Commentary: Responses to Noose Article on the Vanguard Hurtful to Some in this Community

nooseEverybody responds to news differently.  Davis, a diverse community with all sorts of viewpoints, has responded in its own way and everyone has a different response to the noose incident at Davis High.

The response has been made more difficult by the uncertain nature of the incident.  We do not know why the incident occurred – whether it was meant as a joke or inspired by actual hate.  And quite frankly, it does not matter.

Perhaps the best early response was from Rich Rifkin, who recognized that, while it probably was a prank, “But it’s an ugly sort of prank. It’s not the kind of thing that anyone sees and gets a laugh or feels good about the place they live.”

Whether or not this was a prank, Mr. Rifkin got this exactly right.  The public officials in this town did not simply issue a knee-jerk statement.  They pondered and tried to find the right balance between expressing concern and compassion on the one hand, while at the same time trying not to empower the perpetrator.

The immediate comment by a respected member of this community that it was “robotic” hurt people beyond any sense that he really understood.

He made people afraid to express themselves on the Vanguard because of his dismissive and hurtful remark.  I doubt that he meant it to be as malicious as he did, but that’s how it came across.

I received a message shortly after from a prominent member of this community in his or her own right.  Like myself, this individual has raised mixed-race children in this community and at times, many people in this community would be surprised at the difficulties that they have had to face.

The individual wrote me: “Have to say I’m disappointed in some of the comments on the noose article.”

“Something like that doesn’t have to be directed at a specific person. When I saw the photo it literally made me sick to my stomach,” they stated and added: “I have fear for the safety of my older boys in certain situations.”

Unfortunately, they along with a number of other people will not comment on the Vanguard about personal matters of this sort.  That is too bad.  The people who were dismissive succeeded in fear and intimidation.  I have sadness and regret that this site that I have worked so hard to build over the last six years cannot offer people an opportunity to air their concerns.

They concluded: “Most people won’t know what it feels like to be hated and possibly hurt for something they can’t control, like the color of their skin. Even if a prank, it stills feels ugly and can raise past trauma for those who have been targets.”

There are many who simply want to dismiss this as a harmless prank.  I remember how we felt when my synagogue was defaced with Swastikas – there is no such thing as a harmless prank.

The fact is, we do not know that this was just a prank.

As someone asked, “Do you believe that the action of putting up the noose on Juneteenth was intentionally inflammatory and worthy of condemnation, regardless of who did it?”

Whether this is a mere coincidence that someone did this during the time when this county was celebrating Juneteenth, the date that we celebrate the emancipation from slavery, is dubious.

Maybe it is.  But I suspect, to Marc Hicks who found the noose, and people in segments of the community, it doesn’t matter what the reason is for the incident, it is unacceptable and it brings back all sorts of emotions and feelings.  None of this is helpful for the community.

I made a conscious effort to live in this community and raise my kids here.  This is the kind of incident that gives me pause.  We have enough of our own struggles to get through without having to expose our children to this sorts of hate.

It is bad enough that someone was insensitive enough to hang a noose in my community, in our community. We don’t have to compound that through thoughtless and insensitive remarks on this site.

I hope that when people post on here they understand, that for every person who posts a comment, there are at least 100 to 200 people who are reading it and not commenting.

To people like Joe Krovoza, Rochelle Swanson, Susan Lovenburg and Winfred Roberson, I thank you for your comments yesterday.  These are tricky and difficult incidents to deal with.

I think your comments struck the appropriate balance and I thank you for them.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

136 Comments

  1. biddlin

    I was disappointed, but not surprised by the predictably callous response of some of the Vanguard regulars . In my local paper the commentary was similar . Had the story been of a fire or gas explosion, I have no doubt the outpouring of sympathy and offers of aid would have been gaudily excessive . Since the injuries and damages were non-material, some felt obliged to demean those who expressed outrage and concern . While it may sound macho or pragmatic to discount your neighbors “hurt feelings” and it is certainly easier to blame a fictitious ” race-obsessed social activist frustrated by the lack of genuine evidence of racial hate.” than to face real issues, it might serve you better to imagine the feelings of anger, frustration , fear and distrust that your neighbors are feeling and offer them support, instead of scorn .

  2. rusty49

    David:

    “It is bad enough that someone was insensitive enough to hang a noose in my community, in our community, we don’t have to compound that through thoughtless and insensitive remarks on this site.

    I hope that when people post on here they understand, that for every person who posts a comment, there are at least 100 to 200 people who are reading it and not commenting.”

    David, do you also mean in my opinion thoughtless and insensitive comments like this?

    “We know what this is about, the affluent white families of South Davis apparently do not want their kids to go to school with Latinos and other lower SES Students.”

  3. David M. Greenwald

    You don’t get to deflect this conversation.

    I mean comments like this: “99% likely just kids fooling around .9% chance someone did it purposely to stir the pot (like the time the speaker at UCD spray painted her own car with hate epitaphs) .1% chance that it’s really someone who’s deranged and serious 100% positive that Davis liberals will blow it way out of porportion”

    are hurtful to people in our community that were impacted by this event. You don’t have to agree with their feelings. But mocking them?

  4. medwoman

    A few years ago, I had an incident occur that changed forever how I viewed racism. It did not make it less abhorrent to me. But it did change my understanding of how ingrained it can be, and how invisible to the person who holds these views. I think it is worth sharing.

    I was the hospital attending for a pregnant self avowed white separatist who was hospitalized for a dangerous pregnancy related complication.
    I had ordered some blood tests drawn. The phlebotomist on duty was African American. The patient politely but firmly refused the blood draw.
    Her explanation to me was that she did not want to be touched by someone of a different race. So far into the conversation, so good. I find her views ridiculous, abhorrent, and disgusting but uphold her right to her hateful beliefs. It was what came next that was truly astounding.
    She wanted me to write an order in the chart explicitly stating that all her care was to be provided by Caucasians. When I told her that I could not, and would not write such an order under any circumstances, she told me that she felt that she was being victimized, discriminated against,, and what she considered to be her “religion” was being violated by my refusal to write a discriminatory order. We actually ended the interaction quite amicably and professionally by agreeing that our views were too far apart for me to continuing caring for her and I found her another doctor.

    The point of my story ? Some people’s views are so deeply ingrained that they cannot separate their view of the world from “reality”.
    They cannot differentiate “this is how I see it” from “this is how it is”. I think it is important to realize that there are, in this world people who view the world so differently from ourselves as to for all practical purposes, be living in a different world. As long as this remains in the world of ideas,
    I have no problem. It is when it crosses over into the world of actions, even those which are not the cause of physical harm to anyone, that the problem lies. What may seem innocuous to those who are not a member of a minority group may be extremely intimidating to the targeted group or individual. To deny this is the height of insensitivity. However, I do not believe that those views should be silenced. I believe that the full spectrum of opinions should be heard. It is important for us as a community to know that there are those amongst us that find this noose hanging deeply offensive. It is also important to know that there are those who would blow it off as trivial. If we do not know the full range of opinion, it is easy for us to fall back into complacency and see this as an isolated incident. It is actually those who make claims that racism does not exist to any important degree that allow us to see the depth and breadth of this insensitivity and allow us to see how far we have to go as a society. I honestly hope that all will keep posting in what hey consider to be a thoughtful and respectful manner.

  5. Adam Smith

    Until we know who did this and why, we don’t know whether this was a “hate” incident or not. For example, if this was done by a white extremist who intended to intimidate or cause fear, then clearly it’s a hate incident. However, if we find that it was done by a liberal activist whose intent was to incite an emotional response in order to bring hate crimes/incidents back to the fore, then it is something completely different. The problem that some in the community have with the response of city officials and some liberal bloggers is that they assume it was the former, without any proof whatsoever.

    I have no idea who did this or why, nor does it appear that anyone else does at this time. We should not make any more of this or what it means for our community until we know the particulars.

  6. rusty49

    Nothing i said in my comments are wrong. I truly believe that it’s a 99% chance that it just kids and a prank, about 1% that it was an activist trying to stir things up and almost no chance that it was someone who’s deranged and seriously putting out a threat. That’s my opinion and I’m entitled to it.

    I’m also right about Davis liberals blowing it way out of porportion. What’s this, your third article about it in only two days?

  7. hpierce

    Wow, medwoman… you have made me look at my own insensitivity and prejudices… I think, had I been in your shoes, I would have informed the woman that I was trying to provide the best medical care possible to keep her [b]and[/b] her unborn child alive. I would have told her that if she persisted, I would seek legal action to force her care by the best means available, irregardless of her “religious beliefs”, to ensure the rights of the child she was carrying, because my ‘religious views’ trumped hers.

    Damn good thing I am not a health care professional, given my “anti-religious” and (arguably) misogynist views.

  8. David M. Greenwald

    I’d like to get a better understanding in what way people have blown this out of proportion. You cite three articles that I wrote as your evidence without considering the context or mechanics of them. I ran the initial article yesterday morning. I then get an update with a joint statement from the city and school district so I run an updated story, but 9 hours after the first story was posted it seemed more appropriate to do it as a separate story.

    This is a commentary and it’s a commentary more on the response by some than on the incident itself. But what’s unusual I often write an article and follow it up on commentary when it is a major story.

    And this was a major story. I got emails from three major Sacramento News Stations plus the Sacramento Bee cited our article in their initial story. Last I checked none of those people are Davis liberals.

    As I said, the public officials involved worked hard to strike the right balance, I’m curious as to why you think they overreacted. And who else you think has overreacted and what they said that was in your estimation an overreaction.

  9. rusty49

    Look at the rope, it’s long, thick, black and looks like it’s made of a nylon type of material. I’ll bet it’s not too common. You would think the police could find a fairly local store that sells it, possibly Target, Ace, Walmart or Home Depot would be my guess. With computers and cameras these days I don’t think it would be too hard to trace any purchase back to someone who lives in Davis or near by. If they’re treating this as a hate crime I would think it would be top priority. It’s time to do some good detective work.

  10. medwoman

    Hpierce

    You just gave me a big smile ! I did indeed, just as you stated, inform her of my intent. However, in medicine, every year, we have mandatory training in cultural and religious sensitivity. I think that training helped me, in that very trying moment, overcome my revulsion for her ideology, and deal with her as what she was, an individual with a world view so different from my own, that we could not function effectively in each others worlds.

    I agree with those who have posted that we do not know the identity of the noose hanger. I do not think it matters who hung it or why. Anyone old enough to have been capable of placing it there in our society is old enough to know that doing so has the potential for stirring up racially divisive feelings. I believe that this is the foreseeable and reprehensible outcome, regardless of identity of the perpetrator.

  11. biddlin

    Is there a wave of liberal activists perpetrating hoax crimes in Davis ? BS !Kids ? Probably, most crimes are committed by young males . Prank ? No way . We don’t know who did this, but we know why: to intimidate and demean people of colour . Period . Whether some kid thought it was funny or was trying to make his bones with the local militia, it’s not funny and it’s not trivial . I must assume that some of the posters who continue to portray it as such are too gutless to deal with their own racial attitudes and fears . John Wesley Hobbs

  12. hpierce

    I am surprised about the “lack of sensitivity” some seem to be charged with. I find the placement of the “noose” immature, stupid, moronic, and reprehensible, but I am NOT so incensed as to turn this town on its ear, participate in a ‘witch-hunt’, require the entire white community to put on sackcloth and ashes, and, if found, sentence the perpetrators to the gas chamber. Sorry I’m so darn insensitive, but you all should be sensitive to my insensitivity.

    If we find the individual(s) responsible, they should be counseled and/or ‘shamed’. Period.

    Don, once David notes my insensitivity, it’s ok to delete this post.

  13. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]I agree with those who have posted that we do not know the identity of the noose hanger. I do not think it matters who hung it or why. Anyone old enough to have been capable of placing it there in our society is old enough to know that doing so has the potential for stirring up racially divisive feelings. I believe that this is the foreseeable and reprehensible outcome, regardless of identity of the perpetrator.[/quote]

    I think this is exactly right, and the more attention we bring to this incident, the more glee the person who put the noose there gets out of it. That was the whole idea, to stir the pot…

  14. David M. Greenwald

    “For one David I think your article today was a huge over reaction to the “robotic” comment. I don’t think this article was needed.”

    That’s because you weren’t the one receiving complaints on the back end.

  15. David M. Greenwald

    “We have almost zero facts, yet three stories. Gee, we wouldn’t want to wait until we actually know what happened now would we? “

    I explained the three stories to Rusty:

    1. initial story
    2. joint statement by public officials from two different bodies
    3. my own commentary

    We have one fact, this incident hurt people in our community – we’ll probably never know who did and why, but that fact alone was enough to do the stories.

  16. David M. Greenwald

    Elaine: May be the pot gets stirred because its stirrable and it’s stirrable because we have not gotten nearly as far with race relations that we hoped. But I fail to see what burying one’s head in the sand and hoping it goes away achieves.

  17. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]How do you un-stir it ERM ? Let it settle until the next incident and pray that there won’t be physical or material harm ?[/quote]

    [quote]Elaine: May be the pot gets stirred because its stirrable and it’s stirrable because we have not gotten nearly as far with race relations that we hoped. But I fail to see what burying one’s head in the sand and hoping it goes away achieves.[/quote]

    I would argue that giving this so much attention is more likely to result in more such incidents, not less…

    It has long been known that the more a bully can get a rise out of his/her victims, the more the bully persists in bad behavior – it is the [i][b]reaction[/b][/i] the bully is looking for…

  18. Edwin S

    It’s silly to say that one side is overestimating the issue, without acknowledging that the other side may be underappreciating the impact. And as I said, that can be just as harmful if not worse than the original impact. Seeing that your neighbors think it’s a non-issue, that nobody was hurt, or nobody should care is painful.

    What is the harm with meeting somewhere less polarized on this issue? Why ruthlessly defend it as harmless when clearly there are people that are offended? It boggles my mind that some would want to cover their eyes and say “it’s just as likely to be a hoax, so I won’t take it seriously.”

    Can some of you meet a little away from the ends, and simply say:
    “A noose hung during Juneteenth Celebrations is inappropriate.”

    You don’t have to take it super seriously if you don’t want to. No one is asking you to swear an oath on bended knee to go outside with pitchforks and hunt down outlaws and tar and feather them. Just a simple acknowledgement that it’s as offensive as Swastikas hung up on a Jewish Holiday. That some of your neighbors ARE offended.

    Again, it’s a noose hung after a celebration of Emancipation Day.) Regardless of intent, or if it was an 8, 14, 18, 38, or 48 year old, it’s inappropriate. That’s not a stretch of the imagination. If it turns out to be a hoax by some sort of crazy person, then so be it. Hedge your bets with some empathy and compassion for your neighbors.

    As I said in the other thread, are we so worried about being overly-politically correct and sensitive that we lose sight of a little empathy? Saying it’s inappropriate or unacceptable doesn’t mean you think whoever did it deserves a life sentenced or that the entire community needs to take mandatory sensitivity awareness classes. The steadfast refusal to even acknowledge it or it’s potential to offend surprises me. Do people honestly believe it’s just as likely to be someone ‘proud’ of knot tying skills? Or really, a fraudulent hoax? Those have happened, but proportionally very, very, very rare to actual non-fraudulent events.

    Personally, I hope it is just a kid, so that I (personally) can write it off to youthful ignorance and some insensitivity that hopefully their remaining years of education will assist with.

  19. David M. Greenwald

    Elaine: Or maybe the lack of reaction will encourage this bully and others like them to go further next time?

    Every one of the people who I spoke to who were public officials were concerned about setting the right tone – acknowledging the incident and expressing concern without glorifying it.

    But every one of the people I spoke to were very concerned about the timing of this incident to coincide with Juneteenth and that more than anything makes them believe we need to act as though it was no coincidence.

  20. Edwin S

    Nor am I asking for people to contribute to pot stirring. If it weren’t for my surprise at some of the comments (for which I specifically registered an account here after years. just to reply to some of the comments), I would have said “that’s wrong” and moved on, like many of my friends have.

  21. Matt Williams

    biddlin said . . .

    [i]”How do you un-stir it ERM ? Let it settle until the next incident and pray that there won’t be physical or material harm ?”[/i]

    biddlin, for me the answer to that question is relatively simple. Instead of all this public display of angst, quietly reach out in a personal and respectful way to those people of color who are close to you and express your personal feelings about the wrongness of the incident. That would be providing direct tangible support to those you know might be concerned.

    Of course, in following that advice you have to expect that some people will respond by believing that you are self righteous in believing that they are not capable of handling the incident themselves.

    Bottom-line, Davis is an intellectually active community, so we “want” to be able to get at the root cause of an incident like this and prevent it from happening. Unfortunately, the incident medwoman has described in one of her earlier comments shows us all just how impossible a task that successfully achieving that “want” can be.

    I say the above from personal experience. For a long time in my life I was very open about my concern that my White AngloSaxon Protestant background was a fertile field for feelings and actions that I had personally worked hard to not feel myself. It never occurred to me that simply by publicly acknowledging the fact that those feeling and actions existed (exist) was painful for some of my friends who were targets of those feelings. One day one of those friends sat down with me and told me that in trying to do good and acknowledge that such feelings and actions needed to be eliminated, that I was giving them life simply by acknowledging their existence. As an alternative, it was suggested that I be silently strong and only provide overt empathy/support when it was asked for. The stated logic behind that advice was that such actions would respect the “strength” of my friends of color rather than presuming their “vulnerability.”

  22. SocialMisfit

    There are actually quite a few acts of fake racism. It is understandable given the news attention that even the most benign events get.

    Here is a recent example:

    [quote]” Two students at Montclair State University in New Jersey have been arrested for allegedly reporting fake racial threats on campus, according to MyFoxNy.com. The students, Olivia McCrae, 19, and Tanasia Linton, 19, both African American, have been charged with disorderly conduct, false reports to law enforcement and criminal mischief.

    McCrae and Linton told school officials that racist graffiti was sprayed in their dorm Feb. 7 while the campus was already up in arms over a homophobic slur. The graffiti reportedly said “Blacks Only” on a door, with an arrow pointing to their room, and “N–ger black b–ch you will die” on their dorm-room wall, according to the Gothamist.

    The girls reportedly asked the school to install video cameras on their floor, but after an investigation, university officials determined that the girls were responsible for the graffiti.

    While the university has yet to disclose how it discovered that these students were the culprits, if that is true, these two young girls have done an injustice to those around the world who really experience acts of racism in their schools or workplace.”[/quote]

    Unfortunately once the fakers are discovered, the media intensity falls away to nothing. The Duke lacrosse team fake rape and fake racism case was a good example. The lives of several young men were torn apart, but there was very little media attention paid to that part of the story.

    I think there are a lot of people holding the opinion that there is a minority of people – including many working in the media – that do not want to let go of the racism story because it elicits such strong emotions and sells stories. But that true acts of racism, especially those that are truly harmful to people belonging to different races, are so rare today that even potential fake events get amplified.

    I think this is the main irritation driving some people to object. There have been several national media storms that have proven wrong, but then the media doesn’t seem to have to take any responsibility for getting the story wrong… even though it harmed many innocent people in the process.

    Claims of racism are a very big deal. Labeling someone as racist can destroy their life. It makes sense to wait until all the facts are in until we start pointing fingers and blaming any person or persons.

    Specifically, if this was an act of fake racism, there will be a lot of people with a lot of egg on their face.

    Note that I think – as painful as this blog discussion is – it is exactly the type of thing people need to make even more progress improving race relations. It seems that we have tendency to be stubbornly blind to other perspectives and prone to getting upset about the topic. That is usually not a good thing. We NEED to talk about these things without getting so upset that we cannot think straight.

  23. biddlin

    BS Matt . One prominent poster won’t even acknowledge that the incident was offensive, a prominent senior rights advocate thinks we should ignore it and it will go away and some have invented a fictitious “Activist” . Intellectually active ? Detached from reality is more like it .

  24. David M. Greenwald

    SM: No one knows if this was an act of racism and I have yet to see anyone, particularly on here, claim it was. What people have said is that no matter who did it or what the intent, this has opened wounds in the community and some are hurting because of it.

  25. Matt Williams

    biddlin said . . .

    [i]”BS Matt . One prominent poster won’t even acknowledge that the incident was offensive, a prominent senior rights advocate thinks we should ignore it and it will go away and some have invented a fictitious “Activist” . Intellectually active ? Detached from reality is more like it .”[/i]

    Your “BS” comment confuses me. Are you saying the private approach I outlined is BS?

  26. Matt Williams

    David M. Greenwald said . . .

    [i]”SM: No one knows if this was an act of racism and I have yet to see anyone, particularly on here, claim it was. What people have said is that no matter who did it or what the intent, [b]this has opened wounds in the community and some are hurting because of it.[/b]”[/i]

    I am sure that is true David. The question for me is, does this public discussion actually do anything constructive to address that hurt or the open wounds?

  27. David M. Greenwald

    It’s an interesting question Matt. At first glance we had the first comment in the first article claiming that 100% of liberals would overreact, we have the first comment in the second article calling several public officials who worked hard to consider the issue and make a thoughtful comment “robotic.”

    On the other hand, there have been some pretty insight (rather than inciteful) comments on here from people like Medwoman and even Rich that I think are very valuable.

  28. Rifkin

    [i]”There are actually quite a few acts of fake racism.”[/i]

    There was an infamous incident of ‘fake racism’ at Holmes four years ago, where five girls spray-painted that junior high school with racist graffiti: [quote]Davis police announced this morning the arrest of a local teen and the pending arrests of four others on suspicion of vandalizing Holmes Junior High School last month with a large amount of graffiti, some of it bearing racial slurs. But while police initially investigated the incident as a hate crime, they later determined that the slurs — targeting Asians, African Americans and Latinos — were used as a tactic “to throw off the investigation,” Sgt. Scott Smith said. On Friday, detectives arrested a 14-year-old African-American girl in connection with the case, describing her as the organizer of the vandalism spree. Four other girls, ranging in age from 13 to 15, were expected to be taken into custody this morning. “We believe the targets of the vandalism were administrative staff,” Smith said. “Through our investigation, we obtained confessions from all the parties, and they were consistent in their statements that the motive for the racial slurs was to make people believe that a white person had done this.” Smith said the other four suspects were African-American and Latina girls. [/quote] My own take is that the noose situation was likely not done by “fake racists” or by “real racists.” My guess is that it was done by pranksters (or perhaps one lone prankster) with the intention of making everyone who is normal and decent feel bad. I would guess the sort of person who does this kind of thing gets a charge out of it and gets some kind of pleasure from making others upset. I don’t think you have to know much American history (regarding the lynching of African Americans or the timing of the Juneteenth celebration) to see a noose hanging from a football goalpost and realize that was not put there for beautification, for celebration or for uplift. It was put there for intimidation and desecration.

  29. biddlin

    I think I pretty well inventoried the BS, Matt. I think the real question is whether white, insular Davis can face the fact that it is not the idyllic utopia that has been portrayed for decades, but part of the real world that has to deal with nasty problems like racism ? I think there may be ample evidence in comments that I have read on this blog over the last couple of years indicating a lack of will and/or courage to do so . As for your personal approach, you go right ahead .

  30. rusty49

    Edwin:

    “Can some of you meet a little away from the ends, and simply say:
    “A noose hung during Juneteenth Celebrations is inappropriate.”

    Bingo. I’m willing to go with this, can you liberals?

  31. biddlin

    It’s, a start rusty ! Can you see the others who post here as people worthy of consideration rather than objects or labels for your scorn and abuse ?

  32. Frankly

    1. I mostly don’t care that my comments hurt the feelings of non-black Davisites and media people appearing to think that they are more righteous in their political or social orientation for race relations.

    2. I absolutely care that my comments hurt the feelings of any minority materially harmed by the display, and/or story of the display, of the noose.

    3. I absolutely agree that the display of this noose – on any day – is inappropriate and warrants an investigation. It should NOT be ignored; yet it should not be amplified by a reaction of assumptions. It is also a teaching moment for young people before they fix their opinions like the adults blogging here.

    Instead of hearing from all my liberal blogging friends about how:
    [quote]”It happened in your town and hurt people you live and work with in the community, in the sense that their chests tightened, they tasted bile, their heads began to throb and then they began wondering which of their neighbors could be so hateful and a mental inventory began. Maybe they suddenly wondered where their children were, or went to check on their pet’s safety . They will go through this cycle for a while before things settle back down . They will also remember that, when they needed comfort and reassurance, in some neighbors, they met only scorn and resentment .”[/quote]
    I would like to hear directly from these actual people. Otherwise I have the sense that others are taking creative license to stretch their imagination and release bottled up emotional frustration exploiting the topic of racism as their proxy.

    I have to consider that I run in difference circles than the core Davis liberal intellectual community that drives the local narrative, because my minority friends don’t echo anything close to the level of emotional distress pouring forth for things like this. They are more irritated about all the media attention given to the actions of idiots (can we say “bubble boy”) that they are concerned that these types of events are indications that race relations are deteriorating.

  33. rusty49

    Biddlin:

    “It’s, a start rusty ! Can you see the others who post here as people worthy of consideration rather than objects or labels for your scorn and abuse ?”

    That’s really funny coming from you of all people Biddlin. Maybe you should take a long look in the mirror. But Biddlin, you didn’t answer the question:

    “Can some of you meet a little away from the ends, and simply say:
    “A noose hung during Juneteenth Celebrations is inappropriate?”

  34. rusty49

    Jeff:

    “I would like to hear directly from these actual people. Otherwise I have the sense that others are taking creative license to stretch their imagination and release bottled up emotional frustration exploiting the topic of racism as their proxy.”

    So well put Jeff. Once again you hit the nail on the head.

  35. Edwin S

    rusty49,

    As I’m a new user, and have not contributed to any other topic or political issue, I’m not sure why you’re calling me a liberal. Unless that was directed towards a broad audience.

    My last comment on this topic was, in it’s entirety: [i]Nor am I asking for people to contribute to pot stirring. If it weren’t for my surprise at some of the comments (for which I specifically registered an account here after years. just to reply to some of the comments), I would have said “that’s wrong” and moved on, like many of my friends have.[/i].

    Initial, kneejerk responses from my friends included “lame” “stupid” “dumb” “ridiculous” “wrong” and similar adjectives. Every single one also thought it was a teenager being dumb. It doesn’t excuse their actions, but ignorance and insensitivity is usually preferred reason than intentional malice (which again, not a person I know thinks it really is. Nor has any official claimed it is, I think? Merely that they’ll take it as seriously and investigate it as if it were, until it’s been shown otherwise?)

    Initial responses I did not hear were: “fake” “fraud” “agenda-promoting activists” “harmless”. Until I saw this board. I guess at this point, I’ve expressed that I think that’s wrong, and I’ll move on.

  36. rusty49

    Edwin, you’re reading something into this that I didn’t say. I never insinuated that you were a liberal or conservative or anything else for that matter. I just agreed with your statement:

    “Can some of you meet a little away from the ends, and simply say:
    “A noose hung during Juneteenth Celebrations is inappropriate.”

    I’m willing to come from one “end” and agree with you, now I’m asking if liberals can come from the other “end” and agree too.

    You also stated: “Every single one also thought it was a teenager being dumb. It doesn’t excuse their actions, but ignorance and insensitivity is usually preferred reason than intentional malice (which again, not a person I know thinks it really is.”

    Read my posts, I totally agree with your friends.

  37. civil discourse

    Rusty 49 is 99% sure this is not a hateful incident. Using the exact same evidence available to both of us, I am 99% sure this IS a hateful incident.

    There I said it. Now there is one person brave enough to not talk about feelings but instead say what they think: this is hateful incident meant to be an analogy to an ugly past.

    Let the denials, 2nd guessing, and speculation continue. But you all are turning off a vital part of your brain. The part that says “I don’t want to believe it is hateful, so I won’t.”

  38. civil discourse

    One other thing: there is nothing that can be done. Officials should call it a “immature prank by an immature person” and move on. Use it as a teaching moment to rail against such images of torture (let’s face it- that is a torture device), and let the cops investigate the vandalism. If they figure out who did it, require some community service that will help the person become more socially evolved.

  39. Rifkin

    [i]”If they figure out who did it, require some community service that will help the person become more socially evolved.”[/i]

    I don’t know what should be done in order to make the culprit ‘more socially evolved.’ I am not sure anything would do that.

    However, I do believe that an appropriate punishment for this sort of incident is public shaming. Even if the culprit is a minor, his name should be broadcast. He should be derided. He should be made to feel low by society. He deserves stares and condemnation and disrespect.

    Will any of that make him a better person? I doubt it.

    The reason for publicly shaming people who commit acts of vandalism or other malicious acts is to discourage the next would-be malcontents. It is much more powerful than jail or counseling or having to wash off graffiti. It shines a light on the person who commits his crimes in the dark of night. It is exactly what these sorts of criminals hope to avoid.

  40. biddlin

    BTW-Can one of the lawyers tell me if California Penal Code Section 11411(a) would apply here and if not why ?

    (a) Any person who hangs a noose, knowing it to be a symbol
    representing a threat to life, on the private property of another,
    without authorization, for the purpose of terrorizing the owner or
    occupant of that private property or in reckless disregard of the
    risk of terrorizing the owner or occupant of that private property,
    or who hangs a noose, knowing it to be a symbol representing a threat
    to life, on the property of a primary school, junior high school,
    high school, college campus, public park, or place of employment, for
    the purpose of terrorizing any person who attends or works at the
    school, park, or place of employment, or who is otherwise associated
    with the school, park, or place of employment, shall be punished by
    imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by a fine
    not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both the fine and
    imprisonment for the first conviction or by imprisonment in a county
    jail not to exceed one year, or by a fine not to exceed fifteen
    thousand dollars ($15,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment for
    any subsequent conviction.

  41. hpierce

    [quote]Why [b]ruthlessly defend[/b] it as [b]harmless[/b]…[/quote]Sorry, must have missed the post that triggered this comment… don’t recall a poster using the bolded (mine) terms. To me, it is a matter of [i][u]degree[/u][/i] of response. The incident demands a response.

  42. Frankly

    [i]”My family has experienced intimidation and threats from company thugs.”[/i]

    biddlin, please expand. Maybe this is a learning moment for me to understand what a “company thug” is. Note that that label conveys a bit of potential hate on your part. I hope you are not generalizing since companies are entities too… and they are run and operated by real people.

    CD: [i]” But you all are turning off a vital part of your brain. The part that says “I don’t want to believe it is hateful, so I won’t.”

    From my thinking perspective, it is not that I do not want to believe that the intent of the person responsible was hate; it is simply that I do not know. I think neither do you.

  43. Robb Davis

    Two thoughts:

    1. To the idea that local leaders responded “robotically” (which I suppose implies some kind of knee jerk “pc” response): As others have noted, the noose, linked as it is to Juneteenth commemorations is a powerful symbol that gained is “power” because of it use in lynchings of blacks (primarily, but also poor whites, Mexicans and Asians) at the end of the 19th and throughout the 20th century throughout our nation.

    It is important to keep in mind that its use was often tacitly permitted or explicitly supported by the state at various levels–local, state and federal (the US Congress attempted to pass antilynching legislation several times throughout the 20th century and was stymied by filibusters by Southern Democrats in the Senate). This is our history: state permitted use of the noose as a means of extrajudicial murder (some argued that lynching was a good deterrent to rape). This is why I think it is critical for the state–in this case in the form of our locally elected officials–to make a rapid and unambiguous statement condemning this act and promising an investigation. This is our leaders assuring all of us that if it is up to them, they will never go back to the sort of vigilante justice implied by the use of this symbol. Personally, I appreciate that. History matters.

    2. To the idea of the hurts in our community. My parents taught and lived out a solidly conservative value of the need to “care” for local community. They were committed to living in the “nearby” and contributing to its strength, resilience and healing.

    I am not a conservative in the same way they were but I value what they taught me about this and the importance of empathy for all members of our community. I am not a Jew–the swastika has no visceral meaning for me. I am not a black man–the noose used in this way has no visceral meaning for me. However, in both cases I am aware that they hold deeply painful meaning for my neighbors (both hold distasteful meaning for me but not of the same visceral nature as others whose lives have been more directly touched by their effects). My point here is to ask all of us to show compassion towards our neighbors and walk with them in the pain that this kind of action represents for them. It is not for me to decide who should be hurt by this, nor is it mine to determine how deeply they should feel that hurt. It is enough for me to acknowledge that hurt and show whatever solidarity I can as they deal with it. I would want the same from them.

  44. Matt Williams

    Rifkin said . . .

    [i]”However, I do believe that an appropriate punishment for this sort of incident is public shaming. Even if the culprit is a minor, his name should be broadcast. He should be derided. He should be made to feel low by society. He deserves stares and condemnation and disrespect.”[/i]

    his name . . .

    He should . . .

    He should . . .

    He deserves . . .

  45. Matt Williams

    I agree with biddlin . . . beautifully said Robb. Your last four sentences especially. They represent the kind of personal response I was advocating for earlier. In addition to “freeing us from having “to decide who should be hurt by this,” your advice also frees us all from starting our concern with the intention of the perpetrator. The value of our concern is felt most by those who are hurting. Knowing someone is hurting is personal. Most of the comments in this thread (mine included) are public . . . not personal.

  46. Frankly

    But Matt, if we free ourselves from the intent of the person exhibiting a noose or any other image considered evidence of hate by some people, what about art? What about political speech? What about the person on the other side of the issue wanting us not to forget about that ugly period of time when lynching was in vogue? What about people too ignorant or stupid to even comprehend the impact of their actions and just parroting something they watched on Youtube I am very uncomfortable with this approach even as I understand the attraction to demonstrate care for those that might be offended by the exhibit. We need to know the source and intent of the person(s) responsible before we pass any judgment, IMO.

    Since the war in Afghanistan 2000 American have been killed in that country. During the same period, over 5000 people have been killed in the city of Chicago. Most of these victims were young black males.

    The fact is that have many more serious race-based problems in our cities that should be covered… but instead the media and public goes nuts over some single mostly meaningless act of some idiot trying to get a rise and attention.

    So much energy being spent on the hurt caused by offensive imagery… meanwhile our crappy education system, our crappy economy, and our lack of focus on protecting feelings rather than solving real problems… ensures more minorities will fall into the cycle of poverty and misery. I can see myself in this circumstance thinking “thanks so much for protecting me from offensive and hateful imagery while my prospects for a long and prosperous life crash around me.”

    It is as if some see this hateful and offensive imagery as the critical source of racial disparity. I see it as an unfortunate distraction impacting the real work we should be doing to move to the next phase of civil rights.

  47. David M. Greenwald

    So apparently when someone hangs a noose on a high school football stadium in Davis, Ca, it’s national news. CNN just contacted me and are picking up the story.

  48. Frankly

    [i]”So apparently when someone hangs a noose on a high school football stadium in Davis, Ca, it’s national news. CNN just contacted me and are picking up the story”[/i]

    Congratulations.

    I rest my case.

  49. 91 Octane

    vanguard: “1. initial story
    2. joint statement by public officials from two different bodies
    3. my own commentary
    We have one fact, this incident hurt people in our community – we’ll probably never know who did and why, but that fact alone was enough to do the stories.”

    like I said, zero facts.

    1. The public officials are treating this as a non prank based on facts they don’t have.
    2. The “commentary” as you put it, was written in response to a comment who also was annoyed the vanguard and school officials eagerly issued political platitudes based on having zero information.
    3. the unnamed people you spoke to are eagerly issuing their own self serving self-victimization statements based on facts they too don’t have.

    strike three.

  50. Siegel

    Maybe someone can explain this to me, but I read comments from Jeff Boone and Rusty and other self-described conservatives and they accuse the left of overblowing this situation. Why is it that the most thoughtful posts on this subject are coming from the people on the left rather than Jeff Boone and his compatriots?

  51. 91 Octane

    Why is it that the most thoughtful posts on this subject are coming from the people on the left rather than Jeff Boone and his compatriots?

    because they are not.

  52. Frankly

    [i]”Maybe someone can explain this to me”[/i]

    Brian, based on your wording, I doubt it.

    [i]”I have been contacted by three media outlets all of them emailed me. I did not contact them.”[/i]

    David, so do you have a guess for how these media outlets became aware of the story?

  53. Siegel

    I’ll reiterate my initial point as well, there is nothing that you or Jeff Boone has types that has even remotely caused me to rethink my initial reaction. However reading comments by Medwoman, Rich Rifkin, Robb Davis, and Matt Williams has. If you’re goal is be caustic, then you’ve succeeded but you’ve also fallen into the rubric of this editorial.

  54. 91 Octane

    – whether it was meant as a joke or inspired by actual hate. And quite frankly, it does not matter.

    actually, it does matter. it is the fundamental issue, and it changes the equation entirely.

  55. Siegel

    “actually, it does matter. it is the fundamental issue, and it changes the equation entirely.”

    It doesn’t. The fundamental issue is actually how this issue impacts other people and the community.

  56. Frankly

    The national media attention given to Davis since pepper-spray-gate should give rise to consideration that the people responsible for the noose were not racial haters, but a person or persons seeking media attention. If I were a betting man, I would lay stronger ods on it being an attention-seeking action, rather than a display of racial hate.

    The reason I asked David how the national media came to find out about his is that it might provide a lead to the culprit.

  57. 91 Octane

    Brian: “I’ll reiterate my initial point as well, there is nothing that you or Jeff Boone has types that has even remotely caused me to rethink my initial reaction.”

    actually thats okay, because nothing you have said makes me think about your initial reaction either.

    Brian: “It doesn’t. The fundamental issue is actually how this issue impacts other people and the community.”

    In other words the people that were “impacted” could care less about the facts. doesn’t say much for them does it.

  58. Frankly

    [i]”It doesn’t. The fundamental issue is actually how this issue impacts other people and the community”[/i]

    Brian, there is your answer to your first question. You have a biased and myopic view and so your mind is not really open enough to have your mind changed. However, that was never my goal. My goal is to expand the dialog so readers think more deeply. Apparently I have been successful with you.

    So, what if an artist paints a picture of Christ hanging upside down with his finger up his nose and a bloody knife in his hand and displays it around Easter. That can impact people in the community. Do you think the artist should be arrested and tried for a hate crime?

    What if a leftist activist creates a display of noose to remind everyone of the horrors of our country’s barbaric history of lynching (note, at a time when there were a lot of barbaric things going on)… should that leftist activist be arrested and tried for a hate crime?

    What if someone or some group wanted to create a media buzz just to get a rise, and planted the noose… should that person or person(s) be arrested and tried for a hate crime?

    Of course intent and context matter and trying to understand it should precede reaction… otherwise you are just a reactionary. And frankly, Rusty and I are trying desperately to prevent the risk that you and others get embarrassed if this turns out to be a prank or a fake plant. I promise to deliver a strong mea culpa if I am wrong. And I also promise I will brag or say “I told you so” if proven right. That is how I roll.

  59. hpierce

    Given the top four stories… 3 regarding the DHS incident, and the other which discusses Yamada’s legislation to “close a loop-hole”, I’ve got to ask: is it just a slow noose week?

  60. Frankly

    [i]”And I also promise I will brag or say “I told you so” if proven right.”[/i]

    Dang… I forgot the word “NOT” in the previous… as in “I will not”.

    Kinda’ changes the message.

  61. hpierce

    I’m taking the incident seriously, but found myself taking me [b]too[/b] seriously. Let’s find out what really happened, and then take appropriate action.

  62. Mr.Toad

    It doesn’t matter who put it up or why they put it up. Doing so was wrong. Is there anyone who disagrees with this premise?

    The rest about the culprits is all speculation but it doesn’t matter. The act of putting it up was wrong and as such should be condemned no matter who or why? ignoring it won’t make it go away.

    All of the apologists are way out of line. Octane, 49 and Boone I am particularly offended by the sick puns and backslapping yuck yucks posted here. It is bad enough that you have a “through the looking glass” attitude toward those that are trying to address what has transpired but now your remarks have reached such lows that they approach sophomoric, undermining any thin thread of logic that your previous posts might have contained. Rifkin seems to have recovered from his earlier remarks, referencing the Lexicon Artist, that seemed too light-hearted. I am saddened as well by the dismissive remarks of many I have come to respect through their usually reasonable posts; Adam Smith and ERMusser please reconsider your thoughts and reflections.

    Over the years I have been personally threatened on occasion at work. My boss will ask me if I felt threatened or if I feared for my safety. That is the standard did the victim feel threatened. Just because you didn’t feel threatened by this doesn’t mean someone else who felt it was a threat should be dismissed. You have it backwards.

  63. Frankly

    [i]”Just because you didn’t feel threatened by this doesn’t mean someone else who felt it was a threat should be dismissed. You have it backwards.”[/i]

    Wow toad, you and I must be from different planets. So who gets to decide what is threatening or not? I know people that perceive threat from their own shadow. How is that fair for others having to tiptoe around them for fear of being labeled as threatening and owning they can be dismissed just because someone THINKS they are threatening. Don’t you think there should be some reasonable benchmark? How about the term “harm”. How about we change the qualitative and exploitable “did you FEEL threatened?” with the more quantitative and measurable “were you harmed?”

    Case in point. I had an employee who was/is a very large black man from Stockton. The dude had had a hard life and a lot of family problems, but he was one of the sweetest and most caring people I had ever had the pleasure of knowing. He was my swing-shift computer operator. One day I get a call from HR to come talk. Apparently a female employee who was a new tenant in the building was lost and wandering looking for the cafeteria and my employee seeing her through the glass window of the computer room came out to the hall and asked her if she needed help and told her that he would be happy to escort her back to her area of the building if she was lost. Apparently this girl was sure that my employee wanted to assault her and she was terrified and threatened. HR wanted me to terminate him. I had to threaten to quit to save his job.

    But in your world/planet I guess I should have just let them fire him because the girl (or someone) decided he was threatening.

  64. Don Shor

    Jeff, you are not only over-thinking all of this, you are using extreme examples and ‘what-ifs’ to try and rationalize your original mistake.
    The noose was an offensive act. Our city leaders made appropriate statements to that effect. You ridiculed that.
    This would be a good time to back off your original post and understand and acknowledge that it was inappropriate and offensive to some, rather than trying to continue to justify what you said and did.

  65. Mr.Toad

    I don’t know the facts of your situation Jeff. I’m just telling you the standard for teachers, and, I assume other school employees, is did you feel threatened by a supposed threat. Remember this happened on school property.

  66. Frankly

    Don, ignoring your higher-and-mightier tone and the fact that you and others are over-feeling this, nothing you wrote resonates at all with me. I don’t have any interest to justify to you or another blogger what I said. And I did not make any mistakes, just stated my opinion which you are free to disagree with (and you mostly do… so what’s new?). I already wrote that I agree that the noose was offensive to some so please catch up and move on.

    Toad, Fare enough. It is difficult though because people are so different. Some are very sensitive. Some lack sensitivity filters. In my company we do conflict training to help overcome the large percentage of high-sensing employees. Walking on eggshells worrying about who will be offended or feel threatened is a way to kill useful productive dialog in an organization. There should be a meeting in the middle… demanding that we all treat people with dignity and respect, but also demanding that others don’t gravitate to a personal level when differences of opinion develop.

    I wonder what we are becoming… humans that overcame tremendous personal and group struggles to arrive at this fantastic point in life only to become entitled in expectation that they should never have to feel threatened and refuse to develop skills to cope with difference outside their comfort level. Conflict is the fertile ground where the crop of ideas sprout and great things happen.

  67. Don Shor

    “…only to become entitled in expectation that they should never have to feel threatened…”

    This is the problem, Jeff. Nobody is saying anything like that.

    We are saying that when a specifically offensive symbol is used, it is appropriate for the community to respond by pulling together and deploring the symbol and its use.

    When Joe Krovoza and Rochelle Swanson, and Susan Lovenberg, and Winfred Roberson — acting very appropriately in their respective official positions — did that, here was your response:

    [i]”…all the responses from public officials are robotic… the same prepared script, the same weeping public platitudes and angry dissertations….
    But in Davis, exept for bias against Christian people and conservative people, the remaining bias is de minimis and not worthy of all the attention.”[/i]

    Now you’re arguing for conflict as a “fertile ground” and continuing your rationalizations for your criticism of the public officials. This was a simple, serious issue which you have turned into a very complicated series of attacks on any and all who see it as serious.

  68. Frankly

    Don,

    You really don’t get it.

    We don’t KNOW that is a serious issue. That is the point. Wait. Research. Investigate. Find out. If it is a serious issue, then go out with the appropriate statement.

    Are you putting our public officials in a protected class too?

    Their response sends the message that Davis has a problem with racism. That is/was an irresponsible message for city leaders especially given that Davis is a shining city on the hill for racial diversity and equality. It was poor leadership decision-making… it was simply pandering to the residents that tend to be the loudest emotionally reactionary. Now this is going to the national press. All of this damages the brand of Davis for no reason other than the most vocal activists in this town want to keep the race-conflict heated and prominent.

    If this turns out to be the work of a white supremacy person or group, or some other truly racist person, then blast away. However, if this turns out to be a prank or a fake, then Davis and the city officials have to accept responsibility for the damage done to the reputation of the city. That damage will not bother the race-glass half empty folk, but it should bother someone like you that has a business in the town and should rely to some degree on the reputation of the city as being attractive to folks that might visit and shop here.

  69. Don Shor

    It bothers people like me, who have a business in the town, when another local businessman can’t see the obvious.
    Your comments on this blog, if they are being widely read, are more harmful to the reputation of Davis than anything our public leaders have said. When is it ‘pandering’ to state the obvious and express concern for the impact it might have?

    A noose is an offensive symbol. That is a serious issue.
    Used in the context it was, regardless of who did it, it was especially and intentionally offensive.
    It was appropriate to denounce that.
    You don’t seem to get that.

  70. Frankly

    Well then, we will both have to agree to see each other as “not getting it.” You haven’t moved the needle one bit in helping me to see it your way. It appears the same for you seeing it my way.

    One question before I sign off from this topic.

    How many other small California cities have issues of nooses and other racist imagery reported, and how many of those cities have a gaggle of public officials jumping to make statements before the facts are in? Not many that I can find.

  71. Momo

    Rusty, you are mistaking a correction and a friendly warning for engagement! No worries, I have no intention of debating with you, either. I wouldn’t want your head to explode from being challenged to think in a new way =)

    Again, can someone please tell me which business Jeff Boone runs?

  72. Frankly

    Let me clear that up. I have no idea if you are a real coward Momo. What I should have said, was I don’t blog with “blog cowards” that will not use their real name. Rusty49 puts his ideas out there instead of sending a few one-liners. Be brave, let us know what you think. Have a conversation. That what blogs are for. The world would be a broken place if we all agreed with everything… and blogs would be a useless idea. Maybe I will learn something from what you have to say. Though so far it is not looking good.

    But unless you have something interesting to say while hiding behind your moniker, I will give you no more of my very valuable time.

  73. medwoman

    Jeff

    [quote]We don’t KNOW that is a serious issue[/quote]

    For me, this is an essential point of disagreement. I do know that from my perspective this is a serious issue.
    The very presence of the noose given the timing and the venue is a serious issue regardless of who placed it there. Within the context of our shared culture, a noose, on the grounds of a school in close temporal proximity to a celebratory event for a well defined group of people is serious. Just as desecrating a cross on the grounds of a church would be, or Swastikas at a synagog, or desecrating a Koran at a mosque. The act is seriously offensive in and of itself. For me there is no justification for a noose at this location.

    Some of the points you made are to me well worth addressing. Is there any venue in which I would consider these items appropriate. I would consider any of them appropriate as artistic expression in a private museum for example. I would also support any, again displayed in private, as examples of hateful displays for educational and/or historical documentation purposes. But context is extremely important and I cannot think of any scenario in which the presence of a noose on a public school campus would be acceptable.

    I remain open minded and would consider any suggestion of a scenario in which you believe it would be appropriate or acceptable.

  74. civil discourse

    Wow, this discussion got really intellectual.

    As far as the “freedom of speech” or “art” argument: hanging a noose is not art. It isn’t even thinking. There is a difference.

    The media reaction is a bit opportunistic, I agree. The issue is too nuanced for them to even try to cover it.

    Someday we’ll get it right. Over-reaction is probably still better than pushing it under the rug, which I imagine is done more often than not.

    Until then, the Rusty49 and Jeff Boone’s will blame the liberals for over-reacting, and the liberals will simply do what they do: have empathy.

  75. Don Shor

    I have removed several posts that were veering off topic and getting personal. If you have questions or comments about moderation of this blog, particularly if you are new to the Vanguard, you are welcome to contact me at donshor@gmail.com

  76. medwoman

    Civil discourse

    [quote]hanging a noose is not art. It isn’t even thinking. There is a difference. [/quote]

    Ordinarily I would agree with this statement. However, I was recently at the MOMA in SF. As we were heading up the stairs, one of my companions pointed to a rope, tied in a way suggestive of a noose, hanging from a window in the stairwell. The interplay of shadows from the rope was making for a very interesting “light and dark study” on the wall leaving us to wonder whether or not the placement had been intentional or inadvertent given that there was interior construction underway. Unfortunately, none of us remembered to ask before we left and so we were left to come to our own conclusions. I felt it was merely coincidence that a utility rope was presenting an interesting visual display, but even now, I am not sure.
    This was on my mind as I mentioned the possibility of a display as art.

  77. biddlin

    Sadly , little has changed since David’s 2010 commentary on racial profiling in Davis . Clearly it is beyond the capacity of some to refrain from promoting their social agenda by mocking their neighbors’ concerns and comments , much less comprehend the gravity of the act and to justify their boorishness, they edit and revise the narrative to suit their own preconceptions . Almost as sad is their deafness to their own tinny drone .

  78. Rifkin

    [i]”I have removed several posts that were veering off topic and getting personal.”[/i]

    To get us back on topic and to tone down the personal attacks, what this discussion badly needs is another picture of a Fish.

    [img]http://www.palzoo.net/file/pic/gallery/4317_view.jpg[/img]

    Anyone remember the Barney Miller spin-off show called “[b]Fish ([url]http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075506/[/url])”[/b]? Before Todd Bridges became better known as Willis Jackson, the orphaned black child adopted by a white family on “Facts of Life” and on “Diff’rent Strokes,” Bridges was the precocious orphaned black child adopted by a white family on “Fish.”

  79. jimt

    Wow, lots of commentary on this; good to see!

    I think Rifkin nails the situation, and I agree with his general viewpoint on this.
    However, I also respect Jeff’s right to comment as he has, and agree that it was likely a prankster (though of course we aren’t 100% sure of that yet), and a perverse prankster at that.
    Jeff may have a caustic style, but I don’t see anything significantly offensive about his comments; though I can understand how people might see his viewpoints as ‘disagreeable’. Good, I am glad to see that such disagreeable comments are still allowed; shows free discussion is still permissible!

    An interesting thing about racial and other ‘sensitive’ issues is that we are often ostensibly encouraged to be frank and ‘real’ in communicating how we view these issues; but woe to those who dare to stray outside of narrow politically correct boundaries for discourse on such topics! Rather than evaluating controversial comments from the viewpoint of how they may help to shed light in the subject; it seems there are many volunteers who carefully scrutinize and get out their microscopes to detect signs of ‘racism’ or some other negative attribute to the person who posts the controversial comment. This helps to ensure that only the ‘correct’ comments get posted; certainly not an interesting discussion.

    By the way David, the Vanguard is much better than many other forums in this regard; and I think you are doing a pretty good job!

  80. preston

    Davis beat Woodland in basketball (summer league) this weekend, I hope that it was just some stupid adolescent gesture in a long standing school rivalry, with no intent of malice or coordination with Juneteenth.

    Rifkin, I loved Barney Miller, and Fish. Used to watch them with my Dad when you had to get up to change the channel. Thanks for the memories and the picture.

  81. JustSaying

    [quote]“I have removed several posts that were veering off topic and getting personal. If you have questions or comments about moderation of this blog, particularly if you are new to the Vanguard, you are welcome to contact me at ‘> donshor@gmail.com“[/quote]This is worse than in the past. It used to be that “off topic” stuff–whatever that could possibly mean–got moved to some unread dumping ground “bulletin board topic” or something.

    Also, some of the personal attacks disappeared to be replaced by a note from Don; this amounted to approximately 53.47% of the personal attacks, with the others remaining in place.

    Then David pulled something that Sue* posted, replacing it with a challenge to her to prove her statement and a promise to the rest of us that he’d report on what was said after his investigation. We never learned what Sue wrote because, apparently she didn’t prove it to David’s satisfaction, and because he decided it wasn’t newsworthy (which, of course, it was since she was a city council candidate).

    David refused to leave something up that couldn’t be verified (a classification into which 62.44% of comments and a somewhat smaller percentage of David’s commentaries falls).

    Now, the standard has moved again. Don has pulled “several posts” because they “were [u]veering[/u] off topic and [u]getting personal[/u]….”–whatever that combination means. I haven’t done the content analysis for the comments that still stand on this topic that still are veering and/or are personal, but take a look yourselves.

    The [i]Vanguard[/i] recently developed a set of admirable standards. It’s time to determine what is “allowed” to remain when people comment, and provide a listing that will be clear to all. (Not “I know it when I see it” and “I will not discuss it in public.”)

    There also should be a professional, full documentation method that shows all changes that are made to published [i]Vanguard[/i] material and why the changes were made.

    The present incomprehensible methods just raise unanswered questions about why some things disappear and others do not. Time to improve the professional standards.
    ————————-
    *Whatever happened with the election? Did the votes all get counted? Did Sue pull into third place with the provisional voting?

  82. Don Shor

    To JustSaying: if you want to discuss moderation practices on the Vanguard you can email me at donshor@gmail.com, or you can take your concerns up directly with David.
    Any further discussion of moderation actions will be removed immediately without notice.

  83. JustSaying

    Don, I do not want to discuss moderation practices with you by email. I posted a comment, which now has disappeared. Please repost it for me; I do not have another copy. I can try to reconstruct it, but that seem asinine. Maybe someone else got in the 1.3 seconds you allowed it to remain. It did not have any personal attacks or swear words. Why did you remove it?

  84. rusty49

    JustSaying, I read your post and I agree with everything you stated. I see many off topic posts that are allowed to remain on here as well as many personal attacks. Under what criteria are just some removed? What are the rules and do they apply to all? I’m sure this will get erased quickly, but my point got made as well as your’s.

  85. JustSaying

    [quote]06/20/12 – 09:41 PM JustSaying, I read your post and I agree with everything you stated. I see many off topic posts that are allowed to remain on here as well as many personal attacks. Under what criteria are just some removed? What are the rules and do they apply to all? I’m sure this will get erased quickly, but my point got made as well as your’s.[/quote]rusty49, this is so weird. I provided a reasonable, respectful recommendation and it disappeared in one minute or two–how did you even read it?

    Then, my short request to repost (since I didn’t have a copy of my own comment) was yanked. The Don’s 9:21 PM post was changed 10 or 15 minutes after 9:21 PM–after he’d removed my two comments. This is so weird, like the biggest of Big Brothers is watching. Both of his removals (and maybe his counterfeiting of his own prior posting) violated the [i]Vanguard[/i]’s own guiding principles:”[quote]“[b]Vanguard Guiding Principles[/b]”
    May 14, 2012
    “Accountability – …Reader feedback is a critical part of that accountability….Users are free to comment and express any opinion they wish to, so long as they avoid the use of profanity and avoid making unnecessary personal attacks. [u]The Vanguard will never edit or remove a comment for content, criticism, or disagreement with a stated position[/u].”[/quote]You have removed two of my modest comments, in violation of the Vanguard Guiding Principles. Please repost.

  86. JustSaying

    [quote]“Folks, I had good reason for removing the posts that I did. I am willing to explain it to anyone who contacts me privately. If you’re concerned about remaining anonymous, I’m sure you can figure out how to get an email address that doesn’t identify you.”[/quote]Don, I couldn’t care less about why you removed the posts you mentioned. I am not interested in having you explain it to me privately or in these columns, and never requested any such thing.

    I refer you to my original post, which you pulled first. My concern, obviously, was about the general [i]Vanguard[/i] practices, a disagreement which I explained and falls into the feedback category which the Guiding Principles encourages.

    PS–Why do you keep revising your 9:21PM post. It misrepresents what’s happening here.

    I respect your moderator efforts. What is the “good reason” you have for removing [u]my[/u] posts? You have none except you latest 9:21PM comment about “further discussion of moderation actions.” Can’t you see that “will be removed immediately without notice” contradicts David’s new standards?

  87. Adam Smith

    From my perspective, intent is at the heart of the matter. If the person(s) responsible intended to intimidate and create fear, then we can conclude that there is at least one mean-spirited racist person in Davis. And we should condemn the activity. But the setting seems strange if that was the intent – school has been out at Davis High School for days – there would be very few people to witness the display. Even many of the attendees would have never noticed the display. Much more notice would have been gained by hanging it in downtown Davis, with a banner reminding all of the Juneteenth meeting at Davis High.

    However, if the intent were to raise the issue of racism as a discussion item, then the persons’ responsible have played on the sensitivities of David, Don Shor and others, and created a racial incident out of thin air, all because some were far too quick to conclude that we have a race problem in Davis.

    When we know who did it and why, then we’ll have something to discuss. Otherwise, we are wasting electrons and mindspace.

  88. hpierce

    Sorry… have to go ‘biblical’… if one person was an idiot/insensitive/jerk/a-hole, should the other 62,000 + feel guilty/remorse? If my kid did this, I might throw them out of the household (they didn’t, and even if they did, they are adults). Let’s wait to see the results of the investigation, and follow up from there. From what I’m seeing in the comments, perhaps we have no claim on being a ‘community’

  89. JustSaying

    Don, after your five actions, I give up. Will you at least agree to transmit my recommendations to David–you are the only one who has them–for his consideration. It is very painful to be on this end of such guerrilla warfare treatment, and in obvious violation of the [i]Vanguard[/i]’s new published standards. Will you please let me know how my recommendations are resolved?

  90. Matt Williams

    Don Shor said . . .

    [i]”Folks, I had good reason for removing the posts that I did. I am willing to explain it to anyone who contacts me privately. If you’re concerned about remaining anonymous, I’m sure you can figure out how to get an email address that doesn’t identify you.”[/i]

    Don, I am confused. Can you please help me out of my confusion. It is very clear that you have exercised your prerogatives as the Blog moderator to delete certain posts. I don’t have any argument with that. However, one of the major reasons the Bulletin Board was added by David to the site was so that you would not actually remove posts from the Vanguard, but rather move them to their own thread in the Bulletin Board. With that said, I just went to the Bulletin Board and nothing from today is there. Did the Vanguard rethink how the Bulletin Board was going to be used in situations such as this? If it did, I must have missed that change . . . and I believe the Bulletin Board should be used as it was originally intended in situations such as this one.

    I look forward to any help you can provide me in clearing up my confusion, and I look forward to seeing the deleted posts in a thread in the Bulletin Board.

  91. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]BS Matt . One prominent poster won’t even acknowledge that the incident was offensive, a prominent senior rights advocate thinks we should ignore it and it will go away and some have invented a fictitious “Activist” . Intellectually active ? Detached from reality is more like it .

    I am saddened as well by the dismissive remarks of many I have come to respect through their usually reasonable posts; Adam Smith and ERMusser please reconsider your thoughts and reflections. [/quote]

    I stand by my statement that to give this too much attention will only feed the problem…

    Doesn’t mean you don’t investigate; doesn’t mean you don’t charge whoever did it w criminal activity; doesn’t lessen the offensive of the symbol. It just means I don’t want to give the perpetrator of this act any more attention that s/he so desperately craves – and this attention is harming the community…

  92. David M. Greenwald

    “I stand by my statement that to give this too much attention will only feed the problem…”

    You have every right to stand by your statement, but in this case, I’m going to take the word and experience of people like Jann Murray Garcia, Paul Doroshov, and even Jonathan Raven over yours. I simply believe that they have more experience, and have read more research on the issue of hate crimes, than you do. That doesn’t mean that you do not have the right to your opinion, but it appears that the research is pretty clear on this point.

  93. Matt Williams

    David, there appears to be a significant difference between what what weh ave been doing here in the three threads of this topic and what I believe Garcia, Doroshov and Raven are saying. Our focus has been on supporting and beating up ourselves, what I hear them saying is that our focus should be on supporting the victims of the hate incident.

    If a young black Davis High School student read through all the posts in all three threads on this topic, on a scale of one to ten, how do you think they would rate the amount and quality of empathy that they would have gotten from reading all the posts in the threads?

    Very little of our discussion has been about the personal impact of the incident on the people at whom the incident was targeted.

  94. David M. Greenwald

    Matt: You make a very good point here. Unfortunately, the tone was set by the first couple of posts. In between I think there were some very thoughtful ones and what I may try to do is put together some of the more thoughtful comments into its own article. I’m not sure.

  95. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]You have every right to stand by your statement, but in this case, I’m going to take the word and experience of people like Jann Murray Garcia, Paul Doroshov, and even Jonathan Raven over yours. I simply believe that they have more experience, and have read more research on the issue of hate crimes, than you do. That doesn’t mean that you do not have the right to your opinion, but it appears that the research is pretty clear on this point.[/quote]

    Research supports whipping up hysteria so that anyone w a contrary viewpoint to the noisy racism bandwagon is personally attacked? The dialogue generated thus far is dividing the community, not bringing it together…

  96. Matt Williams

    David M. Greenwald said . . .

    [i]”Unfortunately, the tone was set by the first couple of posts. In between I think there were some very thoughtful ones and what I may try to do is put together some of the more thoughtful comments into its own article. I’m not sure.”[/i]

    I don’t disagree with your point about the thoughtful posts, but even with them have they been thoughtfully about (or in support of) the victims, or have they been thoughtful in other ways?

  97. JustSaying

    [quote]“I have created a thread in the Bulletin Board for “off topic” discussions related to the recent posts in this thread.”[/quote]Thank you, Matt. I’ve tried to reconstruct last night’s yanked discussion at your Bulletin Board topic. My theory is that no more than a couple people read that. Do you think David or Don ever look at BB items and respond?

  98. wdf1

    JS: [i]Do you think David or Don ever look at BB items and respond?[/i]

    I post lots of stuff on the BB. My sense is that they see it all at some point. Sometimes they respond if they have something to say.

  99. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]David, I know this is off topic, but just give a quick answer: Is the Vanguard responsible for the Meebo Bar that appears when we’ve on your site? I can’t get it out of the way; it blocks some of your buttons.[/quote]

    Yes, I now have this disgusting thing on my computer. Have no idea how it got there. To hide it, click on the double ^ in the lower right corner of your screen – it is on the far right side (end) of the Meebo bar. The Meebo bar will disappear and leave a small block tab in the lower right corner of your computer. If you click on it, the Meebo bar will come back up. It toggles back and forth. Hope this helps…

  100. David M. Greenwald

    There is a hide button in the far right corner. It is part of the software that we had to place on the Vanguard to participate in the Sacramento Connect through the Bee.

  101. JustSaying

    Thanks. I tried the “hide” button without success a couple times, then it departed. Later, it returned again, uninvited. But, it’ll never beat me for long now.

    What’s Sacramento Connect? Does it do something good for us?

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for