The banner headline of the City Section, of a recent Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday edition read: “School Mishandled School Violence.
When I read it I thought the Inquirer was talking about the racial harassment of two white students who attended the 99% black Samuel B. Huey Public School in West Philadelphia. The harassment was so terrible that the mother of the students, 33 year-old Shannon Berthiaume, became so distraught she rammed her minivan into the school’s front doors May 25th. She did this rather desperate act after hearing students calling her kids racial slurs as she dropped them off at school that morning.
"I’m sick of them calling them names. I’m sick of the spitting and the fighting. These people won’t listen to me," she was quoted as saying. Berthiaume has one son Justin, 12, and one daughter Destiny, 9, who are white. Her youngest, Pedro, 7, is half Puerto Rican. The children began attending Huey School in January after moving from the Kensington section of Philadelphia. Shortly after they began the racial harassment began.
Berthiaume complained several times to the school administration. Yet nothing was done. Despite the fact that her kids were terrified and depressed of going to school because of the racially motivated, anti-white, harassment they were experiencing the school only offered to transfer them. This was tantamount to racial segregation from a school district that claims to be concerned about diversity.
While, fortunately, her actions did not lead to any serious injuries or damage (she apparently was not driving that fast when she rammed into the front doors of the school), she was arrested and her kids taken from her. How ironic it is that the very kids she was trying to protect, from being victims of racial hate crimes, are now in the custody of the same Philadelphia city officials who did nothing to protect them from racial hatred.
This is the same city of Philadelphia, where just a few years ago, a white mother of young kids was sentenced to prison – five years without parole – because she acted as a lookout as some of her neighbors vandalized a house in her neighborhood that was recently bought by blacks. The neighbors wanted to prevent the black family from moving into the neighborhood. The judge in the case was unconvinced that leaving a six-month-old baby and five other kids all younger than ten without a mother for five years was too harsh a sentence.
This is the same school district that several years ago considered teaching about racism by using a curriculum that claimed that white people who are victims of racially motivated crimes do not suffer as much as a black people do. White kids being victimized by black kids is not considered a racial hate crime by the news media, the school district, or the police in Philadelphia.
No, instead of writing an in-depth article about the racially motivated harassment of white students by black students in a Philadelphia school, the Philadelphia Inquirer chose to do an article about harassment by cadets at a military school. One has to wonder if the incident at the public school concerned black students being harassed by white students would the Inquirer have done a feature article about an incident at a military school instead of one concerning white student racism.
Of course, most people already know the answer to this. The Inquirer and other mainstream media would make an incident, where black students were terrorized by whites, a feature piece for weeks. There would be editorials and special articles, as well as broadcasts about the incident. Not only would the media be outraged, the school district would dispatch counselors and dispute resolution experts and conduct a series of meetings with parents and students about racism. Police would be called to arrest individuals.
None of which occurred here. Because when it concerns white students being terrorized by black students because of race one day of minor reporting is considered sufficient by the mainstream media, the police are not involved, and the school district does not consider it a worthy problem.
It seems that Philadelphia’s political, academic, and media elite are acolytes of the teachings of Herbert Marcuse. They like, Spike Lee and Jesse Jackson, spout the Marcusian fallacy that blacks cannot be racist because blacks do not control institutions. They feel whites do not suffer from racism because they are white – only blacks can suffer from racism.
Maybe they could ask Ms. Berthiaume and her kids.