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White Teen Threatens To Hang New Black Student And Drag From Truck

After 19-year-old Darius Ivory transferred from Houston, Texas to an all-white Park High School in Livingston, Montana last month, rumors began to surface that another unnamed 17-year-old boy student threatened to hang and drag the black teen behind his pickup truck. Considering Ivory was a transfer student from Texas, it was clear that the 17-year-old boy's threat was making light of and insinuating a repeat of the 1998 Jasper, Texas lynching of a 49-year-old Black man named James Byrd.

On June 7, 1998, in Jasper, Texas three white men by the name of John King,  Shawn Berry, and Lawrence R. Brewer hung and dragged James Byrd for three miles behind a pick-up truck. Byrd, who was conscious for the majority of the ride, was killed when his body struck the edge of a storm drain, severing his head and arm from his body. The men continued driving for another mile before dumping his torso in front of a Black cemetery.

When questioned by school officials the younger boy denied threatening Ivory but admitted he made negative remarks concerning Ivory and openly expressed his disdain for black people. In an interview with the Billing Gazette, the school vice principal Tim Gauthier stated: "In my 20 years as an educator, I'd never heard someone admit they were racist."

The teen's mother told Gauther that he was raised in Missouri and had picked up a bad perception of black people, but assured the family did not share her son's beliefs. The teen was warned of the consequences that could take place if his racist behavior persisted.

Two weeks passed and on April 22, two students drove to school sporting Confederate flags. This caused a series of shoving matches, threats and other misconduct that disrupted the school that day. One of those students was the racist teen displaying his flag on his truck, but the flag was removed by another student and burned by another. The video of the student burning the flag was shown to the local law enforcement by the 17-year old's father, said Livingston's Chief of Police Dale Johnson. Those students may face charges of theft and vandalism.

With all the commotion Gauther said, the school's administrators decided to ban the Confederate flag and suspend the 17-year-old boy who had brought it to school after making racist remarks. The school sent out an email to parents informing them of the events. The email read in part: "There were two students who came to school this morning displaying Confederate flags on their vehicles. This caused considerable disruption ... most classes had to devote class time to address student concerns and anger."

This caused an explosion of outrage in the community and Facebook was teeming with Confederate flags and disgruntled rants. The next week on April 29, students came to school with Confederate flags displayed but parked their vehicles off school property to protest against the ban. Johnson said the only students who displayed any aggression were the ones against displaying the flag.

Darius Ivory

Despite all the commotion 19-year-old Darius Ivory has been fine and doesn't feel threatened, he says "They were more mad than I was, which I appreciate," Ivory said. "They aren't tolerating the racism, and I respect that."

But the odd thing is Ivory goes on to say, he had a Confederate flag on his phone for a while. "I don't see anything racist about it," he said. He also went on to say, he grew up seeing the Confederate flag everywhere in Texas. It stood more for Southern pride than for racism.

The Confederate flag in itself is a symbol of white supremacy and racism. It has been used to instill fear just like the swastika. It promotes social and systematic oppression of blacks. It supports racial superiority and it represents a very dishonorable time in this country's not too distant past; reminding us all of the slave era.

True enough "some" white youth displaying the flag are doing it as a statement to say hey, "I'm a rebel". On the other hand, a black youth displaying a Confederate flag does not equate to rebel, it equates to blind ignorance. Your pledging allegiance to your own oppression. Maybe this is the result of Texas removing slavery from its history books. This is why it's important for black parents to teach their children the historical truth of this country or they will be blind to the irony of ignorantly supporting racism.