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> Racial Harassment of 2 White Students, Philadelphia Schools turn a blind eye
aevans176
post Jul 12 2005, 01:34 PM
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The banner headline of the City Section, of a recent Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday edition read: “School Mishandled School Violence.

When I read it I thought the Inquirer was talking about the racial harassment of two white students who attended the 99% black Samuel B. Huey Public School in West Philadelphia. The harassment was so terrible that the mother of the students, 33 year-old Shannon Berthiaume, became so distraught she rammed her minivan into the school’s front doors May 25th. She did this rather desperate act after hearing students calling her kids racial slurs as she dropped them off at school that morning.

"I'm sick of them calling them names. I'm sick of the spitting and the fighting. These people won't listen to me," she was quoted as saying. Berthiaume has one son Justin, 12, and one daughter Destiny, 9, who are white. Berthiaume complained several times to the school administration. Yet nothing was done. Despite the fact that her kids were terrified and depressed of going to school because of the racially motivated, anti-white, harassment they were experiencing the school only offered to transfer them. This was tantamount to racial segregation from a school district that claims to be concerned about diversity.

While, fortunately, her actions did not lead to any serious injuries or damage (she apparently was not driving that fast when she rammed into the front doors of the school), she was arrested and her kids taken from her. How ironic it is that the very kids she was trying to protect, from being victims of racial hate crimes, are now in the custody of the same Philadelphia city officials who did nothing to protect them from racial hatred.



Questions for Debate:
1. Is this surprising? Is so, why/why not?

2. How would've the incident been handled had the races been reversed?

3. Is racism directed at white people as damaging as the reverse?

4. Had this been a black woman with black children, would she have garnered more attention nationally?
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Bill55AZ
post Jul 12 2005, 02:18 PM
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QUOTE(aevans176 @ Jul 12 2005, 01:34 PM)
.


Questions for Debate:
1. Is this surprising? Is so, why/why not?

2. How would've the incident been handled had the races been reversed?

3. Is racism directed at white people as damaging as the reverse?

4. Had this been a black woman with black children, would she have garnered more attention nationally?

*



Not surprising, I have seen blacks being racist to blacks and whites over the many years since leaving home in 1964. Many blacks want to blame someone else rather than do the work to improve their situation. Even Bill Cosby says that.
In the Navy, I met several blacks who were treated poorly by their black friends for trying to be white, which consisted solely of getting some technical educatlion rather than settling for the more menial jobs.
It the situation was reversed, school administrators would have been hauled into court. This lady handled it wrong, should have just gotten an attorney and sued the administration.
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turnea
post Jul 12 2005, 02:30 PM
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I try not to waste processor cycles on what should be abundantly clear, but hey its summer.

Is this surprising? Is so, why/why not?
It is not surprising that there is racism against whites. I've seen and heard it myself from time to time. Not nearly as much as racism against blacks, but it happens.

It is surprising that the school officials did "nothing" to stop this and I would like more than just the word of one columnist pretending to recount what he "thought he read" in a newspaper.

Maybe some actual reporting would help. rolleyes.gif

A link to the piece by the way:Marcusian Philadelphia
It's really cute...

How would've the incident been handled had the races been reversed?
...and it was white school officials?

Who knows? They may have been just as racist and allowed the actions against the young black children.

Can't say this is without precedent.

Is racism directed at white people as damaging as the reverse?
On an individual level yes.

As a whole, of course not. Whites hold much more authority in this country and have more power to abuse. Facts of life.

Had this been a black woman with black children, would she have garnered more attention nationally?
I'd have to know the facts from an actual news report first.
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aevans176
post Jul 12 2005, 03:50 PM
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QUOTE(turnea @ Jul 12 2005, 09:30 AM)
I try not to waste processor cycles on what should be abundantly clear, but hey its summer.

Is this surprising? Is so, why/why not?
It is not surprising that there is racism against whites. I've seen and heard it myself from time to time. Not nearly as much as racism against blacks, but it happens.

It is surprising that the school officials did "nothing" to stop this and I would like more than just the word of one columnist pretending to recount what he "thought he read" in a newspaper.

Maybe some actual reporting would help. rolleyes.gif 

A link to the piece by the way:Marcusian Philadelphia
It's really cute...

How would've the incident been handled had the races been reversed?
...and it was white school officials?

Who knows? They may have been just as racist and allowed the actions against the young black children. 

Can't say this is without precedent.



What he thought he read in a newspaper?......

Cute. Really cute.

Want "real reporting"??? You mean from a more liberal source? w00t.gif
Here you go. From the horse's mouth.
http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/11729375.htm

Here's what the article says;
A white parent irate over her children's treatment at nearly all-black Samuel B. Huey Public School in West Philadelphia rammed her minivan - with her daughter and two sons inside - into the school's front doors yesterday morning in apparent protest.

Shannon Berthiaume, 33, of the 5400 block of Chestnut Street, was arrested and charged with aggravated and simple assault, recklessly endangering other persons, endangering the welfare of children, and possession of an instrument of crime, police said.

No one was seriously injured, but bus attendant Viola Littlejohn, 44, who was at the front door as Berthiaume rammed the building with her Ford Windstar, was treated for bruises and swelling at Presbyterian-University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. She later was released.
"
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
I believe whole-heartedly in punishing anyone for racially centered actions. There is no way on the face of the planet that I would believe that if this was a black kid being harassed in a white school that there wouldn't have been dire consequences for the children doing the harassing... here's more of what the school said;
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Perez said district officials had met with Berthiaume several times to address her concerns and had proposed holding an assembly for students at Huey on race issues. She said the principal, Cynthia Gary, had spoken to the mother as recently as Monday."
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
An assembly on Racial Issues??? Seriously. Kids can be mean, but if the children were harassed every day, why wasn't something done?

The problem for me is that if you pull up racism in public schools on a search engine... hundreds of articles come up. There are numerous news articles published by papers and tv stations. I couldn't find one that involved white kids being harassed except the one by the Phil Inquirer... which almost portrayed the mother as a nutty criminal...

My point contends that if I stood in the middle of a public school and made jokes about black kids, even during my public school days (over 10 years ago), I'd have been kicked right out. Can you imagine what would happen if a white child in a predominantly white school openly made racist epitaphs???
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Eeyore
post Jul 12 2005, 05:37 PM
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QUOTE(aevans176 @ Jul 12 2005, 10:50 AM)

My point contends that if I stood in the middle of a public school and made jokes about black kids, even during my public school days (over 10 years ago), I'd have been kicked right out. Can you imagine what would happen if a white child in a predominantly white school openly made racist epitaphs?


I'm going to assume that you don't mean killing someone and writing something racist on their gravestone. I think white kids in predominantly white schools make such comments every day in this country. I also assume it happens in reverse. It goes with the age, find the thing that makes the kid different and someone is going to go after that for the purposes of tormenting.

I wonder how a black mother who drove her car into a school after not being able to resolve complaints about racist remarks would be depicted. I would think that a few comments about a culture that does not respect education enough would come forward. She drove her car into a school. She endangered children's lives and she got her children taken away from her. We have a court system to take some of these complaints and some organizations like the ACLU to find to help resolve this dispute.

I think she should be portrayed as a little whacko. I think bureaucracies would rather try to sweep these stories under the rug than acknowledge a problem. Of course how we got to the point where we have 99% black schools (as indicated in an earlier thread, a predominantly black school system in urban Philadelphia. (remember the mandatory African-American history course?) is another sad point to have to dwell on.

Racism should be dealt with when it is found. Period. We are not quite there yet as a society. We have more work to do here on all sides of the race lines.
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BoF
post Jul 12 2005, 06:30 PM
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QUOTE(aevans176 @ Jul 12 2005, 09:50 AM)
QUOTE(turnea @ Jul 12 2005, 09:30 AM)
I try not to waste processor cycles on what should be abundantly clear, but hey its summer.

A link to the piece by the way:

Marcusian Philadelphia

It's really cute...


Cute. Really cute.

Want "real reporting"??? You mean from a more liberal source? w00t.gif
Here you go. From the horse's mouth.

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/11729375.htm


Aevans176 if you had documented your original source better than…

QUOTE(aevans176 @ Jul 12 2005, 07:34 AM)
The banner headline of the City Section, of a recent Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday edition read: “School Mishandled School Violence."


...then turnea would not have had to choose a source for you. The sarcasm you direct toward him should be directed at the person you see in the mirror when you are shaving every morning.

I don’t find much worth debating in this thread, laden as it is with loaded questions, and I am left wondering about your motivation in starting it. Still I’ll attempt to answer your questions as best I can.

1. Is this surprising? Is so, why/why not?

No, it is not surprising.

WHY? I've lived long enough and seen enough that very little surprises me.

2. How would've the incident been handled had the races been reversed?

My guess is that if the lady had been black she would have been arrested for driving her car into the school door, just as was the white lady.

3. Is racism directed at white people as damaging as the reverse?

Trauma, regardless of source, tends to be damaging to kids in the 9 to 12 bracket.

4. Had this been a black woman with black children, would she have garnered more attention nationally?

I hear this line of thinking on Scarborough Country, my daily capsule of "conservative" news, frequently. There has to be a presupposition behind this that there is "liberal" bias in the media. I reject this idea. Having said that, this is a hypothetical, so I don’t think we can give a conclusive answer.

This post has been edited by BoF: Jul 12 2005, 06:55 PM
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aevans176
post Jul 12 2005, 07:27 PM
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QUOTE(Eeyore @ Jul 12 2005, 12:37 PM)
QUOTE(aevans176 @ Jul 12 2005, 10:50 AM)

My point contends that if I stood in the middle of a public school and made jokes about black kids, even during my public school days (over 10 years ago), I'd have been kicked right out. Can you imagine what would happen if a white child in a predominantly white school openly made racist epitaphs?


I'm going to assume that you don't mean killing someone and writing something racist on their gravestone. I think white kids in predominantly white schools make such comments every day in this country. I also assume it happens in reverse. It goes with the age, find the thing that makes the kid different and someone is going to go after that for the purposes of tormenting.

I wonder how a black mother who drove her car into a school after not being able to resolve complaints about racist remarks would be depicted. I would think that a few comments about a culture that does not respect education enough would come forward. She drove her car into a school. She endangered children's lives and she got her children taken away from her. We have a court system to take some of these complaints and some organizations like the ACLU to find to help resolve this dispute.


Good job w/ catching my Typo. As we all know, this is not a forum for grammatical lesson. Of course I meant "Epithets".

You "think kids in predominantly white schools make such comments every day in this country"???
Wow.. I sincerely doubt it. I'd really love to read a story about a 99% white school where children openly made fun of black children and the administration acted in a lassiez faire manner as they did in this case.

Can you imagine the headlines?? "Black child ridiculed at school, much to the chagrin of administrative officials"...

If a mother complained and met w/ the administration, and it kept happening. I can only imagine the Jesse Jackson speech on the 8:00 news...
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BoF
post Jul 12 2005, 08:24 PM
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QUOTE(aevans176 @ Jul 12 2005, 01:27 PM)
Can you imagine the headlines?? "Black child ridiculed at school, much to the chagrin of administrative officials"...


Why don't we deal with facts rather than conjecture? The phrase "can you imagine" sounds like those slightly lurid romance magazines my mother and grandmother used to read. hmmm.gif

Again, you are asking us to deal with hypotheticals. rolleyes.gif

This post has been edited by BoF: Jul 12 2005, 08:50 PM
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blingice
post Jul 13 2005, 02:28 AM
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To answer aevans176's questions:
QUOTE
1. Is this surprising? Is so, why/why not?


What? The racism itself or the fact that administrators didn't do anything? The racism is not surprising. I have heard of racism against white people more often than I have heard against black people lately. In terms of my 15 year old, day-to-school-day experience as a white student. I certainly don't see anyone being racist against blacks in my school, except for maybe one kid {who was subsequently beat up by the girl he was racist to, and when the cops came, she supposedly tried to punch one, getting her expelled for the year, and I don't know what happened to the kid who said the comment [sorry for gossiping]}. In fact, I am from a rather rich place, stereotypically a culture that fears black people, whereas I have one or two black friends. Regarding the administrators lack of action: depending on whether the administrators were white or black the situation would be differently disputed, but equally sickening. If they were white: I can understand the lack of action if I were them because they would be afraid if, say they punished the harassers for racism, the parents may retaliate somehow. If the administrators were black: they could regard complaints as imagined or even if the complaints were regarded, they could feel some closure because, potentially, when they were younger, white kids harassed them. Horrible, horrible thinking by the administrators sour.gif mad.gif .

QUOTE
2. How would've the incident been handled had the races been reversed?


I can confidently say that the white kids harassing would have been suspended for a week, sued, and then transferred if what they did was bad enough (i.e. hate crimes). However, a black committing a hate crime on a white person would not be regarded as a hate crime, likely just regarded as a normal crime. This is because of the history of African-Americans (i.e. slavery, segregation). A white person committing the crimes would resemble to all onlookers as a child trying to perpetuate the horrible ideas of the KKK. Whereas a black person committing the crimes, what is he perpetuating? He's getting even for what white people did to his culture. What a horrible excuse. Racism is not like a big seesaw. The white people start on one side (oppressing African Americans). When that is taboo, they run to the other side and let themselves be oppressed by African Americans because they feel bad? Is the anti-white racism going to continue for another 100 years until whites get to oppress black people again? Neither side is good, and not many people realize it! People just say "Racism against blacks is awful! But we can compensate by letting them be racist to us..."

QUOTE
3. Is racism directed at white people as damaging as the reverse?


Yes. It is the same thing.

QUOTE
4. Had this been a black woman with black children, would she have garnered more attention nationally?


Yes. It would have Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton condemning the administration for not having armed guards standing in the hallways to protect people from this or something like that. It probably would have been brought to the Supreme Court or something like that, considering the constitutionality of whether racial insults are acceptable in public schools.

I'll stop raving, but racism, either way, is just lame and purposeless.

This post has been edited by blingice: Jul 13 2005, 02:54 AM
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