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Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Conspiracy of Silence.

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy has a problem. And that problem doesn't appear to be limited to two racial incidents involving hangman's nooses that occurred there this summer.

At least four nooses have been discovered by Coast Guardsmen at various times in the past year, according to Commandant Admiral Thad Allen. That means two more than Coast Guard officials had earlier acknowledged. To do nothing simply appears to have encouraged more of the same. It might have even given the impression of tacit approval. One has to wonder how many nooses would have had to be discovered before the Academy officials would have let the rest of the world know that they have a problem. How long would they have remained silent in the face of escalating potential violence before they decided to treat the root cause and stop looking for symptoms?

The root cause is racism and racial animus that was brought to light by the court-martialing of cadet Webster Smith. He was the most popular Black cadet at the Academy. He was tall, dark, and handsome. He was a star athlete, a popular football player and a charming conversationalist. Innocent people with a pure heart, simply liked Webster Smith. He could easily have been selected as captain of the football team and the Homecoming King on any one of a number of civilian liberal arts college campuses. Moreover, his long time girlfriend was the first female Regimental Commander. He did not have to rape her or anyone. All the girls loved him. That is 30 percent of the cadet corps. They are mostly white girls. And, therein was the rub.

It appears that Webster Smith was a thorn in the flesh to more than just Captain Wisnieweski and Admiral Van Sise. He was not popular to a small cadre of white male cadets either. As one anonymous young cadet wrote "Webster Smitth was a 2/c when I was coming in...I didn't know him personally, but I was very embarassed by his actions. Whether he was a rapist or not, he was certainly a sexual predator and used information of his shipmates to ensure compliance. I don't know if he knew that what he was doing was wrong, but it certainly reflected poorly on our academy and coast guard. I can only imagine how many women were intimidated into sex by
him who didn't come forward...I know that coast guard women are just as
capable as men, but I can't help but feel a need to protect them (chivalry
was an important lesson in my family). I have a sister, and it would crush
me to see her abused...Therefore I have a very important respect and value
for all women in the coast guard."



Also, since there is a thin line between love and hate, a few of the white female cadets had developed motives of revenge and animosity toward him. So, it was not difficult for Wisniewski and Van Sice to find any number of willing co-conspirators to assist in the destruction of Webster Smith. That is the destruction of both his name and his career.

A former cadet in the Class of 2005 who fancies himself "The Great Pretender" chimed in with this "Interesting thing about Webster Smith was, he was always dating someone. He was always dating someone, perhaps, because everyone else was too. Atleast, everyone that he associated with. 'Sexual Predator' is a term only used by white men to describe black men who date their sisters and friends. Continue to scurry along pretending that you know the story. The biggest predator that I knewof was in the class below me. She was pretty popular from the day she was a swab and she coveted whatever guy she so chose. Webster knew that and that's why he was silenced and isolated, as to prevent further embarassment. Oh, by the way...you probably marched for her a few times."



Hate and revenge generally grow from the specific to the general. After the Administration had demonstrated to the corps of cadets and to the world that they were ready to put a stop to the easy cordiality between the Black Super Stud and the genteel white female cadets, every other Black male cadet became a potential target of hate symbols. The potential racism lurking beneath the surface began to seep out. Nothing makes a white male cadet without a date angrier than to see an attractive white girl with a Black man. It shatters the myth of black inferiority and goes against the grain. In a controlled environment like a military academy where the male officers are taught that they are the superior beings on the planet and are born to lead, it is hard for them to accept that any self-respecting white girl worth her salt would rather be with a Black man than with him. Webster Smith did not realize that every time he appeared in public with the Queen Bee, he was fueling the fires of jealousy and hatred against him; not just against him as an individual person, but against every other Black man similarly situated. So, thus began the sad saga of the nooses at the Coast Guard Academy.

On 22 July 2007, a Black cadet aboard the CGC Eagle found a hangman's noose among his personal belongings. A couple of weeks later, a female officer conducting race-relations training in response to the incident found a noose on her office floor.

These were hateful and serious acts. An inquiry into the first incident yielded nothing. Then the second incident occurred. Yet nearly two months passed before the academy did the right thing by calling in the Coast Guard Investigative Service - and only after prodding from U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, chairman of the House subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.

Rear Adm. J. Scott Burhoe, the Academy Superintendent went on record pledging that, if the perpetrators are found, the Academy might bring proceedings under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Later, during an interview broadcast on National Public Radio, he said Coast Guard investigators will look into whether the incidents are related and, if so, whether they involved one or two people.

This wasn't some aimless frat prank. And these aren't just ordinary students. Admission to the academy is intensely competitive. The training cadets receive, according to the academy's website, "emphasizes academics, physical fitness, character and leadership," with the aim of graduating "officers of the highest caliber." Whoever is responsible for these incidents has flunked the character test.

Also it is too early to be narrowing the inquiry's focus? Why look for only one or two perpetrators? Other cadets might know more than they're telling. Shouldn't they be held accountable?

Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Thad Allen, released a statement Friday, 28 September 2007, decrying the incidents involving two nooses.
“We help people when they need us most, and we protect and defend the Constitution. It is inconceivable to me to ignore that when it comes to our own people. It is contrary to our organizational ethos, core values, and what the public expects from us ” Allen said.

The Coast Guard Academy finally confirmed Monday, 24 September, that two nooses were found this summer in the sea bag of a cadet serving on the Coast Guard training barque Eagle and in the office of a faculty member.

Admiral Allen said he would not tolerate such behavior and will be conveying his policies on discrimination to the cadets, faculty and staff in a speech on 4 October at the Academy.
He will be accompanied by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., chairman of the House Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, and Coast Guard director of civil rights Terry Dickinson.

"These are going to be our future leaders. The last thing you want are your leaders not being tolerant," Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, told CNN before heading for the Academy. "I want to say to them that they should not tolerate it amongst themselves, because they will be judged by their weakest link," he said. "So far we haven't found out who did this, but I think they can help us find this person."

"The noose, to African Americans, is a symbol of hatred and it takes us back to the times when African-American people were being hung from trees for no reason at all," Cummings said. "And so it's a very offensive kind of thing."

Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black body swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.
Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh,
And the sudden smell of burning flesh.
Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for a tree to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.
(Billie Holiday)





Each generation must be taught about the symbols and dangers of racial intolerance. Nooses speak a special language all their own. It is lynch language. In the South lynching has been referred to as the defense of white southern womanhood. They have not actually hung anyone from the yardarm of the CGC Eagle or at the Academy, yet; but the court-martialing of Webster Smith and the planting of hangman's nooses have sent just as violent a shockwave rippling through the community.

True to his word but against his first impulse, on 4 October Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Thad Allen told the crowd at the Academy "By my mere presence you know this is important. When you enter the Coast Guard you are held to a higher standard. Anybody that is involved in putting symbols of racism in anybody's workplace or personal equipment, in my view, that is conduct unbecoming an officer."

Allen vowed to find those responsible. The Coast Guard has more than a dozen (CGI) criminal investigators working on the case.

Allen was joined by U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, who has called for a thorough investigation. He decried the incidents as "an act of terrorism." "Any attack upon any link in this chain of our nation's defenders weakens and endangers us all," Cummings said. "It is a heinous act calculated to make it far more difficult for you as a service to achieve the strength of unity that your essential mission for the people of our country requires."

Cummings urged the cadets to cooperate with the investigation. He knows what most of us suspect; that is, that there appears to be a conspiracy of silence.

I suspect that there is a small cadre of cadets, both male and female, that are behind these incidents. They did not realize how powerful was the nature of the symbol that they had chosen, because they were not raised under Jim Crow laws and have never actually witnessed a real lynching. They have only heard about it. They might have simply had the notion that a noose works against racial mixing the same way that their grand mother's old time remedy chicken soup or castor oil works against a cold.

"I would bet more than one person knows what has happened here and I'm convinced we will find out who did this," Cummings said.

"Our Coast Guard must never, never allow an atmosphere to exist that condones complicity in a conspiracy of silence about actions that are wrong," Cummings said.


Cummings noted that the Coast Guard rescued thousands of hurricane victims in 2005.

"Those men and women of the Coast Guard who rescued more than 33,600 individuals from the rising flood waters of the Gulf Coast did not ask whether the person to be saved was Black or white, Asian or Hispanic," Cummings said. "They simply saw Americans suffering, and they saw Americans in peril - and without hesitation, and at risk of their own lives - they reached their hands to lift their fellow human beings from harm's way."


The Rev. Jesse Jackson, on the same day that Admiral Allen and Congressman Cummings were speaking at the Academy, said racial incidents like those at the Coast Guard are becoming all too frequent across the country and urged more federal enforcement of hate crimes.

"Hanging nooses or hanging people or swastikas _ these are provocative hate crimes," Jackson told The Associated Press. "Unless justice is a deterrent this hatred will spread."

"Given the number of these incidents, the president and the attorney general nominee (Michael Mukasey) should be very concerned," Jackson said.

The Coast Guard Academy has pledged to hold additional racial sensitivity training, seminars and discussions in the coming months.

The academy created a task force last year to examine the culture after the first student court-martial in the academy's 130-year history. Cadet Webster Smith, accused of sexual assault in a case involving four white female cadets. He was found not guilty of rape, but he was convicted extorting sexual favors, sodomy and other charges, based on highly questionable testimony.

Webster Smith filed a formal complaint of racial discrimination alleging he was treated differently because he was Black. The complaint is still under consideration at the Department of Homeland Security.
He also appealed his court-martial conviction. That case is still being reviewed by the Coast Guard Court of Military Review.

Jonathan Scott, a Black cadet from Mississippi, was among the hundreds on 4 October attending Commandant Allen's speech. He said the nooses highlighted some issues that the Coast Guard was not aware of and that some cadets thought the perpetrator may have intended them as a joke.

"They don't understand the impact is has on everyone," Scott said.


In December 2007 Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell's Office announced that she has contacted the offices of the Chief State’s Attorney, the Department of Public Safety and the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut to condemn a rash of recent incidents involving nooses and offer her Administration’s assistance in investigating and prosecuting the cases.

“These incidents are repugnant and will not be tolerated,” Governor Rell said. “The state will lend whatever support it can to arresting and punishing the individuals responsible for these despicable acts. We will not allow a tiny number of wrongheaded people to intimidate or harass others as a result of ignorance and prejudice.

“No one in Connecticut should have to live in fear or feel threatened on the job because of their race – or any other characteristic,” the Governor said. “I know state and local officials are taking them very seriously and U.S. Attorney Kevin O’Connor has assured me he will be meeting this week with leaders of the NAACP and other organizations to assure them of his office’s efforts as well. Racism in any form is simply unacceptable – it must be rooted out and stopped.”

Two nooses were recently discovered by Turner Construction Co. workers at the Blue Back Square development in West Hartford; police believe those incidents may be connected to the discovery of nine nooses found at a Turner construction site in Stamford. Police believe an employee of a subcontractor may have been the target of the nooses, which are often perceived as a reference to racially motivated lynchings during the late 19th and first half of the 20th century.

A third West Hartford noose was discovered at a Home Depot store on New Park Avenue. Earlier this year, a noose was left near the belongings of a cadet at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London; a second noose was discovered by the white female officer sent to the Academy to conduct race relations training in the wake of the first incident. In November, a Bridgeport police officer found a noose under her cruiser.

On Tuesday, 4 December 2007 U.S. Attorney Kevin J. O'Connor said “We're going to start tacking some hides to a shed here if we can, because we think the only way we can stop this and to get Connecticut off of this map is to start holding people accountable.”

It's shocking, it's troubling to learn that Connecticut has probably had more of these incidents since the unfortunate incident in Louisiana than just about any other state in the country,” O'Connor said as he pledged to “dedicate all the resources we can” to helping apprehend those who have created the displays in Connecticut.

The first nooses were found at the Coast Guard Academy. That was the scene of a gross miscarriage of justice in the court-martial of cadet Webster Smith. It is not unthinkable that these evil symbols began at the Academy and that there have been so many in the State of Connecticut because of the prosecution of an innocent man. When the Convening Authority rejected the legal advice of the Article 32 Investigating Officer and decided to prosecute a Black cadet notwithstanding a lack of credible evidence, then it becomes more of a persecution rather than a prosecution. That was a Defining Moment in the history of the Coast Guard Academy. Nothing good can follow from such a gross flaunting of legal norms and a denial of the equal protection of laws. It became a travesty. It has become known as the Travesty on the Thames.

Justice has been slow in coming, even in the first of the noose discoveries this year. The Coast Guard Investigative Service is still trying to determine who placed a noose in the luggage of a Black cadet this summer, or who put a second noose in the office of an academy staff member who led civil-rights training sessions after the first incident was discovered.

Despite claims of “zero tolerance” for racial intimidation and hate crimes, none of those responsible for the roughly 12 noose incidents in the state this year has been caught.
“The thing that is very puzzling to our community,” said Scot X. Esdaile, president of the Connecticut State Conference of NAACP Branches, “is that zero tolerance has meant zero arrests.”

Scoffers and nay-sayers may look upon these incidents as victimless crimes; but, let me remind you that gambling and prostitution were once considered victimless crimes. Now, we know better.




Thurgood Marshall did more to improve the life of the damned, the dispossessed, and the downtroddened than any other attorney in the 20th century. He fought for the underdog in American society as an attorney and as a justice of the U. S. Supreme Court. As chief counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund for over 25 years, he fought Jim Crow segregation in the snake pits and hell holes of the solid South. He won 29 of 32 cases he argued before the Supreme Court; and, he should have won all of them. In a perfect and just world, he would have. His record of successful cases before the high court stands today unparalleled in American judicial history. President Lyndon baines Johnson appointed him to the Supreme Court in 1967 where he served for 34 years.



When he traveled in the South, Thurgood Marshall never confronted "Jim Crow" headon; that is, he never sat in railway stations or lunch counters reserved "for whites only". However, in forays down South he could not always avoid person danger. In 1946 in Columbia, Tennessee, along with other defense counsels, he drove 200 miles round-trip daily from Nashville,TN to the trial in Colunbia,TN. There was no safe place for a Black lawyer to stay in Columbia, TN. At one point police officers picked him up and took him alone in their car, and charged him with drunk driving. Carl Rowan wrote a detailed newspaper article about how the police tried to lead Attorney Thurgood Marshall to the banks of a nearby river where a lynch mob had a noose hanging from a tree, ready to lynch him. Brave armed Black citizens came to his rescue. A courageous white magistrate smelled his breath and proclaimed him sober and he was able to return to Nashvill. (Crusaders in the Courts, by Jack Greenberg, 1994, Basic Books, Harper Collins, p. 31,32)

In the Jim Crow segregated South, he was so revered in Black America that people mostly spoke of him in whispered tones. He is easily the most important American of this century. He rose from an humble birth to a position higher than any Black American before him. He built his reputation slowly in jerkwater southern towns where he was outnumbered but never outmatched and never outgunned in the legal arena. In virtually every case he was fighting for the right against a twisted white justice system administered by southern judges and sheriffs who had few second thoughts about beating in black heads.

Thurgood Marshall was the only Black leader in America during the Civil Rights era who could say that he defeated segregation where it really counted; that was, in the courts. He legal strategy was based on the U. S. Constitution. He forced civil and constitutional rights to be extended equally to the poorest and blackest American citizens as well as poor whites. The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King would never have won his first victory, the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott, if Thurgood Marshall and his legal team had not first won a Supreme Court ruling outlawing segregation on the city buses. Battles were fought in the streets, but the victories were won in the courts.

Also, it was Thurgood Marshall who argued the case of Brown v. Bd of Education before the Supreme Court. This case ended segregation in public schools.

Thomas G. Krattenmaker, a constitutional law professor at Georgetown University Law Center, said it best. He said, "when I think of great American lawyers, I think of Thurgood Marshall,, Abe Lincoln and Daniel Webster. In the 20th Century only Earl Warren approaches Thurgood Marshall. Marshall is certainly the most important American lawyer of the 20th Century."


Drew Days, a former law professor at Yale University Law School, said that "Thurgood Marshall was the living embodiment of how far we as Americans have come on the major concern in our history-race- and how far we still have to go. He was the conscience of this nation. In the law, he remains our supreme conscience."
(Thurgood Marshall, Justice For All, by R. Goldman and D. Gallen, 1992 bt Caroll & Graf Publishers, Inc, Ny,Ny, 141,142.)

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19 Comments:

Blogger ichbinalj said...

The reports of the hangman's noose incidents at the Coast Guard Academy came amid a rash of incidents around the country involving nooses and their grim symbolism.

The so-called "Jena 6" case began about a year ago when white students in a small Louisiana town hung nooses from a schoolyard tree after Black students sat under it.
Last month, two teenagers were arrested in nearby Alexandria, Louisiana, after driving through town with nooses hanging from their pickup truck, the night after a protest march brought thousands of demonstrators to Jena.

In Hempstead, Long Island, a suburb of New York, a noose was found Friday hanging in the locker room at a police station. Community leaders called for an investigation into that incident.

The noose, to African Americans, is a symbol of hatred and it takes us back to the times when African-American people were being hung from trees for no reason at all. And so it's a very offensive kind of thing.

The Coast Guard Academy has about 980 cadets, about 14 percent of whom are minorities. African Americans make up about 4 percent of the corps.

12:31 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black body swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.
Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh,
And the sudden smell of burning flesh.
Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for a tree to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.
(Lady Day)

12:34 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

"Strange Fruit" belonged to Billie Holiday. She did not write a word of the lyrics. Some of those who were present in 1939, when she and the song came together, believe she did not at first know what the lyrics meant. But the song became her professional and emotional property for the rest of her life. The subject, of course, was lynching.
The song's context was genuine. In the decades before World War II, lynchings were very real indeed. David Margolick, a staff writer for Vanity Fair (where the substance of the book first appeared) cites a study by the Tuskegee Institute, whose "conservative figures" showed that from 1889 to 1940, 3,833 human beings were lynched in the United States, 90 percent of them in the South. A fifth of those victims of vigilante "justice" were not black. This usually obscured fact was graphically reinforced by the show called Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America, mounted last year at the Roth Horowitz gallery and then moved to the New York Historical Society. In that collection of ghastly souvenir postcards, most lynching victims are black, but among those hanged from trees, shot, or burned alive by self-righteous vigilantes there are also Jews, Italians, and Latinos, along with women and girls. The lynch mobs-all those grinning and excited men, women, and children-are overwhelmingly white.

Pastoral scene of the gallant South,

The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,

Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh,

And the sudden smell of burning flesh . . .


Almost 70 years later, in a very different America from the one that inspired them, those lyrics retain a chilling, poetic bluntness. They were not written, and were never performed, simply to entertain. Nobody sat at a piano in the Brill Building and concocted "Strange Fruit" in hope of a hit. The song came out of the injuries of the real world, not the need to create romantic illusions, and it was intended to provoke a social and political reaction. That made it a form of agitprop, of course, but it was agitprop on a very high level. Listen to "Strange Fruit" today, in any of the six versions recorded by Billie Holiday, and you know this is not a musical cartoon out of the New Masses.

12:48 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Few songs stir souls or give goose bumps, at least for very long. Those that do are usually explicitly political, like the ''Marseillaise'' or the ''Horst Wessel Lied''. Neither national anthem nor jazz, ''Strange Fruit'' falls into a category all its own. It can claim to be the first civil rights protest song -- even, ''the beginning of the civil rights movement.'' ''Strange Fruit'' may not have been on the soundtrack as the Freedom Riders boarded buses or college students registered black Mississippians or marchers marched from Selma to Montgomery; ''We Shall Overcome,'' more optimistic and upbeat, better fit the zeitgeist. But it was the song which, by confronting racial injustice in the starkest possible terms at a time when it simply hadn't penetrated popular culture, inspired many to march in the first place.

1:00 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Professor Steven Bright of the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, plays ''Strange Fruit'' to his law students each year at Emory, Harvard and Yale. For Mr. Bright, who litigates capital cases throughout the South, the death penalty is, in its arbitrariness and terror and disproportionate impact on poor, uneducated blacks, ''the first cousin of lynching.'' And ''Strange Fruit'' is not just some historic curiosity. ''It just hits like a sledgehammer,'' he said of the song. Leon Litwack, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian of African-American life after the Civil War at the University of California at Berkeley, also plays it in his classes. ''The song unnerves us because it depicts unspeakable atrocities meted out by people very much like ourselves, and justified in the name of Christianity and a belief system that defines one group of human beings as less human than another,'' he said. ''I should say defines, because it's really not past tense. The whole notion that being black by itself incurs risks in our society -- that's not a matter of the past.''

1:04 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

At least four nooses have been discovered by Coast Guardsmen at various times in the past year, according to Commandant Admiral Thad Allen. That is two more than Coast Guard officials had earlier acknowledged.

Admiral Allen said on CNN that this summer’s two most recent noose discoveries — which have prompted a criminal investigation and heavy denunciations from him — followed the earlier discovery of two other nooses.

Allen’s TV appearance was believed to be the first time the earlier incidents were publicly known. He appeared on CNN. .
Allen offered few details about the noose incidents from earlier in the year, except to acknowledge that one of them was found after a knot-tying class and that “people were counseled” after the incidents.

The two publicly known noose findings took place during the summer — one noose was found in the belongings of a Black Coast Guardsman aboard the CGC Eagle. Another noose was found in the office of a female academy instructor who was conducting diversity training.

The Coast Guard did not announce any of the noose discoveries as they happened. Since the news became public, however, officials have begun a criminal investigation and Allen has said he won’t tolerate any hint of racism in the service.

“This goes against our core values and against the humanitarian mission of the Coast Guard, which is to save lives,” Allen said.

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Webster Smitth was a 2/c when I was coming in...I didn't know him
personally, but I was very embarassed by his actions. Whether he was a
rapist or not, he was certainly a sexual predator and used information of
his shipmates to ensure compliance. I don't know if he knew that what he
was doing was wrong, but it certainly reflected poorly on our academy and
coast guard. I can only imagine how many women were intimidated into sex by
him who didn't come forward...I know that coast guard women are just as
capable as men, but I can't help but feel a need to protect them (chivalry
was an important lesson in my family). I have a sister, and it would crush
me to see her abused...Therefore I have a very important respect and value
for all women in the coast guard.

4:35 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Care enough to stay informed. Don't ever let yourself become deluded into thinking that this is not your fight. I remind you of what Pastor Neimoller said in World War II: "First they came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up, because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me".

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting thing about Webster Smith was, he was always dating someone. He was always dating someone, perhaps, because everyone else was too. Atleast, everyone that he associated with. 'Sexual Predator' is a term only used by white men to describe black men who date their sisters and friends. Continue to scurry along pretending that you know the story. The biggest predator that I knewof was in the class below me. She was pretty popular from the day she was a swab and she coveted whatever guy she so chose. Webster knew that and that's why he was silenced and isolated, as to prevent further embarassment. Oh, by the way...you probably marched for her a few times.


Keep pretending,
Class of 2005

10:57 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

International Herald Tribune - France
(The Associated Press) WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2007
Lawyers for a former cadet who was the first student court-martialed in the 130-year history of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's are seeking to reverse his convictions for sexual misconduct.

10:41 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

U.S. Attorney Kevin J. O'Connor and the state's top FBI official met 4 Dec 2007 with Black leaders to pledge their help in tracking down those responsible for a disturbing string of racist displays: nearly a dozen nooses, apparently meant to evoke the lynching of African-Americans, that have been placed in public places across Connecticut.
O'Connor and Kimberly K. Mertz, the special agent in charge of the FBI, told reporters after their meeting with officials from the NAACP and African-American Affairs Commission that they were determined to catch and prosecute those responsible for hanging the nooses, which have appeared in recent weeks and months at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, a construction site in Stamford, the upscale Blue Back Square shopping center in West Hartford, and under the car of a Black police officer in Bridgeport, Ct.

4:23 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

U.S. Attorney Kevin J. O'Connor said “We're going to start tacking some hides to a shed here if we can, because we think the only way we can stop this and to get Connecticut off of this map is to start holding people accountable.”

“It's shocking, it's troubling to learn that Connecticut has probably had more of these incidents since the unfortunate incident in Louisiana than just about any other state in the country,” O'Connor said as he pledged to “dedicate all the resources we can” to helping apprehend those who have created the displays in Connecticut.

Justice has been slow in coming, even in the first of the noose discoveries this year. The Coast Guard Investigative Service is still trying to determine who placed a noose in the luggage of a Black cadet this summer, or who put a second noose in the office of an academy staff member who led civil-rights training sessions after the first incident was discovered.

Despite claims of “zero tolerance” for racial intimidation and hate crimes, none of those responsible for the roughly 12 noose incidents in the state this year has been caught.
“The thing that is very puzzling to our community,” said Scot X. Esdaile, president of the Connecticut State Conference of NAACP Branches, “is that zero tolerance has meant zero arrests.”

4:29 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Kimberly K. Mertz, the special agent in charge of the FBI,
said “I will do everything within my power to solve these cases.” She has offered assistance to local police departments investigating the displays.
In Plainfield, Connecticut a 16-year-old Black youth was allegedly beaten and doused with hot coffee by a group of white men.
No suspects have been charged by local police in that case either, leading to protests by the youth's family and plans for a vigil today in Hartford.

4:34 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Thomas Jackson, a North Carolina college professor and Civil Rights leaders, wrote : I was recently asked to comment on the Coast Guard Academy Noose incidents on several blogs, and sometimes I just write something worth sharing on my own blog.

"The noose story is not the epicenter of Coast Guard Civil Rights issues. Equal Civil Rights are the story. The Coast Guard must and we think they will come to terms with this issue and others confronting the service. Leadership is the key to unlocking binds that hold progress in Equal Civil Rights back. Admiral Thad Allen is searching for the key with all his energy, but his staff expends ten times the energy hiding the key in a new location each time he gets close. We continue to follow the story of one brave civil servant in the employee of Admiral’s Allen’s Coast Guard. In standing up for what was right, and just and certainly would have been equal application of Civil Rights this employee has experienced the very wrath of reprisal and discrimination. As he continues to stand for what it right, we will continue to support him. A great man once said:

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our man is holding on to the dream and not passively accepting defeat."

TJ

11:54 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

It's not a joke, and it's not harmless. Putting a noose on or near someone's property is a racist symbol of intimidation. And if the Connecticut State General Assembly continues on its current path, it will soon be a criminal offense.
On 25 March 2008, the Legislature's Judiciary Committee voted 43-0 in favor of a bill that makes it a hate crime to hang a noose on public or private property, without permission of the property owner, and with the intent to harass or intimidate.

1:54 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

It's not a joke, and it's not harmless. Putting a noose on or near someone's property is a racist symbol of intimidation. And if the Connecticut State General Assembly continues on its current path, it will soon be a criminal offense.
On 25 March 2008, the Legislature's Judiciary Committee voted 43-0 in favor of a bill that makes it a hate crime to hang a noose on public or private property, without permission of the property owner, and with the intent to harass or intimidate.

1:54 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

ALEXANDRIA, La., Aug 15, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, and Donald W. Washington, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, today announced that Jeremiah Munsen, 19, of Pineville, La., was sentenced to four months in prison for his role in using nooses to threaten marchers who participated in the "Jena Six" civil rights rally. In addition to the four-month prison term, Munsen received one year of supervised release and 125 hours of community service.
On Sept. 20, 2007, in an incident that garnered national media attention, Munsen and another person allegedly attached the nooses to the back of a pickup truck and repeatedly drove slowly and menacingly past a large group of African American individuals who had gathered at a bus depot in Alexandria, La., after attending the civil rights rally in Jena.
The defendant pleaded guilty April 25, 2008, admitting that he displayed two large, life-sized nooses from the back of his pickup truck with the intent to frighten and intimidate the demonstrators.

7:05 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

This entry was posted by cgreports.wordpress.com on June 11, 2009 at 6:26 pm and is filed under Uncategorized.
QUOTE: "We were notified today that Webster Smith, the first cadet to ever be courts-martialed at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy has had his site blocked by the U.S. Coast Guard. Smiths website “Friends of Webster” is not accessible inside the Coast Guard domain. We reviewed the site and couldn’t find anything in our cursory review that would warrant being blocked."
UNQUOTE
See-http://cgreport.wordpress.com/2009/06/11/webster-smith-former-u-s-coast-guard-academy-cadet-blocked-inside-coast-guard-domain/

5:08 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Bill OK'd to increase Blacks at Coast Guard Academy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The House voted overwhelmingly for a bill that includes a provision giving members of Congress a say over who is admitted to the U.S. Coast Guard's 1,000-cadet service academy in New London, Conn.


The measure — part of a multi-billion-dollar authorization bill that passed 385-11 on Friday — was sponsored by Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., who argues that congressional nominations are needed to help increase the number of Blacks enrolled at the CGA and graduate as commissioned officers.

The CGA is the only service academy that does not have congressional nominations and has no requirements for geographical distribution.

Four Blacks graduated in the spring. More recently, five Blacks were admitted for the Class of 2013. At present, its four classes include 25 Blacks.

5:05 PM  

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