Thursday, December 5th, 2013
The mother of a former high school football player in Lunenberg, Massachusetts is a suspect in an incident in which racist slurs were scrawled on her home. The episode prompted school officials to cancel the rest of the football season when it was believed that fellow players may have committed what was called a “hate crime.” Fox Sports has more on the new developments:
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According to the Boston Globe, Lunenburg (Mass.) police and the FBI questioned Andrea Brazier on Nov. 25 about the offensive messages spray painted on her home. 13-year-old Isaac Phillips, Brazier’s son, is half-black and was believed to be the target of the graffiti, which was discovered on Nov. 15 and included the phrase “Knights don’t need n——!”
Brazier previously told police that Phillips had been harassed by teammates on the Lunenburg High School football team, and the initial thought was that the writing was the handiwork of those players. But the players were later cleared, and police then began to pursue other suspects.
The court records obtained by the Boston Globe included an affidavit that detailed Brazier’s conversation with investigators on Nov. 25. During the interview, Brazier reportedly stated that neither her husband, Anthony J. Phillips, nor her son were responsible for the graffiti. However, Brazier also reportedly pushed for the investigation into the matter to end.
“Andrea stated ‘OK,’” the affidavit said, according to the Globe. “Andrea just kept answering ‘OK’ and that she wanted everything to end and that we did not understand.”
After the meeting with Brazier, police received a warrant to search Brazier’s home, which they executed Tuesday.
During the search, the Globe reports, police found a can of Krylon indoor/outdoor spray paint, as well as a can of Krylon Fusion spray paint, which is generally used on plastic — however, it is unknown what color those paints were or whether they could have been used in the crime.
During a previous visit to Brazier’s home on Nov. 18, police also observed two burnt aerosol cans in a fire pit outside the home. According to the Globe’s report, police were given three different accounts of where those cans came from at the time.
Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
Officials at the high school in Lunenburg, Massachusetts have cancelled the remainder of its football season in the wake of an incident in which racially charged graffiti was sprayed onto the home of the team’s only black player. More from NBC News:
Lunenburg, Mass., School Superintendent Loxi Jo Calmes announced Monday that the “remaining football games of the season have been forfeited” — including the traditional Thanksgiving Day game — because of “racial harassment investigations.”
Racial slurs, including the N-word, were found Friday spray-painted on the foundation of the home of freshman and junior varsity athlete Isaac Phillips, 13 — the only black player on the Lunenburg Blue Knights football team, according to NBC affiliate WHDH. Isaac’s father is black and his mother is white, according to the Associated Press.
Anthony J. Phillips, Isaac’s father, told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette he is angry at Lunenburg officials who allegedly concealed racist remarks made by numerous Lunenburg football players during games.
“This is a few bad kids and the coaches are letting them do anything they want to do,” the father told the newspaper.
At a news conference Monday, Calmes thanked locals for gathering at a vigil Sunday night and standing behind Phillips and his family, who she said were victims of an “act of hate.”
Image: Football, via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
A group of high school seniors at Wilcox County High School in Georgia are making national news after they organized a formal prom dance that is racially integrated, something that hasn’t happened in the town’s memory. CNN.com has more:
For as long as most remember, Wilcox County High School hasn’t sponsored a prom for its 400 students. Instead, parents and their children organize their own private, off-site parties, known casually as white prom and black prom — a vestige of racial segregation that still lives on….
Mareshia and her friends bucked 40 years of local customs this month by organizing their own integrated prom, a formal dance open to Wilcox County’s white, black, Latino and Asian high school students. Organizers, both black and white, said they lost friends in the process — a grim experience in the waning weeks of the school year. It’s been hard on the rest of their hometown, too.
When the story erupted on TV and social media, Wilcox County became a symbol of race relations stuck in the past. People around the world heard about the sneers from some classmates, the silence from some adults, the school board that says it supports them but didn’t sponsor its own prom. Thousands lashed out at the old tradition or offered up kind words, cash, dresses, a DJ. Stunned, they wanted to know, could this be true? In 2013?
Segregated proms are a longstanding reality in this farming community 160 miles south of Atlanta, and until recently, at several schools nearby. Some in Wilcox County say it’s just an old habit that’s hard to break. A few argue the proms are private because of cost and liability or because parents won’t cede control. They say people “self-segregate,” and kids can’t agree on country or hip-hop, “white music” or “black music.”
Some say some preachers and some parents implicitly encourage segregation, but there’s no point to arguing: People are entitled to their opinions, even if they’re racist.
Plenty here shrug off the debate entirely and say a high school dance is nothing to make a fuss about.
Mareshia is 17, a good student, a cheerleader who’s active in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. She knew long ago that proms were segregated, but she didn’t think much about it till last year, when she and three friends first realized they’d be split up.
“How do you want your last moments of high school to be,” Mareshia asked herself then. “What do you want your memories to encompass?”
Image: Diverse group of prom-goers, via Shutterstock
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Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012
When shown a picture of two children on a playground, African-American children are more optimistic than white kids in their interpretations of the scene, a new study has found. CNN.com reports:
The pictures, designed to be ambiguous, are at the heart of a groundbreaking new study on children and race commissioned by CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°. White and black kids were asked: “What’s happening in this picture?”, “Are these two children friends?” and “Would their parents like it if they were friends?” The study found a chasm between the races as young as age 6.
Overall, black first-graders had far more positive interpretations of the images than white first-graders. The majority of black 6-year-olds were much more likely to say things like, “Chris is helping Alex up off the ground” versus “Chris pushed Alex off the swing.”
They were also far more likely to think the children pictured are friends and to believe their parents would like them to be friends. In fact, only 38% of black children had a negative interpretation of the pictures, whereas almost double — a full 70% of white kids — felt something negative was happening.
Researchers say that the findings reveal the different ways parents talk to their children about race. “African American parents … are very early on preparing their children for the world of diversity and also for the world of potential discrimination,” child psychologist and University of Maryland Melanie Killen told CNN. “They’re certainly talking about issues of race and what it means to be a different race and when it matters and when it doesn’t matter.”
Image: African-American and white girls, via Shutterstock.
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