And 'The Most Racist State in America This Week' Award Goes To -- Arkansas
7 months ago
Locker-room nooses and calling slavery a 'blessing' mar the state's image
Not sure if your state missed the memo, but evidently there was a "Most Racist State In America" contest this past week and Arkansas not only signed up to play, but it blew away the competition.
Last week, the predominately white town of Wynne, Ark., found itself in the glare of a national spotlight about what took place in a high school football locker room.
A black boy on the junior high school football team -- which uses the older kids' locker room during practice -- says a group of his white teammates dragged him around by his neck with a noose made from a rope or towel. According to local news affiliate KATV, the alleged incident was part of a hazing stunt.
Police interviewed 30 students about the incident. Five boys were suspended, two more were recommended for expulsion for the rest of the year, but the local school board ultimately decided to expel the students only for the rest of the semester.
Members of the surrounding community were torn over the event. Some felt it was just a case of ninth graders horsing around, and it just went too far.
"These kids are all friends...good kids," said one neighbor in a message board about the incident. "Agree they should not play that way, it was not a racial act. All the kids involved thought it was funny. But they should be disciplined, it was horseplay that went too far. They are all friends, and will continue to be if the adults will not make this a big deal."
Supporters of the kid who was on the not-so-pleasant end of the fake-lynching rope don't agree.