NOTE: I wrote this last year when my son's school suspended him for defending himself after a white boy hit him. Didn't want to write on politics today so I found this. Hope u dont mind. And for the record, he was reinstated that day. The things they try and do to our young men. Fathers stand tall.
I am writing this letter in reference to the disturbance that my son (in picture) was alledgedly involved in on Wednesday, November 14, 2007. I am disconcerted given from my terse understanding of the situation and the resulting suspension of my son. More disheartening is the understanding that the white male youth was not suspended when he was involved as a "mutual combatant."
First is the recantation overheard by my son regarding the comparison of the participants in a monochromatic fashion, specifically the references of behaviors described as "black" and "white." I would hope that professionals such as you would not participate in the usage of stereotypical references that would suggest, "everyone knows black boys can fight." Or that the clothes one wears is indicative of being in "a gang."
Such a locution, I would remind you is similar to he disposition of those school administrators involved in the "Jena Six" situation. Albeit on a smaller scale, the white students involved were not suspended nor dismissed and the punishment was less sever than the young black men involved. I would have anticipated that professionalism would have proffered better judgment. I was informed that my son ran from the scene when in fact he walked to basketball practice as he does each day at that time. In addition, was informed that he was handcuffed, when neither he nor his associated resisted arrest. Lastly, I was informed that he was accosted verbally as t why he changed clothes, when it should be common knowledge that one changes clothes for basketball practice as well as football practice, which he also did regularly.
There is an additional concern regarding the LABELING of my son as being part of a gang and/or exhibiting "gang-like" behavior. I would like to know your definition of gang like given the courts have admitted that such definitions are broad and not exact enough to connote actual gang membership or participation in a gang. Four your information I have included four such definitions. Neither of the three apply to my son for he is not a criminal, nor an eloquent, nor had any social affiliation with the first youth who accosted the alleged victim.
- A group of criminals or hoodlums who band together for mutual protection and profit.
- A group of adolescents who band together, especially a group of delinquents.
- Informal. A group of people who associate regularly on a social basis: The whole gang from the office went to a clambake.
An additional point of order regards the videotape. From my current understanding, I do not see the exercise of due diligence nor due process on your behalf. I understand it is the essence of your allegations, since only the words of the white youth were accepted as the truth. Again, I hope the stereotypical assertions of what a white person says when compared to a black person is always right. If such is the case, then it is an incessant extension of history fro Dred Scott, to Medgar Evers, to the Sccotsboro Boys and Emmitt Till who were convicted on the lies of white men just based on the fact they came from white people. Due diligence serves to confirm all material facts in investigation. Such would mean that you would look at the cell phone video and discern if it was complete or chopped or edited. If the first portion of the fight was not on the tape, according to you purview, they way in which the tape is being used against my son, then there is a chance the first fight did not occur. Then there is the issue of sequence. Was the tape in the sequences of events as described by the young man who asked my son "if he wanted some too?" And proceeded to hit him. The history of America dictates that Black men defend them selves from white men. I am certain you can understand why such is the case, regardless of the size of the individual. Due diligence means that you would know that my son has never been involved in a fight throughout his public school tenure. Can you say the same for the alleged victim? Or did you not investigate such before you made your presupposed judgment of guilt against my son.
As an infectious disease expert and a behavioral epidemiologist, I use a corpus of variables to come to conclusions regarding disease prevalence, vector concentration and tenable pandemic expectations. Not a single variable, nor the single word of a single material witness. I would advocate that you seek the truth in this mater and defer from your stereotypical purview of asserting that black youth, particularly males are always the perpetrators and their word can never be trusted.
I have attached my CV for the record.