A Legacy of Lynching: White Elected County Leaders Ignore Hate Crimes Against African American Students

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All hands on deck for mass incarceration for black people while County Executive Steve Schuh (r), Council Chair Michael Peroutka (second from r) and Sheriff Ron Bateman (third from left) ignore hate crimes in county schools and elsewhere in the county, and break ground on a new jail facility.

Most Lynchings in America continue to be unsolved. It’s as if the white terror inflicted upon African people in America was in anyway justified by the terrorist white nationalist mobs that committed these crimes against humanity.

Even with photographic evidence, Lynchings remain unsolved.

The impact of White Terror on small African American communities is reminiscent of Klanish community behavior, which has historically been the calling card of particular areas of Anne Arundel County.

The lack of an investigation and filing of charges against any suspect in the recent noose display at Chesapeake High is part of a long-standing pattern.

Anne Arundel County government will not take acts of terror against African Americans seriously. Sadly, on so many levels, all the County representatives have failed to live up to the words they so passionately spoke at the recent Martin Luther King Jr. dedication in front of Whitmore Park in Annapolis—a “park” that was once a thriving African American community now “gentrified” by State-owned buildings and a State-owned parking lot.

On the solemn 50th anniversary of MLK’s assassination, a student at Chesapeake High School left a noose displayed in his pick-up truck and a confederate flag laid out in the bed of his truck. Was this the boldness and bitterness of a young misguided white kid or the warning signs of a future Aryan Nationalist?

Aryan or White Nationalist gangs have historically operated and recruited out of Anne Arundel County, and are represented in every jail and prison institution across the county and state.

As most elected officials remain silent about the growing list of blatant racist acts of terror at Chesapeake High School, most so-called progressive candidates have remained silent as well, even after Governor Hogan spoke out against the horrible acts of White Terror being perpetuated in our county.

The turmoil at Chesapeake is part of a more systemic problem in AACPS, Anne Arundel County Police Department and Anne Arundel County Government as a whole. There is almost no diversity and there are blatant inhibitors to creating inclusion within executive management.

Also, as was the case in the recent noose trial, the judge seemed not be able to navigate past the wording in an outdated statue, while the prosecutor seemed haphazardly negligible in setting himself up to fail with his strategy to prosecute Havermann.

A lack of policy is often an easy way out for official who lacks the leadership and righteous spirit to do the heavy lifting that needs to be done to stamp out racism and end the reign of white supremacy that has haunted this county since the first law was created to take away the Human Rights of African People in Anne Arundel County.

For example, without a modernized disciplinary policy in place that deals with teacher- student conflicts and that equitably address acts of racial terror, the school system can not protect the emotional, mental, and physical health of all students in the school system.

A teacher at Chesapeake High called a student a nigger and was allowed for retire, without punishment from the school or the criminal justice system. The optics of the lack of punishment by the school board and the school system is telling. The teacher’s pension could have been suspended or he could have been charged with “bullying”.

Child on child bullying makes headlines all the time. No one wants to talk about teachers that bully students, or large mobs of students who use racist symbols to incite fear in smaller groups of ethnically different people.

Maybe if more conversation is had about what is really going on in our schools, then we can solve some of the problems that historically have plagued this county.

If not, the current elected officials are caving into Trump’s agenda and are basically promoting ways to instigate hate and cause division.  County police and government representatives have appeared together several times at press conferences to promote school safety procedures i.e., hiring of more police, and to break ground on a new jailing facility at the current Detention Center in Annapolis.

Yet not once have they joined together to make a unified statement against White extremism in Anne Arundel County.  Eyes Wide Shut.

Richard W. Right is a father and activist from Anne Arundel County.

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