Mark A. Triana tweeted:
We need to declare war on Thugism in America. Bring them under control. Use the Hammer and Trigger Method! If White People were going around killing people the Blacks would be crying Fowl. This is Bullshit – to let one group control the lives of all. Young Black Thug who won’t follow the law need to be put down no incarcerated. Put down like the Dogs they are! Young Black Thugs have created an atmosphere of Fear throughout America. The Real Terrorist live among us! Not over seas! Right here and now.
On their own these comments are horrendous and clearly racist. What is perhaps more disturbing is that Mark A. Triana is a school psychologist in Jefferson Parish. This man should not be in a position of authority concerning vulnerable children. Such an attitude would empower White supremacy in White children and negatively impact the life chances of Black children.
Unsurprisingly Triana works in the same district that the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a complaint against alleging that the school system “sends a disproportionate number of black and disabled students to alternative schools to languish for months.” A story about the allegation appeared on Nola.com and Triana of course had something to say about this.
This is just another way to harass the Jefferson Parish Public School System. One only needs to read the Times Picayune to see who the real trouble makers are. Sadly, it is disproportionately young black males. Everyone knows that our jails throughout the United States are disproportionately filled with black people. Why would the rate be any different in an educational environment?
In a final insult to Tirana added “Everything I said is fact-based, backed up by data. I don’t have a prejudiced bone in my body. I’m not a racist. I’m a realist.” Of course he isn’t a racist. Who could ever believe the author of such vile statements would ever be prejudicial towards Black males?
The Root, covered this story as well and they titled their piece, Crazy Talk: ‘Young Black Thugs’ Need to Die. What Triana said was deeply offensive and it was most certainly racist, but it was not “crazy talk”. When I saw the ableist title, as a disabled person, though one who is not neurologically atypical, I found it just as offensive as Triana’s statements. The association with hate speech and so-called craziness is common in media and it is not only ableist, it reduces the speakers language to that of the fringe. It suggests that hate speech is outside of the norm, rather than part of our daily discourse.
Neurologically atypical people are not anymore inherently racist than anyone else; however, you wouldn’t know that given the propensity of the media to reduce speech like this to “crazy”. There are plenty of names and or labels which can legitimately be given to both Triana and his speech without resulting to ableism. It seems to me that given the penchant of racists to openly deny this label, and to claim that they don’t have a problem with people of colour that we should be insistent in properly labeling them. The continued refusal to use the word racist, buoys the claim that the speaker does not have harmful racial intent. In short, Triana should be fired and never allowed to work with vulnerable children again for his repeated racist language. This kind of hate is deep seated and cannot and should not be tolerated.