Things That Matter

Students At This High School Apparently Thought It Was OK To Drag A Black Mannequin By A Rope At Their Homecoming Game

Psychologists have said that the brain is not fully developed until the age of 25, which implies that people’s action before that age may be impaired of proper judgment. In other words, kids will be kids, right? However, some of the most absurd actions aren’t caused by kids, they also come from adults who should know better.

For some weird reason, both students and adults that work at school feel the need to act out for the worse during school hours. Remember the school staff that dressed up as the border wall? Or the other school staff that wore stereotypical Mexican costumes on their IDs? The racism continues. 

Students at Damonte Ranch High School in Reno, Nevada, used a black mannequin and dragged it with a rope during a homecoming game.

On Sept. 20, students Damonte Ranch High School changed up their homecoming routine without alleging informing school officials about what they planned to do. 

The initial gag would be that Damonte Ranch students would have a cowboy figure who would be lassoing a knight figure in order to represent their opposer that evening — McQueen High School — whose school colors are gray and blue. However, the students allegedly could not get a gray mannequin for the stunt, so they got a black mannequin instead. 

The report, from the school, states: “The class advisors approved a plan to purchase a blowup cowboy/horse and then lasso a student wearing knight armor and then stand on the float. According to the (redacted), it was later decided to purchase a blowup mannequin instead of dressing up a student. The (redacted) said (redacted) was unaware that there was a change in the original plan. The (redacted) tried to purchase a gray mannequin on Amazon, but the only one available was black. The students dressed a black blowup mannequin as a Lancer knight, using paper to show it’s armor, shield, helmet, and sword. The Blow up “Lancer Knight” was lassoed around the waist and was to be standing on the float during the float parade. According to the (redacted), they couldn’t keep the mannequin standing on the float and that’s why it ended up being dragged behind the student dressed in the blow up cowboy/horse.”

Just wow!

As soon as the stunt went down, showing the black mannequin being pulled by a rope, people were horrified as they witnessed it.

“Y’all don’t teach black history in our Reno Schools or something? I though y’all were better than that,” someone said on social media

Washoe County School District interim Superintendent Kristen McNeill said as soon she found out about the incident, she immediately launched an investigation 

“This is not who we are,” McNeill said in an interview with the Reno Gazette-Journal earlier this week. “It doesn’t represent Damonte or our district.” She added, “I get high school competition. This is not a friendly competition in my strong opinion.

According to the New York Post, Lonnie Feemster, president of the Reno-Sparks National Association for the Advancement of Colored People NAACP), went even further by saying, “It is troubling that children are so poorly educated that they did not immediately know that the hanging of a black doll is hurtful and frightening.”

The school has apologized for this offensive display of racism, which evokes how African-American people have been mistreated, abused, and killed, in U.S. history. 

“We completely understand how this was perceived and this could be offensive to anyone in attendance at the game,” a school official said in a statement to The New York Post. “This is a valuable learning experience and lifelong lesson for our Damonte Ranch students and staff.”

One thing the school could have perhaps done during this appalling display is put a stop to it as soon as it was happening. Isn’t there school staff at these events? Is that why there are chaperones to make sure students don’t act out in bad ways? Seems to us, these kids were running wild doing whatever they please during school events and on the school campus. 

READ: A San Diego High School Faces Controversy Over Yearbook Showing Teachers In Stereotypical Mexican Attire

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The Father And Son Who Killed Ahmaud Arbery Don’t Want Him To Be Called A “Victim” In Upcoming Court Case

Things That Matter

The Father And Son Who Killed Ahmaud Arbery Don’t Want Him To Be Called A “Victim” In Upcoming Court Case

Sean Rayford / Getty Images

The men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery have some outrageous requests for their upcoming murder trial that really show just how far many will go protect white supremacy.

Despite their being video evidence of them chasing and shooting Arbery, the father and son are requesting that Arbery never be referred to as a victim. What the actual f***?!

Arbery’s killers are asking a judge to prohibit referring to Arbery as a “victim.”

The men responsible for Ahmaud Arbery’s death have a litany of requests for their upcoming murder trial – notably, they don’t want the word “victim” uttered in court while referring to the man they murdered.

Defense attorneys for Travis and Greg McMichael – the father and son who chased Arbery down with their truck and then proceeded to shoot and kill him in a struggle – have filed new motions in their trial. They want to prohibit the prosecution from ever referring to Arbery as a victim in front of the jury, because they say that’s a conclusion that can’t be reached before a verdict.

“The purpose of this motion is to prevent the prosecution from ignoring its duty to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that crimes were actually committed and that the McMichaels committed the crimes as charged,” states the four-page motion, signed by lawyers Franklin and Laura Hogue, Robert Rubin and Jason Sheffield.

According to the motion, the McMichaels argue no crime has been committed – remember, they’ve pled not guilty and argued self-defense. As a result, they say “loaded words” like “victim” might prejudice jurors against them from the jump.

But there’s more: his killers are asking the judge to only allow one photo of Arbery.

Their unbelievable antics don’t stop with the word “victim.” Defense attorneys are also requesting that only one “in life” photograph be permitted at trial to depict Arbery – and that the photo show him alone without any family members or friends. Not just that, but the defense asks that no family member of his be able to identify him in court, they want that done by an unrelated, third party witness, if necessary.

The reason: they argue too many photos of Arbery will create an ingrained bias in the jury’s collective mind, and paint him as a sympathetic character. They say they don’t want his family involved in ID’ing either because of possible emotional outbursts, which may also affect the jurors. So in other words, the McMichaels want this as sterile as possible.

One last thing: the McMichaels have asked that Black Lives Matter face masks not be permitted in court, that any jail calls they’ve made be stricken as usable evidence, but that Ahmaud’s criminal record be admissible. Again, what the actual f***?!

Arbery’s murder made headlines over the summer as he was chased and gunned down while out on a jog.

Credit: Sean Rayford / Getty Images

Arbery was killed on 23 February last year in Brunswick, Georgia, while out jogging. Prosecutors allege that Gregory McMichael, 64, a retired police detective, and his son Travis, 34, chased Arbery in their truck and initiated a confrontation that ended with Travis McMichael shooting Arbery dead.

Arbery’s killing sparked outrage in the local community and nationally, particularly after it was revealed that local law enforcement initially refused to arrest the suspects and a prosecutor, who later recused himself, wrote a memorandum explaining why he believed the killing was legally justified.

The McMichaels told detectives they believed Arbery, a trained electrician, was responsible for a string of burglaries in their neighbourhood, and merely wanted to ask him about them. They were arrested more than two months after the shooting, when the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case.

A judge has yet to weigh in, and a trial date isn’t set.

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A Family Received A Racist Note After Displaying A Black Santa But Their Neighbors Rallied In Support With Powerful Gesture

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A Family Received A Racist Note After Displaying A Black Santa But Their Neighbors Rallied In Support With Powerful Gesture

VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images

Many of us love to put up decorations for the holidays. Especially this year, thanks to COVID-19, many are going the extra mile to salvage some sense of holiday cheer and normalcy amid a year that has been anything but.

One man from North Little Rock, Arkansas also loves putting up decorations for the holidays, including a light-up sign that says “Joy” and a statue of a Black Santa Claus that he hoped would set a good example for his 4-year-old daughter.

But his happy tradition was tainted by an anonymous racist letter he said he received in the mail last week.

Neighbors put up their own Black Santas to show support for family who received a racist note.

An Arkansas man is speaking out after receiving a racist letter calling him “the laughing stock of the neighborhood” for putting a seven-foot tall Black Santa Claus display on his front lawn. Chris Kennedy, who is Black, apparently angered a racist neighbor with his Christmas display including the Black Santa who is joined by a Christmas tree and a massive sign that reads “Joy.”

The letter that Kennedy received said: “Please remove your negro Santa Clause yard decoration. You should not try to deceive children into believing that I am a negro. I am a Caucasian white man to you and have been for the past 600 years. Your being jealous of my race is no excuse for your dishonesty. Besides that, you are making yourself the laughing stock of the neighborhood.”

The letter also included an image of a white Santa Claus who had hand gestures with two thumbs down. Kennedy told CNN, “The real thing that angered me was the fact that the person who wrote it suggested I move out east where I guess they feel all Black people live.”

“After three years of having no problems from anyone with our decorations it happens this year,” he said. “We have been very active politically this year so we both feel that that might have played into this a little bit.”

However, despite the incident, Kennedy says that the Black Santa Claus will remain on his lawn because “the children love it and that’s what Christmas is about, it’s about children,” he told Fox 16.

Many of his neighbors have addressed the racist incident by showing their support in a very special way.

It’s not only the children who love what Kennedy has done for their community. Several of his neighbors have shown their support by purchasing their own Black Santa displays to join in on the diverse lawn decorations. In fact, even the home owners association is promising to display a Black Santa in their office as soon as the one they ordered arrives. 

“The rest of the neighborhood has been awesome since hearing about the letter,” he told CNN. “If we are outside they often stop by and share kind words of encouragement. Some have brought us over cookies and other treats. One even brought us a yard sign that says ‘Love your neighbors Y’all.’ We have gotten gifts of Black Santa yard flags and a Merry Christmas flag with a Black Santa on it. Our neighbors have been absolutely amazing.”

One neighbor of the Kennedy’s told CNN that “Racism is something that we do discriminate against and we will not stand for it.” He added, “It’s done my heart good to see his displays for the last three years especially given who he lives next to. I hate it that their family’s having to go through that but we’ve been praying for him.”

While Kennedy is appreciative of the efforts made, he told CNN that he would rather see folks donate their money to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas, which services children and families in need. 

“There are still loving and caring individuals out there. I know that my neighborhood has definitely lifted us up,” said Kennedy. 

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