know I promised I would write something positive for the holidays and trust me,
I will. I just had to finish out this series. Before Christmas
I’ll get one out that is more on the upbeat.
But, first I have to tell
you about this.
week, a man in Florida came forward and told the police a horrible story. It seems
this man had been in a reform school in Florida back in the 50’s. During the time
he was incarcerated, he witnessed a number of abuses to other kids including murder.
According to his report, there are about 32 unmarked graves on the reform school
This man, now in his 60’s, located three of his former ‘classmates’
via the internet and the four of them , now called the White House Boys, decided
that enough time had passed and they reported the abuses to the authorities. Florida
officials are now looking into the matter and trying to decide if any crimes had
actually occurred and if so what can or should be done about it.
of the former inmates at the Florida School For Boys are now urging the governor
to launch an investigation into the disappearance and apparent deaths of at least
30 or more of the boys.
Information given to the state police by the 4
men indicates that on several occasions they observed African American youths
being placed into the laundry dryers and the dryer doors locked and the dryer
turned on. They allege that the boys placed inside of the dryers were never seen
at the school again and may be the bodies in the graves.
Gosh, you think
Can you believe this?
Now all 4 of these men are willing to
come forth and share their experiences and hopefully see that justice is finally
done. Their excuse for not coming forward sooner, was that they were afraid of
the consequences and that they would be beaten or killed if they had said anything
while they were still at the school.
They reported that they were beaten
regularly and have lived with these secrets for all of these years. “Not a day
goes by that I don’t think of those young boys in the dryer” said one of the 4
men. “I could have helped with a boy being placed inside of a dryer, but I was
too afraid to do anything” another man stated.
Yes, I suppose once they
were released from the school, they felt it was prudent to keep their collective
mouths shut for almost 60 years. It should be safe to come out now.
this not pathetic or what?
What kind of people could stand by and watch
others be placed into a clothes dryer and killed and then wait all of these years
to come forward? I’d be willing to bet those in charge are either dead or about
to die, so what good does it do now other than to soothe their own consciences?
Why didn’t they say something about it when they were released and the guilty
parties brought to justice and perhaps stopped any further killings from happening?
I suspect they didn’t really care or they would have come forward years ago. Of
course if one goes to the authorities, then the rest have to follow suit and be
prepared to tell what they know as well.
Can you believe this?
Where has the sense of personal responsibility gone in this country? Granted being
locked up inside of a reform school is no picnic and I’d agree with the men coming
forward that to raise any protest while they were there would probably result
in personal harm. But, once they were released and had become grown men, what
was to stop them from going to the authorities in Florida and reporting their
observations? Even if they were turned away, I am fairly certain the newspapers
or television stations would love to hear their story.
Why not do something,
rather than waiting all these years?
I do not know what has happened to
many people in this country that allows them to act in this manner. I know for
certain there are many decent, fine Americans who would not stand for any activities
such as this. I do not mean to paint everyone with the same brush, but I cannot
for the likes of me understand how someone could live with themselves with this
kind of information and guilt for all of these years. At least I hope they had
some sense of guilt.
One can only hope for some sort of closure for all
of those involved.
The 4 men who finally came forward as well as the families
of the boys in those graves.
Letters From North America December
17, 2008 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
Comments go to firstname.lastname@example.org
Related Topic: Christmas