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Trouble in Paris, Tx.

Part 1 -Willie Lynch and Jim Crow
Join Forces in Lamar County to
Destroy Black Youth


by Darwin Campbell
African-American News and Issues

          The headline in African-AmericanNews&Issues’ June 22 - 28, 2006 warned that Black children are targets in Texas school systems and at risk of becoming pawns of the juvenile justice system.
Despite the numerous meetings, campaign speeches and pulpit grandstanding that promote Black children as “the future,” Black youth are constantly being attacked, written off and railroaded by police, judges, “Yes sum’” Blacks, White teachers, caretakers, principals and other school officials who have made deals with Willie Lynch and Jim Crow to sell our future down the river.
The latest flagrant case of Black youth attacks involves a 14-year-old from Paris, Texas who was targeted, set up by a school system and taken from her mother by a racist juvenile court system because her mother has been a loud, vocal watchman against the abuses and assaults on Black children in Lamar County. “A plantation mentality exists in Paris,” said victimized mother and activist Creola Cotton. “Black kids are being targeted, harassed and terrorized. I am outraged because of what happened to my daughter and for the lack of justice here.”
Cotton’s daughter has Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and was trying to get into the building that day so she could get medication from the school nurse.
“ADHD is a very serious condition,” said Brenda Cherry. “This child was punished for her disability.”
She was sentenced to a state juvenile correction facility “for an indeterminate period not to exceed her 21st birthday” for allegedly shoving a 58-year-old teacher’s aide. The 14-year-old was not known for having a combative behavior or being threatening to others and had no prior reports of incidents where the police were called to her home for domestic disturbances of unruly behavior.
Cotton wants the case overturned and her daughter returned home, but after spending $2,000 on an attorney to defend her daughter, she has no money for an appeal.
A closer look at the case reveals that she may have a strong argument since the 14-year-old was pushed, shoved, verbally assaulted by the adult first and had to have medical treatment as a result of the encounter with the aide.
The girl allegedly admitted to pushing the teacher’s aide, Cleda Brownfield, who is white, after she was pushed during the incident, but no action was taken against her for assaulting the child.
Her case is similar to a 14-year-old Black juvenile in Dallas that was taken from here mother by the juvenile court system last July.
In that case, a 14-year-old African American female honor student in Dallas was placed into state custody after the trial in the case for a freak vehicle accident involving damage to a day care center. That young lady was a model student and volunteer and was supported by as many as 17 school teachers, principals and other officials who wrote letters to the court on her behalf, but Dallas County official chose to take her out of the home of a hard working mother.
Cotton, who has been in Paris for over six years, and lifelong Lamar County resident Brenda Cherry are among the few African Americans in the county willing to stand up and fight the school board, police department and justice system trying to stop the brutality, profiling and other abuses against Black youth and young Black men.
Cherry, who monitored the trial, said the case was highlighted by Paris High School officials cover ups, half-truths and the “loaded” testimonies and documentation from “Plantation Negro” and white teachers that improperly framed the 14-year-old as a troublemaker and a threat to the school and the community.
According to Cotton and Cherry, the district did little to meet the educational needs of an ADHD diagnosed child. Their alleged education plan for the 14-year-old involved putting her in a restricted setting for hours, preventing her from moving or talking and penalizing her and writing her up each time for violating their rules.
She is part of a growing number of Black and Hispanic youth in Dallas County that have a greater chance of being put in detention than more affluent White juveniles with the same category offense. Statistics in Dallas County alone indicate that as many as 80-percent of juveniles detained in the system are either Black or Hispanic. It was discovered that in the county, the majority of juvenile cases coming before Dallas County Juvenile Courts involving Black and Hispanic children.
The constant railroading of Black children and caging of Black youth damages the short and long term psyche and affects the long range mentality of Black kids. These youth are not animals, but when you are treated like that on a continuous basis, it ruins self-esteem, outlook and trust in the system.
Many of the Black children in throughout Paris school systems are being tormented, documented and not given proper due process before being thrown out of the county.
It was also reported that Lamar County District Attorney Gary Young and prosecutors argued against probation and home monitoring, charging that Cotton was perhaps her biggest problem – an attack on Black activism.
The group attacked Cotton for being an activist and speaking out for Black youth being mistreated in the system and for complaining about issues in the Black community.
It is quite amazing that prosecutors would say that the girl has no hope of getting better as long as she stayed with her mother.
What is wrong with that picture? We are not talking about a mother who is a convicted felon, murderer or drug dealer. We are talking simply of a mother watching out not only for her own, but also concerned about the future of the “African village”.
Adding insult to injury were those Black educators who turned against their own race and attacked the 14-year old child.
In excerpts from Willie Lynch – The Making of a Slave, incidents and conditions in Paris Texas appear to mirror the kinds of images written about over 200 years ago.
… The Black slaves after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self refueling and self generating for hundreds of years, maybe thousands. Don't forget you must pitch the OLD black Male vs. the YOUNG black Male, and the YOUNG black Male against the OLD black male. You must use the DARK skin slaves vs. the LIGHT skin slaves, and the LIGHT skin slaves vs. the DARK skin slaves. You must use the FEMALE vs. the MALE. And the MALE vs. the FEMALE.
You must also have you white servants and over- seers distrust all Blacks. But it is NECESSARY THAT YOUR SLAVES TRUST AND DEPEND ON US. THEY MUST LOVE, RESPECT AND TRUST ONLY US ...
Evidence in the 14-year old’s case lends credibility to the modern day lynching going on with our Black youth at the hands of “safe” Negroes who have sold their souls to the master for crumbs and a few pieces of silver.
According to Cherry, Michael Johnson, one Black teacher, even turned the 14-year olds words around making it seem as though the girl would do something bad to the school.
Althea Dixon, another Black educator from the Paris District, never met Cotton, but testified during the sentencing phase in favor of having the 14-year old removed from the home.
Black preachers in Paris and Lamar County were neither outraged nor concerned about the way African-American youth are being persecuted and sent off. None of those so-called men of God raised Bibles, fists of defiance or demanded justice.
Not one pastor even showed up at the trial or made any statement on behalf of the Black community.
Also at issue is the stiff penalty and intimidation Black face for speaking out in Paris. Officials are all but using the same principles used during Jim Crow to terrorize Black folk and scare them into a quiet state of fear and fright.
Cherry also believes that Cotton is a victim of a new Jim Crow system intimidating young Blacks and telling grown Blacks in the county to be good “Negroes” or else.
“The message here is simple. Negroes don’t complain or question us or this is what will happen to you,” she said. “They want to get to us by going after our children.”
According to Cotton and Cherry, years of documentation, tapes and materials reveal how Paris school and police officials attempt to justify the harassment, pushing, beating, stopping and threatening of Black youth and harassing adults on a regular basis. “We need help here. We are being hurt here by the racist action of whites and the do nothing attitude of Blacks,” Cherry said. “Our children have no rights, no voice and will continue to be put down because Black pastors, leaders and community are sitting on its hands and helping white folks throw away our kids.”