Sunday, December 30, 2007

The John White case

Racism and Justice on Long Island

A rumor spreads that a black man threatened to rape a white girl, the rumor is untrue. A crowd of angry white men drive to the black man's house with a baseball bat in the car, they scream racial epithets at the black man and his father, and threaten him. Does this sound like a story from the 1920's or 1940's somewhere in the South? It actually happened on Long Island in 2007!

Any Long Islander with a brain knows that if a mob of angry black men showed up at the house of a white man in Suffolk County and screamed and threatened him, the police would immediately arrest the black men. So, the question is being asked, by Al Sharpton among others, why weren't the members of the white mob arrested? Sharpton is as right in this case as he was wrong in the Tawana Brawley case.

Having grown up on Long Island I know all too well the racist attitudes of many people, both black and white. I have heard a white women scream at a black woman in an office - "Black people were told to overpopulate the world by their black preachers!!" I have seen in that same office in Garden City a black woman get debited for being 1 minute late, punching in at 9:01 AM and having her paycheck docked for that minute. The white Italian man who sat next to her routinely showed up late and his latenesses were "squashed" by the assistant director of this department. In other words, his punch times were altered to take away latenesses so he was not always debited for latenesses which sometimes were as much as 25 minutes. I have heard racist statements by enough white people here in my lifetime to not be fooled by those who scream that "race is not a factor in this case".

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