And 'The Most Racist State in America This Week' Award Goes To -- Arkansas
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.
"Friends don't hang friends," said another commenter. "Hanging of anyone, especially a black, is considered a hate a crime. These children need to be punished and the law should be involved in this matter... not the local, but the FBI."
A hanging -- even a faux one -- may seem racist enough for one state. But surprisingly, that may not have been the most racist thing to happen in Arkansas that week.
Excerpts from Arkansas State Rep. Jon Hubbard's book "Letters to the Editor: Confessions of a Frustrated Conservative" got published, and boy did he confess.
[ALSO READ: Ark. Rep. Brings Racial Heat]
Hubbard didn't come out of any closets or reveal any illegitimate children, but he most definitely put his innermost thoughts on full display.
Check out some of these notable quotables:
"the institution of slavery that the black race has long believed to be an abomination upon its people may actually have been a blessing in disguise. The blacks who could endure those conditions and circumstances would someday be rewarded with citizenship in the greatest nation ever established upon the face of the Earth.”
"… one of the stated purposes of school integration was to bring black students up to a level close to that of white students. But, to the great disappointment of everyone, the results of this theory worked exactly in reverse of its intended purpose, and instead of black students rising to the educational levels previously attained by white students, the white students dropped to the level of black students. To make matters worse the lack of discipline and ambition of black students soon became shared by their white classmates, and our educational system has been in a steady decline ever since.”
Hold up, he isn't done yet...
African Americans must “understand that even while in the throes of slavery, their lives as Americans are likely much better than they ever would have enjoyed living in sub-Saharan Africa.”
“Knowing what we know today about life on the African continent, would an existence spent in slavery have been any crueler than a life spent in sub-Saharan Africa?”
Arkansas's state motto is "The People Rule." We hope that motto includes ALL of the people, including the 15.6 percent of Arkansas's population that is African American. With the racially backward views expressed during Arkansas's award-winning week, we're not so sure.