Burning Down the House – Paris, Texas

There is still a place in America where judges demonstrate, if only for an instant, the wisdom of Anubis. Paris, Texas is one such place. It is the self-styled “Best Small Town in Texas.” The Economic Development page of the website offers us the following: “Paris is a Northeast Texas City, located in Lamar County, some 105 miles northeast of Dallas. It is in the center of a 11-county area and is the hub of retail trade, manufacturing, farming, medical care, and other economic segments in this part of Texas.”

Paris, Texas is also the “home” to three Fortune 500 companies. The Kimberly-Clark Corporation, the Campbell Soup Company (manufacturing plant for soups, sauces, beverages, etc.) and the Sara Lee Bakery Group. A movie has been made about Paris, Texas, though it was not filmed there. Vanilla Ice hails from Paris, Texas. And so does Judge Chuck Superville.

It seems that Judge Superville had an Anubis moment of wisdom in sentencing a 14-year old girl to probation after she burned down her family home. While I haven’t read his decision on the case, I imagine that he believed this young girl might have already experienced significant trauma and should not be forced to endure more tribulations after what can only be characterized as an extreme error in judgment. I don’t know that this young girl was the daughter of a political contributor, or a coerced participant in an arson scheme, or anything else. I do know that she was 14 years old at the time of her commission of a felony offense in the town of Paris – under the jurisdiction of Judge Superville.

I know something else too.

I know something that I wish were patently false. But, it is not false – and it involves Judge Chuck Superville and the town of Paris, Texas…the same judge with the capacity for Anubis moments and the same city which hosts three multinational corporations. In fact, I know something that would probably turn the heads (and stomachs) of most of the boards of directors of those corporations. It might even make them reconsider the location of their processing plants. It might cause them to reconsider the relationships of their firms with the closeknit leadership of Paris, Texas.

Judge Chuck Superville is involved in a situation with another 14-year old girl. This young girl, however, differs from the other young girl who came before the judge. This young girl is Black. The other young woman is not. This young girl was not involved in a felony offense, but was charged as though she was. This young girl is in prison – for as many as 7 years.

Now, what could this child have done to warrant a seven-year sentence from a judge who sees the merit of probation for teen arsonists? What possible non-felonious offense could this judge have been forced to rule on (perhaps by statute or political pressure) that would result in a seven-year PRISON SENTENCE?

A shove.

A what? A shove. A shove is a step above a push and several stages below “beat down” and far, far below “unceremonious ass kicking.” The young Black girl presently serving a sentence of up to sever years is named Shaquanda Cotton. She is clad, now, not in the current styles of her classmates, but in the state-issued orange uniform of an incarcerated felon. Ms. Cotton may not be entirely without blame in this scenario. She did shove an employee of her school – and was charged with assault on a public official (or some such language). It does take two to tango. Still, what of the facts in evidence would lead an Anubis judge to lose all perspective and rule as if he were presiding in an apartheid state or some other neo-American white supremacist regime?

28359756.jpg (Shaquanda meeting her mother.)

Apparently, there is little to suggest that this ruling is attributable to much more than Paris’ less-disclosed but highly-prized history as a locale for lynchings. Paris’ boasts that the town serves as an American hub…a conduit for business…echo loudly as gallows drop and cell doors close.

I am going to suggest the following…that overturning judicial decisions is slow, hard, grinding work – even for absurd cases like this. There is a tactical approach to overturning such a decision. Part of it must be legal…part of it must be waged with the public. To the extent that you can spread the word about what has transpired – and reach out to those concerned about the future (and present) of Paris, Texas, please do so. It seems to me that a great place to begin might be the Board of Directors of the Kimberly-Clark Corporation, the Campbell Soup Company and the Sara Lee Bakery Group.

I am sure that when black folk like former Green Bay Packer great Willie Davis sit down at the next board meeting, he will not appreciate that this is happening in a town where his company provides more than 600 jobs. There are reports that this particular case is part of a continuum of injustice with implications across the entire spectrum of social life in Paris. If that is the case, the American public would no more stand for an iconic brand to operate sweatshops in Thailand than they would allow apartheid style judges to operate in the heartland.

Speak and be heard. Mr. Davis is not the only board member who likes to get letters in the mail. I hear that phone are especially popular these days. And before you write or call, put aside for a moment your personal agenda about racial injustice or southern demagoguery or Tuck Fexas or anything like that. If you can, think for a moment of Shaquanda and her mother’s worry and frustration for every waking moment (there is no sleeping here) – and consider the urgency of your action. Don’t speak to get your agenda out…speak to communicate with the listener…speak to be felt and to influence a change in the current condition.

Thank you.

274 comments

  1. Thank you for posting this important information ….. I have passed this information on to others and we are preparing a media campaign to stimulate action and justice in this particular case. This, as you stated is “absurd” and surreal. How can this be in 2007? No answer is needed because we all know the real deal…… Racism is alive and well in Paris, Texas.

  2. I cannot believe that this judge would send a child to prison who has medical problems to jail for seven years. It is my understanding that this is retailiation because the community has created a grassroots civil rights organization. In addition, this is symptomatic of a bigger problem racism in the school district. This is child abuse. Why are they using a child to solve a political social problems.

    This child needs to be released post haste.

  3. IM JUST SORRY I DIDNT GET THIS INFO SOONER.ILL DO WHAT I CAN TO CASLL SOME CONGRESS MEN AND PEOPLE IN YOUR STATE

  4. So, why are we surprised that this is happening? This Judge is what? White and this child is Black? Black people do this kind of stuff to Black Folk everyday of the week and we ignore it. So, why do we get angry at White folk for doing their best to keep us down and don’t say nothing when Black Folk do the same thing to Black Folk? Lord knows I am tired of trying to get Black Folk to do the right thing about life in general. White Folk do to us what we do to ourselves.

    In Miami-Dade County, Florida, the Mayor of Miami-Dade just fired a Black Metro-Dade Transit Director, Preachers, Teachers, Black Politicians and Black Groups such as NAACP and PULSE are all up in arms. But not one time did they question his firing of Black Folk under him at an alarming rate of almost 11 a week or hiring his friends or relatives. Well that’s Black Folk for you.

    When this was going on with Ms Cotton where were Black Folk? Everybody got relatives everywhere, why are we just hearing of this? Where are the NAACPS, the Black Elected Officials of Texas or did anyone tell Oparah? I guess not, because Oparah was in Africa taking care of black Africans young girls Ms Cotton age?

    As my friend Liz says all the time, “Don’t ask anyone else to do what you are not willing to do. This problem with Ms Cotton just didn’t happen over night this went on for a while. Courts and trials don’t happen overnight this has been going on for a good while and we are just hearing about it. We must do better in communicating as a people. God help us in the up coming years, thing will only worsen

  5. I serve a God that sits up high and looks down low and believe me he sees the injustice that has taken place. Something must be down I urge all of the clergy and congregations that are not afraid to take a stand against injustice to take a stand now!

  6. Thanks. At first blush, I believe there are at least three important maneuvers to be made. 1) Lend support to the local NAACP rep who is providing some leadership on this matter. 2) Identify the needs and desires of the family through local contacts. 3) Develop an outreach strategy with focused on the financial and political base of NOT JUST Paris Texas, but the 11 county region of which it is a part.

    I have a significant family situation which developed Friday that will preclude major short-term participation, but I will share whatever I develop.

  7. Why didn’t any family members volunteer to take Shaquanda to live with them when the judge asked if there were any family she could stay with? My heart breaks for this little girl. I’ll pray for her and for God’s will to take place in this whole situation.

    Thank you for listening

  8. This is a shame and some people need to be put under the jail for killing, stealing, and destroying others for their property or otherwise.. Instead we have a judge who thinks that a CHILD should receive prison time for shoving a monitor. What government appointed him judge now? I am really embarassed to even hear that a grown man would sit up here and think that he was in his right mind when he gave her this sentence. His a@@ needs to be put under the jail. All these rapist and murderers in his town, I am sure there are many, and they get life or even just a couple of years, and he wants to act like she committed a crime against humanity. This is bulls*it I am so angry right now because this could have been my sister or my close friend or anybody elses daughter. This has to be racist, and it is a big problem because that fire that the yong girl started could have offset something horrible but what was the big problem that the other young girl committed. We as adults will shove another if they make us angry or say the wrong thing to us and we should definately be held accountable for our actions. I look at it like this, the government has to have the same mindset to even let a man like that be ruling. All the black leaders should be ashamed of themselves for not addressing this, they want to give a singer an image award but then they dont recognize the real problem here. Only YAHWEH can save us and no one else. Discraceful……

  9. “Hell is when you don’t have justice.”
    -Malcolm X

    Injustice is an understandment to say the least. With knowledge comes choices. Now that we KNOW what can one CHOOSE to do to help rectify this situation?

    AVeryImportantMan@Yahoo.com

  10. Since the national TV and newspaper media does not want to broadcast Ms. Cotton story…we will! It is time that we as blacks in America get busy and start protesting injustice to black children and black men in America.

  11. I admit that there are many racists in Paris, but there are many more racists in other towns. Plus here in Paris,Tx have a happy equilibrium where you wont get jumped for saying somthing. Further more we have a very low crime rate. Further more where are the alledged murderers and rapist? I will admit that weve had old and handicapped people go missing but there almost always found alive and well. Might I add that the White people the Black people the Hispanic people and the chinise people don’t all hate each other and are some times even racist aginst thier own people. I also believe that it’s very unfair to group every person in Paris in the same cluster of racists, that seems very prejeduiced against the people of Paris.

  12. I would like to comment on the fact that all the facts are not being spoken. Shaquanda had an assault case and the white juvenile had a property damage case. These are treated differently not because of race but because of the type of case it is. I also heard that Shaquanda could have already been out of TYC if she had been behaving properly. The people think that Superville was not at work because he called in sick. In fact he was in Houston tending to his father who has a brain tumor and is dying from cancer. It had nothing to do with the fact that there was going to be a protest. People have stated that they wonder what kind of government appoints people like the judges we have. They are not appointed, they are elected officials. I f you want them removed you have to be a registered voter and show up at the polls. Judge Superville is not a racist. He really cares about people and felt that Shaquanda’s mother could not control her and there was no place else for her to go. People who are protesting this situation should get permission from her mother for her school records to
    be released so people can see how she behaved in
    school. Everything keeps saying that there were no serious injuries but there was an ambulance called to attend to the school official.

  13. Folks, if you live in Paris – let’s get something straight…I am not of the mind that your town is uniquely “anything.” I don’t believe it’s uniquely racist, rural, quaint, cute, quiet, quacky, or anything else. In point of fact, there are thousands of towns just like yours with interesting histories of which you may not even be aware. Your town could have been a sundown town. Your town might have been an expulsion town. Or maybe, your town used to have “place names” like Nigger Lake or Nigger Valley which have been removed to make them more palatable to a post 1960’s sensibility. Whatever the case, Paris was a focal point for lynchings for a time. Be clear that lynchings were a financial boon to local businesses who relied on and benefitted from the additional revenues tied to that strange fruit on display. As for the current population of Parisians, I’m sure they’re just as non-racist as folks in every other American city – whether you’re talking about Southeast Boston, Bensonhurst Brooklyn or Howard Beach or Forsythe County Georgia, Killeen, Texas or anywhere else. It’s all about the same. There is nothing exceptional about Paris – it’s a regular town with regular folk who feel about the same (on this issue and most others) as all other folks do across the country. Nothing special, nothing abnormal – just regular folk with regular views.

    You’re only being “singled out” because of the damn Chicago Tribune. If they hadn’t run the story, you be just as anonymous as those expulsion counties that none of us (except the Austin American-Statesman) can recall. Once this issue gets cleaned up, you can go back to being the “Best Small Town in Texas.” Hang tight. No pun intended.

  14. He really cares about people and felt that Shaquanda’s mother could not control her and there was no place else for her to go.

    Prison = Day Care = Latchkey Progam = After School Program = ???

  15. Unless the story is pick up in the Houston Chronicle or Atlanta Constitution or Miami Herald or something like that. Today, it’s the northern interloper from the Windy City – where they should be taking care of their own problems, rather than focusing on poor lil’ Paris. This too shall pass.

  16. Wow – now it’s the “northern interloper.” I guess Houston and Atlanta papers never report on news outside of their areas. That might explain a few things! BTW, I am a Texan born and bred, who just happens to be living in the Windy City, so I for one am grateful that I hear about what’s going on in other parts of the world. But, maybe that’s just me.

  17. You know what i thank you Tempel 3 for seeing this and for those who would like to know its probably not over and its not the first time we’ve been pursicuted. Like when the harmless band did a tribute to World War ll and flew the Nazi flag for less than like 12 seconds in the whole show, but that passed. I feel that things are going to get bad in Paris soon though from the New Black Panthers and the KKK both beeing so close to the town.

  18. Personally, Litong, I believe that descriptive writing is a significant weakness in my writing style. I believe this is an important issue not just for Shaquanda, but for all Parisians and Americans – regardless of culture, class, or origin. Too many of us continue to believe that race is more than a construct of the mind. That belief makes “racism” real when “race” is not. It’s a paradox that requires patience and understanding and compassion and forcefulness – at the same time. I want the best for all of us because none of us are as isolated as we believe…but I am crystal clear that not everyone shares my idealism – and I’m just as willing to kick their ass as hold their hand.

    With that said, patience works – and passing up the first word that comes to mind. The second or third word are usually better than the first.

  19. If this is normal, then what the hell is “abnormal?” I want to live a better life, a more meaningful life, a more productive life, a more joyful life, but I can’t because racism won’t let me. Every place I look it rears it’s ugly athlete’s feet, rotten teeth, and bad breath. We should all be tired of this racist beast. I just want to kill it door knob dead, but the racists just don’t want to let the racism within them die. Why? Is it because it allows them privileges? Does it maintain the status quo? Does it keep the rich rich and the poor poor? Does it get people in college and keep others out? Does it allow some to live wholesome trouble “free” lives, and others, whom are “less fortunate”, mired in poverty and mindless thoughtless thankless ghettos – the source of a bottomless pit of cheap labor? Texas “happens” to be the Lone Star State – The last state to free the slaves? Is it any wonder how they could’ve produced such dismal statistics when it comes to race and race relations and the dismal racial disparity statistics in terms of Black and White? The Whole damn state is racist if you ask me. But what do I know I was only stationed there during basic military training.

  20. The following are some of the people our group on yahoo have contacted in support of the fifthteen year old child in Paris, Texas:
    ShaquandaCotton; sentenced for seven years.
    Concerned citizens for racial equality; grass roots group started by African
    American citizens, of Paris Texas
    Janis L Mathis, Esq (Assistant to Jessie Jackson),
    mailto:Jmathis@rainbowpush.org
    Rainbow Push Texas, Francis Cook, 713-582-9975

    Texas State senator: Juan Hinojosa,
    brendakcherry@yahoo.com
    GOV. PERRY
    CHICAGO Tribune:
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0703120170mar12,1,1921178.sto
    ry?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed

    The Paris News: Phillip Hamilton Editor
    ,http://theparisnews.com/story.lasso?ewcd=e44b790ed2f134b9

    Support Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FreeShaquandaCotton/
    Conversations site:
    http://conversations.efx2.com/
    Amsterdam news.
    DryerBuzzDotCom:
    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/count-it-all-joy
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0703120170mar12,1,1921178.sto
    ry?coll=chi-news-hed

    U.S. Department of Justice
    950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Civil Rights Division
    Disability Rights Section – NYA
    Washington, D.C. 20530 Section Fax Number (202) 307-1198

    Chief John L. Wodatch
    (202) 307-0663
    1 866 801-8255
    Power TALK SHOW
    AL SHARPTON 877 532 5797 TOMORROW MORNING 9 AM MARCH 23, 2007
    Phone: (512) 463-2000
    Fax: (512) 463-1849

    Mailing Address
    Office of the Governor
    Rick Perry
    P.O. Box 12428
    Austin, Texas 78711-2428

    Delivery Address
    Office of the Governor
    State Insurance Building
    1100 San Jacinto
    Austin, Texas 78701

  21. I am sorry….but clearly this is all just a misunderstanding. I know Judge Superville and have worked with him over the years. He is not racist…in fact what most peoplestereotype Texans for is totally incorrect. In Paris there is a lot less racism than a lot of other places. I wish everyone would research the whole situation before coming to a conclusion.

  22. hey temple3, I would really like to talk to you about this situation…please allow that, its all i ask, im ashley by the way…thanks for your input..

  23. I am black. I am from Paris, Texas. I have live here all my life. It is a wonderful town where black and white people have lived in peace and harmony for many years. We all have a tremendouse respect for each other. We work hard and are all a part of this wonderful community.

    There is racism in every city in America. Just as there are bad apples in every bunch. I do not know Judge Superville. But I do know of his judicial ethic. He is a judge of tremendous respect who hears every side of a story in his courtroom before he renders a decision. He allows the defendents in his courtroom unlimited access and time to present their cases, even working late to be sure he has afforded each side their say.

    He is NOT Racist. He is a very good and goodhearted person. I find it odd that people who are around the country jump on the bandwagon and know nothing about the case and only react to what they read in print.

    I know about this particular case. This child was a terror in school, disrupting the other students she came in touch with. Her mother was this child’s worst enemy, not Judge Superville. The mother of this child is a racist of the worst kind………….just like all of you who comment negatively with your racial slurs about Paris, Texas, Judge Superville and the good people who live here. Judge Superville saw no alternative for this very disturbed young girl but to put her in a disciplined, structured environment and remove her from the hate filled home she had been tainted by. He hoped this action would pull her out of the lowest of low and give her ultimately and chance in this world.

    I will support and stand by this wonderful city and all my brothers and sisters who live here, white or black. When are you people going to get past the race issue and become one and work toward a better world for all? Why do you always assume that because someone’s color is white that they are evil?

    This country is in sad shape. Get on with what you have been given and make a life for yourself and your families. I have and I don’t have time for all this spewing hatred.

    I pity you if you can’t, because you will be the true loser here. I will pray for you all…..Denise

    Maybe one day when we

  24. EVERYONE WANTS TO TURN THIS INTO A BLACK WHITE ISSUE.IT’S NOT THE CHILD PUSHED (SHOVED)A PUBLIC WORKER.BETTER YET AN ADULT.IF THIS CHILD HAD MANNERS OR RESPECT SHE WOULD NOT BE IN THE POSITION SHE’S IN. WE AS PARENTS NEED TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN THE DIFFERANCES BETWEEN RIGHT AND WRONG.THIS CHILD DONE WRONG THERE FOR NEEDS TO BE PUNISHED. OUR SCHOOLS ARE BECOMING UNSAFE DUE TO CHILDREN SUCH AS THIS.BLACK OR WHITE THE PUNISHMENT NEEDS TO STAND AND BE INFORCED FOR ALL CHILDREN WHO ACT OR BEHAVE AS THIS.

  25. its time for us to start deifying our babies teach them our african history and african heroes liek imhotep, maat, asimatawe, dr. charles drew, castle elmina and its door of no return, yeshua, kemet (egypt) ethiopia, the ashante tribe, nzinga, ……. time to fight the wicked powers but first we must have knowledge of self. stop worshiping these white devils deity and start deifying our babies the gods and godesses of our african ancestors

  26. What a friggin’ joke. I don’t care who you are, or where you’re from, you don’t put a kid in jail for 7 YEARS for shoving somebody.

    We have murderers who are getting out of prison in far less than 7 years… and you want to put a 14 year old alleged “disciplinary problem” in jail for 7 years?!? Yep, that’ll straighten her out! Hanging out with criminals for the next 7 years will surely make her meek, proper, and a productive member of the community. Way to go, Judge Superville.

    As for the clueless like denise and kim here, I certainly hope you’re sent to the slammer the next time you run a red light, download a copyrighted song, or jaywalk. After all, we have to look after your best interests! Can’t be doing delinquent things like that – you certainly should have been raised better.

    I could really care less whether this is racism or not… this is injustice, plain and simple.

  27. Two quick things: Paris used to be a center for lynchings. I don’t know that the town is racist. I know that white folks have an aversion to that word – and that the only folks who seem to fit that description are skinheads…I’m not naive enough to follow that silly ass paradigm…so back to business.

    If Paris is not “racist,” what changed since the days of lynchings? DId folks just die – and take their beliefs to the grave? Was everyone converted by the Civil Rights Movement? Did the curriculum change? Did racism die with Vince Young’s national championship? Is the town integrated now? What exactly happened over time to change this town? Or was Paris not racist – even during the time of lynchings – but merely host to events that stimulated the economy? Did Parisians also lynch whites and rich people and Mexicans and Native Americans? It won’t be enough to say the town is not racist. There are no children here – and no childish proclamation. I haven’t said the “town” is racist because it’s immaterial – but if you say it’s not – prove it.

    I’ll get to the second point later – and it has to do with kim’s silly-ass capitalized rant which defends by omission felonious conduct with respect to arson…we’ll take that up later.

  28. Superville: Look at all the facts

    By Mary Madewell
    The Paris News

    Published March 25, 2007

    County Judge Chuck Superville says he fears for the community’s safety and is calling for the national media and other organizations to investigate the facts before drawing conclusions about the Shaquanda Cotton case.

    The judge said a March 12 story in The Chicago Tribune unfairly painted the community as racist and a recent protest as well as the threat of future protests by organized groups with national media coverage could “spin this thing out of control.”

    Superville said he has refrained from commenting until now because of his position as the judge in the Cotton case, but that he believes he has a higher duty as county judge to maintain order in the community.

    “I call on the media and others involved to go to the public record to get the facts of the case before they rush to judgment,” Superville said Saturday.

    Superville said after a three-day jury trial, which found that Cotton committed an act of juvenile delinquency — namely assault causing bodily injury against a public servant — he determined the best place for her would be Texas Youth Commission.

    “If Shaquanda had been white, the outcome would have been the same,” Superville said. “My decision was based on facts and law and I am confident this was the correct decision based on the facts I was presented.”

    The March 2006 case is on appeal with the Texarkana Court of Appeals. The court conducted a 10-hour hearing in August 2006 to consider a request that Cotton be released on bond.

    The judge said Cotton could have been released at that time but would not speculate why the appellate court did not grant the bond. The judge said he presented the facts of the case and that attorneys for both the prosecution and for Cotton presented arguments.

    Superville said he gave the 14-year old an indeterminate sentence up to seven years — her 21st birthday.

    “Once I set the indeterminate sentence, Shaquanda holds the key to her jail cell,” Superville said. “It is up to the child and TYC.”

    In explaining the juvenile process, Superville said after a jury makes it’s finding, the judge determines the disposition.

    “I am bound by law to ask lawyers whether or not reasonable effort has been made to prevent or eliminate the need for the child to be removed from her home,” Superville said.

    “I also must determine whether or not there is enough family support to assist the child in successfully completing terms and conditions of probation,” Superville said.

    “Thirdly, I must determine whether or not it is in the child’s best interest to be removed from the home,” the judge said.

    “Both lawyers presented evidence on those points,” Superville explained. “The county attorney put on a substantial amount of evidence that Shaquanda had been a persistent behavior problem at school and that the mother failed to cooperate at every turn.”

    “I asked if there was anything that could be done that had not already been done and the repeated answer was ‘no,’” Superville said.

    Superville said reports from Lamar County Juvenile Probation Department also weighed on his decision. Before a juvenile trial which could result in probation, the probation department conducts a fact-finding survey.

    “The juvenile officer said the mother refused to cooperate and said he had no reason to believe the mother would cooperate if Shaquanda received probation,” Superville said.

    “That theme was repeated witness after witness—that the mother made it impossible to help Shaquanda,” Superville said. “She blamed everyone except the child for misbehavior.”

    Letters to the Editor
    March 23, 2007

    To the Editor:

    I am writing to you in regards to the Shaquanda Cotton issue. As a member of the black community and a proud black woman and mother myself, it both saddens and enrages me that this ordeal has been blown to such proportions. Yes there is racial inequality in our society. But not every case that involves an African American individual is racially motivated or biased. To assume so we are in effect of discriminating against ourselves, separating ourselves from the rest of society as a targeted group.

    Every race and sex has been in some way wronged, to assume that this case is racially motivated is foolish when not all of the facts are known. Truly the only ones who know for sure what happened in this occurrence are Shaquanda and the teachers aide. The mother is only going to hear it from her daughter’s side, and many teens when faced with retribution choose to exaggerate in their favor. To blame the superintendent, prosecutor and judge, and to call Robert High “a sell-out Negro”, is derogatory and presumptive to say the least. More than likely they are the only ones that know the girls past behavior and the actual events surrounding the incidence.

    This whole situation is just sad, and proves that some of the reason there is so much discrimination against our race is because we first do it to ourselves.

    LaShauFicka Edwards

    Paris

  29. “There is still a place in America where judges demonstrate, if only for an instant, the wisdom of Anubis.”

    As I’ve said, all of the facts are not in, but this is the second time that I’ve heard prison posed as an alternative to some level of support. I mean, if a 14-year old girl sees fit to BURN her family home, is there really another viable placement alternative with that same family? Possibly. Not likely.

    “I am bound by law to ask lawyers whether or not reasonable effort has been made to prevent or eliminate the need for the child to be removed from her home,” Superville said.

    “I also must determine whether or not there is enough family support to assist the child in successfully completing terms and conditions of probation,” Superville said.

    “Thirdly, I must determine whether or not it is in the child’s best interest to be removed from the home,” the judge said.

    If you apply these standards to a young arsonist, there isn’t room to do much more than scratch your head.

    This is where the political rubber meets the road. If your politics suggest that we are all islands unto ourselves – and that if you cannot “handle your children, it’s not my problem…off to the pen” – then this outcome makes perfect sense.

    If your politics suggest that we are all connected, then there must be an interim solution to delivering a corrective. We’re not talking about a hardened criminal – nor are we talking about an offense that was likely to result in death (like arson).

    I am clear that many of the nation’s social programs are operated by folks with little competence and less integrity. Still, when these “alternatives to incarceration” are available, the outcomes can be much better than beginning a pattern of institutionalization. A primary reason is because penal institutions no longer have a rehabilitation focus. Moreover, when young people retained in these institutions lack economic alternatives, rates of recidivism skyrocket.

    From my perspective, the facts of the Cotton case and the judge’s decision cannot be looked at in isolation. They have to be looked at in the context of his other decisions – and similar decisions by judges subject to the same rules of law. Without a context, there is no conversation. This is only a fragment of the judges’ “position.”

  30. This is an unfortunate situation for this student, but we as a people are going to lift Shaquanda’s situation up to GOD. Yes we must take a stand and it must be peaceful. Woe be unto judges of injustice. May God bless each and everyone of you in the Cotton family.

  31. I was born in California, but was raised in Blossom from the ages 2 to 14. Blossom is a small town about ten miles east of Paris. I can only remember a hand full of black students that live in the same area. I never could recall a time when these students were ever treated any differently. Fortunately I was raised by parents who showed me that everyone was equal. I never heard my parents speak about any race in a negative way. Instead I was thought that you trust people by their word and their actions. I give and get respect the same as the next person regardless of race. You do the crime you do the time. Everyone is entitled to state their opinion, unless it is spiteful or intended to hurt the innocent, last but not least, to help anyone that was willing to help their selves, if at all possible. At 14 I went from a school with just a few black students to school with more than 350 black students. It was about a 50/50 ratio, blacks to whites. At first glance, most students got along great, but we did have some bad apples in both races, needless to say most were just carrying on the things their parents believed. I really believed as a whole body we could get along fine and had no worries. That is until I, a white girl, was in involved with a black guy. For the first time I really felt that people had real problems with these issues still. What respect I did have I lost from both races. Where the whites would not verbally say much, theirs looks said enough. But on the other hand, I was talked to and about by a majority of blacks, women at that. So in my opinion, based on my OWN experience, our community is not just whites against blacks, but for the most part blacks against whites. I have seen many white people try to extend a helping hand to the black community just to be disrespected and spit on, with remarks like, well you owe us that anyway. I will never understand that. Now that I am 31 and have three biracial daughters, I find it hard to explain to my 13, 11, and nine yrs old what is going on. The truth is I don’t know the facts about this case nor do I really, Honestly care, I to believe this has got blown way out of portions. When my children come home talking about how the KKK and the Black Panthers are coming to their schools to protest just enrages me. Why do my children have to be bothered with having to be locked in a school because of these groups who have never been know for their peaceful actions? Why would they put all of our children at such risk? And why would the schools even carry on with this danger in their front yards. Now that is my only concern about this situation.

  32. Sounds like in your world – the efforts to abolish slavery and eliminate jim crow was really about everyone just getting along. maybe this isn’t about getting along, at all…maybe it’s not about your childhood memories of adult relations (none of which we see clearly as children). maybe this is about some serious grown up shit that involves intent, malice and all those bad things you seem really, really, really, totally, totally uncomfortable talking about. then again, maybe it’s really all about you and rodney king. i could explain, but i recommend you spend some time over at rachel’s tavern…maybe then you can muster up the maturity to actually care (read give a fuck) what happens to 14-year old girls in towns just across the border from you. after all, it could be you next year, in three years and again in five years. and that would be truly unfortunate – but i hope someone out here cares enough to help you should you ever suffer such misfortune. surely your children will deserve as much consideration.

  33. It is a child’s responsibility to respect authority. It is a mother’s responsibility to teach their child appropriate behavior, how to accept the consequences of their actions and learn from their mistakes in a positive manner. A principal’s responsibility is to impose discipline as outlined by the district and to insure the safety of all students, teachers and employees. A superintendent ensures that a district adheres to all applicable local, state and federal laws, regulations and standards. They also have the responsibility to provide leadership and to make tough decisions that can sometimes be unpopular. A prosecutor is the legal party responsible for presenting the case against an individual suspected of breaking the law. A county judge’s responsibility is to provide civil and criminal administration of justice and to be well informed in the law of the state. I am saddened at the circumstances surrounding the young girl in question and the actions that have been forced upon our community this past week. Instead of bridging the gap between the inequalities in our society, this week’s actions have sparked even more division, a fact that saddens me greatly I support Paris High School and its leadership. I also support our elected officials who have made decisions based on all of the facts of this situation. In my opinion, it is a matter of responsibility not race. If you don’t like the laws we all have a responsibility to vote and change them.
    I live in Paris. If a parent has a hard time just controlling their own children how can they hold teachers and schools to a different standard? Raising kids is hard. Raising kids as a young single mother is even harder. I know because I was one. If I hadn’t worked hard to complete school and college I too would have been committing me and my child to a life of poverty. This is true for all people. I believe that a lot of the school issues can be curtailed by a huge consistant dose of family values in all families. Spend time together. Teach the difference between right and wrong. Make sure there is no racism in your own home. Give kids responsibility in the home. Make education a must and celebrate your child’s progress. Love and laugh with one another. Find a church home where God is celebrated and reveered. I fear that we are loosing our children. Common courtesy is shrinking. I am disheartened by all of the hateful, nasty, threat filled blog posts that are out there concerning the Cotton young lady. Sir, I can tell you that most of the blogs and posts that I have read are partial truths and inflammatory exaggerations leaving out facts only to further “a cause.” Please help me understand how inflammatory speech and calls to violence will help this child or decrease the racism so profoundly professed and demonstrated? Tell me how writing to our industry in Paris to encourage them to shut down is going to help this young lady or promote equality? All it will essentially do is shoot the very people you are trying to help in the foot. Paris is economically disadvantaged enough and there are blogs promoting even more disadvantage. If the industry shut down, the people that can afford to move to other places will and the ones that can’t will be left here with less job opportunity, less tax dollars to the school’s they attend, less social services because of tax revenue lost. I agree that there is still inequality in our society, however again I say what is being done is not bridging the gaps in that inequality it is only sparking more division. Not just in the small town of Paris, but essentially across the US. There are people in paris and in the US that do want to make a difference and change the divisions and inequalities here and in our society but we do not know how to come together. What forum can black and white and hispanic and asian and indian all come together in unity to promote equality in a constructive, positive, meaningful, and significant way? A place voice our concerns, and to find middle ground to discuss the issues that affect and concern us all as parents and as citizens; keeping drugs and alcohol away from our kids, reducing crime, creating jobs, celebrating fathers in the home, promoting teen abstainence, providing tutoring to students who need extra help, providing resources to those in need, providing educational opportunities for those who want it, helping keep marriages healthy……so much opportunity….. Where can this be done? I am in…. how can I help. I want to be part of a solution not more of a problem. Thank you.

  34. do you know the name of the young lady who received probation for the arson? is she still living with her family? what type of supportive services has the family received? is her situation progressing positively?

  35. The girl who committed arson did not have a wrap sheet like Shaquanda Cotton did.
    Recent out-of-town media coverage has tried to place a bad light on our community and our school system. As a result of the media coverage, outsiders have come to our community to try to create division where division does not exist.

    Do we have areas that can be improved, and are some individuals dissatisfied? Of course, and we will continue to do our best to try and improve, but that does not mean everyone will always be happy or pleased.

    Federal law prohibits schools from commenting on student discipline, student records, or even identifying students without parental authorization. In other words, when visiting protesters charge that a student was discriminated against, they do so knowing the school cannot defend itself by opening up the student’s record and showing the public the pattern of misconduct and disciplinary history of the child.

    Contrary to what the visiting protesters charged, schools have no authority over the judicial system. Schools do not prosecute children. Schools do not sentence children to juvenile detention. That being said, it should be noted the jury that sentenced the student at issue was a racially mixed jury that all agreed the sentence was appropriate.

    Now the visiting protesters are encouraging students to skip school on Friday. Losing educational opportunities is never the solution to any problem. We want our children educated; nothing is gained from missing school. Visiting protesters will go home for the weekend; the only people who lose are the children of Paris.

    The history of protesting has strong roots in this country. At our schools, we teach and respect the First Amendment. We also try to role model for our students the type of community member we want our students to become.

    The previous visiting protesters used vulgarity and threats. We do not oppose people voicing objections, but we encourage protesters to be peaceful and rise above name-calling, behaving and leading in a manner we would want our children to follow.

    We were called rats and told to go back to our holes by the protesters. That was crossing the line.

  36. Let me just be the first to say that you sound an awful lot like the good folks of cities like Montgomery and Birmingham who were subjected to the same sort of northern and elsewhere interference…they didn’t have a negro problem in montgomery until that damn martin luther king showed up from atlanta. i feel your pain. someone’s been painting your town black with a tarred brush.

    i can imagine how indignant the town fathers would have been if someone had tried to interrupt a lynching.

    children played a seminal role in bus boycott in montgomery,..but i hear you…i’m sure that whatever they might have learned in school those days would have trumped participating in the greatest human rights movement this country has seen in decades…y’all must have some of theee most hellified (pardon me) teachers the world has ever seen.

    seriously though…i do hope people will behave civilly. it’s all for the best – but this is really not about the children for many people – it’s about their agendas. i suppose you have some familiarity with both children – and can see a justification for both decisions – i need some help though. still hard for me to wrap my head around the judges three mandates (as quoted above) and the decision to grant probation in the case of a toasted family home. maybe the difference is just that little miss matches is “good” and little miss cotton is “bad.”

    or perhaps, judge superville is ALWAYS this lenient with first offenses…is that how it works? is that the case? do all first time offenders in paris get probation? or are some first time offenses considered more dangerous than arson – and thereby meriting harsher sentences?

  37. Temple3
    instead of just taking one news article from the Chicago tribunes word on it do the research yourself…..google the questions you are asking they are right there. It sound like to me from your prolific pontifications on history and the law that you want YOUR agenda promoted. You do not want to know the facts of this specific case or you would do the research…you just want a platform to to spew more sarcasm and hatred. Comparing this situation to the montgomery protest is inflammatory and racist in itself. if you do not consider the merits of each circumstance and automatically conclude racism based on no facts…that sir is bigotry of the worst kind…..how can you hold a whole city to the standard you are not willing to consider yourself. Do the research on the people you are backing. What is sad is the fact that you are standing up for a situation without knowing who you are supporting simple because of race. That would be like me defending a skinhead who is a bully simply because he is white…obsurd logic!!!!

  38. Top Ten Misperceptions and Miscalculations relating to the Paris Texas Story
    Posted by Shawn Williams on March 25th, 2007
    I have had a chance to speak to a number of residents in Paris, Texas regarding the fallout from the sentencing of a 14 year-old student invovled in shoving a hall monitor at school. The story has taken on a life of its own on the internet, television, and here in Dallas it became more widely known as a result of the Rickey Smiley Morning Show on Friday. I thought I’d take a moment to go over a few of my own opinions regarding some of the events surrounding the protests, the accusations, and overall perceptions of the residents of Paris.

    Many of you who read this blog know that Paris Texas is my hometown.

    10. Paris Independent School District underestimated some in Black Community

    The Paris Schools have been accused of racism and bias in a number of specific incidents over the past three or four years. Many of the claims were frivolous and involved problem children whose parents were trying to get over for them. Hence seven investigations by the Office of Civil Rights that have produced nothing.

    However there were some disciplinary actions taken against black students that were inappropriate, perpetuated by teachers and administrators that I have known and respected. The district thought that by reassigning those involved the problems, and complaints, would go away. They did not account for the resolve of the parties involved, and hence had no long term strategy. Had the district had better follow through, and protected the students as they did the administrators, they may have been able to avoid some of the backlash.

    9. The Paris Schools sent the 14 year-old to jail

    The 58 year-old hall monitor who was shoved in the incident that has gained national attention, was actually the party who pressed criminal charges against the 14 year-old. The district has not made a (public) recommendation in the case to my knowledge.

    8. M.F. is an appropriate word to use at a protest

    There have been a number of entities that have come into Paris to protest the schools and the courts. There has been lots of finger pointing and name-calling including one unfortunate episode at the school administration building that was brought to my attention. Some of the protestors -mostly from out of town- were using what one witness referred to as “the most profane language that you would ever want to hear.” Our children should be seeing examples of how to behave when you think a wrong has occured, not emotional outburst and profanity ladened tirades.

    7. The African-American community in Paris is without representation

    To listen to some of the accounts, you would think black folks in the town sit on their porch and wait for white people to tell them where to go and when to leave. The African-American is ably represented in city government, and by a strong church community.

    Carolyn Lockett and former Paris Mayor George Fisher currently serve as trustees on the Paris School Board. And Mary Ann Fisher Reed serves on the city council as mayor pro tem and Kevin Gray sits on the council as well.

    6. Any African-American who disagrees with the protest, who testified in the case, or who works for the school system is a “sellout”

    This has become such and easy default these days, calling somebody a “sellout.”

    Now there pictures of teachers and administrators in Paris, people like Michael Johnson, Marva Joe, Robert High, and Althea Dixon, that refer to them as Uncle Toms, Sellout Negroes, and Token Weapons of Mass Destruction. Even if someone were to find fault with either one of them, this particular tactic is tired and unimaginative. Mr. High and Mrs. Joe alone have been involved in proactive efforts in the community longer than most of those analyzing this situation have even been alive.

    5. The City and School is Faultless

    As is the case 99% of the time, Anglo parties wonder where all of these problems are coming from for a city where whites and black get along so well. And I admit white and black do get along O.K. and it’s not because black folks roll over. But the majority (for now) in this country has to understand that even though “it wasn’t their fault,” they are still the beneficiaries 250 years of slavery, and 100 years of Jim Crow Semi-Slavery.

    My mother was in the last graduating class of the Black High School in Paris – 1966. This same school system that provided her and her peers with old, worn, written in textbooks is the same system that is charged with educating the grandchildren and great-grand children or those former Gibbons High students. The products the segregated Paris schools are still in leadership, and their children and grandchildren benefit from it whether they know it or not. This is not unique to Paris, Texas.

    4. Paris Texas = Backwoods, USA

    It’s easy to believe that in a town of 26,000 people in northeast Texas everyone walks around barefoot toting ice down a dirt road from the general store, but that’s not the case. In Paris, Texas, many African-Americans and their families are afforded a higher standard of living due to three entities: Campbell’s Soup, Kimberly-Clark, and Paris Junior College. Many residents have worked for 20, 30, 35 years at these factories earning the a higher income the most Americans that don’t have a college degree.

    Case in point; when I went off to college at Texas A&M, I was shocked and amazed to see that the custodial staff was made up entirely (in 1992) of African-Americans. I had never seen black people working these positions in these types of numbers because most of the people I knew with at least a high school diploma had a good job working at one of the plants. There is also a high percentage of black residents in Paris who own their own homes.

    Also, a lot of graduates are able to get some college hours under their belt with the presense of a two-year college in town. The nursing program at Paris Junior College opens up the medical field to many students without having to leave the comforts of home.

    3. You are receiving accurate information

    The more the story of Paris Texas makes its way around the internet, radio, and television, the more the realities are being distorted. MANY, MANY, MANY, people are reluctant to tell their side of the story because it involves a minor, and out of respect to her they are being silent. Their silence is being mistaken for weakness and the squeakiest wheel gets the oil. A lot of people are getting caught up in something they know nothing about, and are fighting for a short-term solution without a single thought of a long-term plan.

    2. Preachers in Paris are sitting on the sideline while and innocent party is persecuted

    I was SICKENED on Friday as I listened to the Rickey Smiley Morning Show at how the Black Ministers in Paris were portrayed. These men (mostly men, but that’s another blog) have been going out to the schools, walking the halls almost daily to make sure that our children are they doing what they are supposed to be doing. And then to have them called out across the airwaves without response or reply was way beyond wrong.

    Ask yourself; what might be the reason that the clergy or black leaders have not gotten directly involved with the principles of this protest? I had to ask myself; why Shawn has everyone that you know and respect in this town, everyone that you admired as a young man not aligned themselves with the principle organization? Why are so many people from out of town being called when so many smart and active people live right there in town? Hopefully the preachers from Dallas and other towns will call the black ministers in Paris and get their accoount of what’s happening before joining or leading protests in the town.

    1. The 14 year-old was sentenced to 7 years in prison

    I can say that I thought this was the punishment handed out by Judge “Chuck” Superville, however I have since found out that the sentence he handed out was one (1) to seven (7) year, and was eligible for release after one year for behavior parameters. And this was juvenile court, not adult court. Still seems like a stiff sentence, though other options were considered.

  39. Ok I am sorry for the (don’t give a F*** attitude) but you don’t live here, so I see how you can’t possibly ever understand! Truth be told you really don’t want to understand. By the way, YES most first time offenders do receive probation on their first offense! I am sure as with most places, your past does speak for you and will be considered in all types of situations. I agree that the legal system is not justice for all, but not just in the city of Paris! I feel strongly THAT is where this fight should be placed and will only make a true difference for this young girl. As far as the school systems, ok if you feel they too are to blame fine, but take it to the administration offices. But temple3 please help me understand how having protest at the school grounds while children are in school and in harms way makes sense. Don’t you think something is wrong with this? And don’t you think that the way activists are going about things is all wrong as far as blame? Do they do enough research before making these type of decisions? You and I both know that there are still a lot of issues about race and equality, But what I really, really, really want help understanding is, if Paris is so bad, why are you and the Black Panthers just now coming to Paris? Why is it that you feel your attitude is justified but what difference have you really made? How many times have you written on positive issues about black and white really helping each other? What positive efforts have you made? It’s easy to sit behind a screen and not have to look at these people you write about eye to eye!

  40. you haven’t read the streams…i haven’t rushed to judge anyone – but since you’re rushing to defend folks, answer the questions…do we really all have to go to texas to pull the files from that dusty closet?

    by the way…tell me who i’m backing – and how you’ve come to know that. it would be informative for me – and for them since they certainly don’t even know who they are yet – or how I’m supporting them…

    i don’t know that the comparison with montgomery is racist. do you believe the people in montgomery who might be called racist today acted the way they did based on the color of their skin? not likely…so why is there any “racial” connection to paris? perhaps there is common behavior which has nothing to do with white skin – but with a shared mindset. one aspect of that mindset was expressed as a resentment to other folks attempting to understand local relations…if you’re reading more deeply into this – let me know, but i don’t see that this has anything to do with race and the things that make “white people” (if there is such a thing) consider themselves “white.”

    i think you’ve mistaken me for some of the internet’s other proclamation junkies. i haven’t charged anyone with anything…maybe you think ‘they all sound the same.’ i haven’t attacked superville or defended ms. cotton – except to point out that this is a s-t-r-a-n-g-e situation. now, if you told that the shove drew blood and that the shove resulted in an extended hospital stay or loss of income or some serious bodily functions were lost, we could have a serious talk about this, but given what you’ve put forth – i can’t help but wondering where the logic is…

    i’ve taken superville at his word and simply wondered what happened to the firestarter. does a child who burns her home go back to that family? if so, where do they live? you said she had no record of criminal offenses before – so, of course i’m curious about what happens to first time offenders in paris…do they all get probation for things as serious as arson? it’s your town – you tell me.

    just don’t assume that i’ve judged your town when i clearly haven’t done anything other than state the facts as i know them – based on the paris website…i didn’t even take “facts” about the town from the chi. trib. – so, you are simply going to have to settle down.

  41. Cece, three things…caring is not a function of space or proximity. either you give a shit or you don’t. i live in a 4 story walk up. my neighbors on the 3rd floor care a great deal about me and my family – and vice versa…my neighbor on the 2nd floor is like you and could give two shits whether i die tonite. so distance, from here, is immaterial…we know it’s immaterial because people of good will drove day and night to bring aid and comfort to new york city after 9/11/01 and to new orleans after katrina. you can’t be a good neighbor is distance matters to you. so try to give a fuck next time – you’ll feel much better if you do – trust me.

    second…i’ve worked in education long enough to know that no single day or week out of school will harm the educational future of a child…there are exceptions (like when children are transitioning from one school to another), but for stable populations, those teachers should hold their hat on what they do with those other 170 school days. participation in the social-cultural life of their community as interested parties can teach life lessons. as i said, the children in montgomery and other southern towns in the 1950’s were instrumental in driving the CRM…without them, the movement would have failed…the same thing can be said of the children in south africa under apartheid. the stuff that happens in school is not as important as what happens as a result of schooling. and there is a huge difference.

    third, protesters are always pushing their own agenda…it’s why i suggested that people put their agendas to the side…y’all (you and “someone”) seem to be the only two who didn’t get that….it’s in the first post!! they will not always behave, but they should. a dialogue is needed – but I can guarantee that someone from the aggrieved community has been looking for a dialogue for quite some time…and they were most likely told to wait – or that some other priority took precedence.

    as far as my writing topics – you are likely to never, never, never, never, ever, ever, ever see a story about “interracial” cooperation on this site…that’s not my deal. i don’t find it particularly compelling nor do i find it to be essential to the ways of the world. it’s nice when it happens, but its not newsworthy and its not going to rise to comment status…that’s why i suggested rachel’s tavern…that’s her thing…she loves it and her site is the bomb. i enjoy her site, but i don’t get down like that. there is nothing wrong with folks wanting to answer rodney king’s question – this just ain’t the place for it.

    after all, it’s not clear to me that this case has anything to do with race. i can’t say that it does because it’s mostly in a vacuum. have any other black children received probation sentences from judge superville – and for what offenses? what are the statistical ratios? can’t answer that right now. still, without an answer to that – everyone in paris should be wondering how a child who sounds pretty phukkin’ dangerous gets off with probation for BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE. but i guess folks ain’t too worried about that – they’re worried about the phantom menace – and so, when the next columbine hits another town with no black brown red or yellow phantoms – don’t be surprised because no one was looking at the ghosts in the machine.

  42. I have to confess that your last line made me giggle. Seriously though. I respect your insite and perspective. There are things in the works that I think CAN really make a positive impact. I would really be interested in your perspective and imput. you have my email….if you really want to make a difference email me and help me out. Lets bounce some things off of one another and see what happens.

  43. ok…that’ll work…let’s do it in the a.m. ‘cuz it’s 2:30 in brooklyn and my hypnotist tells me, “you’re getting very sleeeepy.”

  44. I am INFURIATED to no end!!!

    Our Black, Brown and poor children are being systematically and institutionally abused and nothing is being done about this.

    All I hear is judgment and criticism, as well as blaming the victim.

    I am sick and tired of this nonsense and have had to fight
    Children’s and Juvenile courts my SELF over my 2 children. There is NOOO support for Black parents if you are not RICH!!!

    What are we supposed to do?

    A concerned Mother,
    Ms. Selassie

  45. The answer is to get financially independent as quickly as possible by using FREE stuff like LIBRARIES and the INTERNET to get competent in the financial, investment, real estate and other creative areas of one’s life.

    First, reduce your expenses as much as possible…second, reduce your taxes as much as possible. Third, make sure your children have a routine of productive activities to fill their time. Fourth, join an organization that contributes to your well-being (financial, emotional, spiritual – your choice). Use the organization to cultivate the skills you want to see in yourself and your children. Then finally, fight like hell to get your organization a bigger slice of the pie.

    Don’t waste a second on anything other than this – and you’ll be just fine – eventually. You may, however, have to stop fighting with someone or something so that some love and healing can come to you. Sometimes we block it out. Good luck.

  46. By the way, if you don’t know how to run an organization – don’t start one – join one that works. Don’t join one that works just because you believe in the work. You are better off joining one that you disagree with which is effective. You can then transfer those skills to an existing group or a new group.

    Singular focus will get you to piece of mind and piece of mind will get to you your goal – solutions and a basis for powerful organization. If you do it alone or try to do it alone, you will most surely fail. If you try to do it with other people who are failing, you will most surely fail. A different result will require different actions.

  47. That 3pm statement has to be this best statement that I have read, from your blogs, starting from August 2006 blogs to present date.

  48. Some people need to get the facts before they judge!!
    Judge Superville did not sentence her to 7 years. He sentenced her to an indefinate amount based on her behavior. she could be out now if she would only behave correctly. Does anyone see apatern here?

  49. I am a resident of Paris, TX. I find it offensive for our town to be considered racist. I am not saying that this girl should be in a juvenile facility (not prison) for seven years, i just disagree with the way Paris is being portrayed by people who know nothing about our town and who have probably never even been here. The residents of Paris, black and white, who have commented believe in our town and mostly respect eachother. Granted, there are always exceptions, but that can be anywhere. This article is not based completely on facts but opinion. All that is seen is that this girl got 7 years when actually she could have been out if she had behaved right. The sentence was a max of 7 yrs, to get out based on behavior. This girl obviously did have a history of this kind of behavior because she was in alternative school when it occurred. When sentencing a case a judge must base his decision on circumstances that are specific to each case, circumstances that we may not know.

  50. To those who keep telling us to get the facts and we don’t know the facts. If you know something we don’t know, please enlighten us….There is something strange about the statements that Ms. Cotton was sentenced to jail because the judge and prosecutor felt she couldn’t be controlled by her mother. What happened to the foster system or group homes? And as to a rap sheet, in all the reading I’ve done, I have yet to see anywhere that Ms. Cotton has ever been charged with much less convicted of any other crimes. Of what rap sheet do you speak?

  51. And to paris resident, I don’t think anyone should characterize a whole town of being prejudiced. I’m not even sure the whole issue is race rather than injustice. It just so happens that two girls the same age were convicted of crimes by the same judge and given very different sentences. At first glance, the sentences seemed to have been mixed up. No doubt Ms. Cotton should pay the consequences for her actions, I would just like to know why arson is a less heinous crime than shoving.

  52. Also, is anyone aware of the fact that the institution where Ms. Cotton is serving her sentence is under investigation because the guards there have been accused of sexually abusing the inmates? Is that not cause to be up in arms also?

  53. I will be making that phine call. I have been writing a paper (for school) about the system that allows minors to be charged as adults and it’s quite unsettling. The facts are that African American youth are waived into adult courts at a higher rate than another ethnicity (the majority being male). The offenses are usually non-violent and first time offenses. We also need to speak out on this issue as well. (Also, just f.y.i Wikipedia is not a good source of information. Anybody can add to it or take away from it. When using information please be sure that the information is valid). In any case please start researcing this issue so that awareness can be raised and we can start finding a viable solution.

  54. Concerned:

    This is why I raised the spectre of 1950’s Montgomery and Birmingham. The residents of those towns perceived themselves to be under attack. They did not perceive the long-standing injustices within their community as problematic precisely because they were not directly impacted. In fact, they established, directed and benefitted from that system. In such a world, it was not at all incongruous to at once be a member of a night-riding Citizens Council, a leading ecumenical figure, and a mayor. You do all three with impunity and without pangs of conscience.

    Today, when prison is posed as a substitute for positive interventions (see above) and posters here (clearly not representative of the whole – or anything else in particular) cannot see a gap, one must question why. This is why I consistently look to the judges own rationale – and am left to wonder…How does a child who sees fit to burn her home get probation? Can she be sent back to that family? What violence, if any, against the child precipitated this outbreak? Where will that family live now? Are they receiving some sort of support from the court system, town or county?

    So far, the Parisian posters haven’t addressed any of those questions – and it is precisely this type of myopia that results in “shock and awe” when children choose to go “Columbine.” And there is NO MISTAKING where all of these school shooting events have occurred.

    To quote Will Farrell, it is simply “mind-bottling” that folks are not connecting the dots on this and taking a closer look at the development of our children across the board. I suppose it’s easier to be defensive about your hometown than it is to peer deeply into that mirror of communal affection to see how it all came to this.

    We may all be speaking English (at least here), but we’re not speaking the same language. The destruction of the Tower of Babel might just as well have happened yesterday. What homage to the creations of man (a “hometown”) are being paid at the expense of introspection and love of children?

  55. With that said, most of the posters here have been of a single accord with respect to the apparent injustice here – so there is no need to dwell too much on those who place emphasis elsewhere. Still, a bit of recognition is part and parcel of any productive dialogue.

  56. Truth Is:

    I just want to thank you for trying to get some of these people straight. Although this entire world needs to work on issues like these, I feel Paris, TX has been mis portrayed, from the people that have been writing on this case. Yes it’s hard to make everyone happy, but I cannot say the same about fairness. Either it is or not! As far the fire starter, the only place that I could find any info about that case was on Ms. Cottons web site! So I can’t say that there are any truths to that story at this time. Maybe that is way nobody can respond to your questions. These are the facts that I am aware of: The 58-year-old was in deed hurt. Shaquanda was breaking the school rules in the first place. Where has her mother been the last 14 years? Shaquanda as well as her siblings are what we would call unruly. They do not have any respect for the general public, rules, or laws. These are the facts that I have, and I live down the street from the family and see these children daily. Don’t know that it will make a difference to the people who have their own agenda. And for the most part the people of Paris have been silent out of respect. She is a minor. But I would like to say something to this young lady before I go.

    To Shaquanda Cotton and her family,

    I am so glad to see you get the support and attention that you need. Too bad you did not have that the first 14 years of your life. Maybe some of these people will come to Paris and try to do the same for the rest of your family. Maybe they can provide a place for people like you and your siblings so you can get the help you all deserve. Let them pray that they can find positive activities, besides getting high on the front porch or feeling that you need to be with any guy that shows you the lest bit of attention. I really hope you can bring yourself to ask God to help you in times of you and your family needs, and please don’t forget to ask him for the wisdom you need to get through this. I too will have this entire town in my prayers.

  57. The problem is the public is not aware of any of her problems because she is a juvenile and those records are sealed. I think it’s really sad that people from Dallas(that really do know all of the facts) are on their way here as we speak to protest at the high school. My child attends that school and did not at the time this happened, but is having to reap the consequences of this because of the media circus and protesters. I am not saying they shouldn’t protest but why not do it at the courthouse? Leave the children in school out of this!!

  58. By the way it is my understanding the the arson case the girl took a plea bargain. MsCotton was also offered a plea bargain, but her mother refused it and wanted a trial and now she’s not happy with that outcome either. My opinion is her mother doesn’t believe in consequences for your actions!!

  59. That sounds like a good argument. I would imagine that there was some rationale for protesting at the school – but it may not be nearly sufficient.

    Agendas are perilous things. They tend to take on a life of their own.

  60. Well put Temple3, and for the record I would like to say that decided to protest at the court house. (which was my main concern at first) but i am still in the dark about after leaving the protest myself, if their agenda is to free ms cotton shouldnt they protest TYC? For it has been in their hands now for a year, do you have any insight for me about this?

  61. I worked at Paris High School for a short time. I worked For PISD for about 2yrs. I lived in Paris for many years, had many friends, black and white. I had a close friend that happened to be black, she was worried about being seen in public with me because she feared what the “Black” community thought. she told me that the racial issue was more common in blacks, they felt white people “Owed them”… what did I do?… or any other common people of these times?… At Paris High, the blacks appeared to get away with more because of “the very issue that we are dealing with now. EACH CASE should be judged according to each, individuals issues, not based on race! Are you teaching young, black kids to CRY RACE.. everytime an injustice is done?… Protest…but do it for the right reasons! Not JUST ANOTHER RACIAL ISSUE.. You’re yelling so loud, no one can hear what you are saying.

  62. Rhonda: I wonder who you’re talking to when you say “you.” I suppose it’s the “general ‘you'” and not the particular “you” because then you’d have it all wrong about what I say when I talk about “race” and racism.

    While we’re on the topic of debts owed:

    Don’t get it twisted. You live in a nation that honors inter-generational and collective calls for reparations. If you didn’t live in such a nation, we could have a different conversation – but since you do – we don’t have to go there.

    As for this delicious tidbit –
    “or any other common people of these times?”
    – I’m glad it’s posed as a question because you can get some answers that may surprise you.

    I have a series of questions you might want to begin asking. Now, I must warn you to be careful because it may not be good for your health. If you’d like to proceed, you should begin where I begin – with the money.

    I suggest the following. It’s a simple task, really. You want to tie together three very simple pieces of life in your county…labor (jobs, union membership), education (funding per pupil, professional staff training) and finance (mortgage payments, bank lending, etc.).

    Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to WRITE DOWN the names of all the COMMON FOLKS who were MEMBERS of LABOR UNIONS which either barred blacks or only allowed “affiliates” – going all the way back to the construction date of the oldest building in town. You’ll also need to determine when each union ended this practice and allowed blacks to be full union members.

    Your second task is to calculate the mortgage payments and property tax payments of ALL those common union members (mostly available from public records). Then calculate the differentials in mortgage payments and property taxes paid by blacks in your area. I can give you some tips on reducing some of the inherent data challenges if you like.

    Of course, next, you’ll need to figure out the percentage of those property taxes that were paid to schools. You should be sure to check that the local government did not have a differential formula for paying schools with mostly black students. You’ll have to check – you can’t assume anything. If they no longer do this, you’ll need to know which year the practice ended.

    Then you’ll need to hit up the banks to tie a nice neat bow on this. You’ll need to know lending rates, interest rates charged, and the basis for determining the viability of loans. For example, if a white union member applied for a $50,000 loan to create a new business and was approved, was the basis of the approval related in any way to union membership? Similarly, if black non-union members applied for loans were they accepted on the merit of the application or was membership in an affiliate (with lower or possibly seasonal wages) discounted as a liability.

    You’ll have to do this work because, unfortunately, every building in your town was not built after 1970…every mortgage for homes and business loan was not originated after 1970…nor was every school built or person educated after 1970….you’ll simply have to go back to a time when “whites” deemed that blacks should not be looked at as individuals.

    I know you want to live in the present, but before you can ask about debts – and cast them aside, you’ll have to do some math. No shortcuts and no cheating. Work as hard as you’d expect your students to work.

    Once you’ve done all of this work, you’ll be able to answer for yourself exactly which common folk in your era of these times and times past have actually done anything for which a debt might be owed. It’s a simply task. Hop to it. If you’d like some pointers on the process, pick up anything from Herbert Hill and specifically his work on Black Labor and the American Legal System.

    Let me know how that works out for you.

  63. AMEN CECE

    THE REAL TRUTH IS IT IS IN MS. COTTON’S HANDS. SHE COULD ALREADY BE OUT, BUT HAS CHOOSEN NOT TO COOPERATE AND NOT TO BEHAVE. HER MOTHER TESTIFIED IN COURT THAT SHE WOULD NOT COOPERATE WITH PROBATION OR ANY OTHER CONDITION OF THE COURT AND THAT’S WHY SHE IS IN TYC!!

  64. cece:

    to hazard a guess, the reason why tyc is not being protested is because they are in the “warehousing” business vs. the sentencing business. frankly, it comes down to the sentence – and what appear to be viable alternatives to incarceration.

    michelle:

    luv…you’re going to have to stop yelling…the allcaps just kills the feng shui on the web page. feel to mix it some CAPS…i certainly do, but it’s just not cool. i heard you the first two times.

  65. Temple

    sorry if i offended you with all caps…there is alot of tension here and the media is portraying this whole town as racist and we are not all like that. all the facts are not being reported on local or national news channels. again sorry if i offendend you

  66. So temple3, did finding out more info about the fire starter help you with any of your questions? And did you have any more questions regarding that issue, and if so what would they be? I mean, to would like to hear as many details also regarding the white child!

  67. Oh yeah,
    Thank you for your response, one more question, does it make any difference that ms cottons mother declined a plea bargain that WOULD have resulted in probation?

  68. After doing yet some more research, it has come to my attention that Ms. Cotton’s mother is a known civil rights activist and felt that what happened with her daughter was an injustice. Further, if you will read the newest article regarding the investigation into TYC, you will see that the reason Ms. Cotton has not “cooperated”.

    ” But like many of the other youths in the system, she is eligible to earn earlier release if she achieves certain social, behavioral and educational milestones while in prison.

    But officials at the Ron Jackson Correctional Complex have repeatedly extended Shaquanda’s sentence because she refuses to admit her guilt and because she was found with contraband in her cell–an extra pair of socks.
    The “phases” system also contains a built-in Catch-22 for youths, like Shaquanda, whose legal appeals are still making their way through the courts. One of the first phases that must be satisfied is a requirement that youths admit their guilt–an admission that would instantly compromise their appeals.”

  69. By the way, does the Tyrone Brown case make you think there is a trend towards backward sentencing judgments in Texas?

  70. OK THIS HAS GONE WAY TOO FAR… SHE WAS SENTENCED TO 7 YEARS, BUT SHE IS IN TYC… WHEN SHE COMPLETES HER PROGRAM SHE WILL BE ALLOWED TO LEAVE… COULD BE A MONTH OR A YEAR, BUT NO LONGER THAN 7 YEARS… OBVIOUSLY HER PROGRAM IS GEARED TOWARD CONTROLING HERSELF AND SHOWING PROPER RESPECT… AND OBVIOUSLY SHE HASNT BEEN ABLE TO PROVE SHE COULD DO THAT OR SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN DONE A LONGGGGGGGGGGGG TIME AGO… HOWEVER, I DO KNOW THAT MY DAUGHTER’S SCHOOL WAS ON LOCKDOWN TODAY BECAUSE BLACK PANTHERS AND KKK ARE IN TOWN PROTESTING AT THE SCHOOL, WHICH IS JUST REDICULOUS, THE SCHOOL MAY HAVE PRESSED CHARGES, BUT IT IS THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM THEY SHOULD BE PROTESTING… WHY DOES MY 7 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER HAVE TO FEEL UNSAFE AT SCHOOL BECAUSE THEY HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THE JUDGE????????????? IF U ASK ME ITS REDUICULOUS AND U GUYS ARE BLOWING IT WAY OUT OF PROPORTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  71. Stacy,

    I would suggest that you do a little more research. She was giving a one to seven year terms only after her mother declined a plea bargain that would have kept her with her family and the school did not press changes, the 58-year-old, woman she shoved, in which she received a broken arm. I don’t understand how they have come up with the ideal that she will not admit what she did when she plainly states on her web site she did shove but did not cause any SERIOUS bodily injury. Serious means life threaten.

  72. I can appreacitate the people who are standing up for what they believe in. But what bothers me is the protesters talk about God and open with prayer and I can respect that. But then they turn around and start preaching hate and how the “white man does not care about them” and how all the white man cares about is his money. That is not true. I heard words of hate today at the protest and it hurts me that this person was portraying all white people as racist. I am a Christian and don’t care what color a person is. It’s what’s on the inside that counts. How do you think that all this has affected the neighborhoods where whites and blacks live together? I hate what it might be doing to the children, who do not pay attention to what color their friends are.

  73. Got it, thanks for the link, very helpful. Temple3 I really would like to know how you feel about this issue after getting more info. I understand what you are saying about our town’s history, but do feel that ms cottons civil rights were violated

  74. I would just like to say that the protest went peaceful. With the exception of the out of town preachers. I respect ALL aspects of religon. It is everyones right to protest under the amendments set by our founding fathers. Although, I DO NOT agree with the profanity used during the protest. This is completely uncalled for and the people should be ashamed of themselves. The persons doing this were identified as ministers from a Dallas church. I was sickened to hear this people calling themselves Christians. Once again, I agree that EVERYONE has the right to protest but to do this in such a very immature way is ridiculous.

  75. cece:

    I’m not a lawyer – so, you’ll need to have that grain of salt ready. I can’t say at this juncture. It’s too early to tell. From where I’m sitting, even a year in jail seems excessive. Consider – 365 days and nights behind bars. If her actions were directed against another student, she’d have gone home that evening. And, that’s not an ideal situation either, but it contributes to the idea that children’s bodies are less worthy of respect and protection than adults. That’s one side of the coin. The other side is that children and the society as a hole must respect state officials because that is the foundation of law and order.

    In an extreme example, during the worst days of the state-planter battles over cocaine trafficking in Colombia, judges were routinely subjected to direct assassination attempts – and the results were disastrous. Now, shoving a school official is not akin to killing a judge, but these activities could be placed on a single continuum.

    I don’t know that the school official didn’t touch Ms. Cotton first – in an effort to direct her or restrain her or something else. The context and the related facts mean everything. I am not, however, inclined to support the use of plea bargains as a means of clearing the docket and building cases for prosecutors. In locales with high crime volumes, pleas are used for efficiency – not for justice – and sometimes, efficiency is as close as you can get.

    It’s better to be home than behind bars – but, if the price of a release is a concession – it may be too high. Many folks pass up liberty, food and other privileges/rights to affirm a belief. It’s the way of the world. Whether or not her civil rights were infringed upon is secondary, though. She’s 14 and apparently in a situation that is not conducive to rehabilitation, growth or education. This does not have to be a “fatal” moment. It can be life-affirming and positive, but some things will need to be different going forward.

    The broader issue of how people relate to one another is unresolved. I’ve seen adults push, hold, and verbally abuse children in schools. I’ve seen administrators and parents berate one another in schools. Schools are violent places, often times. They are not pristine, isolated environments where the problems of the world do not intrude.

  76. Temple3, with everything that has been said, I would like to voice my true feeling about our town. As a whole, our town and most of the people in it do get along, but what I would like to know is how can we do more than get along? What if anything could we do to make this happen? I feel that we could offer anything and their would still be division? How do you make any progress if the black community does not want our compliance? I mean I understand that they are trying to get the black community to pull together, but most of the protestors were from out of town. Why is it so hard for them to pull together? Why is it so hard to get more blacks to vote, come to the community meetings, or anything positive for that matter? Why do they wait for issues to make national headlines or until they feel one of them have been wronged? Why wouldn’t someone come help her before see was sentenced? Why didn’t she get the support of these protestors when she really needed it? Please Temple3 help me understand? Is it simply out of the white folks, the ones who really care, hands? Is this movement really about black people coming together? Should people like me stop helping or trying? What if anything would you suggest?

  77. I’ll tell you two things: First, you should pose your questions to black folk in Paris, Texas. Second, you may wish to paraphrase your questions and identify the assumptions within your questions before posing them.

    Take, for example, “Why is it so hard to get blacks to vote…?” I don’t know about in Paris, but nationally, you’d be surprised at the voting percentages – especially among young people. I’ll have to dig up the citation, but if I recall correctly…in the past two presidential elections, black youth (18-25) voted at a significantly higher rate than whites or latinos.

    I don’t know if folks in Paris were aware of that – or if your town or state follows this trend, but it’s worth noting.

    Finally, there are a billion things you could do to make an impact – you just have to do it. I recommended checking out http://www.rachelstavern.com before. I recommended it for a reason. She is a white woman and a professor in this area with a background in addressing the specific concerns you’ve expressed. You may hear her differently than you hear me. Check her out – check her archives – and see what she has to say.

    My first recommendation, though, is to create a dialogue in a “safe space.” A safe space is a place where people have a higher than average comfort level speaking openly. It might be a church – it may not be. It might be a community center – it might not be. It could be a park or someplace like that – but start with small groups of people who can LISTEN and LISTEN to each other without getting super defensive. People are going to get defensive…it’s natural – but if you react to the defensiveness – instead of expecting it-respecting it-moving through it…you get stuck.

    Start small…talk…listen…brainstorm…and solicit local people with history and expertise – because it sounds like many of the white folks and black folks don’t really know all that there is to know about Paris. That’s not unusual…in Tulsa, when the Greenwood District was bombed and looted by whites, a great deal of effort was expended to expunge the memory of that event from the town’s collective consciousness. It happened in 1921 – and it still impacts the financial condition of black folk in Tulsa – and they rebuilt the neighorhood – only to have it raided and looted again. So, perspective is everything – but if you’re not willing to listen to that 80 or 90-year old black woman with seven or eight children and 20+ grandchildren, you’re not serious about community – because that is your community. Good luck.

  78. Temple3, thanks for your insight, it has been helpful to me if no one else! Again thank you. I guess that would be all for me.

  79. Any judge who would sentence a young girl to a lenghty jail term has clear goals and shows his appreciation for justice and humanity. On the latter issue he has no compassion or regard for teenage black girls or their developement. A night or week in jail may deter further bad social behavior (if he felt this was true) but a lenghty jail term only can harm and/or criminilize this poor adolesent. Discrimination aside his goal is clearly one or intimidation to all blacks and possibly everyone in Paris, Texas. He is using as a pawn a young developing person to frighten and make subsurvient all who would consider opposition to authority. Seven years for pushing a teachers age. The death penalty might be in order if someone calls a cop a Pig! Death on the spot if the perpetrator is BLACK!

  80. This serves as a reminder and a reality check. There are two sets of laws in this country…one for whites and one for blacks (and others). The inequality of justice in this country is fueled by race and economics. Our belief that “Justice is Blind” only promotes the prejudicial environment that has long sustained America. Justice is not blind, but is forever colored by the racial unjust that is the history, foundation and shame of this country. This case must remind us that we are Black Americans and not subject to the same rules as those that have taken credit for founding and sustaining this country. Prayer for those in authority is a must, prayer for this child and her family is a given. Individually, we must be strong and never lose faith in the victory that God has promised. Racism is alive and well and more dangerous today than ever. In the not so distant past, you knew a racist by their words and actions, now it is many times hidden within the boundaries of the law and the offices of corporate America. We must be diligent in the education of our boys and girls and teach them the skill of decision making, with a focus on love of God, love of self, accountability, responsibility, and prosperity. I do not feel that the punishment that this child has been sentenced to is just in comparison to the offense, but we must remember that this world is not fair. There are many punishments endowed on the innocent (suffered when there has been no illegal action committed, but a preponderance of circumstance that has alluded to guilt and therefore punishment.) The ability to make good choices, in any situation, can mean the difference between freedom and captivity or life and death.

  81. Great News. I am, however, concerned about a few things. It appears that Ms. Cotton is merely one of hundreds of cases to be reviewed at the TYC.

    In addition, several posters here have erroneously (and rather arrogantly) stated that the conditions for sentencing and the denial of probation were attributable to the Cotton family.

    Investigations by the Chicago Tribune have revealed that the District Attorney mistated the court record and that Judge Superville did, in fact, have latitude to make a sentence of probation. The family, according to court transcripts, agreed to abide by the terms of probation, but the sentence of 1 to 7 years was imposed. I suspect that those posters who falsely put forth these messages in defense of their hometown should consider why the District Attorney would fabricate something so serious. There is still much to consider in Paris, Texas.

    The word is that young Ms. Cotton will not return to school and will seek a GED at home. That may be the path of least resistance, but it is not the path of academic challenge and adequate preparation. Perhaps another alternative can be sought. The word is also that Shaquanda contemplated suicide during her time in the “care” of TYC.

    She will require a great deal of support moving forward. And, again, it cannot be forgotten that her case is not likely to be an isolated incident. I believe there will be a number of horror stories to emerge in the coming weeks as this investigation proceeds.

    Some people spent a great deal of time focusing on the criminality of youth, but now is the time to take a deep, piercing look at institutional, grown-up crime – the kind that is paid for with tax dollars and subsidized with winks and nods.

  82. Temple3: I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog and the comments surroinding this case of S. Cotton. I had heard of it only a week ago thru a college website and immediately jumped on the train of folks who were outraged by her sentencing vs. the other 14yr arsonist. Clearly the “punishment did NOT fit the crime”. Whatever happened to after-school detention, or suspension..or anger management/conflict resolution classes? These are some of the things utilized for “problem/troubled” youth when I was growing up (and I’m only 24yrs young). I have no comment on the angry protestors at the schools or people getting all sad at the fact of Paris, TX being labeled “racist”. [If the shoe fits...and a duck quacks] In comparison to Miss Cotton’s behavior and the hall monitor’s broken arm; the 1 to 7yr Juvie sentence is beyond extreme and obviously ineffective rehabilitation tactic. Get the girl enrolled in counseling, family intermediation, require 50+ hrs of community service/cleaning up a highway!! But to give an arsonist – potential murderer (people die in fires) a slap on the wrist = a slap in the face. People need to wake up to the reality of the very things your said to Rhonda, CeCe, Michelle…
    Thanks again…I’ll be visiting again.

  83. Everyone does realize that the sentence given to Cotton was NOT seven years. It was a indeterminate sentence which means it could carry up to seven years depending on her behavior. It usually requires a level 4 behavior level to release someone. She was only at a level 2 when released from TYC. Everyone also thinks she was released due to all the press. TYC announced yesterday that over 500 youths are being released from TYC prematurely due to the sexual assault investigation by correctional employees.
    I just wanted everyone to know these vital facts.
    Thanks

  84. This a case of 1- court system having no limitation on punishment;
    2- parents who want prove their case but do not have enough knowledge of legal system of lea bargaining because parents mostly know parenting ; this has nothing to do with blaming the mother ;
    3- Judges who do not know anything about where to get help or control the outcome;

  85. It is noT about:Everyone does realize that the sentence given to Cotton was NOT seven years. It was a indeterminate sentence which means it could carry up to seven years depending on her behavior.
    IT HAS TO WITH NOT LETTING THE FAMILY (THE MOTHER) HAS HER ‘SAY’ THAN GETTING THE BLAME.
    WHEN A MOTHER IS SENT TO COURT FOR A CHILD , AND WANTING A TRIAL , IS BECAUSE SHE HAS SOMETHING TO TELL THE COURT BUT NOT ALLOWED
    SINCE AN ATTORNEY DOING ALL THE TALK.

  86. She did have a chance to have her say. The girl was offered probation but the mother would not agree to the terms and conditions. The defense attorney did defend the girl. Even so, after her conviction, she could have been out of TYC over two months ago which would have only given her a nine month sentence. Everyone talks about the arsonist in the other case. The only difference between the two is that the arsonist parents agreed to the terms and condition of probation or that person would have been sent to TYC.
    The question I had is, why did her family wait almost one year before the stepped up and said something. If it was so wrong, why wait. Everyone has their opinion and I respect that. But, if that were my kid and I thought the court was wrong, I’ll be damned if I would sit back one year and wait. It’s all about the publicity. In my opinion, race is not a factor after hearing ALL the details. By the way, I am not white.

  87. Diego, your account is at odds with the court transcript and the most recent report by the Chicago Tribune. In fact, the DA revised their own website with respect to your comments.

    Also, how do you know the family “wait[ed] almost one year before they stepped up and said something.” If that is true, perhaps it was because before going public they sought advice and funding on how to support their daughter – or perhaps they didn’t feel like the local media would appreciate this story (after all, it was a Chicago paper which carried this story far and wide) – perhaps they were traumatized and simply didn’t react immediately (this has been known to happen to victims (in this case a “secondary victim”) in all manner of circumstances.

    Even if they waited two or three years, would it change the fact (based on the court record, as reported in the Chicago Tribune) that the DA lied and that the judge denied the probation option even though his hands were not tied? Would that be different? Perhaps, with respect to her release date – but the fact is that the deception of local law enforcement officials is at the center of this controversy.

    When’s the last time the police or law enforcement lied to you? What did you do about it – and when? Guantanamo?? Attorney General firings?? Wiretaps?? Domestic spying on convention protesters?? Now, clearly these issues are more “removed” than the sentencing of your child, but even that is about your frame of reference and personal politics – because ultimately, we’ll all be impacted by these activities. So – have you moved on these already – OR are you waiting for them to hit closer to home?

    Finally, while I’ve not put forth the idea that race was the/a factor in this case, I am confounded by why the DA lied – and how the other young lady came to receive probation for burning her family home. The court record indicates Ms. Cotton agreed to the terms of probation, but the offer was not extended. Patterns of sentencing is easy enough to check…what does the data say? It would be silly for me to say race is OR is not a factor without the context. If you don’t have that information (whether anecdotally or otherwise), it can be nothing more than your personal opinion that race was not a factor. Opinions are necessary, but not sufficient.

  88. First of all, check the Chicago Tribunes source. The person at the tribune that wrote the article refused to call the DA or courts back to get their side. The source was the family only. There is no way he got the transcript due to him not having any contact with the courts. That is factual.

    Corruption is a big factor in everday life all over the world. I can’t even begin to jump on a bandwagon there because I would not know where to start. But I admit, I would probably wait until it hit home (just being honest).

    Have you read the actual court transcript or the one the Tribune supplied because it IS NOT the real deal. Trust me. I was very close to the case. I also have no idea about the DA Lying or what he lied about. To my knowledge the facts were supported by eyewitnesses including testimony by four black school employees. These people that are now called “Sell outs”. They were called other things by the Panther Party but I will leave that alone.

    Maybe you have more info on the Tribunes “so called” transcript. I like how the reporter failed to verify any of the story with any other officials.

    And you are right about the race issue. It is simply an opinion. But all people need to be reminded that this is not sufficient since this seemed to be a huge issue with a Dallas Radio Station D.J. On his program, he stated justice for mistreated black people. One of the other braodcasters on his show stated that it should be “Justice for all mistreated (Not just blacks)”. He didn’t seem to agree. I don’t know. It’s been debated for years and will always be debated. I just don’t see color when it comes to humanity. I don’t have the need. But I do recognize hate.

  89. This is easy enough to clarify. The writer at the Tribune is Howard Witt. His e-mail address is hwitt@tribune.com. Since you were close to the case and he’s working the case, both of you could submit PDF’s of the pages in question – and we can all compare for ourselves.

    I have yet to read the transcript and will not do so. Too much minutae – especially since I’m not a lawyer and the young lady has been released. Nonetheless, I am fully capable of skimming a PDF.

  90. I can try and get it but I doubt I would do much good. It is not released to just anyone since the case involves a juvenile. By Texas Law, it cant be done. The press however could get permission of the family as Witt said he has done. As far as emailing, he refuses to answer emails from anyone that is not family of the girl as far as I know. That would seem to be a waste of time. If you go back to the Tribune and look, no one from any agency is quoted. They can’t quote if he won’t acknowledge them. But, your right. It would take forever to go through it all. Thanks for your input.

  91. Having her say is not as same as what was said in court by others.
    She had some reason to go to trail than taking what was offered . A court or system push no trail but when a person not taking it , meant THE FAMILY DID NOT ADMIT TO IT. THE PUBLIC DO NOT KNOW THE LEGAL LANGUAGE . THIE PUNISHMENT DOES NOT FIT THE CRIME. judges do not know all the fact . the lawyers do not remember or pass all the facts in between,

  92. Then why not appeal if it was not fair. She did however admit she pushed the 58 year old school employee after she was denied entrance into the school. Also, she was denied because school had not yet started and no student was allowed in. Anyway, I hope she does go through the appeal process. She has nothing to lose there. Also, the JURY is the one (12 people) that convicted her. Not the judge.

  93. The judge and the system had set the sentence but then
    the jury is the people that were picked by……so I do not judge what I do not know for fact. Any punishments is up to judge rule out. Just say no contest could get more consequences than going to trial, If representation by a right attorney.
    If it was not for civil right ,this would be another case of forgotten bad judgement.

  94. Point is not the APPEAL . A KID has gotten the punishment of much bigger crimes with THE FEELING OF NOT BEING MATTER TO THE COMMUNITY.

  95. Ms. Cotton’s mother has allowed the papers and the press to release her name and story. In the Paris News, Philip Hmailton is asking that her mother also sign a release to have her school discipline records made public. She has nothing to loose now, so why not??
    Maybe because that would shed a new light on this young girl ‘s true behavior p[roblems. Maybe she’s not as innocent as her mother claims!! I have also heard she will not be allowed to go to Paris High!

  96. She would be allowed to go to Paris High although her mother stated that she would be home schooled. Maybe because she is now on parole. If she messes up, the locals have nothing to do with it. She would be immediately sent back to prison. They know this and this is why public schools are out of the question. There are also four other school districts in the area.
    Plus she is at Sea World today, so I guess everyone had a free day out of school as well. Let me check on that…….Nope everyone else was required to be in school today.
    Michelle, you will not see the records be released because this reveals numerous violations. If she has nothing to hide, why not relelase them?

  97. Paris Texas is racist. Paris Texas has always been racist. Judge Superville is an idiot. Gary Young is an idiot as well as a liar. Alan Hubbard and Gary Young both claimed on television news shows that Creola Cotton testified on the stand that she would not cooperate with probation. After the transcript was reviewed, they changed that lie to another lie. According to the Houston Cronicle, Young said the hall monitor Cleda Brownfield was body slammed to the ground. Young is now making claims that even Brownfield didn’t make. He did the wrong thing and now he is attempting to use false propoganda to justify what he has done because he knows that people were shocked and appalled with the truth. Lies were the only way to get the support he needs. Regarding the Sanchez statement above: This childs case is on appeal. Why the HELL would her mother turn over her school records to newspapers appeal or not? What is wrong with you people? If kids need to be sent to prison for minor school writeups, most kids would be there. Why don’t you have your own children sent to prison. Thats one of the problems here in Paris. People can’t even think for themselves. Whatever the local hillbillies put out in the local hillbilly news is supposed to be the gospel truth. How the HELL could the child be at SeaWorld which is in San Antonio and be in Dallas at the same time? THINK. Rather than trying to get that child to turn over her school records, get Gary Young to show just one piece of evidence to verify that probation was offered. Tell Cleda Brownfield to release her medical records to verify any injuries Young claims she had. Witt attempted to talk to the D.A. Gary Young, the school superintendent Paul Trull and numerous other people. At that time, they all claimed they could not speak due to juvenile confidentiality laws. Now apparently those laws do not apply. THINK people. Even the local hillbilly newspaper reported that. Phillip Hamilton is a racist idiot. Maybe Cotton will release her childs records to him if he will release his childs records to her. By the way, the mother did not sit back a year before she said anything. She has been speaking about it from day one. It was reported in a Dallas newspaper over a year ago. It was found that the guards were raping and abusing the children at the facility the girl was placed in yet certain people are upset that she is not still there. Sanchez, you appear to be on a mission. Soon, when the truth is made apparent beyond a shadow of a doubt, I hope you will look in the mirror and ask yourself why it was so important to you to spread your….well I don’t know if they are deliberate lies or if you have just been fed what you wanted to eat and you keep chewing and chewing on it.

  98. We are getting too weak to deal with this issue and all other world problem but as long as we have civil war inside how can face the world and problems
    ………………

    A Boy Like Me – Bill Cosby Breaks It Down
    A Girl Like Me

  99. Brenda
    I never said a child should go to prison for minor school write-ups!!! Ms. Cotton has painted a picture of her daughter that is not true. She stated she has never been in trouble until this incident and that is not true!! By the way, my child would not have to go to prison because she is not a discipline problem in school!! This is over, Ms. Cotton got what she wanted and it’s time to move on.

  100. “Three months before Cotton, who had no prior criminal record, was sentenced by Paris Judge Chuck Superville in March 2006 to up to 7 years in youth prison for the shoving incident, Superville sentenced a 14-year-old white girl convicted of the more serious crime of arson to probation. Later, when the white teenager violated her probation, Superville gave her yet another chance and declined to send her to prison. Only when the youth violated her probation a second time did the judge order her locked up.”

    This is the latest from the Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0704010009apr01,1,938139.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed&ctrack=3&cset=true.

    Now, either there is a lying bastard at the Chicago Tribune OR there are a bunch of lying bastards in Paris, Texas. And if it’s the latter, those lying bastards are really in for a rude awakening. I suspect it’s the latter.

    Why? Do the math. It’s all about the numbers. Start with the school system and the lawsuit for Title VI violations filed with DOJ. The implications for the district and the town of an adverse finding were always significant.

    There is more money in incarceration than education. This is true across the state and across the nation. In New York City, the average expenditure per pupil is somewhere between $10k and $14k. Revenues to state agencies or private contractors for incarcerated youth exceed $25k. And, there is no money in severely criminalizing activities that would indict another target population: compare crack v. crystal meth.

    Will the real lying bastards please stand up.

  101. Michelle:

    It’s really just beginning. Now is the time for folks in Paris to begin to answer some of those questions I posted above – if you want to arrive at justice for your town. Moreover, given this latest report on the decision by Superville to grant a second probation to the young “firestarter,” he should be subjected to some review by a higher court.

    In addition, it’s time to look at the District Attorney’s office. It’s time to look at whether state officials sought any special consideration from Margaret Spellings at USDOE to make this case go away.

    Baby, it’s a looooooong way from over. It’s just starting.

  102. Subpoenas for e-mails and letters. Court orders for wiretaps. It’s time to look under the covers to see which of these lying bastards should serve the most time – and which of the good people deserve exoneration or shiny merit badges for doing the right thing.

    Now, Michelle, I don’t know you’re afraid to look under the covers because you’ve already told us how great the town is – and how it’s not racist – and blah, blah, blah. So, if I took you at your word, I’d have to conclude either 1) you have no idea what the hell you’re talking about 2) you have some complicity in all of this 3) you were duped or some combination of these. So, which one is it? Your town is on the verge of either getting cleaned up OR going back to business as usual. Do you want a bath or do you want another mint julip? This won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

  103. Temple

    I have only stated that not all people in Paris are racists. I know there are racists in this town, but not everyone is like that as the media has painted this town. Racism is alive and well in all citiies and towns across America!! I agree that the lying bas***** should be punished. Ms. Cotton has not be totally honest either, but I guess that is OK in your book. No one else can lie but Ms. Cotton right??

  104. Let me put it to you this way…I have neither absolved Creola Cotton nor her daughter from a full-fledged role in this. I said from the outset that it takes two to tango. However, I don’t know which lie you refer to with respect to Ms. Cotton. Whatever it was, I’m not sure how it stacks up against profiteering off of the incarceration of children, making false statements to the public as a district attorney or possibly soliciting favors from a federal secretary of the Department of Education. So, if there is something to “investigate” you can look into Ms. Cotton’s fabrication – and I suggest that the lionshare of our time and resources be dedicated to looking into these larger yarns. I’m sure you’ll agree that’s the best path to take – right??

  105. The beginning has to be local and it involves a conversation with lawyers, media and others to determine, quantify, investigate and report what is actually going on. There appear to be problems in the school system, the court system – and probably in a host of other areas.

    For example, I mentioned crystalmeth. I’m hard pressed to believe that that’s not an issue in your town. Does anyone do serious time for that? What have the judicial rulings been? Is the county jail system being “carried” by marijuana and low-level cocaine incarcerations of black kids? You tell me?

    What’s the deal with the education case? Local folks are going to have down and read those reports to find out what the rulings were and who said what.

    The heavy lifting should be done by qualified folks with time: retirees, church folk, NAACP members – and not just black folk. If I’m white and this dumb ass judge lets some arsonist free TWICE, I’m worried about my safety. And the thing to remember is that – even though the focal point FOR NOW may be differential treatment with respect to race – the real bottom line is corruption, graft and the public trust for all Parisians. Keep that focus and people should be able to work together. If you let this degenerate into black-white (as in ALL Blacks vs. ALL Whites) you’ll walk right by those blacks and whites who keep this system afloat. Don’t believe the hype and work together – and don’t believe the words…DO the MATH. If the numbers don’t add up, it’s bullshit.

  106. After you’ve done all of this gathering…you need to check in with folks periodically about COLLABORATING to improve the day-to-day lives of folks. Build the collaborations as you work – and build some fun into it (seriously). I know air’body and they mama can cook in Texas – so there should be no shortage of energizers for y’all to get this going.

    Start with a phone call to someone who is on the same page and keep talking and calling until you get a meeting. Then you need to figure out who is in the room and who needs to be in the room.

    I hope that helps.

  107. OK, opinions are everywhere and everyone has their righ to one. If no one is happy in Paris, just move. Its very simple. If I weren’t happy here, I would leave. If the “system” is that bad then do something. But, racism is an excuse. It is in Paris, Texas Brenda. But just look anywhere. It’s everywhere! But it is also fired from all sides and all races. I am an american indian. Several generations back, my family or “people” had land, life and property taken from them. I have never used this against anyone I was mad at or for any civil right action. Some ask why. Because I wasn’t here then. Some say it affects us now. So what! It can’t be changed. So, we need to move forward. I have never seen so much rage hate and anger in my life. And, what about the people from Dallas. Most of them didn’t even know Shaquanda. We need to move forward in God’s name.

  108. Yo, sun…you could have said that in the beginning. The very idea that things from the past cannot be changed is preposterous. The Japanese won reparations from the same government that snatched your ancestors and scattered them to the wind. The Jews won reparations and fund a political action group which provides more than $5 billion per year in funds to Israel.

    Perhaps you should move to a place where people were able to make themselves whole after being wronged. Then you could compare it to the lowly straights of YOUR people subjected to reservation life all the way from Oklahoma to Canada.

    Boy, if don’t wake up and smell some coffee, it’s gonna get ugly. I can’t speak for Brenda, but this is not about “using racism as an excuse.” Snap out of it and do the math. Calculate the extent to which those groups who have been restored (at least in part) and calculate the ongoing appropriation of residual wealth based on pre-existing relationships.

    I’ve already posted a one way to calculate the bottom line for Paris alone. It’s not too late to restore the balance. Hell, Henry Smith’s lynching was as recent as 1893. Aren’t there any institutions left in Paris that date to 1893? You’ve gotta have something – and what you find should make you stronger and wiser.

    If you simply want to move on, there is really no point in being a member of the community…because your insistence on letting go of the past will always undermine what holds any community together: memories. So, while you’re forgetting about this case and all of the patently obvious corruption issues, you can feel free to elect your next law and order DA or state senator or governor whose entire career is predicated on a sham. Now what kind of political neighbor are you? Community is not about letting go of the past – nor is it about being mired in it. It’s about balance and I don’t recommend, as you are now, cutting off your right leg in order to save face.

  109. Sanchez, why should black people have to move? Move to where? The system IS that bad and people ARE doing something. Racism in Paris is not fired from all races because all races are not in positions of power, ONLY WHITE PEOPLE. If you are from Paris, please name just one Native American or black person in Paris who is in a position of power and is using that power to oppress white people. Whats it to you if people from Dallas came to Paris? Isn’t this America? Do you complain when the school district brings in its crew from Dallas? If you are Native American and you are satisfied with the racism inflicted against Native Americans, thats your right However, those who are not ok with it have a right to complain, protest, and fight for their equal rights. And stop using God as a reason to accept inhumane treatment That tactic worked during slavery but it will not work today.

  110. The God tactic didn’t work during slavery. That’s why black folk and white folk still don’t generally attend the same churches. It’s also why Black churches placed so much emphasis on the OLD Testament in the 18th and 19th century.

  111. Brenda
    Ms. Cotton has said her daughter has never been in trouble before this incident. That is a lie. She may have never been in court before now, but she has been in a lot of trouble at school!! You seen to be very close to this family. I have heard none of the four school districts want her at their schools. Why is that if she is such an innocent child who was done wrong? maybe you can clarify this. Thanks

  112. Michelle…you’re buggin’ out. A school district may not want to enroll her for many reasons:

    1) the possibility of another USDOE lawsuit
    2) the threat of a savvy parent advocate
    3) unwanted publicity
    4) opposition from local parents who haven’t followed the case closely and know nothing of the subterfuge by the DA’s office and the judge.

    bottom line, M…you’ve consistently gone out of your way to blame the child for all that has happened and all that follows. you seem unwilling to fathom alternate endings to this drama. That’s not conducive to building community.

  113. Temple

    You made a great point that I have wanted to blame the child, but lets not forget she assaulted a public servant!! You have gone out of your way to blame everyone else but the child maybe you cannot fathom anything else either. Where is the proof that the DA and the judge are lying about the testimony in court. Haven’t seen any yet!!

  114. Michelle,

    As far as I know, there are only three school districts in Paris. You can only go to the district you live in. PISD would have to take her if she wanted to go there, therefore the statement could not be true. I don’t think the childs mother has ever made the claim that her daughter never got school writeups. I guess it depends on what you mean by a “lot of trouble”. Since often kids get written up for petty things, it just depends on what you mean. A “lot of trouble” in my opinion, would get a referral to juvenile. The kid never got one of those. Would it suprise you to know that it was actually the child who was injured by the teachers and her medical records verify that? Would it further suprise you to know that a white 16 year old was found guilty of “Assault on a public servant, the same charge as ShaQuanda, Arson, and criminal mischief and yet he was given probation by Superville. People are so busy defending the system, they really don’t want the facts. Eventually the whole truth will come out.

  115. Brenda,

    If the statement is true that the child was hurt by the teacher, then why doesn’t her mother release those records to the press? That might shed new light on this situation. You keep comparing this to all these different cases and you are correct these people did receive probation and Ms. Cotton was offered the same,but refused and now wants to call this racism. How is this racism when she refused the probation? She was given the same opportunity these peole were given, they chose to take the probation she did not!!

  116. Michelle,

    Her mother did release the medical records to some of the press that she spoke to and it is in some reports but her daughters case is on appeal so she does have to be careful. Her daughter was never offered probation. The childs current attorney provided proof of that to some news media by means of portions of the trial transcript. However, you can’t change reports that have already been printed. Howard Witt also did a follow up regarding that and he reported that after the D.A. was questioned the D.A. changed their story. At first, the D.A. claimed the mother got on the stand and told the judge she would not cooperate with probation. That is a lie and its outrageous that the D.A. would do such a thing and most likely its going to come back and bite them in the butt. People were outraged with the situation. The D.A. was backed in a corner and needed people to accept what was done. Their claims of an offer accomplished that. It made you defend them didn’t it? The truth will come out and when it does I want you to remember this conversation. The D.A. needs to lose his job because he is supposed to be fair and trustworthy.

  117. Michelle:

    What part of this is unclear: “Ms. Cotton may not be entirely without blame in this scenario. She did shove an employee of her school – and was charged with assault on a public official (or some such language). It does take two to tango.”

    This is from my original post. I think you should re-read it.

    Moreover, you need to (must) remember that she was a 14 year-old child at the time of the offense. The law does not consider children and adults to be the same – except in extreme cases. This is not an extreme case with respect to the crime. It was an extreme case with respect to the punishment.

    The adults in this case lied. The child did not. The child deserves a measure of blame, but only a life led with blinders would suggest that a full grown DA and a grown ass judge with lies on their tongues have less culpability. This, again, does not begin to weigh the gravity of Superville’s decision to release young white offenders with equally or more grave offenses. You are residing in a community under the leadership of judges who sanction criminality. You are living in a community which grows more dangerous with each passing day precisely because of this “enforcement.”

    If looking at a 14 year-old makes you feel better, don’t be surprised when that high school has its Columbine incident. It’s like a sweltering pot with the lid on tight.

  118. First of all Temple, I am not a “Boy”. I am not a child writing this either. The thought of using racism for an excuse is ridiculous, but you are blind if you can’t see that going on. Just ask Ricky Smiley (D.J. from Dallas). I heard him say it myself. Some with that group who state they have marched with Dr. King are a farce and they know it. It’s true memories are important but would you in fact compare this to a lynching or a scalping that occured well over 100 years ago. Come on, grow up. That is ridiculous. I do support all aspects of law enforcement including for official oppression. If they violate the law, they (Public Officials) should receive punishment as well. If anyone is wrong, it’s VERY easy to contact the Texas Attorney General. If no one is satisfied there, they could move to the US Attorneys Office. There is a process. If the process is not right for you, maybe there is somewhere in the world that is right for you.

  119. Brenda, why do you keep saying black people? I said nothing about BLACK people moving. That shows exactly what I am talking about. By you saying BLACK, it shows the BLACK race. I am not speaking about the black race. Mrs. Cotton herself stated on the radio that she was probably going to move because Texas has not been good to her and she didn’t like it here. As far as the people from Dallas; It doesn’t matter to me if people come from Canada. The point was, most of them didn’t even know the girl until they were contacted by Mrs. Cotton. I think thats great if they are supporting their race. But the State of Texas, City of Paris and Lamar County had to hire additional Law Enforcement due to the NEW black panthers that came in. That cost you, me and everyone. I very much agree with the right to protest but the NEW black panthers are a hate group. If you don’t believe me, look at Their own website. It says it right there. They didn’t do anything additionally that you and I could not have done except violate the Disorderly Conduct law by screaming and yelling obscene and vulgar language. I heard the curse words they were shouting and the hate remarks directed toward an african american male at the school district. Don’t try to deny it, I WAS THERE! I find these things disturbing.
    As far as the school district bringing in its “CREW”. I have never known of a “CREW” from the district rally and march to the point where the whole city is disrupted or a dallas radio station supporting it over any racial issues.
    Now, I will agree with you on a lot of the issues. A definite concern is there and It needs to be corrected. There are groups who could help you with this problem. But the NEW black panthers, thats a bit much. Why not contact the original black panthers? They are effective and do make a statement without causing problems. Think about the tactics. Using the right resources might take you further.
    As far as me using GOD. I have never used GOD for anything except to be my Lord and Savior. He is NOT used as any type of reasoning other than for my religious beliefs.
    It’s all over anyway unless Young Ms. Cotton violates her parole. I hope all of you had a good Easter weekend. Thanks

  120. Look at us! We the people! Can’t you see this isn’t about one town,one state,one judge or one black child. This is about “we The People!” wake up america. WE will be destroyed from within by our own hatred of each other.Are we truly a nation under GOD?If we fight among ourselves then we don’t need enemies. We are our own enemies. All we need is a cause seed planted and we will rise up.If we are truly of GOD then do as HE says.Love Him and love each other.Oh don’t get me wrong.There are injustices everywhere,but don’t stand up for the injustice or for the perpetrater.This young lady is a child who needs help.If you see someone who needs help,don’t step on them. Give them a hand up.This is GOD’s love and the strength needed to heal and bind up a nation.Our nation.Yes,I am an African American woman,but I am GOD’s child first.Search your hearts and stand up for freedom for all under GOD!!

  121. Diego: that’s some comical writing there son…it is precisely because you no longer recall the battles of your own ancestors that you can glibly wear the drag of your collective oppressors…having been dispossessed of your land, you parrot lines propounding an exodus of the disaffected…the “process” which you fail to understand – possibly because you’ve never used it – is to contend the law (not to accept at face value) on the basis of justice. you seem to have forgotten more than I care to restore right now…

    I don’t know which nation you hail from – you tell me…but you couldn’t be lakota or chiricahua – unless you were raised by other people because you’ve lost that mind. You have a new mind which you presume to be modern, but is merely disoriented.

    All manner of criminal laws used to be LEGAL in this nation. This is not about the books; it’s about the erosion of the principle of justice – and its ardent defense by folks like you who lack the frame of reference to recognize a game. You can’t see it – but it’s right in front of you. This is not uncommon. This is a logical product of the information you’ve been given for years. And, none of that has anything to do with the legitimacy of the protesters.

    For me, this is not about what’s going on in Dallas. If that’s the issue for you, I can’t argue that because I’m not on the ground there and don’t know any of the folks you’ve referred to. I know better than to “fight” you on that.

    Frankly, this is a simple matter of serious transgression of the law and the principles of public trust. And, to the extent that you want to make this about something else – you open yourself up to the same myopia that afflicted Judge Superville when he grants probation to DANGEROUS white youth in your own community.

  122. “The point was, most of them didn’t even know the girl until they were contacted by Mrs. Cotton.”

    The same thing was said about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Montgomery, Alabama. Dr. King, you may recall, was from Atlanta. He, too, was perceived as an interloper and REVILED in Alabama, across the South and much of the nation UNTIL television cameras captured the sheer, naked aggression of white southerners on film.

    How soon they forget. How soon they repeat.

  123. You wrote above that “For me, this is not about what’s going on in Dallas. If that’s the issue for you, I can’t argue that because I’m not on the ground there and don’t know any of the folks you’ve referred to. I know better than to “fight” you on that.

    Your right, but your not on the ground in Paris either. This is blown way up. If you think this is ONE incident, your wrong. I have been here all my life and never seen this but I have seen this in other cities. Everyone here that has been protesting wants everyone to believe that it is isolated.
    Oh well, I guess I am going to move on to another blog. And hey son, thanks for the constructive criticism and opinions. It was fun. Have a great week.

  124. It’s a lot to take in – but I’ve said this to several other posters that the priority should be building a local community because it is inevitable that outsiders will introduce new elements into the agenda.

    It happened in Montgomery in 1955. Not everyone in that city expected their home to become the flashpoint for a movement that would continue for another 15 years across the entire country. I’m not suggesting that’s going to happen here – but if it did, it would not be unprecedented, merely unexpected.

    As to whether or not this is an isolated incident, much of what I’ve written tends to place Paris, Texas in a historical context – with respect to racial animus expressed as lynching; with respect to tensions in the modern era; with respect to violations of the rule of law by judges; and with respect to the emerging crisis within the Texas Youth Commission.

    Not quite sure why you’re leaving, but, bon voyage.

  125. Diego,

    I was not responding to you regarding God. However, I stand by what I said. Ms. Cotton has stated that she has thought about moving but that she does not want to. She said to numerous news media that she does not feel running is the answer. I keep saying Black people because that is the race of most of the people in Paris who are affected by racism. According to you, Native Americans have equality in Paris Texas. I know many Hispanics are affected by racism in Paris. The only person I heard making the claim they marched with Martin Luther King is the old PISD slave boy Robert High. He will fight any black person who dares to claim there is racism. I personally have no respect for him but he is an adult and able to defend himself if he wishes. There were a large number of people from Paris participating in the march. Phillip Hamilton and The Paris News can minimize that fact if they wish. But it really doesn’t matter where anyone lives. Racism affects us all. Perhaps you and yours in Paris believe its over but you’re in for an “awakening”. Its just begun. There will be more protests. Its a new day in Paris Texas. I was at the protest as well. The were no obsenities or fighting because if there were, the police would have arrested someone. Here is what was said. “Paul Trull, Come on out boy. You got company”. To the one black in the superintendents office, “Robert High, Tell them why you’re such a sellout Negro”. If saying these things greatly disturbed you, you need to get out more. Evidently you’ve led a sheltered life. If you think people should not exercise their constitutional rights because officials in Paris choose to spend large amounts of tax payers money every time they do, thats absurd. If they are worried about money, tell them to stop the racism against African American ad Hispanic tax-payers. By the way, the Black Panthers were not the ones speaking. Every time a black man dresses in black and speaks in Paris, according to Phillip Hamilton and The Paris News, its a Black Panther. People in Paris need to take a giant leap into this century.

  126. Where are the two Biggest media whores, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton?? They are running around acting a fool about this Imus crap, when they can really do some good by helping this poor young lady. This is really disgusting that Miss Cotton cant’ get the help she needs.

  127. L-A-T-E. She’s been released. Please don’t make everything about the reverends. I’ve had about enough of them and everyone who gets “issue blindness” by focusing on them instead of the facts at hand. It’s so third grade. “But Tommy said…Nuh uh. Bobby said.” Grow up and get a life. That’s right, byatch!

  128. Rumor in Paris is that Shaquanda has already violated her probation. I know how rumors are in small towns. It is rumored she has assaulted her mother. If anyone knows different please speak up. If this is true (especially after everything her mother did for her) then maybe this clarifies this case?

  129. I don’t know if that’s true, but if it is – you HAVE to be able to see the humor in this. People have expended a great deal of effort and energy on something that is clearly beyond their control – and so, when things fall apart, they do truly fall apart.

    Whether this is true or not, there is a great deal of work to be done.

  130. Michelle,

    That is an absolute lie. One of the people passing that lie around is the aunt of Althea Dixon. The claim was made that her mother called the police on her. Common sense tells us this could not be true because if it were, ShaQuanda would be sitting back in TYC because that would be a violation. This is a good example of the ignorance of Parisians. Rumour has it that Gary Young called the mother and daughter “anti-white niggers”. Are we to spread every rumour we hear. I think we shoud deal in facts and facts only.

  131. Brenda
    First, you don’t know me to call me ignorant. The reason I posted this is to find out if there was any truth to it! By the way if this just happened it will take awhile to get her to TYC. I hope for her mother’s sake it is not true and they can continue with their lives and maybe we can all learn from this experience.

  132. from paris,

    You’re slinging mud just for the sake of slinging it. The mud should be slung at Cody Posey, the white 19 year old who killed two people and his punishment was probation and sending Christmas cards.

    Michelle,

    If you were just putting it out there to find out if it is true, I told you it wasn’t yet you’re still wanting it kept out there. It does not take a while to get a juvenile locked up. All they do is arrest the child and hold them in Greenville until a detention hearing is held. They can arrest them immediately. I know of a 16 year old black boy who according to Officer Brad Ruthart, told a white girl at Paris High School “I better not see you over at my house”. The boy was immediately arrested at the school for terrorist threats and immediately sent to Greenville. Shaquanda was arrested a couple hours after the school completed their conspiracy claiming she had SHOVED a person. Why would she not be arrested immediately if she ASSAULTED or BEAT UP a person. Come on now. THINK. Juveniles do not have the same rights as adults because supposedly they are not being found guilty of anything but just being placed in the care of the state. By the way, the word ignorant means to have a lack of knowledge about a particular subject. Its obvious you have no particular knowledge about the subject of this blog which is racism in Paris or maybe you do and just prefer to justify it and defend the many injustices in Paris. Its time for a change and rumors and mud slingling is not going to make this go away. As someone stated in the local news. FINALLY A LIGHT HAS BEEN SHOWN ON PARIS TEXAS. The dirty little secret is out of the closet.

  133. Brenda

    Thanks for the insight. Now its a conspiracy that she shoved a person. So now your saying she didn’t shove her that this is a conspiracy. Make up you mind! Did she shove the teacher’s aide or not. It is a fact that she did shove the aide and now you are calling it a conspiracy that she shove the aide. I guess you don’t know all the facts in this case! Whether you like it or not this is old news and by summer no one will be talking about it!

  134. Cody Posey,…Hmmmm….Was the ACCIDENT INTENTIONAL and/or did he have a controlled substance in his sytem? The answer is no. As I do recall, both families had a very hard time with the case and bonded at the end of the trial. That must have eaten you up. Wow, desicion time. Who to be mad at?….hate is a terrible thing isn’t it.
    I am very sorry for the two lost lives. I knew them, but, I am not saying I agree with the punishment given to Posey. I know he was punished as an adult as well. There is no comparison. The United States legal system is not made up to be perfect. Look around at other nations. It’s not perfect there either.
    Exactly Michelle….WAS THE WOMAN PUSHED OR NOT? THE ANSWER IS YES. NO ONE CAN DEBATE THAT. THE GIRL ADMITTED IT!

  135. Michelle,

    According to Cleda Brownfields demonstration in the courtroom NO she didn’t shove her. I never said the girl shoved her. YOU said it. Cleda also said she wanted to go back to work but was told by the school staff to go to the hospital a couple hours after the incident. So yes it smells like conspiracy to me. The girl’s medical reports verify injuries. Cleda Brownfields do not. You said its old news to you but you keep talking about it so I don’t agree. Maybe it will be old news by summer and maybe it won’t. There are many many other stories in Paris just like it so I guess we will just have to wait and see.

  136. from Paris,

    I don’t know if he was dinking or not and neither do you. What i do know is he was know for speeding and running stop signs. He’s had three speeding tickets since he killed that baby and grandmother. Maybe he wouldn’t still be doing that if he had gotton more than a slap on the wrist. He had a jury and they wanted him to serve five years in prison. I spoke with the grandmother of the baby a few days ago and she is angry as HELL. I don’t know who bonded but I know she didn’t. And yes the senseless killing of two human being does eat me up. The girl did not testify at her trial and I’m sure you’ve read that according to Jay Kimbrough who was hired by Gov. Rick Perry to fix the problems at TYC, the girls stay was extended because she maintained her innocence. This is Posey’s record.

    01/30/04-Fail To Stop (Stop Sign-Intersection)
    01/30/04-Expired Driver’S License
    01/23/04-Hunt Or Poss.Deer In Closed Area
    09/14/04-Failure To Attend School
    10/25/04-Failure To Attend School
    11/20/04-Proof Of Financial Responsibility
    12/13/04-Evading Arrest Detention W/Veh
    01/19/05-Littering/Dumping
    01/19/05-Permit Unlicensed Person To Drive
    02/03/05-Failure To Attend School
    Confined 05/25/2005 Released 05/25/2005
    Charge CRIMINAL NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE
    10/05/05-No Safety Belt
    01/26/06-Speeding (Exceed Prima Facie Limit) – 58 Mph/45 Mph
    01/26/06-Fail To Report Change Of Address On Dl
    08/14/06-Fail To Report Change Of Address On Dl
    11/13/06-Speeding (Exceed Prima Facie Limit) – 76 Mph/65 Mph
    02/17/07-Speeding (Exceed Prima Facie Limit) – 74 Mph/60 Mph

    I agree there is no comparison because what he did is 100 times worse. The debate in Paris seems to depend on what race you are. The overwhelming majority of black people say Paris is racist and the overwhelming majority of whites (in Paris) seem to be laying around on Fantasy Island, claiming they don’t see racism and never have seen it. That is no suprise.

  137. Brenda

    Shaquanda admitted on the news that she shoved the aide. You keep talking about medical records, LET’S SEE THEM. You have done nothing but call names and spread hate in your comments(the reason you are fighting for), pretty ironic isn’t it. The girl and her mother admitted she shoved the aide. They were fighting because of the harshness of the sentence. They have never said she didn’t do it, so I guess you lack knowledge about this subject.

    By the way after you posted that the assault was not true I let people know that was only a rumor, so I am not spreading it, in fact just the opposite!!

  138. Brenda,

    You are quick to post Posey’s record on line. Where is Shaquanda’s disciplinary records?? You wanted to bring light to the posey case, let’s bring light to Shaquanda’s case!!

  139. Michelle,

    Cleda Brownfield, the supposed
    victim would be the best source and her demontation in court showed no shove. The only hate being spread is your hate of the real truth being exposed. The girl maintained her innocence from day one. Why do you think there was a trial?

  140. Michelle,

    Posey is a grown man. His records are open for the world to look at. But I see you have no issue with his record. As you know, the girl had no prior record. If you or anyone else believe a child should be sent to prison for school write-ups, you are sick. You know you wouldn’ think your child or your kin folks children should be sent to prison for school write-ups. I wouldn’t care if she had a million write-ups, if she never did anything serious enough for a juvenile referral, its beside the point. And school write-ups only have the point of view of the teacher and never the other side and there is always two sides of a story. At the trial, they didn’t seem to be that conerned about write-ups. Mostly what they talked about was her mother filing complaints against them. LOOK at the TYC web-site. READ. TYC was designed for repeat offenders. It is for juveniles who have failed every other resource. IT IS FOR JUVENILES WHO HAVE REPEATEDLY COMMITTED SERIOUS OFFENSES. I know you wish with all our heart that this child fell into that grouping but she didn’t. Superville did the wrong thing. Young did the wrong thing and the more the white people of Paris defend racism the worse Paris looks. IT PROVES THE POINT. This is a CHILD. People of all races outside of Paris get it. Too bad most white people in Paris don’t.

  141. Oh yes I do. The toxicology report showed NO controlled substance and NO trace of alcohol in his system. Don’t tell me what I know and don’t know. YOU would be very surprised what I know. Did you see him speeding or running stop signs? If not, thats hear say. As far as the bonding, when I see people in a open court room from two families hugging. I was not referring to the deaths as eating you up. I was refering to the bonding. You see, I have good friends who are black. I have a lot of friends that are black as a matter of fact. They have a different opinion than others in this matter. I feel thats ok. I respect everyones opinion. But, I never state hear say.
    Now, I do agree the girl should have been released due to the TYC problems. All, should be released if they are victims there. I don’t dispute that one bit. But honestly, you cant compare the Posey incident. HE IS AN ADULT not a child. As far as “the whites” in Paris living in fantasy land, I am sure that is the case as with a majority of “blacks” having issues with this case. But remember it’s not all “whites” and not all “blacks”. I don’t even believe it’s a majority of either. I work at a place where there are equal amounts of both. It seems both are not as interested in the case as everyone says. Why can’t it just be stated as people instead of whites and blacks? Not everyone in this town is a victim or racist, trust me.

  142. from Paris,

    Because the issue is black and white. Even in this blog. As for Posey, when you’re a relative of the sheriff, your report might say anything. I didn’t see him speeding or running stop signs but thats what his RECORD says. He didn’t run the stop sign that night because he RAN INTO THE BACK OF A CAR AT THE STOP SIGN. I guess the killing of the people stopped him from getting another ticket for that. Bonding is not eating me up. I missed that trial but I know some people have forgiving hearts but like I said, the grandmother remains very upset. So you’re saying you have many black friends and they ALL have the same opinion as you. LOL. I won’t even comment on that. I can and do compare the Posey case. As an adult who is supposed to be more responsible than a child, his punishment should have been greater. He KILLED TWO PEOPLE. I remember several years back, a 16 year old black kid ran a stop sign and two white girls got killed. It was an accident but that kid was tried as an adult and got 20 years. There is no such place in Paris that employs an equal amount of blacks and whites and you know it. Name just one such place. It can’t be stated as “just people” because we are talking about RACISM.

  143. Wow, where to begin with all that. OK, The Sheriff’s Dept didn’t do the report. The Texas DPS did the accident report and they are not related to anyone involved. The Sheriff’s Dept. has no influence over DPS reports. They are approved through Austin and have nothing to do with the Sheriff.
    I have a ticket on my record also, but it doesn’t show that I was not guilty since I had insurance on my vehicle but not with me. It was dropped. You can’t always go by that report. Also your quote about “that night” was wrong. The accident happened during the daytime. I know why you won’t comment on people I know having another opinion, because there are many, as you say “black” people, in this town that have this opinion and “YOU KNOW IT”. You can yell at the Paris News for not reporting the proper amount of people being at the protest but, how many were from Paris at either protest. The pics on the Ricky Smiley Show website showed it all. There were people from Paris there but not near as many as eveyone wants to believe.
    If you will check above, I DIDN’T SAY the same opinion as me! If you continue to believe Posey and the killing of two is comparable to a shove of a school official, your priorities are terribly out of order. No matter what the law says, your heart should say different.

    NOW, I was involved in the case of the 16 year old “black” kid killing the to “white girls”. What you fail to mention is that the car was stolen, the car was proven to be traveling over 80 mph when he ran the stop sign and struck the car with the two small girls in it and he was already on probation for several other criminal offenses. He had no drivers license. We aren’t even talking about the narcotics found in his system or the crimestoppers tips that kids called in on him for selling narcotics. Get your facts straight before you bring something up like that. If you are just going to yell racism everytime something happens, then that’s your opinion. But, when the facts come out, they will show everything. He didn’t get 20 years for being “black”.
    But let me make MYSELF clear. I AM NOT saying Posey got the sentence I would have given him. It probably would have been my recommedation for prison also. HE KILLED TWO PEOPLE. I personally don’t care what color or ethnic background they had. THEY WERE HUMAN BEINGS! It can be stated as just people because racism is not in the hearts of all.
    If that’s all you see, then I need to move on to another blog. The reason I say move on because racism is hatred and alot of people have that in their hearts. It works both ways.

  144. Brenda,

    You are wrong about Cotton. She admittied that she shoved the aide. This has all been about the punishment being to harsh, never about if she did it. I never said she should be in TYC for school write-ups, only that these MINOR write-ups would show she is not the innocent child her mother is claiming! She has been in a lot of trouble, maybe not with the police, but with the school. She has been in alternative school as well. I guess that is to harsh or a conspiracy too!? Nothing to say about Cotton’s medical records that show she was the one hurt not the aide? There are more people (balck and white) that don’t share you opinion in Paris! Start asking!

  145. from Paris,

    Come on now. If you’re making a claim that the sheriff has no friends or family with the DPS come off it. If you are implying that maybe Posey’s tickets were false and dropped come off it. You claim you never state hear say. What you are doing is trying to come up with some excuse. Oh excuse me, since Posey killed the people in the day time, that changes everything. Maybe he shouldn’t have to write those annual Christmas cards. The only black people I know who have the same opinion as you are the ones that are in danger of losing their jobs if they don’t have that opinion. If you believe an alledged shove is worse than the CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE of two innocent people, your priorities are terribly out of order. You wouldn’t feel tha way if it was your kid that was killed. Why would I “yell”at the Paris News for not reporting the protest accurately. More respectable, well known, big time papers reported it more accurately. Who cares about the local Confederates. Since the boy was not charged with car theft or drugs, what you said is hear say. He was not trying to kill those two girls and you know it. However, he was treaed very differently than Codey Posey. The D.A. didn’t even ask for any time for Posey. Marilee Brown defends him like a poor innocent victim to this day. If I yelled racism everytime there was racism in Paris, I would be yelling 24 hours a day. And as usual in Paris, when black people talk about racism, a claim is made “It works both ways”. THERE ARE NO BLACK PEOPLE IN PARIS IN ANY POSITION TO INFLICT RACISM ON WHITES. PERIOD. Since you’re moving on, I guess I will never find out the answer to my earlier question which was name one place in Paris who employs an equal amount of blacks and whites.

  146. Cotton never admitted to anything. As I said, SHE DID NOT TESTIFY. One of the main things Gary Young and Alan Hubbard kept talking about when cotton was still in prison was how it was her fault for still being there because she refused to admit her guilt. Even state rep. Dutton and Jay Kimbrough talked about it. Its on numrous news sites and blogs. Surely you have read it. Also it was proven that Young and Hubbard lied about certain things such as the claim that Cottons mother got on the witness stand and said she would not cooperate with probation. Anytime a public official is caught in a lie, the entire thing should be questioned. It still smellslke a conspiracy. There is no evidence that the mother claimed her daughter was innocent of having school write-ups. I think she said the opposite. Of course I don’t have the kids medical reports but I was at the trial. Cotton was injured. Brownfield was not. All students that are arrested are automatically sent to alternative school. Also I have seen students sent to alternative school for talking, getting up out of there seats and etc. If they’re written up 15 times, they go to alternative school. Does that make them criminals. NO! All that means is PISD is twisted. I’m not going to poll the people in Paris. I do read the opinions in the Paris News and it appears to be black and white.

    BLACK:

    Letters to the Editor
    April 11, 2007

    To the Editor:

    Finally! National attention is being drawn to Paris and its backwards ways.

    I was born in Paris in 1963 and left there in 1988. I have continuously written
    The only time I remember as a Lamar County citizen anyone standing up for equal rights in “my” community was when my late pastor the Rev. A.M. Seamon spoke out for justice. Today our own Black Ministerial Alliance has never to my knowledge taken a stance against the injustice and I’ve even heard comments like, “we don’t need all that trouble like Dallas do with the white folks here.” How absurd!

    I’ve written letters of my concerns when in the ’80s an article showing the events and prides of Paris showed scene around town — a black man shining a white mans shoes. My own brother’s death in his back yard was insensitive and placed on the front page with a horrific description of his death.

    Paris has always in my 44 years of living has been unjust to minorities and it’s kept hush. I pray that it is brought nationally the backward and injustices that still are there in Lamar County.

    Debra Ellis Lewis, LPC, LBSW, ACBSW

    Arlington

    WHITE:

    Letters to the Editor
    April 12, 2007

    To the Editor:

    Thank you for letting Shaquanda Cotton go, now everyone can just protest every time someone goes to jail for bad behavior. Why are the people of Paris allowing outsiders to come in our town and make decisions for us like we are just dumb hicks whom can’t make right decisions. The justice system in this town was just in putting her there, but outsiders from other towns released her back into our town. Al Sharpton and his supporters can stay in New York and handle their business. If they can protest and get her out, we should protest to put her back. We need to stand up to these radical people before they take over our town and turn it into another New York. Take back our town now before it’s too late. And for all those people whom have written in their opinion whom do not live here, keep it to yourself, you don’t live here, you don’t have an opinion. At the next protest Paris community needs to come out of their homes and send the DJ and his supporters back to where they come from. If you don’t like Paris and the Justice system, save it for the elections. We support our system and town, let’s take it back now.

    Chrystal Yearwood

  147. Brenda,

    If you think there are no black people in Paris inflicting racism on white people you are in a fantasy world. This works both ways. How about the incident at the middle school were a white girl was beat up over what she was wearing by a black girl? They both got OCS and the black girl continue to threaten the white girl that she was going to kick her a** in the lunch room and in class and nothing was done about that. Racism, probably not in your opinion because the girl was white and probably deserved it!!!

  148. Brenda,

    You must not read all of the post. This blog states ” Ms. Cotton may not be entirely without blame in this scenario. She did shove an employee of her school – and was charged with assault on a public official” This was stated by the person who started the blog, so if she didn’t do it why would you post on a blog that doesn’t share your view on the issue of whether she shoved the aide or not? Maybe to continue to spread hate!!!

  149. You guys are way off topic, sort of. I’ll post a new thread if you want to continue your discussion. The discussion, in part, would provide a definition and viable framework for discussing racism.

    If you all define racism as teenage girls fighting, it’s no wonder you have trouble. It’s also no wonder that no one wants to be called a racist – even folks who clearly are.

  150. Temple

    I don’t define racism as teenagers fighting, but I do define it as school officials not doing anything to the black student because the school is scared of the repercussions. That is racism!!!

  151. What are the repercussions that the school is afraid of? Are you suggesting that whenever Black students do something inappropriate at the school, officials turn the other cheek? If so, what is the benefit that accrues to the Black community?

    In order for this to be defined as “racism,” some benefit would have to accrue to black folks and some disadvantage would have to be meted out to non-blacks.

    Otherwise, it sounds like stupid shit predicated on the widespread notion that 1) the kids are beyond redemption through adult intervention 2) the parents don’t really care – if they did, they wouldn’t send them to our school and 3) officials don’t like paperwork and press conferences any more than police commissioners do.

    You’ll have to help me here…because if the only benefit is that some 13 year-old does not get an ass-whipping, I don’t see it. That’s a negative – and would be more consistent with lax policing of crime in black communities by law enforcement than some new-fangled desire to be racist in support of Black Parisians.

  152. Temple,

    This is not about keeping a girl from getting her a** whipped, it’s about providing a safe enviroment for children to learn and not feel threaten by anyone, black, white, green or purple!! This was during all of the investigations of that school. That’s why I think they didn’t do anything to the young black girl. I agree that it is about stupidity and cowardice, but that doesn’t make it right!!!

  153. It doesn’t make it racism, either, unless its systemic and part of an institutionalized practice in which a benefit accrues to a “racial” group. That’s a high standard to meet, but it needs to be addressed if the community is going to have tools and mechanisms to address administrative dysfunction in the school system and elsewhere.

    If you don’t ask the right questions, just about any answer will do. The future of your town shouldn’t be left to some haphazard processing for labeling incompetence. In other words, it is important to get it right.

  154. Michelle,

    I haven’t heard about anything like that but how does racism play a part in your senario? You claim the white girl was beaten up over something she was wearing. What was she wearing? Why did the white girl get OCS for being beaten up? Where is the racism?

  155. The point, as I understand it, was not that the fight itself was racist – but that the school’s enforcement of the discipline code was racist. While this bit of information is not conclusive, it’s a different point. I’ll wait for additional information because this is not yet sufficient.

  156. HAHAHA, Brenda, Did you read anything I wrote? If not, ready it again. Dang. The only thing I will respond to Is on the other black males. If you knew anything about the case, you would know all other charges were dropped and the involuntary manslaughter charges were enforced. The other charges were of a lesser nature and they wanted the manslaughter charges pressed for sure. They were only filed on for one charge out of the many.

  157. Michelle,

    The person that started the blog was quoting from a news article. I don’t think he claimed first hand knowledge. Its a BLOG for heavens sake. Why would I have to share the same views in order to post? If you think having a different opinion than yours equals black racism or the spreading of hate, I’m not at all shocked.

  158. Well, hello everybody! How have you been Temple 3? WOW!!! I do say you have some class act people in here!!! Would it be safe to say a few things? Lets see: I don’t know where to start first, we all know that there are racial issues EVERYWHERE! I don’t know Michelle, Brenda, or Diego. But I do have a question for all of you, have any of you taken a step back a minute to really think about this whole situation? Take a second and think about this, do you really think it was not injustice for a 14yr old girl(regardless black or white) to spend a year in jail for a mistake that she made. I’m sure she had no intentions of hurting anyone. At least I would like to think that! A year is too long!! But really look at this case! Yes, Ms. Cotton has had many problems in school, home, and in the community, so has it ever crossed anyones mind that Ms. Cotton may have some emotional or behavioral problems, something maybe to be more medical than legal. I know for a fact there are deeper issues in this case besides race. The focus is all wrong. I think this is why all the attention has been unwanted by most. For the most part of the people I know here in Paris, they are not racist. I can say most of their parents are or were! That goes for both races. As far as the school districts, there are four different school districts in the area that will take transfers from out of district students, these are set aside for students with good or at least average records. As far as home school, that would be a shame. I don’t know how anyone could learn anything under her living situation. There is a lack of supervision most of the time and there is lack of positive role models. Lets see, Paris is more about MONEY more than anything!!!!Face the facts!!!! If a black man or woman, had plenty of money, There is not a Lawyer or Judge(especially Judge Superville) that would give or get the least punishment possible. That’s NO BULL!!! It’s about MONEY not race! That’s my opinion!!! Take it or leave it!! When you take money out of the picture, I believe the black community holds more power as far as job situations and PISD, just to avoid any civil right law suits! So like every where else, Money rules! I have met both blacks and whites that paid to have charges dropped to dismissed. Yes there is racism in Paris with BOTH races! Michelle just calm down and try to think of a way to put more energy into something that is actually helpful and get somewhere! Brenda, I know it is your duty to defend Ms. Cotton and that is good, but who is with her right now, what is she doing? What was she doing Sunday around 5pm? Do you know? I DO? And I feel that if you or some other adult was around I probably would not know! She was not very nice! Regardless, Who is helping her now??????? Where are the supporters????What kind of education is she really going to get???? Who is going to teach this young lady???? By the way Brenda, can you please enlighten us with Ms. Cottons school record with every write up or office visits she has ever had? Until you can please just stop while you’re ahead. It’s very easy to make up things when no one is looking AT you!!! A few of us know better!!! Remember Paris is still very small and more people know your business than you would like to think. And Diego, I am not sure what to say to you, what is your question and what are you talking about? Regardless of what we think not one person is right or wrong it’s the way we react and respond that make a differents.

  159. sup, cece.

    You’ve missed alot – so I don’t know that all of those questions will get answered. I’m going to post another thread if folks want to continue this dialog. We’ve reached a limit here.

  160. cece,

    Get off it. Its not my “duty” to defend anyone. However, I will defend injustice where I see it. Right now, it is happening with black children in Paris. These things don’t happen to the white kids in Paris. And I don’t care how you or anyone else feels about it. Black people in Paris are not going to take it anymore. You are also a liar. I happen to know where ShaQuanda was all day. It was Easter but ShaQuanda spent her day as a guest on three different radio shows. I’m asking you like I asked Michelle, name one racist act inflicted by a black person against a white person in Paris. Name just one. People looking at you when you’re with a black man does not equal racism. Maybe they stare at you because you stare at them. Interesting that you claim home schooling is a shame. Its done all the time and statistics show homeschoolers fare better in college than public schoolers. I don’t have Cotton’s school records but if I did I wouldn’t give them to you. Other peoples kids school records are none of your business. Why don’t you post your kids records. You sound down right foolish. You said you’re from Blossom. That explains it all. You should be ashamed of yourself making up lies about a child though. What kind of role model are you for your own kids?
    Maybe there needs to be a more responsible adult around to make sure your children are taught the values they need.

  161. Wow, such hate toward Cece. the truth hurts I guess. Cece, I do agree. If she is going to bring up school records, provide proof. She can’t becuase she doesn’t have them. As far as home school is involved, I know a “white kid” that just came to public school from home school that just got into criminal trouble for the third time this school year, has terrible “write ups” at school and is only in the sixth grade. His own parents are fed up with him because he doesn’t know how to act. Yea, it really works…hahaha

  162. from Paris,

    Obviously you don’t know what hate is. Hate is spreadig lies about a child you don’t even know. Thats whats wrong with this picture. Like I said, I do know the Cotton’s personally and I know for a fact that cece lied. Now you can defend her all you want but it appears to me that the problem in Paris is not the children. Its with supposed adults who are willing to do just about anything to explain away racism and injustices and attempt to keep things as they are. Adult logic and lies in this blog:

    ” I also heard that Shaquanda could have already been out of TYC if she had been behaving properly”

    Turned out her so called misbehavior was having an extra pair of socks that were given to her by TYC and she refused to admit guilt.

    “I was talked to and about by a majority of blacks, women at that. So in my opinion, based on my OWN experience, our community is not just whites against blacks, but for the most part blacks against whites”

    Oh. Please. Racism is about oppression and unfair treatment in jobs, housing, and education. Its not about I,m a white woman dating a black man and all the black women are hating on me.

    “LaShauFicka Edwards”

    There is no such person in Paris. People do anything to try to prove a point. When it starts off with “I’m a black person in Paris” its usually not.

    “The girl who committed arson did not have a wrap sheet like Shaquanda Cotton did”

    Lie. That girl had a prior CRIMINAL record. She was given probation 3 times. She is currently in TYC because she violated the third one. However she is just a child and probably needs help that she is NOT going to get at TYC.

    “the 58-year-old, woman she shoved, in which she received a broken”

    LOL. Now this one is a big example of the lies people are willing to spread to prove a point. in court, Cleda Brownfield never claimed to have sustained any injuries. The D.A . made a big point of explaining to the jury that injuries were not needed and that if she felt pain that was enough to convict. Thats what Brownfield testified to PAIN in the shoulder. However Cotton did sustain injuries.

    Too many lies to address.
    Eventually, people in Paris are going to have to face reality because this thing is not going away. Lies, justifications and reverse psychology are not going to work. Deal with it.

  163. from Paris,

    Like I said, even if she had a million school it would not be criminal unless she got a juvenile referral. School writeups are not criminal offenses. Thats another problem. Criminalizing children for petty things and people like you supporting it. Its got to stop. And what is your big point? So you said a “a home schooled white kid” got into trouble and is now public schooled. So in your world, that is a blueprint for the evils of homeschool. Please! Just for your information, most people in prison are public schooled. But thats neither here nor there. If that child has parents who are just fed up with him, why aren’t they trying to get him some help rather than just gossiping to you about him. What are you doing to help him besides posting in blogs about him?

  164. OMG you are hilarious. Most people in prison are from public school. Ya think? Look at the ratio. Question…How much does it cost to CORRECTLY home school a child through a CREDITED agency? Not this fly by night agencies that gives you a diploma. Any idea? Rumors about the white kid. I don’t spread gossip. I am stating facts. His parent came to me and we got him help. One should think bfore they speak. If I were in a position to help before this incident with Mrs. Cotton, and she asked me to get Shaquanda some help…I would have for her also. Did it happen? I am asking because I don’t know. Speaking of criminalizing. How many school write ups did the child (as with any other) commit that would have fallen under the Disruption of Class offense that were never prosecuted? It is an offense. Has she ever been filed on for that? I know many students that have and they deserved it no matter what the race is.

  165. from Paris,

    You’re the one that posted the ignorance implying homeschool and criminal behavior were connected. It doesn’t cost much to homeschool. And it doesn’t matter if its accredited or not. Most colleges now recognize and welcome homeschoolers. Hundreds of whites do it in Paris. Apparently, its only when a black person chooses to do it that it becomes a problem for people like you. Earlier you posted that the kids parents were fed up wih him. Now you say with your assistance they got him some help. Make up your mind. I don’t think Cotton needs your help. You could help Cleda Brownfield, Chuck Superville, Gary Young, Brad Ruthart, Tony Sanders, Joan Moore, Phillip Hamilton, Marilee Hazel Brown, Robert High, Althea Dixon, Michael Johnson and etc. though. They are obviously in need of some moral guidance. You mention Disruption of Class. At Paris Independent School District, black kids are written up at eight times the rate of whites for that. Its the number one writeup for black kids. Since the so called “disruption” ranges from yawning, blinking your eyes, asking a question, and looking around it leaves the door open for any idiot who happened to pass the college courses to become a teacher to inflict ignorance and racism on black and Hispanic children. Bottom line, keep on defending racism all you want. We as black parents are no longer going to allow white racists to destroy our children. It is our responsibility to take care of our children. When lynchings occurred in Paris, the police, the mayor and high officials participated. After they murdered black people in the most cruel way, they justified what they did. The relatives of those same people reside in Paris today and high officials still participate in cruel treatment and justify, justify, justify. But its a new day and we are not going to take it anymore. PERIOD.

  166. When was the last Lynching done? Because I am 40 years old and my own grandparents don’t remember anything like this in Paris and our family has been here all our lives. Oh, I guess your going to blow that off as a lie or that I am once again ignorant. By the way Disruption of class is a school write up but I am refering to criminal Disruption of Class.

  167. Also since I am Native American, does that place me in the class of white racism? Prior to the lynchings in Paris as well as EVERYWHERE else, my families were killed, properties taken and lands destroyed. Once again, do I fall under the racism? I have never taken up for judge Superville in this matter. I just wanted your opinion on this. By the way, Criminal Disruption of Class under state guidleines does not include blinking your eyes, yawning, etc. Please, this doesn’t happen and you know it. I also bet you wont find many disruption of class (criminal) offenses with the students in Paris either. Once again ANY student not just black.

  168. Wow, looks like Brenda has it in for the PISD people. Does she have any children there? She also named a couple of african american males that are employees at PISD. Let me guess, they are sell outs. Thats so funny. Someone using a childs misfortune to get back at people she doesn’t like.

  169. from Paris,

    The last lynching that I know of occurred at the Shaquanda Cotton trial. I won’t bother explaining. Cotton had no referrals regarding criminal disruption of class. She had not prior criminal record at all. You’ve been in Paris 40 years? I’m curious. Do you believe there are any racist teachers in PISD? If so, do you believe any racist teachers have committed racist acts in PISD?

  170. from Paris,

    The last lynching occurred at the Shaquanda Cotton trial. I won’t bother explaining. You’ve been in Paris 40 years? I’m curious. Do you believe there are any racist teachers in PISD? If so, do you believe any racist teachers have committed racist acts in PISD?

  171. from Paris,

    No much as you might wish, that does not place you with whites. You have no power to do anything to black people or anyone else. Native American kids make up only 1% of PISD and even less for teachers.You would fit better with Robert High. In juvenile court, any writeup is used including tardy. It does not have to be criminal. And yes they do write BLACK AND HISPANC kids up for things like looking around. If you weren’t so busy keeping the blinders on your eyes and defending racists, you could see for yourself. Take a trip down to Supervilles juvenile court and see for yourself. Thats what I do.

  172. focus,

    “PISD people” has it in for Black and Hispanic children so HELL YEAH I have it in for them. I have hundreds of children there. When a racist act is inflicted against any Black or Hispanic child, thats my child. You come after my children, I’m coming after you. PERIOD. I don’t use the word sell out. It’s your word so I guess thats what you call Robert High and the others mentioned. By the way, Black and Hispanic children love the fact that people are finally standing up for them. A new day has dawned in Paris Texas.

  173. Brenda,

    SELL OUT was used AT THE PISD ADMIN BUILDING DURING YOUR PROTEST. IT WAS quoated several times. I WAS THERE and it is on video. So no, that’s not my word as you say nor did it come out of my mouth. Who said anything about going after someones child? Did you ask their parents if they belong to you? I am glad someone is standing up for the kids. If they are being mistreated then lets go. But, don’t portray yourself as everyones mother. A new day dawn’s every day in Paris and every where else. Think about it.
    You also speak about hispanic kids. Do you feel it’s right for an ILLEGAL hispanic 16 year old to check in PISD, get caught with marijuana, get expelled, run 2 school buses (not PISD) off the road and wreck out almost killing himself? What should be done in your opinion? Oh, he was arrested after wrecking out for reckless driving but not much is done because he is illegal. Just want your opinion.

  174. brenda,

    I am so glad you have a clasification for all races. I hope you go to Tallihina, OK and tell anyone there they are white. YOU WILL SEE RACISM THEN. Since I am native american that means I am white, right? WHY? I never said that I had or wanted POWER. And, why would I fit better with Robert High, is he indian? I guess I don’t understand. I DO NOT work at PISD. I would also recommend everyone go to juvenile court although, if it were my kid on trial in juvenile court, I would ban people from the court room and yes that can be done. Also, you must be psychic because most juvenile courts occur when the child commits the offense and not scheduled. Have you been to any others except for Cotton’s case?
    You never answered my question. WHEN WAS THE LAST LYNCHING IN PARIS, TEXAS? WHAT DATE? Look it up on the internet. PLease let me know. It’s ok to answer.
    As far as knowing anyone from PISD, I know two people there (1 black and 1 white) and no, they are not racist. As far as anyone being racist there. The answer would probably be YES. It’s everywhere. MY GOD LOOK AROUND.

  175. focus,

    You don’t have me on camera saying it so whats your point? You’re the one who brought the word to this blog. I didn’t say I was everyones mother. Get over it. If that incident you described had happened, it would have been in the Paris News on the front page. But even if it did happen, what would one incident regarding one Hispanic child have to do with racism against Hispanics? I have no problem with Illegals coming here from Mexico. Make them legal. If you have a problem with it, arrest the “legals” that hire them for low wages.

  176. from Paris,

    Heres the racial makeup of Tallihina Ok:
    Races in Talihina:

    White Non-Hispanic (54.3%)
    American Indian (43.2%)
    Two or more races (6.8%)
    Hispanic (1.2%)
    Black (1.1%)

    So you’re saying if I go there and tell anyone there they are white, I’m going to see some racism. Why? 54.3% of them ARE white. I don’t have any reason to make a trip down there to tell them something they already know. I never said you were white. I said you are not. You fit in with Robert High because you are considered a minority just like him. You are in no position of power just like him. You’re closer to being black than you are white. You couldn’t ban anyone from a courtroom. You don’t have the power to do that…unless you’re Judge Superville. I’ve been to numerous juvenile hearings. Its usually open court. Unless they have something they want to hide, why shouldn’t it be? Although a juvenile might be detained immediately and sent to Greenville, detention hearings are scheduled and you can attend them. I did answer. The Shaquanda Cotton lynching is the last that I know of. So you agree that racism is everywhere. That means there are racists in Paris Independent School District.

  177. OK, lets do it like this so I could get my answer. When was the last time we had a Lynching in Paris, Texas other that Shaquanda Cotton. Lynching meaning that someone DIED. She is not dead. My Lord, how hard is the question.

  178. Nevermind. I found it. It was Henry Smith in 1893. Yes this did include racism on a black insane ex-slave that killed a three year old. It was looked upon by several white people in a large crowd. Wow, I didn’t realize Ms. Cotton’s was so intense.

  179. from Paris,

    You need to think outside your little box. There is no way to know if Henry Smith murdered anyone or not. He was lynched without a trial. Its highly possible that the mayor killed the girl.You depend on what a gang of murdering thugs said. Being an ex-slave is no reflecton on Henry Smiths character. Its a reflection on the character of the whites that en-slaved him. How could any so called decent person have their children participate in a lynching and burning someones eyes out with hot pokers? You appear to support that lynching just as you support the Cotton lynching. You also need to research more. Henry Smith was the most notorious lynching and there are pictures to prove it but it was not the last one. The Authur Brothers were murdered in 1920 ad their teenaged sisters were taken to the courthouse and raped by 20 of the so called good decent white public officials of Paris. Since a lot of lynchings were not documented, there is no way to know when the last one was that ended in death.

  180. Lynching is defined as: To execute without due process of law, especially to hang, as by a mob.

    In any of my statements above did I support Cotton’s TRIAL RESULTS? IS IT SAID ABOVE?

    Execute is defined as:1 : to carry out fully : put completely into effect
    2 : to do what is provided or required by
    3 : to put to death especially in compliance with a legal sentence
    4 : to make or produce (as a work of art) especially by carrying out a design
    5 : to perform what is required to give validity to
    6 : PLAY

    In reference to Henry Smith: I was just quoting what was on a website. I was just looking for the date. I hope you never act as hateful in public as you do on here. Do you do business in Paris? I wonder how you make it day to day with your hateful attitude. I TOTALLY understand taking up for your race. And I FIRMLY agree that you should. But if you are so focused in on the past, how do you cope. It would give me an ulcer. Well, I am done with this blog. have a good one and good luck with your cause. God Bless.

  181. from Paris,

    A modern day lynching does not necessarily include death. Racism methods change over time to fit what society will and will not allow. In 1920, there were no repercussions for lynchings. Now the lynchings must be done in a more acceptable way. You accepted what was done to the Cotton child, no questions asked of the lynchers didn’t you. In reference to Henry Smith, you included your own judgement. I assure you, I act the same in public as I am here. If you take it as hate thats your issue. The truth isn’t always pretty. This isn’t about taking up for my race. Its about truth and justice. What you call focusing on the past has a name. HISTORY. Why do you think they have those plaques inside the court house saying “Negro mens toilet and Negro womens toilet”. Why do you think that big old Confederate statue is sitting on the courthouse grounds. Confederate whites want to preserve their HISTORY. However they want to paint a pretty picture and leave out the ugly truths. Lynchings and racism is a big part of Paris Texas HISTORY and it needs to be talked about because it been hidden too long. Talking about HISTORY probably won’t give you ulcers. Dirty little secrets give you ulcers. I know you had a cause in this blog but I won’t say good luck because that would be disingenuous of me. Good Bye

  182. Brenda – you’ve got some good stuff here – and some stuff that needs fleshing out…perhaps you’d like to share on another thread that might be relevant to what’s going on in Texas. I’m going to shut down this thread – as soon as I figure out how to…

  183. Temple

    Thanks for the blog. It has really enlightened me on how much hate one person can have inside them and as I said before this is old news. Most of the people of Paris (black and white) have moved on from this. Brenda cannot and that is sad. Enjoyed it!!! thanks

  184. Michelle,

    If you had forgotten anything, you wouldn’t keep coming back. You can call it whatever you want, hate or whatever, I’m going to continue spreading it. I believe you when you say what you got from this blog is hate. This is the response from most whites in Paris: “Those terrible racist black people talking about racism when the real victims are the good innocent loving white people who are just trying to help them. Judge Superville was just trying to help that girl and take her from her terrible racist unfit mother whose response to everything was to support her daughter!” Whites in Paris might have moved on but I assure you, blacks have not. We just got started. We are not going to sit back and watch our children be destroyed.

  185. Brenda,

    This is no longer about (what was her name) the girl. You said yurself this is a matter of one’s opinion. You have done nothing but call names and say ugly things to the people who don’ agree with you OPINION. I may not agree with the opinions on this blog, but I don’t call people names and continue to spread hate!!

    KEEP SPREADING THE HATE GIRL!!!!

  186. Michelle,

    What you were spreading were lies, claiming you were the bearer of the REAL TRUTH.

    MICHELLE

    3.27.07 / 3pm
    AMEN CECE

    THE REAL TRUTH IS IT IS IN MS. COTTON’S HANDS. SHE COULD ALREADY BE OUT, BUT HAS CHOOSEN NOT TO COOPERATE AND NOT TO BEHAVE. HER MOTHER TESTIFIED IN COURT THAT SHE WOULD NOT COOPERATE WITH PROBATION OR ANY OTHER CONDITION OF THE COURT AND THAT’S WHY SHE IS IN TYC!!

    Like I said, call it what you choose. This is a child and I don’t care what you or anyone else thinks or how you protest. Black people in Paris are no longer going to sit silently while our children are destroyed.

  187. The notion that the 1984 movie “Paris, Texas” is about Paris, Texas is ridiculously misleading, absolutely false.
    My recently published novel, “Vanishing Starlight,” does more to put the real Paris on the map than any other work, literary or cinematic, ever has before. I debunked the false notion on page 76 of its 400 pages in hopes of settling the matter once and for all. – DC

  188. Thanks for clarifying. You might have a bit too much invested in this topic though. Talk about hyperbole: “ridiculously misleading, absolutely false.” David, you could have simply said I wuz wrong, dead wrong, heinously wrong, sinfully wrong and just flat-out wrong!

    Need a link to your book though. How much is it retailing for? Are excerpts available online? Thanks for the info, again.

  189. Hey I just noticed at the website below, several gentlemen dressed in black with black hoods on their face while standing in front of a local Bar-B-Q stand. Are they wanted by the law? Who are these men and if their so high and mighty about a rise up for equality, why don’t they reveal their face? Very strange. Check it out for yourself. Maybe they are wanted. Ricky Smiley must know since he put them on his website.

    http://www.979thebeat.com/Article.asp?id=80952

  190. Very interesting comments. I was born in Paris, Texas, in 1955, and I can say that at that time, there were Jim Crow laws in place, and segregation was alive and kicking. We were not allowed to go to the local hospital — we saw a black doctor (Dr. Perkins) who had his office on one floor of his home. He was not allowed to practice at the local hospital. When we were finally allowed to go to the local hospital, Lamar County Medical, I think it was called, we had to sit in a small waiting room about the size of a walk-in closet, with no heat or ventilation. On the door that led into this “waiting room” was the label, COLORED WAITING ROOM. The fairgrounds on the north end of Paris are well-known — the lynchings have been documented by several writers. Paris had a history of numerous lynchings. My parents, and THEIR parents would not allow us to go to the fair because they knew what horrible things had happened there.

    Schools in Paris, Texas weren’t segregated until 1966! At that time, the black students were bused to the local white school. Blacks used to be relegated to the basement of one hospital — this segregation lasted well into the Sixties. It would appear that the Civil Rights Era passed this place right on by.

    To those of you who are saying this case got “blown out of proportion,” you’re right: the good judge did that when he chose to sentence a young teenager with ADHD to 7 years in a juvenile prison! Yet, the white girl burns something down — arson, a felony, and she gets probation. Where’s the justice in THAT?

    Many of the blacks in Paris are still afraid to speak out about the injustices around them, for fear of repercussions against themselves and their families. Thus, it’s no surprise that the story would be covered, quite well, I might add, by an “outsider” from Chicago. Mr. Witt did an excellent job of publicizing this horrible episode in not only Texas’ history, but in the nation’s history. When I told my mother about this, she thought I was talking about something that happened back before she was born! “No, I said, this happened a year ago!” Needless to say, she was completely floored.

    The best thing that can happen is that the Justice Department would get involved and ferret out the real criminals — those who would to this day, allow such treatment to continue.

    I thank my lucky stars that my family moved out of Paris in 1970. It was a godforsaken place THEN, and from what I can tell, it’s an even worse hell NOW!!! If this is “the best small town in Texas,” then I don’t want to see the worst!

  191. I think AUDBALL is right. The justice department should come in and investigate. I wish we could get someone with a little pull to notify them. An investigation would show truths.

  192. i just want you all to know that i live here in paris texas. things really arent that bad.when someone does something wrong, they should get in trouble. it doesnt matter what color you are how you are sentenced. i have noticed, that you cant do anything to a black person without them thinking its because they are black.

    dont get me wrong, my boyfriend is black. and im far from racist. no matter what you do, your bein racist. but what about white people, when you fire them. is it because they are white? why dont you give them welfare?

    all im trying to say it that it doesnt matter what color you are, you do the crime, you do the time

    black people think they should be treated differently, but what have they done to be any better then white people, of asian, hispanics, whoever. we’re all the same, and they kjust dont see it that way

  193. i think this is all stupid.

    people get in trouble all the time.
    white, black, hispanic, asian..whatever!!!

    but black people always have to make a big deal because theyre black and there not gettin treated right. what did they do to be treated better than whites, or hispanics.

    its this girls fault she is where she is, dont compare to anyone else. theyre different crimes, different situations.

    there may be racism in paris, but i can defintely see why, these people dont know how to act. what do you expect to happen. it aint this judges fault this girl did wrong. he did his job and sentenced her to what he thought was right.

    maybe she should have been more cooperative and gotten out on good behavior. its her own fault..

    you dont like the way this judge sees things, TOO BAD!! maybe youll realize how important it is to vote.

    you get what you deserve

  194. an anonymous idiot is just as odious as an idiot with a name. you’re too late to rant – the case is over and the DA lied, so shut your pie hole or just move on.

  195. Ahhhh…words of wisdom from Ellie Mae Clampett and Jethro Bodine. Unfortunately, your display of ignorance pretty much sums it up for the mentality of the majority in Paris Texas. Shaquanda Cotton spent her weekend as a speaker in Washington D.C. She was flown there and given first class accomodations and first class treatment by a mass of people, some of them rich and famous. What did you two hill folk do with your weekend?

  196. Wow, wish we could have seen that. And I spent my weekend watching CSI. I should get out more with Ellie Mae. HAHAHA

  197. If Miss Cotton was featured in Seventeen Magazine it would of been in the Paris News Paper!(Not there) It is so hard to make everyone see eye to eye. We should all be opptomist not a pessimist. Hear everyone out,give those involved a chance to voice their selves and better yet do it in the same room. That will cut and dry alot of bull sh*t! I know I have had things happen and then made all involved come to the same room. Whaddaya know! The B-U-L-L STOPPED! We gotta start somewhere people! Not all black people are bad and not all white people are bad, as well as any race. (not only red apples get bruises and worms) If we could all see one anothers feelings thru a magnifying glass and not rose colored glasses. Including our own!. We are all human and desire to be loved no matter how much someone says they dont need anyone! We all need someone. But *trust* now theres another issue.

  198. Oh for heaven’s sake o knocks. Why would I make up a thing like that. All you have to do is go look inside the September issue of Seventeen. And it was in The Paris News. As a matter of fact, the newspaper attacked Seventeen just like they did The Chicago Tribune. They even placed an opinion in there calling for a boycott of the magazine. This issue was and still is about a child being taken from her mother in retaliation because her mother filed complaints. Its about protecting everyones civil rights. Thats why its still a hot topic that must be addressed.

  199. Temple,

    The article focused mostly on talking a bit about the incident that led to Shaquandas imprisonment and the fact that in the end, her case helped free at least 500 hundred other children whose stay in TYC had been extended for no logical reason such as Shaquandas stay was extended because of having an extra pair of socks which TYC had given her.

  200. No, No, No. Sexual assault helped free people. Good Lord stop with the drama. Its over, done with, through, gone. Get over it! (as you say).

  201. parisian,

    Surely you’re not claiming the 500 children were released because they had all been sexually assulted in prison?

  202. And Its time Paris Texas stop trying to push this thing under the rug. Its not over, done with, and gone. The case is still in the courts. Seventeen magazine wrote about it this month. I think someone posted back in April that by summer, everyone would have forgotten all about Shaquanda Cotton and the situation in Paris Texas. Well summer is about over. People are still talking about it because what happened was and still is outrageous.

  203. Oh it was outrageous. I firmly agree. But we are “beating a dead horse” as they say. Don’t ponder on the past. I also know not every person was sexually assaulted in TYC but you also cannot say this case was the only reason the 500 children were released. The facts were presented and most all the kids were released due to the sexual assault accusations. This is known nationwide.

  204. The nation doesn’t know about that because the spotlight was lifted OFF of Paris, Texas and the TYC after Shaquanda’s release. There is as much coverage of this as there has been of Bonds’ post-755 home runs — about zero.

  205. The nation doesn’t know about that because the spotlight was lifted OFF of Paris, Texas and the TYC after Shaquanda’s release. There is as much coverage of this as there has been of Bonds’ post-755 home runs — about zero.

  206. The case is still in CIVIL court. Not criminal. The appeals court already ruled on it. Hmmmm isn’t that amazing.

  207. I do believe that the Cotton case prompted an investigation into the juvenile system, but those kids where not released because the sentences were too long, as Brenda would like everyone to believe. By the way what was the appeals court ruling?

  208. parisian,

    Who knows how many children were sexually assaulted. But just one is one too many. If MOST of the kids were released due to being sexually assaulted, that would mean over 500 kids were sexually assaulted. Thats horrifying. However, talking about the Cotton situation is not pondering on the past. A great injustice was done and it must be properly addressed, I don’t care if it takes 30 years. Recently a KKK member was found guilty of murdering two young black men over 40 years ago. Was that wrong for people to continue to seek justice. Are people just pondering on the past in situations like that? Does it not matter who killed MLK? The Jena 6 situation…should we just let it go? I think not.

  209. parisian,

    The case is still in criminal court. In case you’re not aware, cases can be taken all the way to the Supreme Court.

  210. Michelle,

    According to Jay Kimbrough, who is the one who did the releasing and State Rep Harold Dutton, they were released due to the childrens stays being extended for nonsense. Look it up. I don’t understand how people read about stuff and only see what they want to see. I can provide you some news links if you wish. I guess you don’t remember reading anything about Cottons stay being extended because she had an extra pair of socks which the staff had given her.

  211. The spotlight might have been lifted off Paris but evidently, its being placed back on. Seventeen is a major magazine and I hear Cotton will be on a major respected talk show very soon.

  212. parisian,

    Last time I checked, Dutton hasn’t been convicted of anything. But even if he had been convicted of the misdemeanor charge, what is your point? And what radio show are you referring to that Shaquanda Cotton was on? What is this unrespected radio show that you speak of?

  213. Convicted or not. He is a public official and elected and should conduct himself accordingly. The same thing happened to a district judge out of Hugo, Ok several years ago here. If you are going to assist in writing and enforcing the laws, you should not break them. Thats all I was saying.

  214. I just read about Jena 6. The white kids that hung the nooses should be punished for their actions. If the article is correct, they apparently started the whole thing. That’s terrible.

  215. The judge says he has his community in his best interests so he saves his community from a person who shoves rather than an arsonist thats just peachy!

  216. Hopefully this comment will not go unread as the case with COTTON seems to have died out.I have been through the many problems at Paris High as a student. I was discrimanated on many occasions by teachers staff principals and board members(Paul Truall, Robert High, Elaine Ballard)and yes superintendents. I suffered daily at school being pushed and shuffed and called filty names in front of teachers without the guity people being punished.Because of a certain vice principal there when it got to the office it got turned on me and I got the punishment.YES I SEE THE PROBLEM!VERY CLEARLY! I saw this coming because over and over the blacks were aiiowed to do ANYTHING at Paris High and get away with it until finally Ms. Cotton actually hurt MS Cleda and someone stepped in to do somthing about it.I dont agree with the sentence but then that is somthing else you dont know about our judicial system here in this area. There are no fair trials here.This is an OLD BUDDY system where if you happen to hire the lawyer that is” IN” with the judge you can get what you want no matter the circumstance.They make their own laws here those PARISITES do. THanks for letting me get a little steam off.I am very sick and will see the LORD soon just wanted someone to know that the whites are the minority at Paris High and the black students were allowed to take that school over years ago. I graduated in 2002,and nothing has changed but that the blacks are even harder to get along with. Thanks

  217. temp you, meaning you, or whoever wrote the cotton article!!! you have not idea what life is like in Paris. I grew up in Paris and I worked as a public servant in paris for nearly 10 years and racism is there but it is most prevalent towards the the white people. It is really out of hand and all the negative attention that was caused by this issue only made things worse. people from towns other than paris came to protest just because they heard racism!! they dont or didnt know the whole story and didnt and still dont care to know the whole story. i suggest the whole story not just what the majority or the protesters want to hear, be told. Then and only then if heard with open ears and open minds, maybe, it will be realized that racism was what this became when the outcome was not what was wanted. I get so tired of racism so quickly!!! I know my grammar is and spelling is not correct, so please forgive me I am in a hurry! Just felt the urge to speak up!! This issue was so blown out of proportion!! and should have never wasted so much time and taxpayers money!!

  218. See the problem with this whole thing is that no one ever tells the whole story of the 14 year old white girl that just got probation. Maybe burning down her house was an accident. Has anyone ever thought about that? I live in Paris Tx, and there sure is a lot of racism going on. But I also believe that a lot of the racism comes from the blacks in this town. With there black panther ralleys. Someone please tell me when the last time the KKK had a meeting that they let the whole town know about. I have not heard of one in a long time, but I know for a fact just last month the black panthers had there little meeting in town square.

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