The New Orleans Times Picayune reports that a psychologist with the Jefferson Parish school district has been leaving racist comments in an online forum on that very newspaper’s website. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has an ongoing lawsuit against that district over treatment of black students, is calling attention to those comments as evidence of the problem:
The school psychologist, Mark Traina, has worked with alternative schools and in central administration with the process of referring children to those campuses. Traina argued on Monday that his online opinions are well-reasoned and that they do not reflect on the way the school system operates.
“The Southern Poverty Center knows that these allegations are ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE!,” Traina wrote in an education forum on NOLA.com last week, using his own name as he criticized the center’s earlier allegations. “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?”
He cited what he said are statistics about high incarceration rates among African-Americans and high crime in predominantly black neighborhoods.
“Even one of the best known Civil Rights Activists in America recently indicated (I won’t mention any names) that it is MUCH safer to walk through a predominately white neighborhood after dark than in black neighborhood,” he wrote.
“I live in Slidell land I MUST admit it is one of the safest places that I have ever lived in the State of Louisiana,” he wrote. “All I can say is, ‘Thank God for Lake Pontchartrain.’”
His posts on Twitter, also using his real name, are more heated, including a January comment that, “Young Black Thugs who won’t follow the law need to be put down not incarcerated. Put down like the Dogs they are!”
In a March comment about an article on a violent incident in New Orleans, he wrote, “Quick someone call David Duke before the NAACP gets here!”
Remarking in March about the Republican presidential primaries, he wrote, “I grew up in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana – I am a Wallace Man at Heart!”
As I’ve documented on this blog many times, the fact that about 40% of all prison inmates in this country are black has far more to do with choices made by the police, especially in the war on drugs. Study after study shows that police officers target black people instead of white people in every aspect of their job.