I have two items today which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."
First stop Raleigh, North Carolina, where a family in the Neuse Crossing neighborhood was having a y'all come party, and a neighbor (and probable Trump voter) named Chad Copley was having hallucinations. If our nation had appropriate understanding of mental health issues like hallucinations, and adequate ways to treat said hallucinator without continuing to endanger the neighborhood, I might not be telling this story to the Furies. But, with things as they are, I see no alternative.
So let's talk about Copley's hallucinations. To begin with, he hallucinated that there was a Neighborhood Watch program in his neighborhood, and that he was in it, and on duty,
…residents and a manager of the Neuse Crossing Homeowners Association say the neighborhood where the fatal shooting happened does not have a neighborhood watch. And police say that where homeowners do organize neighborhood watch programs they are told to call 911 when they see suspicious or criminal activity, rather than take matters into their own hands.
Then, he hallucinated that guests at the party two doors away were "racing up and down the street," that they were armed, and that "there's some devil in them."
Jalen Lewis, who hosted a party at his home, two doors down from Copley’s, on the night of the shooting, said the victim was one of roughly 50 guests at the party, he told CNN affiliate WTVD.
He didn’t know Thomas personally, he said, and he didn’t see anyone armed or causing problems outside his home that night. Lewis told WTVD he has never interacted with Copley in the seven years he’s lived in the Raleigh neighborhood.
Thirdly, he hallucinated that there was a legal requirement for him to fire a warning shot (prior to doing what else, he didn't say.)
I yelled at them, ‘Please leave the premises,’ ” he said. “They were showing firearms, so I fired a warning shot and uh, we got somebody that got hit. …
“I fired my warning shot like I’m supposed to by law. … They do have firearms, and I’m trying to protect myself and my family.”
The dispatcher pressed for more information: Who’s been shot, how badly are they injured — and where, exactly, is the victim?
“Please just send a car,” Copley responded. “There’s friggin’ black males outside my friggin’ house with firearms. Please, send PD. Thank you.”
His "warning shot," which, it transpired, had been fired from a window in his garage, did kill someone: 20-year-old Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas, who was out near the street. Thomas’s mother says he worked at a waffle house, and had a girlfriend about to begin college.
Copley has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder. I would call that a step in the right direction. Tisiphone, perhaps you can help keep this direction on track and ensure the one step is not the only step to secure this vengeful destroyer away from the public.
Meanwhile, over in Oklahoma – and I must say we all know there are many wonderful people in Oklahoma; this guy just isn't one of them – a retired agriculture teacher named Larry Long has made the news. It seems that at a retirement presentation they were giving for him at the Oklahoma Career Tech Summer Conference in Oklahoma City he decided to show off what a fine sense of humor he has.
So he called a black colleague (probably not a coincidence that the colleague of color is the ONLY black agriculture teacher in the entire state) up to the stage with him, and presented him with a white robe and white hood (complete with Klan insignia), which he placed on the teacher, and then added a Confederate flag (as the bow on the package?) Wow. What a barrel of laughs. Hundreds of people attended this "program," by the way.
I should be specific that CareerTech was not his employer, and he was not retiring from CareerTech. CareerTech is a state agency, and it does not employ teachers to teach; it oversees them. The employer from whom he had retired during the year was Elk City High School, where he had apparently worked for 49 years. He must have been appreciated there, since the board of Elk City Public Schools recently voted to name the high school's new agriculture building after him.
Those at the meeting were instructed not to speak of it, and to erase any and all cell phone video. But someone sent an anonymous email to state lawmwkers, and it is now out in the open.
Retired teacher Larry Long issued a statement … in which he said he was trying to make a joke with a colleague who he respected and that he never intended to convey any racism. He says he realizes his actions were "harmful, offensive, and hurtful." Long says he has requested a meeting with members of the Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus, who expressed outrage at the incident. A member of the caucus, Democratic Rep. Mike Shelton, says the group welcomes the meeting. The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology says it is investigating the incident.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Nothing to see here, just move along. Alecto, if that meeting hasn't already happened, maybe you'd like to be present at it. Could be interesting.
The Furies and I will be back.
Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news /member/101612212/4006109