn't be saying this foolishness!!!! Right Granny?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV6bNpNU4ls&feature=player_embedded

Sharon from WI said...

What I'd like to know is what connection does playing sports, attending church and being in the Boy Scouts have to do with sexual orientation.

After the tragedy of Columbine (the perpetrators claimed they were victims of bullying), you would think that school administrators would take bullying more seriously.

Instead of the victim lashing out at others, this poor little guy turned violence against himself.

And Field, you are so right. This kid, given his activities, seemed to be on the track of doing something worthwhile with his life.

Sharon from WI said...

Anonymous, 11:58 a.m. -- Tragedy that I cannot find words to describe. I think it might be more of a "jock" or parernal culture thing. If you arent tough, you're a woman. Shocking and devastating.I don't think it was a "jock issue," the boy played ball. Like someone said earlier, he was picked on for not being a thug in training or "soft."

Sharon from WI said...

but why didn't the mom do more?


WHERE IS THE FATHER!!!!!<<

Anonymous, if you read the story, it mentions that she was a victim of domestic violence. So think about it. Dad is not in the picture because he was a violent SOB. Furthermore, the poor woman is suffering from breast cancer.

Jimmy said...

First, my condolences to the child's family. As a black gay man, I can tell you that I definitely got bullied as a child and there were a few times I considered suicide. I felt loved by my parents though, and had an amazing gay uncle who was a science teacher and a role model for me. He constantly showed me that I could be a successful, happy (no pun intended) black gay man.

Each year I work with hundreds of young people myself, and I do not tolerate bullying, "that's gay," "no homo" -- none of that stuff. Young people come to me all of the time and let me know in their own way that they identify as gay or lesbian, and I hope that they see me the same way that I saw my uncle -- smart, strong, confident, comfortable in my blackness and my manhood.

Ironically, I work for the Urban League in my city. So I am surprised at the school's response -- or lack thereof.

Gay people are everywhere, but more of us need to be honest about who we are. The next generation is watching the way that we live, carry ourselves, and they notice how we respond to ignorant behavior. Somone at the school should have stood up for this child. This never should have been allowed to happen.

Roger said...

Damn the bullies, and damn the unfeeling bastards at the school who didn't help this boy.

alicia banks said...

jimmy:

ditto!!!

can you imagine how just one out gay teacher may have helped/counseled/influenced/humanized/deused...?

that is why i live my life out too

peace
ab

alicia banks said...

sfwi:

re your question:

the black church, the boy scouts inc., and jocks in general are all infamous for being RUTHESSLY, OFFICIALLY, AND RABIDLY HOMOHATING!


that is why there are DROVES of DL clergy/scout masters/and nfl/nba players...

i am sure this was all a trilogy of terror for the beautiful and fragile CARL

in addition to the gaybashing illiterate heathens he endured at school...

see more on all at:
ELOQUENT FURY
http://www.geocities.com/ambwww

peace
ab

alicia banks said...

grinder:

ditto

as audre lorde said:
"all of the -isms are related"

but homohatred is the last accepted, encouraged, and even "divine" hatred left

the other -isms are see as uncool

but bashing gays makes u "godly and
macho" etc

shame!!!


peace
ab

alicia banks said...

grinder:

ditto

as audre lorde said:
"all of the -isms are related"

but homohatred is the last accepted, encouraged, and even "divine" hatred left

the other -isms are see as uncool

but bashing gays makes u "godly and
macho" etc

shame!!!


peace
ab

alicia banks said...

grinder:

ps:

the sexism in homohatred makes lesbians more acceptable than gay men

fools think that all gays want sex changes etc

so they think men are cool
so lesbians are cool to want to be men...
lesbian sex -= erotic sport etc...

females are not cool
so sissy men who want to be *itches need to be killed...

see?
peace
ab

Anonymous said...

thanks for using this article to denigrate blacks. yes, they are all homophobes, yes, every suicide is someone else's fault. Following the laws of the Bible are wrong. You have changed me I will now only follow Mankind's laws; following the Creator is evil and leads to the destruction of children

alicia banks said...

cowardly anon:

do not blame your biblical ignorance hatred of hays and apathy for carl etc on god...

see more:
http://www.geocities.com/ambwww/BIBLE-TOP-10.htm

save only your own soul
&
wake up,
ab
ab

Sharon from WI said...

thanks for using this article to denigrate blacks. yes, they are all homophobes, yes, every suicide is someone else's fault. Following the laws of the Bible are wrong. You have changed me I will now only follow Mankind's laws; following the Creator is evil and leads to the destruction of children

Anonymous, Do you honestly believe that anyone should be so hateful as to drive a poor child to suicide? And this is okay with the Almighty?

Where in anyone's bible does it say that this sort of bullying is appropriate?

Mind you, the kid was being teased for attending church with his mom, engaging in sports, being in the Boy Scouts and possibly getting good grades and speaking English as if it was his first language.

Furthermore, it's really interesting how the religious types will use the Bible as cudgel to abuse others.

You want to use the Book of Leviticus' admonition about homosexuality (which this poor child was not engaging in.)

But I will bet dollars to donuts that you, follower of God's law that you are, eat pork and shellfish, do not observe Shabbat (i.e., the restrictions and observances that are in place for sunset Friday until Sunset Saturday), eat bread and pizza (with cheese and meat, yet) during Passover--all which, among other such laws, that Jews are required to abide.

Of course, your rejoinder is that the New Testament absolves you from such restrictions.

But it's really galling that your type will cherry pick Leviticus to persecute others.

Sickening.

alicia banks said...

ditto sfwi!

thanks!!!
u made my day!

hatred = dementia

people who hate gays hate gay kids too
just as the kkk lynch black kids like emmet till/atl child murders etc

most bible thumping gaybashers have never even read their bible

they keep their buybulls closed and use them as clubs!

and many who claim to worship god only really worship the bible
god is so much greater than that abused book penned by sexist racist men

re leviticus:

"3. Leviticus, Romans, and Corinthians all refer to “unnatural sex” for HETEROSEXUALS. It is NATURAL for HOMOSEXUALS to engage in homosexual sex.(Also see WHAT IS REAL SEX herein.) Yet, heterosexuals sin daily as gay prostitutes, porno film stars, lewd voyeurs, prison rapists, etc....

From The Good Book: “In Romans...Paul did not discuss gay persons but heterosexual people who performed homosexual acts. To suggest that Paul’s references to excesses of sexual indulgence, involving homosexual behavior, are indicative of a general position in opposition to same-sex eroticism, is as unfounded as arguing that his condemnation of drunkeness implies opposition to the drinking of wine. In Corinthians 1:7, Paul discusses the conjugal relations that ought to obtain between christian husbands and wives. For those whom celibacy was too high a price, he issued his famous edict that it was ‘better to marry than to burn’- not in hell. But with desire for the satisfaction of sex. Nowhere does he mention the sole purpose of such conjugality is the procreation of children.”

4. In Levitcus, homosexuality is an abomination not because it is inherently evil, but because the Gentiles do it. It is, therefore, ritually impure.

From What The Bible Really Says About Homosexuality: “Leviticus condemns sex as a religious crime of idolatry-not as a sexual offense. Romans suggest that sex acts have no ethical significance whatsoever. Corinthians and Timothy object to specific forms of male prostitution.These books do not refer to homosexuality. They make a general condemnation of moral looseness, lewd, lustful, and lascivious behavior.”

see more:

http://www.geocities.com/ambwww/BIBLE-TOP-10.htm


peace
ab

cinco said...

The Bible is 'wrong' only if you believe in it and it's significance.

Too many judge others from this 'mythological' book and yet they pick and choose what 'laws/beliefs/commandments' they will follow.


My "Bible" is to treat others like I want to be treated; to take responsibilty for my choices/decisions; to do no harm and to try and live peacefully with others...

Anything beyond that is someone elses' 'rules' for me to follow.

Sharon from WI said...

cinco: My "Bible" is to treat others like I want to be treated; to take responsibilty for my choices/decisions; to do no harm and to try and live peacefully with others...Exactly. Here is a story concerning the Jewish sage Hillel:

Once there was a gentile who came before Shammai, and said to him:

"Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot.

Shammai pushed him aside with the measuring stick he was holding.

The same fellow came before Hillel, and Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow.

This is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Quote/hillel.html

alicia banks said...

chico:

ditto!!!

like poet labi siffre says:

“it matters little
that something is true
or not
till someone says you must live
a certain way
because they believe
something is true
or not”

peace
ab

alicia banks said...

fyi:

another beautiful little boy has hung himself and died due to gaybashing peers:

see:
http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/dekalb/stories/2009/04/21/boy_suicide_bullying_decatur.html

SHAME!!!!!!!
AB

grinder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
grinder said...

As a black gay man, I can tell you that I definitely got bullied as a child and there were a few times I considered suicide.<>


Jimmy, I read your posting and wanted to say this to you: I AM GLAD YOU ARE HERE. Thank you for hanging in there. The world's a better place for it.

Elián Maricón said...

Thank you for this post. I think about this child every day.

You, my friend, have a gift.

I just discovered your blog moments ago via a link from a blog called The Wild Wild West by Diane G.

I now see why she wants you to syndicate there.

Your blog is going to my own blogroll immediately. We seem to have a lot in common when it comes to our views of the Dali-Obama...and Inotice you got ol' Wear Clean Draws in your blogroll too. Love that one!

My blog is called Queers Against Obama. Hope you'll stop by one day :)

Peace,

EM

Rhonda at Recession Daily said...

I wrote about it here http://www.eurweb.com/story/eur52562.cfm. The question for me is why has it become so tolerable to be so hateful toward a group of people. What I came up with is that, 'the bible tells me so'. I believe that because the church has taken this issue up so vehemently that it has made it has given "gayness' the same power as other hate speech. All sanctioned by the church. It pisses me off.

alicia banks said...

ditto rhonda!

thanks!

and what is even worse is:
"my bible tells me to hate gays...but i blatantly ignore all the other bs i do that the bibles tells me to hate also"

like whoring/lyying/stealing/coveting/sexing unwed/gambling/judging/hating/cheating/eating shrimp and pork/etc...

it is cherry picking hatred on gays and even those cherries are lies!!!!

nothing in this world causes more hate and death than religions

ALL of which are created by human man
and completely irrelevant to god

peace
ab
see much more on religious hatred etc at:
OUTLOOK
http://aliciabanks.blogspot.com/

cinco said...

Yes, the people that want to shove religion down my throat piss me off. If I want to believe in something I will, I don't need to be threatened, shunned or ridiculed for those beliefs.

In my experience many that 'believe' in the Bible are the most resistive to unbelievers.

Fuck off. You don't have a Heaven or Hell to put me in if I did believe. If you want to believe, do so, no problem. Y=The problem starts when you 'demand' I believe the same shit!

alicia banks said...

cinco!

ditto!!!
god bless u

u made my day

thanks!
ab

Jimmy said...

Here is an excellent article from the NYT about the two children (that we know of) who recently took their lives because of homophobic bullying http://blow.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/24/two-little-boys/

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