Friday, November 16, 2007

N&O’s Sheehan & Community Silence

With two angry, grossly misinformed and racially inflammatory columns, the Raleigh N & O’s Ruth Sheehan helped launch the Duke lacrosse witch hunt and its massive injustices. ( “Team’s Silence is Sickening” and “Lacrosse team out of control” )

In her column today, Sheehan says its time for the community to make clear it won’t tolerate racism in any form. ( "We won't tolerate nooses" )

Here are extracts from her column followed below the star line by my commentary which takes the form of an email to Sheehan.

Sheehan begins:

It was little over a week ago that a toilet paper noose was found in a bathroom on the N.C. State University campus.

In the days since, we've seen a flurry of official activity, with the police investigating, Chancellor James Oblinger issuing statements of concern and District Attorney Colon Willoughby at the ready, eager to assist.

A part of me cannot help but cheer: Go Jim, go Colon. Round up the creep who produced this thing. . . .

At the same time, it is hard not to look at the official reaction on campus as a bit of overkill that, sadly enough, plays right into the perpetrator's hands. . . .

My first instinct: Flush it.

But I am brought up short by a quote from writer/philosopher/Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel: "Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."

Officialdom has had plenty to say about the noose at N.C. State. Students gathered Thursday night on campus. And busloads of residents from our area are heading to Washington today to rally for a federal intervention.

But what about the rest of us? What about a world, on campus or off, where a noose might be considered a joke?

There is nothing funny about this old racist symbol. Nothing cute. Nothing clever.

In small ways and large, this is a time for the community to make that clear.

In individual conversations, in water fountain chats and in community gatherings, we need to reiterate that racism is not tolerated here in any form.

There is no audience here for a noose of any sort, even a pathetic one made of toilet paper.

That is not what we're about. . . .

In Raleigh, the symbol of the noose might be powerful, but it is tissue-thin in the face of a community that will not allow it to hold sway.


Dear Ms. Sheehan:

You no doubt recall that on May 18, 2006 racists shouted threats, including death threats, at a young man outside and within the Durham County Courthouse where he’d gone to participate in a proceeding following his indictment for rape and other felonies.

The racists – members of the New Black Panthers Party and others – were so bold that in a crowded courtroom they shouted “dead man walking.”

Britian’s The Guardian reported the young man at that point "blanched."

The community response to the young man’s torment was silence.

The President of Duke University where Reade Seligmann was a student said nothing critical of the racists and nothing supportive of him and his family.

No Duke trustee, top administrator or senior faculty member spoke out. Neither did any Durham public official.

The community’s religious and civic leaders? They were silent too.

And you didn’t write a column about the threats and the silence.

The community would never tolerate white racists shouting death threats at a young black man. And we shouldn’t.

The community would never tolerate black racists shouting death threats at a young black man. And we shouldn’t.

But Reade Seligmann is white and the racists were black. So there was silence.

Elie Wiesel has spent a great part of his life encouraging us to face up to past wrongs so we can mitigate them as far as possible.

Wiesel believes that's essential if we’re to prevent similar wrongs in the future.

I hope someday you write a column that reminds us of May 18, 2006.


John in Carolina


Stephen said...

John: You are one AWESOME dude!!

Anonymous said...

Someone PLEASE go over to NCSU and see what kind of toilet paper they use! The notion of a toilet paper noose is simply hysterical- and Ruthy is getting hysterical again.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

By the volume of printed outrage the MSM generates each time some symbol 'reminds' it of white racism, we might guess that said media profits in one way or another by the printing.

As JinC has accurately noted, there is no such volume of printed outrage against racism of color. Apparently there's no profit for MSM in leading the charge against that.

And that difference should lead us to realize that the MSM's reliable triggering of the outrage posture based on nothing but petty symbolism - good God, a toilet paper noose could be the work of an exhibitionist, a mindless joker, a scorned lover or a Bush-hater - is more Pavlovian response than anything worth the expense of public attention.

Some juvenile knows how to pull the MSM's chain, and has succeeded the same way a troll does on a blog, by diverting a discussion to fruitlessly attempt debating the troll. It's one step less messy than the flaming bag of feces on the porch at Halloween.

Anonymous said...

John, John, John. Didn't you hear? White folks are the only people who can be racists. Black folks can't be racists. Ever. Ruth Knows, stop pestering her, John.

Anonymous said...

I am convinced that Ruthie's article and the reporter who interviewed Crystal, absolutly built the kindling and threw the match on the event.

Duke alum said...

Excellent letter.

mac said...

I'd make a wager that the noose was not made by a white person.

Just like the GWU swastika.

Sure there's racism out there; it's all over. (Especially in places like U. of Delaware, where whites are vilified as a race of people "of European descent.")

For people who see "secret racism:" weed makes you paranoid and stupid and inclined to do irrational things. Just say no.

mac said...

Wonder why Columbia had to be threatened with a court order to release the surveillance tapes?

Were they afraid the noose was homegrown?

bill anderson said...

The man behind the recent protests, Al Sharpton, has this quotes in his own background:

"If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house."

This is from a description of the Crown Heights riots, which were led and encouraged by Sharpton:

On Tuesday, 18 Jewish people were injured; four stores were looted, including the Korean immigrant-owned Sneaker King where athletic footwear was sold that was completely emptied, a N. Y. Chicken, and the Iranian-owned Utica Gold Exchange was burned to the ground; 50 cars were damaged including 8 that were overturned and burned; and 60 homes were damaged.[22] The rioters located Jewish homes by mezuzot affixed to the front doors.[22] Following a rally by the anti-Semitic New Alliance Party addressed by Al Sharpton and Lenora Fulani, black teenagers threw bricks and bottles at police, who retreated after gunshots from the crowd. Shots were fired at police, and 12 police officers were injured.[2]

The Israeli flag was burned, and rioters marched through Crown Heights carrying anti-Semitic signs.[2] African-Americans walked around in front of 770 Eastern Parkway, the Lubavitcher headquarters, shouting "Heil Hitler" and throwing rocks, prompting the police to erect barricades in front of the building.[40]

An additional 350 police officers were added to the regular duty roster assigned to Crown Heights by Tuesday morning in an attempt to quell the rioting.[2] After major episodes of rock and bottle throwing, Blacks marched through Crown Heights shouting, "Death to the Jews!"[2] As a result, an additional 1,200 police officers were dispatched to confront rioters on Wednesday, including for example, "about 500 blacks" just at the intersection of President Street and Utica Avenue.[41] The attacks by rocks, bricks, bottles, and eventually gunshots were of such magnitude that it overwhelmed a detachment of 200 police officers wearing full riot gear, who had to retreat for their safety. On Thursday, over 1,800 police officers, including mounted and motorcycle unites, were dispatched to stop the attacks on Jews, the police, stores, homes, vehicles, and other property. Protesters in front of the Lubavitcher headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway were reduced to shouting anti-Semitic slurs for 20 minutes.[2]

There were no incidents reported on Friday. During a march organized by Sharpton and Alton H. Maddox on Saturday, 1,400 police officers were on patrol, including a helicopter unit. There were no reported incidents of violence, but protesters shouted anti-Semitic slurs.

By the time the three days of rioting ended, a Lubavitcher woman, Bracha Estrin, a widow who had survived the Holocaust, was driven to commit suicide. "She lived near the Cato apartment house, which had become the gathering place for agitators, and for a week she had been subjected to anti-Semitic harangues. Estrin had reportedly told neighbors that she could not endure what was taking place in the neighborhood."[2]

Yankel Rosenbaum, 29, was a University of Melbourne student who was in the United States conducting research for his doctorate. Approximately three hours after the riots began, he was surrounded by a group of approximately 20 young black men, was stabbed several times in the back, had his skull fractured, and died later that night. U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan called it "a lynching."[22]

Before being taken to the hospital, he was able to identify 16-year-old Lemrick Nelson, Jr. as his assailant out of five suspects shown to him by the police.[8] Nelson was charged with murder. Despite his admission to detectives that he stabbed Rosenbaum, and police evidence of finding a knife with blood on it that matched Rosenbaum's blood type,[44][45] he was acquitted by the jury in New York State Court. Afterwards, Nelson publicly celebrated his acquittal with jurors.[46]

This is only a little bit of the anti-semitic blood on Sharpton's hands. Ruth's hero is nothing but a racist, and a dangerous one at that.

wayne fontes said...

Given the high percentage of alleged campus hate crimes that turn out to be hoaxes I would think the MSM would take them with at least a grain of scepticism. In Ruth Sheehan's case a healthy sense of scepticism could keep her from getting into situations where she needs to issue apologies.

joan said...

The signs they bore said CASTRATE them
The players slept in cars.
But Ruth had no objections then.
Bring the feathers! Bring the tar!

"We know you know! Shut down the Team!
Throw Pressler toward the Bus!
Take away his livelihood"
Our Ruth made such a fuss!

No scorn or threat made toward the team
Crossed any line with Ruth.
Her silence was quite sickening then
No... waiting for the truth.

They screamed "You're a dead man walking"
Yet Ruthie seemed quite Zen.
But now a ....toilet paper noose
Has her fired up again.

Yes, Ruth has her priorities
The TP "threat" ignites her scorn!!!
But is the Charmin a racist threat?
Or just..a loop of tissue...overdrawn?

No matter! Ruth has found her voice!
If only the Team had made her care.
But after her newspaper "noose"
Ruth's "fire" fizzled into air......

Seems our Ruthie suffers from
Selective indignation.
Death threats to CERTAIN mother's sons.
Are not even...worth..a ..mention!