February 26, 2009

Most Racist City in America

I see that Modesto CA is the worst city in America. The city scored poorly for its high cost of living, high unemployment rate, lack of activities, and the highest car theft rate in the United States.

Forbes claims that Stockton CA is the most miserable city in America. Stockton was ground zero for the housing boom and now the subsequent bust. Home prices more than tripled between 1998 and 2005 and then came crashing down last year. Stockton had the country's highest foreclosure rate last year at 9.5%. Things are not looking much brighter in 2009 as housing prices are expected to fall another 36% on the heels of a 39% drop in 2008. Also, unemployment is expected to jump to 13.3% from 10.4%.

Both of those cities can be glad that they are not Paris TX. I am convinced that Paris TX is the most racist city in America. There are only 26,000 people living in Paris TX, yet the town's racial animus keeps it in the national spotlight.

Paris first drew national scrutiny in 2007, after a 14-year-old African American girl, Shaquanda Cotton, was sentenced by a local judge to up to seven years in a youth prison for shoving a hall monitor at Paris High School. Three months earlier, the same judge had sentenced a 14-year-old white girl to probation for the more serious crime of arson. National civil rights protests, petition drives and media attention forced Shaquanda's early release from prison.

Then last year, a 24-year-old African American man, Brandon McClelland, was murdered by two white men who dragged him beneath a pickup truck until his body was nearly dismembered. The accused killers are awaiting trial for murder, but McClelland's family and civil rights leaders have pressed prosecutors to add hate-crime charges as well.

Only a few weeks ago, race relations had reached such a low point in the troubled east Texas town that federal Justice Department mediators were called in to try to bring together Black and white citizens, but the public meeting quickly dissolved into rancor.

Now we learn from the Chicago Tribune that fresh racial tensions are erupting inside one of the town's biggest employers, the Turner Industries pipe fabrication plant, where Black employees charge that hangman's nooses, Confederate flags and racist graffiti have been appearing throughout the workplace for months.

One worker, Karl Mitchell, took pictures of the offensive symbols in early February and filed a formal complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last week. Other African American employees assert that they've repeatedly complained about the racist symbols to their bosses, only to be ignored or told to keep quiet.

"Somebody had to step forward," said Mitchell, who also alleges a pattern of wage and promotion discrimination at the plant stretching back nearly two years. "They are so wide open with [the racist displays] and so certain that African Americans aren't going to say anything about it."

John Fenner is Turner Industries' lawyer claims that the company only learned of the discrimination allegations last week, when photographs of the racist symbols began circulating on the Internet.

"All of us in management find all of that offensive. We do not condone any displays of this type. I can promise you that in the event we uncover that any of our people participated in the display of any of those matters, they may very well lose their jobs."
It must be a damn nightmare to be a Black man, woman or child in Paris TX. After all, it is now the reigning champion as 'Most Racist City in America'.


Janet Shan said...

There are people like Michelle Malkin who will say that the African Americans crying racism are race racketeers. This is unconscionable and a travesty. People are saying the we have overcome with President Obama. No, we have made inroads but certainly not overcome.

Villager said...

Janet - The sad thing is that these issues of poor race relations ... or racism ... don't have to be sought out. Rather, they seem to fly out without any effort into the news cycle. I wish it was different.

msladydeborah said...

I posted the photo on my blog yesterday.Along with a story about a cop that resigned after being busted on video using the "N" word during a confrontation with four black males.

It really is a shame that we are still dealing with this form of home grown terrorism.

The notion that President Obama has ended America's racist tendencies is a cop out. A way to try and make us be quiet. But there is no way that can happen when incidents like these are still happening.

Villager said...

Lady D - I need to go check out your blog post on the police officer that used the 'N'-word. I hadn't heard of that story before...

wadewestbrook said...

i am so glad i found this info. we will be starting another study circle tomorrow on racial issues here in jacksonville, fl. we have so far to go but have really grown as a nation. as a white man i am often ashamed to hear the hatred, and total CLUELESSNESS from white america. generally we are ignorant of the real impact that racial inequality has on generations past, present and the future. not their problem. We really need to come together as a nation and benefit from our individual strengths and help improve our weaknesses.