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Why I’m Angry – Billy Ray Johnson

I mentioned this in yesterday’s post, but I wanted to make a point of mentioning it again. People ask why I’m angry. This is why I’m angry:

Colt, who had been a pitcher at Linden-Kildare High School, took a swing at Billy Ray, hitting him squarely in the face. He delivered a knockout punch. Billy Ray fell to the ground and stopped moving.

For nearly an hour the group debated what to do as Billy Ray lay a few feet away from them, unconscious. Wes thought they should call an ambulance, and both Dallas and Lacy offered to drive him to the hospital. But Corey overruled them and began barking orders. He did not want the police involved, he said, because his job was on the line. They were going to take Billy Ray to a back road and leave him there, he insisted, assuring the group that he would eventually wake up and walk home. At one point during the discussion, Wes grabbed Billy Ray and lifted him to his feet, trying to make him stand up on his own. When his legs would not support his weight, Wes let him go, and he fell backward, hitting his head on the ground. Finally they loaded him into the bed of Colt’s truck, and Corey led the way while the others followed. Rather than driving a mile north to the hospital, he headed in the opposite direction, toward Old Dump Road. Wes thought Billy Ray might still have some family out there, but they decided against leaving him near a house for fear that someone might see them.

As Corey drove, he asked Lacy, who was riding with him, if she would sit closer. He and Wes’ sister were having problems, he confided, and he had liked her for a long time.

“Why did this happen?” Lacy asked, changing the subject. “Why?”

“Because he’s a fucking nigger,” Corey said.

Because he’s a nigger.

As if that wasn’t enough:

The Associated Press picked up the story, and TV news trucks from Shreveport began rolling into town. The following week the Texarkana Gazette ran the first of four damning editorials. (“We were vilified,” one resident recalled.) Linden residents who braved the media did little to burnish the town’s image when they tried to downplay the crime, talking about the “good boys” involved who had been remiss only in letting things get “out of hand” and who deserved “a slap on the wrist.” Wilford Penny told the Chicago Tribune one month after stepping down as Linden’s mayor that the incident had been “an unfortunate and senseless thing” but that “the black boy was somewhere he shouldn’t have been.”

… And yet, after Corey, Wes, Colt, and Dallas were each arrested and charged that October with aggravated assault (Lacy, who cooperated with investigators, was not charged), they were seen, by some, to be victims as well. “These boys’ names are ruined for life,” Corey’s mother, Martha Howell, later told one reporter. “And [Billy Ray] is better off today than he’s ever been in his life. He roamed the streets, the family never knew where he was. Now in the nursing home he’s got someone to take care of him.”

Yes, thank you Barbara Bush, he’s so much better off now:

The trauma to [Billy Ray's] head had resulted in permanent brain damage. There was little dignity in his condition; he drooled and soiled himself, and his speech was severely impaired. When he tried to talk, his lips and tongue would not cooperate, and to all but a few family members who grew accustomed to the way he grunted his words, he was unintelligible. He had difficulty swallowing food and walking unassisted, and he often sat in his hospital bed and cried in frustration. After a month, when he still could not feed or dress himself, he was transferred to a nursing home in nearby Texarkana, where he gradually learned to walk again and recovered control of his bodily functions.

Much better off.

The next person who comes to this blog saying that black people should “Get over it” and “Move on” will have twelve printed copies of this article shoved down their throats. This didn’t happen during Jim Crow, okay? This isn’t some cold case folks are finally reviving from the Civil Rights struggle. This is shit that happened three years ago. THREE GODDAMN YEARS.

You want to know why I’m angry? This is why I’m angry, damnit!

45 comments to Why I’m Angry – Billy Ray Johnson

  • That kind of thing brings tears to my eyes, right before the anger and the frustration meld themselves together into a vent in some aspect of life. Their names ruined? OMFH! That’s just all I can think to say.

    Their names. And what in the world was the black boy doing .. at the wrong place at the wrong time.. well I guess we can see why the mayor stepped down, or resigned, or was fired, or whatever the hell happened there. I’ll have to go back and read that again, when I’m a bit less pissed off at all of the hill billy like ignorance there. I had wondered passingly who the boy was when I read another of your posts, but hadn’t heard of him.

  • I don’t deny your anger, I do not deny anyones anger.

    I too am angered at those that even suggest that anyone get over anything for any reason. It isn’t right to do that.

    But everyone has a right to be angry.

    “Get over it”, only the most shallow of people would consider such a thing. In fact they want you to get over it so they can feel less guilty.

    Not even sure in my own mind that, that is accurate. Who can define the shallow, gives me a headache even trying.

    Take care, and never cease to be angry, you have that right, and as you say DAMNIT they can’t take that away from you.

    -=topper=-

  • Ann

    “Because he’s a fucking nigger,” Corey said.

    The only “niggers” are the people whose ancestors invented the word nigger.

  • Wendy

    Unbefuckinglievable! “Billy Ray should have known better than to go drink beer with a bunch of white boys.” Because black and white and all aren’t allowed to, you know, speak to each other or anything.

  • Oh this is sickening. Corey and them…they’re gonna burn in hell. White people really want to think this doesn’t happen anymore and black people want to think they’re the person it’s NOT going to happen to.

  • Ann

    Los Angelista.

    “…black people want to think they’re the person it’s NOT going to happen to.”

    Hmm.

    I often think that not only can this still happen to ANY black American, I also think that it can happen to me.

    I mean, for over 400 YEARS white America has tried to physically and mentally destroy black America.

    That type of institutionalized and socially sanctioned brutality does not just fade away with the enactment of a few laws (abolition of slavery, rescinding anti-miscegenation laws, out-lawing segregation in housing, schooling, etc.)

    When one race of people have tried to destroy a race of people by punishing them for having the audacity to survive slavery and segregation, you do not get rid of that mindset overnight.

    Race hatred of all things black is deeply entrenched into the fabric of America.

    How any black person living in this country can still think that slavery, segregation and anti-black pogroms is a thing of the past is beyond me.

    With white America’s well-known and historically documented hatred of black America, why should white America expect any sane, rational black person to trust the white race? Why? When so many white people stood by and allowed insanities to happen to black people, insanities that would make a statue cry tears of revulsion and shame.

    White over black continues to be the driving force of America’s particular kind of racism towards her citizens, who happen to be black, whom she has always considered as less than.

    Less than because we have had the temerity to survive all she has thrown at us.

    And since she has lived so long with the idea that black must forever be subjugated, she will never let go of that way of thinking.

    Well, at least not for the next 700 to 1,000 years.

  • the n-word needs to be abolished. its continuing existence is creating more superiority complexes.

  • i wonder what it will take for white americans to see anyone with black/brown/beige skin as their equal.

    i’m really wondering.
    what does it take for white parents to say
    yes, I’m going to not raise a kid who embraces and traffics in bigotry and hatred?

    when is that going to start?

    When I hear or read
    Get Over It as the blanket statement to anything related to an ism (e.g. racism, sexism, colorism), I realize that it is the opinion of a weasel coward who wants to remain in their bubble of carefully selected group affirmation.

    I also realize it’s time for me to move on and let them wallow in their ignorance.

  • oh, you’re not angry. not until you read this.

    remember that it’s only two men. in truth, you could’ve written this story and compared thousands and thousands of such shocking disparate cases. such is “justice” for the black man, and white.

  • allright

    I feel you, really I do. Abolishing the “N” word will happen when rap artists stop using it and others. And, no its not different when blacks use it. What an insult to your ancestors.

  • Jada Kinsey

    Why do you believe that if hip-hop artists stopped using the word, everyone else would follow suit? It could possibly place the youth of the black community on a more solid moral footing when decrying its use by others, but when it comes to influencing those outside the hip-hop subculture, you’re sadly mistaken. Or am I wrong and do racists — those who, outside the hip-hop subculture who would regularly employ such language, and to a man utterly despise anything to do with hip-hop — take their propriety cues from 50 Cent now?

  • Love your blog. Damn-mf crying shame. You have every right to be angry, as should we all. I generally angry all the time and the discussions are very interesting when both sides (black husband, kids & white mother) live in the same house. Most times my mother is shaking her head calling her own people ignorant fools (that’s the cleaned up version). I feel ya.

  • John

    A sad story for sure, but blacks commit viloent crimes against whites at a much higher rate, but the mainstream media virtually ingores it! Why not talk about the out of control black on black crime? It completely dwarfs any crimes commited against blacks by any other race!

    To Ann: For 400 years white America has been physically and mentally destroying black America? Huh, you’re kidding right? How, by giving them oppurtunity? Go take a visit to Africa, where slavery still runs rampant. The African chiefdoms invented slavery for crying out loud! Yes, Roots and similar movies are bullshit! Slaves were not caught, they were bought, and from Africans. There are no oppurtunities in Africa, so if you think “the homeland” will treat you so much better, go over there and find out the horrible truth.

  • To John: Before you tell other people they are wrong, you should probably make sure you’re right. First, African Chiefdoms did not ‘invent’ slavery. Have you forgotten that slavery has existed since before people learned to write and started keeping records? I mean, if you were trying to convince people here that you know what you’re talking about, you have failed miserably.

    Second, it is not bullshit that white folks captured Africans for the slave trade. It’s true that this is not how it happened the majority of the time, but it did happen. And there’s very little about the movie Roots that is ‘bullshit’. The actual fact of whites raiding villages for slaves may not have happened much but the symbolic fact is there.

    Third, it really makes you sound like a crazy person when you make sweeping statements about entire continents that sound like the same old racist bullshit we always hear from ignorant people. There are opportunities in Africa, just maybe not for you (and thank god, because right now I don’t even want to be in America with you, much less Africa), but for people who have the sense not to judge millions of people in thousands places by what goes on in some places perpetrated by some people.

    Fourth, since you think America is so much better, let’s compare what horrible things can happen to one in Africa and in America:

    A person can be beaten and left for dead simply because of his or her perceived ethnic background – happens in: America, Africa

    A person can be killed for their perceived ethnic background and those who committed the crime feel secure that they will not face retribution for it because they belong to a group in power – happens in: America, Africa

    A person can starve in the street even though food is in abundance in the area and plenty of people who could help simply ignore that person because they are lazy, shiftless, and unworthy in the eyes of folks with food – happens in: America, Africa

    A person can get sick and die from a treatable condition because healthcare is too expensive, drug prices are jacked up to increase profit at the expense poor, sick people, and folks are forced to choose between eating, paying bills, and getting looked at by a doctor – happens in: America, Africa

    John, just because you have the white privilege to ignore these things in America doesn’t mean they don’t happen.

    So, the shorter answer to your comment is: shut the fuck up until you know what the hell you’re talking about.

  • Anthony

    These inbred white trash pieces of shit should be hung up by their balls in the middle of town. I am white man and am sick and tired of white trash inbred pieces of shit getting away with this kind of shit under the guise of “boys being boys”. What a sick cop-out.

    This is not a black and white issue and it is a shame that it is being made into one. Does not matter what color the victim was or the perpetrators. It is equally as sick if it was white on white or black on black. A sick fuck is a sick fuck regardless of color.

    Give me 5 minutes with each of these “tough guys” and I assure you none of us (Black, White , Yellow, Red or whatever) will ever have to worry about them reproducing their sick ass DNA again. It is called “culling of the herd”. Real funny, tough guys messing with a retarded man. I hope there is a special place in hell for these maggots.

    In the mean time put these pricks with the sickest molesters the Texas Dept. of Corrections has to offer. No excuses for this kind of shit. Remember, these guys chose to do what they did…plain and simple. If thier names are ruined for life, tough shit they should be. Quite candidly, trial for these pricks is a waste of my tax dollars. Just kill them and lay their bodies in the street. Let those who think and act like them see what happens to you when you act like an animal……you die!! The world would be a better place I assure you.

    Again, keep on track, this is not about color, open your f’ing eyes we are all human beings and I dont care what color you are, if you treat another human being this way you should be taken out of the gene pool…….PERIOD!

    EVERYBODY get over the race shit and learn to treat one another like human beings. The past is the past so live in the now. No wonder the terrorists want us dead!

  • damn, where are all these overprivileged white people coming from today?

  • Anthony

    Overprivileged?? So, let me make sure I understand your above comment….You think “white” people are overpriviledged by simply the color of our skin?

    All of the sudden I understand who the racist is and who should be angry. No wonder you are angry. Obviously deep down you realize that you are part of the problem, thus it must really suck living in your skin, regardless of it’s outward color.

    If you were as smart as you would like to think you are, that kind of hatred would not spew from your mouth. Think about it…..

  • Ann

    “Obviously deep down you realize that you are part of the problem, thus it must really suck living in your skin, regardless of it’s outward color.”

    No.

    ABW is not the problem.

    The color problem in America has always been white people.

    And it still is.

    White people created the social construct of “whiteness”, and all the cruelties, babarities and atrocities that have been done in the name of whiteness.

    That unbearable, lightness, of whiteness, that has caused genocide (Native Americans), slavery (no one forced white people by holding guns at their heads, or knives at their throats, to kidnap/steal/buy black people as slaves), the humilating debasement of Jim Crow segregation where thanks to not only slavery, but also to segregation (segregation my a++), the color of black people went from pure black to various colors because of white men forcing their syphilitic penises into defenseless black women and black girls; the sadistic lynching spectacles where white women brought food to the carnival of death while white men committed sexual outrages on defenseless black men (sexual outrages that included castration); the separate, but equal hypocrisy that said keep blacks away from the so-called pure white people, BUT, the white people themselves would not leave black people in peace.

    I mean, if a race of people (white) wanted segregation so much, why run after and hound a race of people (black) that you wanted to segregate yourselves from?

    Sounded pretty sick to me.

    “There are no oppurtunities in Africa, so if you think “the homeland” will treat you so much better, go over there and find out the horrible truth.”

    No. America is my homeland, and as Americans, black citizens have the right to speak the truth, and moreso, we have the moral ground, the moral right to speak the truth more than those who hate to hear the truth.

    If any race should go back to the land of its ancestors, it is white people.

    White people have as a race done so much sickness and perversions, perversions they will never be able to atone for.

    “This is not a black and white issue and it is a shame that it is being made into one. Does not matter what color the victim was or the perpetrators. It is equally as sick if it was white on white or black on black. A sick fuck is a sick fuck regardless of color.”

    Yes, it is a black/white issue.

    Always has been. America has been hellbent on destroying her black citizens for over 400 years, and she is still working hard, putting in tremendous hours of overtime, working evenings, even working holidays, and double shifts to get the job done. She’s been doing this for centuries, and she has become skilled and expert at it.

    And make no mistake about it, black life is still held cheaply in white-run America.

    White men are given lesser prison sentences than black men for comparative crimes committed for possession/selling of drugs, for murder.

    In America, a white woman’s life is more valued than a black woman’s life.

    Translation:

    If a white woman is raped, the perpetrators will get more prison time for raping her;

    If a black woman is raped, the perpetrators will get less prison time for raping her.

    The colors of victims, does matter.

    “For 400 years white America has been physically and mentally destroying black America? Huh, you’re kidding right?”

    No, I am not kidding. The following facts attest to white America’s persecution of her black citizens:

    -Torture
    -Physical abuse if it is sufficiently severe (Castration of black men and boys; forcible/brutal gang-rapes of black women and girls)
    -Threats to life or freedom
    -Deliberate imposition of substantial economic disadvantage
    -Involuntary sterilization
    -Arbitrary interference with a person’s privacy, family, home or correspondence
    -Relegation to substandard dwellings
    -Exclusion from institutions of higher learning
    -Enforced social or civil inactivity
    -Denial of a movement within an immediate area (black people who were caught out after dark in certain towns, all across America. Ever heard of a “Sundown Town”? The description comes from the comment [usually uttered by a white person to a black person]: “Nigger, don’t let the sun go down on you in this town.”])
    -Constant surveillance
    -Pressure to become an informant (beating, burning, prolonged torture of a black person to force them to implicate another black person in an alledged crime during America’s nadir of lynching).

    America’s legally/socially sanctioned pogroms of violence against her black citizens have been historically documented, via books written by black AND white historians; via white photographers who followed white lynch mobs around the South, when the reporter got word of a lynching about to happen; and as recently as the TV newsreels which show us the sadictic glee white women and white men showed towards black men and women fighting for their civil rights during the Civil Rights Movement.

    Facts do not lie.

    “EVERYBODY get over the race shit and learn to treat one another like human beings. The past is the past so live in the now. No wonder the terrorists want us dead!”

    No. Until white America gets over its narcicistic love of its whiteness, the race issue will never be resolved.

    The past is still with us, and it will continue to be with us.

    And the past will not go away no matter how much white America continues to lie to itself about the legacy of hatred that white America first instituted when they first stepped foot into this country and caused everything to go straight to Hell.

    “No wonder the terrorists want us dead!”

    Terrorists, as you call them, despise America for the jingoistic, imperialistic bullying monster she has always been.

    And she came by that image/behaviour in her hateful mistreatment of the native peoples who originally were here first, and by her continued destruction of her black citizens.

    America has lots of experience in how to show the rest of the world how to subjugate and cruelly treat races of people who have done no wrong to her.

    But, the chickens are coming home to roost.

    Only thing is, those chickens have morphed into angry turkey vultures, and they are pecking the eyes out of everyone in this country because of white-run America’s legacy of racial hatred.

  • ah anthony, you are funny, you make me laugh. teeheehee.

    Though I must say, if I do hate anyone, I have plenty of reason to.

    I did not say you were overprivileged ‘just because’ of your skin color. Though you ARE privileged because you are white, you’re overprivileged for other reasons. If you want to debate me on White Privilege then you must first go read my post on the subject. Until then, I don’t want to hear anything from you about it.

    I based my statement that you’re overprivileged from your comments. While I think it’s really lovely that you’re sickened and disgusted by the actions of the men who beat Billy Ray, I take exception with your statement that it’s ‘not about color’. Because that’s a damn ignorant statement to make. This isn’t just some random beating, nor was this attack spurred by jealousy over a woman, shady money dealings, or even drugs. No, those white men harmed and neglected Billy Ray because he is a ‘nigger’. The one guy said that specifically. And there is no way in hell the people in that town would say it was such a shame ‘those boys’ names are going to be tarnished over this’ if they had done the same to a white man, retarded or not. No one would have opened their mouths to say ‘He was where he shouldn’t have been’ if Billy Ray was white. Because, in their eyes, there’s no where a white man DOESN’T have the right to be. Not the same for a black man.

    Claiming color blindness, claiming that none of this has to do with race or skin color, is just another way to suppress discussions of racism. In fact, it’s number 5. What you said at the end of your comment was pure bullshit, and I’m calling you on it.

    That’s me being part of the solution.

  • Ann

    “To Ann: For 400 years white America has been physically and mentally destroying black America? Huh, you’re kidding right? How, by giving them oppurtunity?”

    Oh, I’m so sorry, you’re right.

    White America has given black America years, and years, and YEARS of opportunity.

    45 years of opportunity.

    I mean, what’s a LITTLE 400 + years of atrocities, barbarisms, sadistic cruelties, compared to a HUGE amount of 45 years of opportunities of throwing out a crumb, or bone, or scrap or two?

    Silly me. I forgot all those wonderful opportunities that white-run America has given black America in the last 45 years.

    Sheesh.

    I should thank white-run America for her magnanimous out-pouring of such benevolent giving of all of the opportunites she has stingyly given us.

    I mean, we black people should be so glad that white America has so grudgingly given us what we should have had as U.S. citizens in the first place.

    So sorry for my ingratitude.

    God bless de Massa and de Missus for being so kind and humane towards us black folks!

  • Anthony

    I really hope you mean it when you said I made you laugh. A little bit of levity is good for the soul!

    Let me say Whoa…please do not get me wrong…The Billy Ray atrocity was DEFINITELY about color. The perpetrators said it very clearly, absolutely no question. My intended point was that these sick fuck white trash (so happens in this instance these idiots were white; however, you know there are other like instances where the perpetrators were of “other color”) idiots should die just like any hispanic, black or oriental perpetrator in this type incedent should.

    Would you have posted the story about Billy Ray if he was a white, hispanic, oriental, or any other race than black? The atrocity is the same regardless of his color, right? Or do you think it is OK for anyone to do such horrendous things to someone who is mentally challenged/retarded and as far as that goes, simply different?

    If your answer is yes, you would have posted it, I find you very respectable. However, if you tell me no…..then I stick to my previous statement that you are part of the problem. You are just as big a racist as those your site criticises.

    What is your solution to the so called “white” problem? How does one correct the mistakes of the past and change those in the now? At what point do you say….”Lets go forward from here and be an example for the future of all our children? and Finally…Do you think there is such a thing as a “black racist” or is a “racist” something only a “white” person can be?

    My solution: “Lets all keep fuckin’ until we are all one color” haha. A little more levity which I think I owe to Cris Rock.

    To Ann (The “black” racist):

    “If any race should go back to the land of its ancestors, it is white people.”

    That is your statement, right?
    This is your response to someone telling you to go back to your “homeland”…..?? Nice. I am sure Dr. King would be very proud of you.

    You and your kind (regardless of color) are the problem in America. It is called being a hypocrite.

    To be heard and listened to, one must walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Get off your fucking soapbox and make a REAL difference.

  • Anthony, don’t be rude to my guests. Also, if you want an answer to th question of whether blacks can be racist, please click on the category “Monday Debate” on the homepage. Your answer is there.

    As to whether I would have posted the story about Billy Ray had it happened to a non-black person – maybe had it happened to a person of color, no if it had happened to a white person. not because I think atrocities committed against white people aren’t important. But because that’s not the point of this site. I’m not here to talk about violence in general or bad things in general or people in general. I am here to talk about issues that affect MY life – as a black person, a woman, a queer gal, and as a writer. So coming here and yelling ‘won’t someone please think of the white man!’ doesn’t make ME a horrible racist, but it definitely sheds an unflattering light on you. I do believe you just committed another ‘how to suppress discussions of racism’ point. Damn. Wanna go for them all?

    The solution to the white problem, as you call it, is not to ignore the past and go forward like we’re all starting on the same level now. To suggest that marks you as ignorant and, truly, dangerous. That kind of thinking never helped anyone.

    I’m with Ann on this one – go back to your own continent, white man.

  • Ann

    To Anthony, the Human Being in Denial:

    No, I’m not a racist.

    I’m just a realist.

    Learn to make the difference between the two.

    Racism, more correctly called White Supremacy, is not something created by black Americans. Racism was created by white America when white people decided to make slavery IN AMERICA become black slavery.

    When white-run America decided that white was to be superior, and black was to be relegated to inferiority.

    And since white supremacy has destroyed this country and so many human lives, and since white supremacy and its institutions control and keep power in the hands of white people, there is no way a black person can be a black supremacist.

    No such black person exists.

    Yes, black people have every reason to fear and distrust white people. Four hundred years of perverted white barbarism has taught us that fear and distrust.

    Black people can no more let their guard down with white people anymore than a lamb can with a ravening wolf.

    “To be heard and listened to, one must walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Get off your fucking soapbox and make a REAL difference.”

    I am walking the walk, and talking the talk. I am mentoring a young lady now, teaching her the history of her people, history she SHOULD have been able to have learned in the public school system. But, since our people’s history is considered of such little importance in white-run America’s eyes, the only chance for a young black person to learn of their true history in this country is to learn of it from a black person who is educated, and skilled in many aspects of black history, a black person who teaches a young black person the good and the bad, the proud and the profane of black history in this country.

    In addition to mentoring her in her people’s proud history in this country, I am also teaching her life skills. Life skills which can help her for the times when she will need to practice the most basis of skills, and I am teaching her skills for the times when the unexpected occurs.

    I am also working at the community center that helps young black people turn their lives around, and adopt positive, fulfilling lives that can help them be productive not just for themselves, but, also for their families, their communities, their city, their country.

    I am making a difference not only in this young lady’s life, but, also a difference in the many lives I touch/work with at the community center.

    Now, what are YOU doing to make a real difference in this world, besides taking up precious space and precious oxygen?

    “My solution: “Lets all keep fuckin’ until we are all one color” haha. A little more levity which I think I owe to Cris Rock.’

    It will never happen.

    With all the fucking that white men did to black women during slavery and Jim Crow segregation, America should be the MOST non-racist, non-prejudiced country in the world. But, it isn’t. If anything, there is still just as much animosity between black and white America as there ever has been.

    True equality will not occur between the legs with the genitals.

    True equality will come from here (the mind), and here (the heart).

  • Anthony

    WOW…You ladies are angry. What a terrible tragedy.

    I suppose I should explain how I ran across your site: As I sat in my wife’s Dr. office waiting room I read the article on Billy Ray in Texas monthly. Since it upset me so badly I decided to google the name to learn more and thus found your site and discussion. Therefore, I had never before been exposed to your site. I simply did not realize what your discussion forum is REALLY about.

    My apologies for ever wasting your web space on things you and your fellows really do not care to discuss. Truely my apologies, I simply did not realize your true cause.

    I am well aware how sickly racist white people can be and I TRULY find it deplorable…….and NOW I am SHOCKINGLY aware of how racist even one of color can be. Thank you for the eye opening militant experience,…… I think.

    I hope and pray that you and yours can find some peace and happiness somewhere in your lives.

    P.S. Since the above responses rattled me so deeply, I showed them to 2 friends this morning:
    Person #1 Black hetero female (Majored in Liberal Arts with a Masters in Sociology.) Person #2 White lesbian female. Person #1 informed me that there is no “real” social discussion to be had with you and yours. You simply hate yourselves and take it out with these racial “injustice” tyrades. and Person #2 asked me to tell you the term “queer” SHOULD offend you, it does her. Just an FYI.

    No need to respond, unless you need to read it.

    God Bless

  • See, Ladies! He’s not bigoted because he’s got a Black friend *and* a lesbian friend! [/sarcasm]

  • *falls over laughing* OMG he just did it again! That’s three hits from “How to suppress discussions of racism”. I don’t know that I’ve seen one person do that many in one discussion. That’s just hilarious.

    I especially love how this anonymous white lesbian woman gets to dictate what should offend *me*. Because, you know, white women get to dictate everything else, why not this? I’m not allowed to be offended by ignorant whiny liberal white men coming into MY space and telling me how racist I am for not accepting the white man’s word from on high, but I should totally be offended by the word Queer. Yeah, I’ll get right on that. Just as soon as I get done with this hair straightener and skin lightening treatment.

    I love how he starts off his comment with “wow, you ladies are angry” like he’s surprised. Look at the name of the damn blog, dude! Reading Comprehension: F-

    I also love how he’s not willing to do any reading beyond this post to determine what this site is ‘about’. Up to and including the ABOUT page.

    Lord, that right there is the latest stunning example of rampant white male privilege. If it wasn’t so sad it’d be funny.

  • Angry native american-Heinz 57 girl

    The whole fiasco about Billy Ray Johnson has the local Linden racists trying to villify those of us who support the man.
    I have been doing some thinking and spurring another local “activist” (also white)into thoughts of actions to take.
    I have a full time job plus help to run a company on my off days, so I play think tank at my spare moment of work.I would love to have the NAACP to e-mail everyone and get out an e-petition to send to the governor or congress, but I’m an unknown and know no one there (though I’m on the mailing list).
    BOttom line: I hate what happened to Billy Ray. I no longer live in that area, left it as soon as I could. Still, the locals referred to one neighborhood in neighboring Atlanta Texas (same county) as N—– Hill. People acted curiously if your friends were interracial or you hung around a mixed social group.
    A number of narrow minded souls try to square off with some more liberal persons on the local blogs. They are most pitiful and badmouth the victim and his lawyer-team.
    God made all mankind from one blood and the sooner the haters realize this, the better.

  • Angry native american-Heinz 57 girl

    I just find it curious that the person trying to put their nose to the wheel on this one is a white guy.Not just a coincidence but perhaps a refreshing breeze. Telling us about a coming wind of change. No doubt you know your history and more persons could benefit from studying the sundown towns and the racial makeup of many areas of America.It’s an eye opener but only if they care to see.

  • white jury member

    I hope you all are aware that a jury consisting of 11 whites and 1 african-american woman just awarded Billy Ray Johnson with 9 million dollars. I wish you could have witnessed our deliberations….all the tears we shed for Billy Ray and the inhumane way he was treated by a few sick, selfish individuals. Our decision was easy after we heard the evidence presented in the civil trial. To me, this situation didn’t begin as racist due to Billy Ray’s color. I believe it began as a person taking advantage of a mentally challenged man..using him as entertainment at his party. I believe it did become a racist issue when a certain person ( Hicks ) arrived at the party. After sitting through the civil trial, I am appalled at the sentences these men got in their criminal trials! Billy Ray didn’t have anything before this happened…his family was poor. But Billy Ray was a rich man. He had his freedom, he could walk around town, enjoy his music and dancing. He could dress himself. He could cook for himself. He could live independently. They stole that from him and no amount of money can make up for it but this predominently WHITE jury hopes that this settlement will help make his life a little better after what atrocities were committed against this innocent man. Not all white people are against blacks.

  • Tired of excuses

    Something should be done about this. There should be a petition started to remove that judge from their seat because they are obviously not capable of doing their job. Bigots begat Bigots

  • Kristine

    I’m confused about this settlement. Where is the money (the 9 million dollars awarded to Billy Ray) going to come from? Are the perpetrators going to be the ones who have to pay it?

    If so, that only makes me MORE angry over this crime. Where the hell are these kids EVER going to get 9 million dollars? I bet they couldn’t even collectively scrape together a hundred dollars to hand the man tomorrow. Not only are the criminals not in jail serving consecutive life sentences where they should be, but this fucked up little town has now shouted “look! look! look at how much money we’re giving this guy! We’re really NOT racist at all!” when he’s never going to see even a tiny fraction of that money.

    So please, tell me that the 9 million dollars is going to be paid in full to this man. Tell me how he’s going to get the check tomorrow, and it’s going to improve his life in unimaginable ways. Restore my faith in the justice system.

  • white jury member

    The town of Linden had nothing to do with the settlement. Not one juror was from Linden. We can only hope that Mr. Johnson gets a fraction of the settlement. Maybe that fraction will improve his life a little bit. Right now he is basically being “warehoused” in a nursing home that isn’t really capable of dealing with brain injured individuals. Are you aware that one of the defendants is currently driving a 2007 Hummer H3? I think the payments he’s making on this Hummer would nicely improve Mr. Johnson’s quality of life! I wish we had “an eye for an eye” justice system. Then we could see how the defendants like not being able to live independently, not be able to talk coherently, not be able to walk unassisted, not be able to eat without tiring out because of the difficulty in swallowing. I think if THEY suffered the hardships THEY have inflicted upon Mr. Johnson, then maybe THEY would find it within themselves to show some remorse. This is not a “Linden thing”. And I am sick of people worrying about what it’s making Linden look like. If one of the defendants had not been worried about what it looked like when Mr. Johnson was knocked unconscious, 911 would have been called rather than an unconscious Mr. Johnson dumped on the side of the road.

  • mike

    I am repulsed on a varity of levels.

    First and foremost, than any human being is so evil that they could do this to anyone, especially a mentally challenged person makes me question my beliefs.

    Secondly, In my community, there is no truly harmful racial issues. Certainly no violence. I cant believe that there are still some pocket communities where a lynching could take place.

    Thirdly, where is the outrage from the Black community?? I will gladly join arms, march down to the courthouse that gave them 30 days, and bring some frontier style justice to the situation. Where is Jackson, where is Sharpton? Where is the 24 hour news coverage? It is with Don Imus.

    Was an old shock jock calling some women Ho’s in jest more repulsuive than what happened to Billy Ray? The rutgers girls clain to be ‘scarred forever’. Come see Billy Ray, and Ill show you scarred forever.

    I find us as a society repulsive, both black and white. We all spent hours watching and discussing Don Imus and what he said. We all hung with baited breath to see the reprocussions. Shame on us.

    We, as a human race, should have filled the streets and woods of linden with never ending protests. Instead, we graze like hypnotized sheep at the witch hunt being carried out by the two biggest racists in the country. They have sold black america out.

    Lets all wake up and smell the coffee.

  • erik

    When I was about 8 years old in the late ’70s, I was watching TV with my Grandparents in Downey, CA. A black man was talking about some injustice he received and my Grandparents responded with “Those blacks are always complaining and never willing to take responsibility, it is always someone elses fault”

    I relayed the conversation to my father later and my dad stopped what he was doing and sat me down. And took the time to have a conversation with me. He explained to me that racism is not a good thing and that grandma and grandpa are racists. You shouldn’t judge someone by the color of his skin. He explained to me how he went shopping in Alabama in the late 50′s when he was serving in the army, and a black woman who was clearly ahead of him in line was ignored by the white cashier. He explained to me that that was wrong. And I understood.

    Somewhere on this thread there was a comment that that racism will end when white parents start teaching their kids that racisim is bad. I hope the author didn’t imply that this doesn’t or hasn’t happened ever.

    By the way, I will voting for barack or hilary.

    I came about this website because I and my wife (whose parents are bigots) have donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center, and they sent me an email when they helped win the $9 mil civil suit for Billy Ray. So I googled Billy Ray Johnson and can’t believe that the dates are 2003.

    Look, I don’t believe in the ‘just pretend racism doesn’t exist’ because it does.

    And anger has its place.

    And perhaps http://www.theangryblackwoman.com is where anger should rightfully reside.

    But what are you ultimately committed to?

  • Skynman

    I have read all the responses and my heart was broken and at the same time my blood boiled. I find it hard to beleive, well actually I don’t. I was going to say that I found it hard to beleive that I just heard about Billy Ray. We as a nation need to stand up and say that we have had enough. Enough of all the nonsence that is going on in this country. Every person in this country needs to realize that Racism did not die. It will never die until people of all colors learn about each others culture. I hate to say this, but Whites in Amerikkka have caused all of what has happened. I say this because the pilgrims were criminals from england, who stole this country from the Native Americans. Went to Afrika and kidnapped Royalty and made them Paupers. The only way to accomplish that was to strip them of their identity. That is where NIGGER comes from. The white man did nothing to build this country up, orientals built the railroads, blacks picked the cotton. What did the white man do, RAPE THE WOMEN….. Now don’t get me wrong I am not a hateful peron, I have done my research and this is where my comments come from. Think about this Anthony, have you ever heard of Emmitt Till? Do you know what happened to him, the same thing that happened to Billy Ray. The only difference…Emmitt died. His accusers where set free, just like what happened in 2003. That was over 50 yrs ago, this happened in 2003. When will White people stop being JEALOUS of Black people. Your kids want to be like us soooooo bad that it’s funny, no actually it’s sad.

  • Bob

    The crime is horrible and the perpetrators got off lightly. There are similarities between this crime and the blacks that beat Reginold Denny (brain surgery) and shortly thereafter Fidel Lopez (genitals spray painted/ear sewed back on by physicians) during the 1992 LA riots.

  • Damn, Rabid (or Bob, or whatever name you come up with next). Are you really that obsessed with us?

  • Misty

    You know some of u people are ignorant. Now why should someone have known better to go drinking with someone I’m pretty sure Billy have seen before. This is 2006 not 1930, where it wasn’t right to see blacks and whites talking on a coversational level. And to say get over it, you get over if u wasn’t over it you wouldn’t be on here posting. All white jurors, they knew what the hell they was doing. Just sad.

  • I was honored to have represented Billy Ray Johnson. What happened to him was purely racial and much worse than reported. Hopefully he will receive enough money to make his life better through physical theapry. Had four black men done the same thing to a mentally challenged African American man in most any state, they would be serving hard time. The bright side is that a jury of 11 whites and one African American returned a verdict to send a message. This jury, unlike the ones that heard the criminal case, had all the facts. They came from the same community. Their verdict was quite different. Linden and Cass County, hopefully, will build some bridges across racial and class lines because of what this jury did.

  • The Guy

    Racism exists, but it’s getting a lot better than before.
    But I also see some reverse racism around here.

    The color of your skin does not make you more likely to be racist.
    It’s only chance that the white people were dominant in history.

    Sadly, groups like the KKK still exist,

  • Ico

    The Guy, racism isn’t just a matter of prejudice. Racism has also been defined as a “system of advantage based on race.” By that definition, the color of our skin *does* implicate us in racism, even when we think of ourselves as nonracist or colorblind. Whether or not we actively discriminate, we exist within this system. And as white people, we benefit from it. Our benefit comes at the expense of nonwhite people.

    It’s very easy to say “it’s got nothing to do with me, I’m not prejudiced” and still reap the benefits that come with being white. And that perpetuates racism.

  • The Guy has now made two completely clueless and strange posts on this blog. He gets one more strike, then he’s on moderation.

    I suggest he read the Required Reading page before posting any more.

  • Cbfjeff

    This was awful and made me very sad. I moved to Texas three years ago from Illinois and was suprised to see how much stupidity there is here. Even in the big cities they are blind to thier own ignorance. It’s like I walked into 1970. People have a right to thier own opinions and if they want to be a redneck degenerate that is thier problem, but when they commit an act like this or violate someones rights at all they should be punished like everyone else. It should be fair across the board and it sickens me when it is demonstrated that it is not.
    We can only hope that these kind of redneck idiotic people/towns are the minority.
    I wish we could get past the color thing, but from my experience humans are sheep they rarely go against what is considered normal even if it is wrong. Personally I get into arguments all the time because I don’t care what is considered normal or what everyone else thinks I should do.

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