Shaquanda Cotton Released!!!!!!

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Hat Tip: Vev Speaks, Chicago Tribune 

By Howard Witt
Tribune senior correspondent

March 31, 2007

HOUSTON — Shaquanda Cotton, the black teenager in the small east Texas town of Paris whose prison sentence of up to 7 years for shoving a teacher’s aide sparked nationwide controversy, was released Saturday.

Her release, ordered by a special conservator appointed to overhaul the state’s scandal-ridden juvenile prison system, was the first of what could be hundreds as a panel of civil rights leaders begins reviewing the sentences of every youth incarcerated by the Texas Youth Commission to weed out those being held arbitrarily.

“We have no confidence in the system that was in place,” said Jim Hurley, spokesman for the conservator, Jay Kimbrough. “And this case is an example of what we expect to happen if something wrong has been done to youths being held inside that system.”

Cotton, who is 15, had no prior criminal record when she was incarcerated a year ago under an indeterminate sentence that could have lasted until her 21st birthday. Her case rose to national prominence and became the focus of ongoing civil rights protests after a March 12 Tribune story detailed how a 14-year-old white girl convicted of the more serious crime of arson was sentenced to probation by the same judge.

Cotton’s case occurred against a backdrop of persistent allegations of racial discrimination inside the Paris public schools — allegations that are the subject of a continuing probe by the U.S. Department of Education to determine whether black students in the district are disciplined more harshly than whites.

“When I learned about this case, I thought, this just looks so bad and smells so bad it made me hurt,” said state Rep. Harold Dutton, the influential chairman of the Texas Legislature’s juvenile justice committee. “I told [prison officials] I wanted her out of there immediately.”

The superintendent of the Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex in Brownwood, Texas, where Shaquanda Cotton is being held, called the girl’s mother, Creola Cotton, Friday afternoon and told her she could come pick up the youth, Creola Cotton said.

But because it is a five-hour drive from Paris to Brownwood, and the weather in the area on Friday was severe, Creola Cotton said she couldn’t reach the prison until Saturday morning.

Later Friday, prison officials, who had not told Shaquanda of her impending release, allowed her to call her mother.

‘She nearly fell on the floor’

“She thought they were bringing her to the office to tell her I was not going to be able to visit this weekend like I was planning because of the bad weather, so she was already crying,” Creola Cotton said. “I said, ‘Oh, I’m still gonna come see you tomorrow. But you’re going to be coming home with me.’ She nearly fell on the floor.”

Officials said Shaquanda Cotton was being released on 60 days’ probation to allow her to access state health and counseling services. But after that, she would be completely free, they said. Creola Cotton said her daughter would not return to the Paris public schools but would pursue her GED at home.

What effect her release might have on the pending legal appeal of the youth’s case was unclear.

Since she has been in prison, Shaquanda Cotton said that she had grown despondent surrounded by other youths who were hardened criminals, and that she had tried to commit suicide. Her sentence, which ultimately was up to the discretion of prison officials, had twice been extended, first because she would not admit her guilt as required by prison regulations and then because she was found with “contraband” in her cell — an extra pair of socks.

Those sentence extensions drew the attention of Kimbrough, who was confirmed by the state Senate on Thursday as conservator of the youth prison system, which has been rocked by a sex scandal over allegations that guards and administrators coerced inmates for sex.

Kimbrough, a former deputy attorney general, said last week that he was convening a special committee to examine the sentences of all 4,700 youths in Texas juvenile prisons to determine how many might have had their sentences unfairly extended by prison authorities — and that Shaquanda Cotton’s was the first case he intended to review.

Prison officials said it was Kimbrough who personally ordered the girl’s release on Friday.

Since the Tribune’s first account of Shaquanda Cotton’s case, her story has been circulated on more than 400 Internet blogs and featured in newspapers and radio and TV reports across the country. Two protests demanding her release were held in Paris and a third, to be led by Rev. Al Sharpton, was scheduled for Tuesday.

Even before news of her impending release broke Friday, the Lamar County District Attorney’s office, which prosecuted her and pressed for her to be sent to prison for up to 7 years, made an abrupt turnaround and said the youth had served enough time and ought to be freed.

Court discrepancy revealed

“Let her out of TYC,” said Allan Hubbard, spokesman for Lamar County District Atty. Gary Young. “Hell, she’s done a year for pushing a teacher. That’s too long.”

Hubbard also backed away from claims he and Young made this week in numerous media interviews that the judge in the case, Lamar County Judge Chuck Superville, had had no choice but to send the youth to prison because her mother had testified that she would not cooperate with probation officials had the judge sentenced the teen to probation.

On Thursday, Young’s official Web site contained this assertion: “This juvenile’s mother (Creola Cotton) told the judge she would not comply with conditions of probation.”

But a review of the full court transcript shows no such testimony. In fact, Creola Cotton repeatedly answered “yes” when asked in court whether she would comply with any conditions of probation that the judge might impose.

On Friday morning, after an inquiry about this discrepancy by the Tribune, the district attorney’s Web site was altered to read: “Through her actions of non-cooperation, Ms. Cotton told the judge she would not comply with conditions of probation.”

67 thoughts on “Shaquanda Cotton Released!!!!!!

  1. OMG, this is ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, some of the BEST news I’ve read in ages! And yes, I’m shouting in this post. VERY, VERY happy! (Okay, guess I should actually read the post…just got so excited by the headline. :))

  2. So went to check out other articles on her release and maybe it’s just me, but what’s the deal with the last line in this article?

    “We’re happy she’s home,” said Allan Hubbard, a spokesman for the Lamar County District Attorney’s Office. “We hope we never see her in the juvenile justice system again.”

  3. soCalMuchacha,

    It is truly wonderful and a powerful testament to what media attention can bring. I am beaming from ear to ear. This story was featured on MSNBC on Wednesday. A commedian, Ricky Smiley was on talking about the protest march he held in Paris, TX. You could tell then that somethin’ was about to go down.

  4. john in california

    If she is going to home school, she should have a computer and internet access. Is their any way you (skepticalbrotha) can find out if that is available? It has been years since I taught, but I understand there are many resources online, including tutoring. Maybe their is something the online community could do to help her catch up.

  5. rikyrah

    This is positive news. Not only does she need to be homeschooled, but the mother needs to move to another town. Everyone here knows that the girl has a target on her back. You know it. I know it. Staying in that hellhole of a town will come to no good for her.

  6. sonya

    Excellent. Kudos to you, skepticalbrotha, and all the other black bloggers who helped push this story into the mainstream media.

  7. I’m pleasantly shocked. I’m so glad that media attention turned this case around such as it did for Marcus Dixon. This is great news!

    I hope the mother has the tools to properly home school her child. Maybe someone needs to make sure that she has the available resources to make sure that the young lady is educated and prepared to enter life as an adult.

  8. hamp

    Glad to see this and please let us build upon this because there remains much injustice not only with this case as Ms. Cotton now must deal with the loss of a huge percentage (for a 14 yr old) of her life as she knew it but because there remains much injustice for a multitude of Ms. Cottons.

  9. dblhelix

    convening a special committee to examine the sentences of all 4,700 youths in Texas juvenile prisons

    this is the best news right here.

  10. Wow, that is excellent news. It’s great to know that the people of this country still have power. I just hope we remember, because this is just one injustice out of thousands.

  11. Good News that Shaquanda is going home. I’m like Rikyrah – she and her mother needs to put the Lone Star State in their rearview mirror.

    What I’d like to see:

    1. Fat pay out for Shaquanda and her mother; enough to send Shaquanda to any college in the United States on a four year tuition payment, and set her up for life.

    2. An impeachment against the cracker who sent her to jail while letting a white girl who committed ARSON go home on probation.

    3. Lamar County’s DA needs to be on the unemployment line.

    4. We Black people are going to have to create our own media, and stop waiting for Cathy Hughes to do it. We already saw what Bob Johnson was about…only because Black Bloggers kept Shaquanda on the radar, was her release enabled.

    No fear, no surrender.

  12. Darrylm

    Looks like it is open season on school officials.

    I would not blame the staff at her school if they went on strike.

    The only lesson learned here is that if you yell loud enough and play the race card, you can get away with murder.

    Shaquanda, Sheneka, Tamia whatever must be laughing their asses off.

  13. Darrylm:
    Did I miss something here? I thought that Cotton pushed the hall monitor. This is my first time hearing something about murder.

    Get over yourself. Stop trying to minimize the harm that was done to the young lady for this heavy handed, excessive punishment that was passed her way. Cotton’s supporters didn’t make this issue a race issue; the judge did when he decided to allow racial bias play a role in his sentencing decisions. Ask yourself, why did this judge sentence Cotton so excessively, but at the same time give a white teen probation for a serious crime, such as arson. Use your imagination, someone really could have been murdered in the fire. I don’t think that the hall moniter could have suffered any real injury from a shove.

    My mother is a teacher, and trust me teachers have bigger issues facing them. The bullies they are worried about are in swank offices making 6-figure salaries, coming up with bogus plans to supposedly leave “no child left behind.” They are worried about everyone pointing their fingers at teachers because of the children under achieving, rather than taking a look at the parents and the children. Oh yes, I did say children. They also have to take some responsibility for their under achieving trends. But now, teachers have to carry the full burden of educating these children. And if by chance, and there’s a big chance, these kids don’t pass this test out here in Texas, the teachers are publically spanked and humiliated.

    If the teachers in Paris go on strike, they should be yelling and screaming about not having the funding to make sure that “no child is left behind.” The teachers should be screaming and yelling from the rooftops at all involved officials for allowing this case to make the city of Paris look like fools.

  14. Angie,

    Darrylm is a concern troll, without any concern at all for the plight of Black People. All of us on this board should not feed him/it.

    He doesn’t want to understand the problems that persist among us; like any bigoted cracker, he would rather ridicule than suggest solutions.

    At lease YoungBlackMan has solutions – this troll is someone masquerading as an African-American so he can fill up his Cheetoe-eating days thinking he’s gotten the best of us, and not realizing we haven’t even gotten started yet.

  15. Darrylm

    Rule#1: You DON’T condone stupid, ignorant, anti-social behavior by pointing to stupid, ignorant, anti-social behavior someone else may or may have not done. Period!

    Rule#2: You DON’T gauge the punishment you get for your stupidity by pointing to the punishment someone else may or may have not gotten for their stupidity. Period again!!

    And the most important rule of all: when trying to make excuses & justify actin’ the fool, NEVER, EVER use the cop-out defense: “If I was white…” or “If he was black…” blah, blah, blah! It’s pointless & doesn’t make a bit of sense.

    This whole thing is pretty simple; just don’t do the crime, no matter how big or how small, if you can’t do the time!

    Makes sense to me.

  16. Darrylm

    And that is the shame of it and why hustlers and pimps like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson make such a good living because they have successfully found a way to make our people believe that we are perpetual victims and that everything is the fault of the big bad white boogie man.

  17. Here we go with the “hustlers & pimps” remarks regarding Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

    Darrylm, you sound like J. C. Watts before Tom DeLay broke out that can of Whip Ass on him. And with the same results, too.

    Take your Ward Connerly/Clarence Thomas act to LaShawn Barber’s place; she’d be more than happy to welcome another handkerchief head like yourself.

  18. Darrylm

    Considering the rhetoric against the only credible black man to run for President (Barak), I would say that the Willie Lynch members here would have a place in line far in front of me.

  19. MICHELLE

    It is clear from most of the posts that most of you don’t really know the facts in the case, only the one side the media has played out.
    Why will Ms. Cotton’s mother not sign a release to have her daughter’s school discipline records made public? Maybe she is not as innocent as her mother claims. Maybe she wouldn’t be getting the sympathy and the attention she so desparately needs!!
    At least now I l know if my children get in trouble in school(and this was not the 1st time Ms. Cotton got into trouble) all I have to do is raise a big stink in the national and local media, tell only one side of the story and play on peolple’s sympathy and my child will no longer be in trouble!! Thanks to Ms. cotton’s mother for letting me know how to get my children out of trouble mo matter what. THANKS

  20. GaPeach103

    As a retired teacher/entrepreneur, I am fully cognizant about adolescent behavior, but I totally agree that the school and judicial systems in Paris, Texas, over-reacted (and that’s understatement). At the most, she should have received anger management counseling, out-of-school suspension, and banned from early morning in-building visitation, as well as being made to apoligize to the school monitor. Unlimited incarceration??? You must be kidding, and her race or prior misbehavior have little to do with that assessment. Every sapient being must realize that, at 15, most children are still vulnerable to rehabilitation. Throwing them away, throwing them inside prison with hardened criminals, throwing them out like garbage is counterproductive. Every effort should be made to salvage children. Concerning Shaquanda’s school behavior report, Ms. Cotton has made the correct decision in choosing NOT to release those records. They are confidential, and they have nothing to add to the discussion concerning the issue of Shaquanda’s ill-treatment from the school and judicial systems in Paris, Texas. The release of those records would either be prejudicial or make it seem that Shaquanda needs to whitewash her behavior. Neither would be helpful.

  21. dm

    Nothwithstanding the psycho-babble, in the absence of a good ass whipping from her mother (which obviously is not going to happen), society is left to discipline these miscreants.

  22. Michael

    GaPeach said :

    Concerning Shaquanda’s school behavior report, Ms. Cotton has made the correct decision in choosing NOT to release those records. They are confidential, and they have nothing to add to the discussion concerning the issue of Shaquanda’s ill-treatment from the school and judicial systems in Paris, Texas

    Concerning Shaquanda’s school behavior report, Ms. Cotton has made the correct decision in choosing NOT to release those records. They are confidential, and they have nothing to add to the discussion concerning the issue of Shaquanda’s ill-treatment from the school and judicial systems in Paris, Texas

    Of course they have much to answer in this discussion. It would either confirm or deny what Creola has said concerning her daughter’s behavior. By selectively discussing certain infractions she may be attempting to obfuscate the facts knowing full well the school can’t respond with the truth.

    But I suggest we should put that aside and concern ourselves with the welfare of the child now that she is back home. Hopefully we can all agree that this kid needs an education. Since the mother plans to homeschool the child we should be concerned with several factors.

    A friend of mine is home schooling her kids in Vermont. She had to present a detailed plan to show she was capable of providing the tools necessary and that she had mastered the material herself. My questions regarding Creola Cotton are as follows.

    1. What experience does MS Cotton have regarding teaching at the high school level?
    2. Will MS Cotton be able to work her full time job while also providing for the time to home school?
    3. Is the child’s father involved? I ask this since I have not heard him mentioned at all.
    4. What specific education does Creola have and is it pertinent in the education of a child with ADD ?

  23. Cliff

    We have been receiving some of the horendous attacks against our people for the state of Texas particualy. It seems like they have already declared war on us in that state. I hope this young girl can receive justice. I appreciate all the people who stood up the fight agaist this injustice coming from the state of Texas.

  24. lookingtoothewest

    When will the fence of unequality be torn down or at least remove the corner posts. For God so loved the world that He gave is only son. People in the military are sons and daughters and most of all children of GOD. Knock down the fence people let equallity reign.

    Stop straddling it to suit your own ideas and dreams.

  25. Aleay Wright

    I am one of the many people who wrote the govenor for this young womans release. Now I know I am gettin ready to get a foot shoved up my ass, but the blogs I have read on this young girl release are horrible. It should be a congrats on her release, and the fact that the state came through on seeing the severe punishment handed down for such a small offence. Not a free for all hang whitey ralley. There are many juveniles all over the state where justice is not severed properly, not just the Black Ones. White students get no justice in perdominately african american towns. So all I have to say is to Miss Cotton and to her mother congrats, I am so glad to see the wave of justice come through for you and I hope you have had a chance to learn from it. And to the rest of you shove it, I am AMERICAN INDAIN and have had my people proscuted for centuries, I see no flags waved for my kids. This may have been a race thing but for god sakes it aint always the Black people of this country getting kicked around. So shut the hell up!! And get the hell off your high horse, if my people dont get to pull the race card out of our asses what makes you think ever african american here in the USA should get to pull it!!!!! CONGRATS SHAQUANDA, I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOUR RELEASE, GET YOUR GED AND PUT THIS BEHIND YOU, YOU HAVE A GREAT AND WONDERFUL LIFE AHEAD OF YOU. DONT FORGET THAT AND DONT FORGET TO LIVE FOR THE FUTURE NOT THE PAST. IGRONACE IS NOT BLISS, IT IS A DOWNFALL.

    gotta prob with what i said do email me love to hear it

    aleay25@aol.com
    aleay25@aol.com
    aleay25@aol.com

    lets see what you can say to me on racism
    my people were pratically wiped out at least yours gotta chance to live and be accepted you bigots

  26. Neisha

    MICHELLE |stated April 3rd, 2007 at 3:24 pm It is clear from most of the posts that most of you don’t really know the facts in the case, only the one side the media has played out.
    – It doesn’t matter if we know the whole side to the story. We have teachers in the school distinct that picks on students just because of their titles. When she pushed that teacher, I bet the teacher pushed her first. Sentencing someone for 7 years in poison for pushing, they don’t get that serious with child molesters, rapers, and murders. That judge did that because he felt like a SLAVE OWNER, when it came down in deciding about that African American young lady life. Regardless of what she done in the past, and what she did that day. The schools need to start doing evaluation on these teachers and watching them careful, every teacher is not their for the education of the students, but for self. I think we all should be thanking the Lord and making sure that all of our children, understand when an Adult (any) are being too friendly, making smart comments to them to embarss them or put them down. Yes we have some Grown people out their who get off my making children feel small about themselves to make them feel powered.

  27. Darryl Staples

    Please not to be confused with darrylm. If I get the gest of your argument correctly, you are of African descent, and you are suggesting that by nature of a law being on the books, or sentencing guidelines beiong in place that once adjudicated all is well. I would refer you to the American Revolution, this war was fought as a result of unfair, burdensome, misguided, laws of taxation? The point is Mr Darrylm is that it is part and parcel of our Democratic freedoms to not only to question, but in fact to vigorously oppose any and all unjust laws. This is threaded throughout the Constituiton. Further it is very relevant that the punishment fit the crime, and even more relevant that justice be disbursed w/o prejudice, that is why lady justice wears a blindfold. If you are black, you are one of those brothers that suffer from Stockholm Syndrome. That is soooo sad If you would like to comment please bring it, there is nothing better than sparring with an ill-informed, lightweight, such as your self.

  28. Caterina M Orr

    Seriously though, God has a plan for all of us. Our steps are ordered. Nothing just happens. This is a learning experience for us all but mainly Shaquanda. It is my prayer that she uses this expereince to make herself a better person and to overcome all of her obstacles. God bless us all!

  29. Carrie Collins

    Look what the Media’s involvement can do. There are other injustices being done but not publicized.

    For example, the school systems all over the country should be investigated. There are some students being suspended because lack of knowledge concerning cultural differences. As a results, many African-American students are being suspended for trival things which can and has escalaed to bigger problems. We then began to ask why are the minority students dropping-out of school. Why are they not achieving at their potential. I am now wondering about the race of the accusser.

    In some districts, teachers and praprofessionals are required to read books concerning cultural difference and are expected to effectively apply that knowledge in the classroom. I feel that reading is necessary but workshops are needed involving minority educators, parents, and citizens to provide the knowledge of our culture. .

    Let’s do something about this

  30. Khadijah

    I am glad that the young lady was released from prison. I didn’t think it was a fair sentence. Darryim is lame. The native american lady is too intense, calm down you can play the race card if you feel like it. Don’t tell black people what to do. Regardless of who was discriminated against more, or if your ppl were wiped out, we were all discriminated against by whites in this country, and it’s not fair. So let black people open their mouths when an injustice such as the one done to ms. cotton occurs. I mean, come on. Seven years? She is a kid. So what if she was a bad kid in school, so damn what? Seven years in prison. Be real. Thanks. bye!

  31. Khadijah

    oh, yeah, to aleay. black people are not on a high horse pretending that the world is committing injustices towards them. these things really do happen. i know what happened to native americans, it was just as wrong, but youre so angry at us for having a voice against it, when you should have your own voice against any injustices you people suffer. No one says you have to keep quiet. This blog is not the only place you can yell at. Some Native Americans recieved reparations, and some native Americans have thier own land now. African Americans didn’t get anything. In addition to this nothing that they recieved they had to live under segregation and a racist system for hundreds of years. The Shaquanda Cotton case says that we are still living in those years. Don’t be a fool. If no one opened thier mouth and played that race card, that poor kid could probably be still wasting away in jail because she has disciplinary problems. Let us play our race card, aleay. Play yours too. It is truly all we have sometimes.

  32. Shawn

    This is great victory for Shaquanda! Thanks to every one who played a part to have her released. The real issue is RACIAL DISCRIMINATION still exists. I hope the young lady can move forward and put this behind her.

  33. Shawndra

    I just heard about this for the first time today. At first I was just made aware that there was a 15 year old in prison for 7 years for shoving a teachers aid. I was completely mortified!! I have been informed she has been released and that was one of the best things I’ve heard in a long time. I just hope she can lead a normal life living in a town that is still imposing racism!!!

  34. SURESH SALIG

    There is a dark side to the American Justice System which in some states has blatant double standards. Shame on them. I wish Shaquanda the very best and pressure should be maintained where injustice is noticed. The Judges in this case should now be put to trial.

  35. Shareen

    Shaquanda Cotton, WELCOME HOME BABY GIRL!!!!!!
    You should have never have been placed in there in the first place.
    So many things that I want to say which have been said already.
    When I heard about this case, my heart broke.
    Some of the things that are allowed to continue in the USA has this incredible ability to turn my stomach.
    The Uk was routing for you, passionately!
    I don’t care what you were like, what you are like, your sentencing did not fit your misdemeanour! Your past history has NOTHING to do with what you were sentenced for so why the hell do people think they have the right to know!?!!??

    Darrylm YOU NONE ENTITY!

  36. KrAzi GuRl

    What I dont get is if you realise you live in a racial community, why stay there in the first place??? Is it that one cannot afford the moving cost or one just want to stay thet\re and fight and hope they win???

  37. ilovehaters

    oh my gosh, lindsey lohan has to go to court. she commited a crime.

    oh no, i think its because shes white.

  38. ilovehaters

    oh my gosh, lindsey lohan has to go to court. she commited a crime.

    oh no, i think its because shes white.

    lets start a riot :DD

  39. Kim

    I’ve read your comments and under no means should a child be sentenced to 7 years in jail. No matter what the race is. Yes there are many racist out there!! But no matter what Shaquanda’s mom 1st job is to protect her daughter and why would she post or release confidental information about her DAUGHTER to you the media who wants her to stay stay in JAIL?!?! That’s personal and evidently it wasn’t too bad of a history because she has no priors on record……..can you say the same? If probation was given to one child then it should’ve been given to the other. By the way what was the race of the school official did that play a role?

  40. I was informed about Miss Cottons tragic prison sentance while on pal-talk. We all were informed and we all started making phone calls and sending e-mails. This just shows that there is much work left in america when it come to race, and justice. We as citizens should all stick together. If you are not rich you have more in common with any other non rich american. Regaurdless of race, religion, or sexual prefrences.

  41. q.

    hey, aleay –

    thanks for posting your email address. i would write to you personally, but i want everyone to hear this.

    As you well know, Native Americans aren’t the only ones who have experienced genocide in this country. African-Americans were systematically slaughtered as well — and unlike Native Americans, we were robbed of our religion, our culture, our languages, and indeed – our very humanness – for 400 years running.

    but that’s not all.

    As you well know, most African-Americans throughout our history claim Native American ancestry. Frederick Douglas was part Cherokee. Crispus Attucks was a African/Natick Indian. Then again, Lena Horne is part Blackfoot. Tina Turner is mostly Navaho and Cherokee. Eartha Kitt is part Cherokee and so is Jimi Hendrix. And Alice Walker. And James Earl Jones. I mean, really. The list goes on.

    Back in the day, it was common for African slaves to escape to nearby tribes – and when they did, they were accepted and treated equally. The Black Seminoles epitomize this situation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_seminoles
    So do the Black Cherokees
    http://www.africanamericans.com/BlackIndians.htm
    Ignorance and a patent exclusion from history books doesn’t deny the facts.

    why can’t we all get along? believe it or not – back in the day, we African Americans and Native Americans actually did. that’s why your anger and divisiveness is such a mystery to me.

    check out william loren katz’s Black Indians, Black West.
    http://www.williamlkatz.com/

    and now the Cherokee Nation is trying to oust anyone of African ancestry. i wonder why?
    http://www.williamlkatz.com/Essays/CurrentEvents/CherokeeRacism.php

    understand that the black people you think you’re berating and “educating” on your situation as a Native American are, in all likelihood, more kin to you than you think they are.
    http://newman.baruch.cuny.edu/DIGITAL/native/native_thumbs.htm

    i apologize for veering off topic but this had to be addressed. this is a struggle and a win for all people of color, not just (so-called) black folk.

    ps: another thing. Native Americans have recieved acknowledgement and an apology from the federal government, and reparations in the form of land grants and FREE college tuition and board, amongst other things. and there are over 200 tribes that are actually doing quite well financially, thanks to gaming. they collectively generate $18.5 billion annually on their own turf. Meet me at Foxwoods, anyone? http://www.foxwoods.com/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_gambling_enterprises and the oil and other natural resources on tribal land.

    It’s not much by a long shot in terms of what was taken/what’s owed. but it’s something. African-Americans have no acknowledgement of 400 years of slavery or the hundreds of millions lost in the middle passage. an apology is out of the question. and reparations of any kind are, at best, unthinkable.

    ps: and yes, i have Native American ancestry, too.

  42. NIKKII BROWN

    This is nothing new. This is 2007 and we still have hate on our minds. Alot of people up North have no ideal how it is down south till this day.We need to come together and STOP the maddness!!! And when i say come together…I mean blacks,whites,spanish…etc.

  43. Melissa

    Well said Q. I’m actually half blackfoot as my grandmother on my dad’s side was full blackfoot. So you know your stuff. If you can give me some more links on indian heritage I would appreciate it as I am searching my roots.

  44. Melissa

    Glad to see this young child left out of her misery. Makes me afraid for my children everyday as this world is surely coming to an end. I hope all the bloggers read up on the Jena 6 in Jena, Louisiana. These six young black men have been incarcerated since December of last year and their bail has been set for 90,000 dollars. Yes you heard me correctly. Google it!

  45. tonis

    well i really dont know how or where to start. Wow! I have read the article and read the blogs and i must say, it’s really sad how hateful people can be but we live in a world full of hate. I wonder how the comments of some of you would be if it were your own daughter. wuold you still say “sentence her to 7yrs?” we always seem to have a better solution to someone elses problem. God says to “judge not lest ye be judged.” we focus so much on what should happen to other people and forget about our own sins and faults. ultimately, nothing happens , rather you want to believe in God or not, without God allowing it. ms.cotton’s daughter was arrested because God wanted to do something in theirs lives. and she was released because the prayers that went up for her. “all things work together for the good to them that love the Lord” whether you are black, white , green, or red, racism has no power over you when you have God on your side. Other racist people may think that they can hold another race down but you cant stop nor or you any match for God. that applies rather you believe in him or not.when God favors your life and calls you his child ….”no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper.” “greater is HE that is in YOU than he (little he) that is in the world.” black people , or whoever, stop buying into this idea because im black you have a strike against you, or you’ll always get less. noone has that much control over our race anymore, we give them that control. that the ignorance fall where it may. get on your kness and pray, educate yourself and your family and walk in the blessings of the Lord. God has a plan for the cotton family, pray for them. pray for the whites,blacks and other races. pray for your enemies. and when God comes back there will be NO excuses. may God bless you all

  46. geraldine

    To Tonis comment posted 9/14/07

    YOU ARE SPEAKING THE TRUTH 100% THIS PLACE HAS BECOME A VERY VERY HATEFUL PLACE & YES WHEN THE GOOD LORD DOES RETURN TO CLAIM US THEY WILL ONLY ANSWER TO HIM!!!!! HOWEVER, WE ARE ALSO TAUGHT HE IS A FORGIVING GOD!!!!!!!!! BUT OF COURSE US AS HUMANS THAT MIGHT BE OUR BIGGEST DOWN FALL WE DO NOT FORGIVE THAT EASILY….. YES GOD DOES HAVE A PLAN FOR THE FAMILY & MAY HE CONTUINE TO BLESS HIM & BLESS THE ONE MORE SO THAT DIS LIKE OR HATE OTHER PEOPLE FOR THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN… GOD HELP US ALL

  47. Valerie Randolph

    I would just like to say, that there is too much going on around the whole country when it comes to our civil rights that has been swept under the rug…..it is time for any and all “people of color” to stop sleeping and keep the “wheels spinning” on justice before we wake up and find out we are actually back in “Jim Crow” Days again!

  48. Joseph Bright

    I’m glad to read that she’s out; it was a true injustice. Please pay attention, this is only the beginning; you’ve proven that the system is flawed and their are those who don’t like it when you show them how wrong they are. Listen to your Family and those who are close to you because they believed in your innocence from the very beginning. God bless you and I hope and pray that this does not “scar” you; we have to be vigilant for all of the others who are suffering from some form of injustice and we know who they are. IT’S TIME TO WAKE-UP!!!

  49. Michelle Evans

    Thank God she’s out, but I’m still upset by the fact that she spent a year in prison for shoving a hall monitor.

    Darrylm, if we didn’t gauge the sentences based on the seriousness of the crime, then you’d be getting life in prison for going 2 miles over the speed limit. Extreme example, yes, but the basic idea is that you SHOULD gauge the level of punishment in relation to sentences for more serious crimes. Common sense dictates that a speeder will get a lighter sentence than a murderer. It’s the same with shoving a hall monitor versus burning a house down. Make sense? It did in my head, but half the time when I think something, it comes out garbled through my mouth (or fingertips) and no one has a clue what I’m going on about. lol

  50. Richard Mullen

    She should have gotten 24 hours tops. This should serve as a reminder that we (all races) need to be on our guards against idiotic laws and injustice. This is not a race thing, it is a right and wrong thing.

  51. Tasha Banks

    I think that was a crime for her to serve a year in a prison- thats harsh. It’s amazing that its alot of people that still have hatred in their hearts. No telling what kind of things she was imposed to while she was in the prison system. I’m happy to hear that someone have a heart and decided that her sentence was cruel and unusally punishment.

  52. Sam

    This is real simple: the punishment should fit the crime. Obviously in this case it did not- not by a longshot. Anybody who thinks otherwise in off- way off.

  53. I wish our youth of today can be inspired by doing good in the world. I do not like situations like this and feel this is so sad and we must do better to be better humans in the world.

    Mrs. Joya Style Hair

  54. Pastor Romano White

    I heard about this unjust situation in 2007, and the Lord spoke in my spirit to declare her “RELEASE”. It, being (faith) worked for me when I had a criminal case pending so I know that it will work for others. Thank God for being who he is……. a God of ALL POWER! I was just checking on her and read about her release.

    That’s Wonderful!

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