Just one article this week which seems to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with it. 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."
I doubt whether the Furies need to eat, you know, being immortal and all, and if that's correct, they probably do not barf. But if any story could do it, it's this one. For the rest of us, you have been warned. Barf bags are in order
A young black man with "mental disorders including learning disabilities," who is a player on the footballl team at Dietrich High School in Dietrich, Idaho, was sexually assaulted by teammates last October 23, after football practice, the Washington Post has learned. The report was written by Michael E. Miller, a foreign affairs reporter for the Post, who also blogs for their Morning Mix. [If you want to keep your breakfast down, you may want to avoid the Post’s “Morning Mix” every day]
The Post does not print names of sexual assault victims, nor of suspects charged as juveniles (both policies with which I heartily concur), so I can't use names when I say that, after practice on that date, the youthful suspect held out his arms to the victim as if to hug him. Instead, the suspect restrained the victim so that the other two suspects could attack.
There is both a criminal case and a civil suit regarding this incident. Both say that as the victim was restrained, another teammate, Tanner Ward, 17, who is being charged as an adult, used force to insert a coat hanger into the victim's rectum, after which the third teammate, John R. K. Howard, also being charged as an adult, kicked the coat hanger several times (five or six?), causing "rectal injuries" that required hospital treatment.
This John R. K. Howard sounds like a real jewel. According to the lawsuit, which describes all manner of harassment to which the victim was subjected, he is "a large and aggressive male who had been sent to live with his relatives in Idaho due to his inability to keep out of trouble in Texas." Ummm – how much of a menace does one have to be to be kicked out of Texas, if one is white? The lawsuit also says, "Mr. Howard is a relative of prominent individuals in the community and, at least in part due to his athletic ability and community connections, the Defendants ignored or were deliberately indifferent to the behavior of Mr. Howard which included aggression, taunting and bullying of The Plaintiff and other students in the District."
The community referred to, by the way, is a town of 334 people, and predominatly white. The victim was adopted by his white parents when he was four years old.
The amount and types of abuse doled out should be shocking – but even if we have seen so much now not to be shocked, they are certainly repugnant. I won't list everything, but I will quote this from the article: "It was Howard who, with his bare fists, knocked out the victim, who was made to wear boxing gloves, as teammates and coaches formed a circle around them, the suit says."
Excuse me? Teammates and coaches formed a circle around them?
Sounds like that $10 million lawsuit is pretty solid.
Instead of going into more detail on the abuse, I would like to quote some comments from the Daily Kos diary on the case.
CharlesCurtisVotes: "This makes my heart [hurt] so much. I'm in the verge of tears. My brother (who I lost 4 years ago) was special needs and I can see his face lighting up at the thought of getting a hug only to see it turn so horrible. I can't even begin to describe my sadness."
jusducky: "My brother too….same. Like his health issues were not a big enough hurdle, the bullying was terrible, but it was nothing like this."
Kela5283: "The idea that teachers and other school officials were complicit and cheered this on is just so morally repulsive to me. It just sickens me. They should be fired."
rainmanjr: (in response to Kela 5283) "No. They should be prosecuted as accessories."
Local news and views can be found in what is apparently the major news source in Dietrich, "Magic Valley."
Dear Alecto, dear Megaera, dear Tisiphone, I hope I'm right that you do not barf. I feel like I need a shower just asking you to even be in the same state as these – people. Let alone to pay close enough attention to sort out the guilt. Because I am sure there is plenty of guilt to go around, and plenty of guilty parties who have not even been mentioned. May the Force be with you. (Yeah, I know, different mythology, but this will need all the mythology it can get.)
BTW, my husband had a suggestion for one way the perps might be treated, but if you don't eat or barf, you probably don't do that either.
The Furies and I will be back.
Cross-posted to Care2 at