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BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2

SharonA 01 Oct 02 - 05:17 PM
GUEST 01 Oct 02 - 03:15 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Sep 02 - 06:35 PM
GUEST,post counter 30 Sep 02 - 05:47 PM
catspaw49 30 Sep 02 - 04:41 PM
GUEST,mg 30 Sep 02 - 04:17 PM
Wolfgang 30 Sep 02 - 01:45 PM
EBarnacle1 30 Sep 02 - 12:54 PM
catspaw49 30 Sep 02 - 12:38 PM
Ron Olesko 30 Sep 02 - 12:02 PM
SharonA 30 Sep 02 - 12:00 PM
Wolfgang 30 Sep 02 - 11:45 AM
Áine 30 Sep 02 - 11:26 AM
catspaw49 30 Sep 02 - 10:51 AM
Ron Olesko 30 Sep 02 - 10:01 AM
wysiwyg 30 Sep 02 - 08:54 AM
InOBU 30 Sep 02 - 08:17 AM
Blues=Life 30 Sep 02 - 12:22 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 29 Sep 02 - 08:35 PM
GUEST 29 Sep 02 - 05:18 PM
GUEST 29 Sep 02 - 09:37 AM
GUEST,Ireland 29 Sep 02 - 09:12 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 29 Sep 02 - 01:12 AM
GUEST 29 Sep 02 - 12:56 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 29 Sep 02 - 12:51 AM
GUEST 29 Sep 02 - 12:50 AM
JJ 28 Sep 02 - 11:52 PM
Nerd 28 Sep 02 - 11:43 PM
InOBU 28 Sep 02 - 11:41 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 28 Sep 02 - 10:34 PM
GUEST 28 Sep 02 - 07:35 PM
GUEST,928 28 Sep 02 - 07:33 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Sep 02 - 07:21 PM
InOBU 28 Sep 02 - 07:04 PM
GUEST,Ireland 28 Sep 02 - 05:59 PM
InOBU 28 Sep 02 - 05:13 PM
catspaw49 28 Sep 02 - 02:57 PM
M.Ted 28 Sep 02 - 12:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Sep 02 - 12:15 PM
Leadfingers 28 Sep 02 - 11:01 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Sep 02 - 07:34 AM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Sep 02 - 06:33 AM
M.Ted 28 Sep 02 - 01:55 AM
GUEST,McGrath of Harlow 27 Sep 02 - 07:07 PM
wysiwyg 27 Sep 02 - 06:34 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Sep 02 - 06:30 PM
katlaughing 27 Sep 02 - 06:03 PM
Ron Olesko 27 Sep 02 - 05:50 PM
M.Ted 27 Sep 02 - 05:41 PM
SharonA 27 Sep 02 - 05:40 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: SharonA
Date: 01 Oct 02 - 05:17 PM

GUEST: T'was but t'isn't! (A temporary effect of the transition to the upgrade, I'm guessing.)

Wow, here's an opportunity to test the new "Make a Link" feature of the upgrade, since there's a Part 3 of this discussion to which to link! Here goes. Click on this link to go to Part 3:

BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Oct 02 - 03:15 PM

Why is this illegible? In one tiny left hand column?


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 06:35 PM

Who said anything about this thread ending?


"But, once again, couldn't we move on here from this particular case, which is now in the court system, and turn to other relevant matters?"


Not the same thing at all. And in fact it seems to have happened, to a considerable extent.


I suspect that with the new-model Mudcat, with it's automatic thread- splitting, there is going to be a tendency for discussion threads to get longer, as different aspects of an issue get opened up and explored.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: GUEST,post counter
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 05:47 PM

Two days ago, McGrath of Harlow, said this thread should end (after he personally made umpteen posts to it).

Obviously, other Mudcatters are not prepared to follow ol' Kev's demands and have had other things to say. This is the 29th post since McGrath wanted to shut down comment on this issue.

McGrath of Harlow, is not the King of Mudcat! Long live free speech.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: catspaw49
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 04:41 PM

Mary Garvey.......I have no intention of turning this discussion into one on foster care, but I did not say "all." Many children would prefer to be home.....I agree that many would feel otherwise, but I wouldn't want to bet the farm on which would be the majority!!!

Also, the word "orphanage" does not exist in my vocabulary, however the word "stigma" does. The stigma of being a "foster kid" is out there and bad enough. I hope we have grown past the "orphanage" idea includingseverala recent disastrous attempts at "Foster Home Communities"....read: Orphanage.

Pat and Karen Patterson
Adoptive/Foster Parents to over 30 long term kids
Emergency Foster Home Providers to over 50 children
State of Ohio "Adoptive/Foster Family of the Year" 1996
Certified Adoptive/Foster Trainer


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 04:17 PM

I disagree with one thing, and that is abused children wanting to stay with their abusive parents. I am sure that is true in some cases; I can't believe it is true in all, and they should have some say in it. I have been a school counselor; my first day on the job a student came in and asked me to report his parent. The second day on the job same thing, different student. I had several of those cases. I had an abusive mother (and a good father who did his utmost); I would have absolutely loved for me and my brothers and sisters to have been removed from her, I don't care how..in the middle of the night with sirens wailing. But she put on a good public front. The sainted martyr bit. So even if a kid is being hysterical at the thought of being removed, get some good social workers or whatever after they have calmed down to find out what their real feelings are on the subject. I bet a whole awful lot of them, once they are in a good foster home, would never ever choose to go back. Key of course being good foster home. Better an orphanage than a bad foster home without supervision and with beatings, abuse, etc....it is a complex situation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: Wolfgang
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 01:45 PM

He may think and formulate clear in other topics, his first post here wasn't.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 12:54 PM

Wolfgang,

Having known Larry for many years and in many contexts, I can accurately state that he is both passionate and well-informed on this subject. He has immersed himself on this subject and others for many years. In person, he is clearer and more articulate [sometimes for hours on end]. Though I do not always agree with his selected issues, I do know he has always thought his stands out and generally knows more than I on these issues.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: catspaw49
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 12:38 PM

Yeah Ron, as I said somewhere, we don't know much about the caseworker or supervisor or what they are doing, but I hope they are following what is a pretty accepted procedure in the field. Active as I have been in foster/adoptive issues, it is still hard to explain the reasoning behind much of what we do. There are a lot of misconceptions about social services and the role of everyone involved. It's a fact for instance that the fewer times a placement is disrupted, the better it is for the child. On the other hand, a quick placement into an unacceptable situation is equally harmful. Agencies that have gone to the "Emergency Home" have had great success in using them. Remember that the caseworker/agency is charged with the welfare of the child and it takes a little time to check through the best possible options.......in the best interests of the child.

I have some anecdotal stories which are chilling about things that have gone wrong when agencies are driven by outside forces. Invariably, no matter what happens for good or bad, the agency gets the blame anyway. It is my best hope that in this case there is a strong willed caseworker and supervisor who function quickly and efficiently in the best interests of the child and not in the interests of anyone else. Every child also has a Guardian ad Litem, an attorney to look out for the legal interests and they can often glom up the works....or aid in the situation.....all depends on the GAL appointed. Indiana like Ohio also has an available program called CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) which can be extremely beneficial to everyone because the CASA is looking at the whole situation and makes decisions and suggestions only in the best interests of the child. Many CASAs are well educated and experienced and can provide the middle ground often needed in cases like this one. I haven't seen any word of a CASA involvement at this point and the program isn't mandatory.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 12:02 PM

Thanks Spaw. You pretty well summed up what I was trying to say - that these are temporary homes and while it is not helpful to the child, neither is being in an abusive home. Again, we don't know the specifics with this child and what her current state is. Based on procedures, it sounds like this case has followed the norm.

Until this is settled, we have to hope that this is being done correctly and not as a result of prejudice as some are claiming. Sounds like standard procedures are being followed, even it they are not ideal.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: SharonA
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 12:00 PM

Kat: In my post of 27-Sep-02 - 04:03 PM, I used the term "association" in the sense of (quoting from the Webster's dictionary here) "partnership" and "an organization of persons having a common interest: society". Maybe I was being too literal; you're right that the connotation of the term "association with" makes it sound more remote than "a part of". But again, for all the reasons I stated above, I do not think that the statement by Charles Smith, director of the St. Joseph County Office of Family and Children, is discriminatory or prejudicial. I don't think it's fair to say, "substitute 'migrant worker' or any other minority group for 'Irish Travellers' and see if it sounds like prejudice", because in this particular case there is a criminal element of this particular clan to be considered: part of this close-knit group consists of people involved in criminal activity, including the child's own mother.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: Wolfgang
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 11:45 AM

I urge you all to reread the post that has started these threads (Jeri has done well in citing it) and you'll realise that it was one the the worst opening posts in Mudcat ever. Nothing of what Larry later claimed was on his mind (not to tear the child from its community) was in the first post, just a rant with no discernible connection to the matter know at that time.

Larry, I had considered you an expert on travellers and Roma, but I see now you are just an advocate. Both, expert and advocate, may have the same amount of knowledge, vastly superior to my knowledge, but I trust an expert to inform me as correctly as possible, whereas I don't trust an advocate to inform me correctly except when it happens to fit the agenda.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: Áine
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 11:26 AM

Dear Blues=Life,

You said in your post above, "The ONLY mention I've seen so far about Irish Travellers has been here." Here is a small sample of what I am seeing in my local paper, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which is one of the 32 Knight-Ridder News Syndicate newspapers.

Posted on Sun, Sep. 29, 2002
Inquiring local minds want to know
David House
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

Notes from the pile of readers' questions here lately:

Why did you smear all Irish people in that case involving an Irish Traveller mother and her child?

Readers were referring to the "More on IRISH" jumpline that accompanied a Sunday Page One story about a mother accused of physically abusing her 4-year-old daughter.

Some of the nomadic Irish Travellers are known as con artists, and although the group claims Irish heritage, some Irish-blooded people don't want to be associated with them even in a jumpline.

The idea behind jumplines is to use logical keywords to help readers find the continued copy on an inside page. In this case, the keyword struck some readers as an insensitive indictment. Inoffensive keywords were available, including that dear Irish title -- "Mother."


-- Áine


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: catspaw49
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 10:51 AM

Ron.....It's pretty well accepted that several things occur when a child is removed from the home. As soon as you place them in foster care, you do damage. Now this may well be for the best interests of the child. ie., protection from abuse. Many agencies (ours here) designates a home or two as "emergency" placement homes. These homes are generally as open and cooperative as possible in aiding the child(ren) through a critical period, but they are temporary emergency homes only. For longer term, out of home care, another suitable home is found and as I said in my previous post, the first place to look is at Relative Care. If that is not possible then a home that can keep the child's sense of self is next on the list. You really don't want to move a child at all if possible, but in the emergency situations, it's a better option so the right placement can be found.

BTW, this is a huge issue in adoption! Cross-racial and cross-cultural adoptions are one of the forefront issues that even the most ardent adoptive advocates still fight about.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 10:01 AM

Larry,

I'm still struggling with this. When you say the State of Indiana treats Travelers with "blind hatred", could you give examples? I realize these threads are lengthy, but I don't recall seeing anything specific - except for your statements about the child being separated from her community.

Your feelings about the child being separated from her community are well taken, but based on other cases that I've read about this seems like the standard procedure in such cases. Foster homes do not necessarily mean permanent and when there is danger of flight and potential additional abuse. Bottom line, if this incident never occured the issue of foster homes would be moot.

Also, it should be mentioned that not all doctors would agree completely with your statement that separation from her community adds damage to her sense of self- at least in the context that you've supplied. While you say you have knowledge of this case, we really don't know what this child's current sense of self is. In the case of divorce, the separation from the issues of the parents can often improve a child well being. Not knowing what issues this child may currently have, I wouldn't be so quick to say that this current (and not necessarily permanent) separation is doing "damage".

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: wysiwyg
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 08:54 AM

Larry,

I can't hear the sense you are trying so urgently to convey, amid your diatribes. I admire your passion, but your passion has overwhelmed your peaceability. I pray you will find a peaceful way to keep teaching people about the good you see in folk. If going to a part three will just continue the pain-slinging, I'll be sad to see it.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: InOBU
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 08:17 AM

Yes it is about the four year old stupid... and every day that you separate that child from her ethnic community adds damage to her sence of self, that is not from me but from the experts with Dr. before there name, who study ethnicity, sociology and anthropology. It is about the child and the State of Indiana, in their blind hatred of Travellers is blind to the need of that child to be among HER people. Most Americans don't get it, but that is not proof that will stand up in court, The US government hold Eastern European nations to task for the same deprivation of rights in Indiana, we demand an end to out adoption of Roma "Gypsies" overseas, we legislate protection of Indians from that same outrage, and then the nation condones that violation of rights when the news media spews hatred of Traveller people in this nation.
I think we should start a part three folks, this is getting long again, Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: Blues=Life
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 12:22 AM

As a professional traveller, not an Irish Traveller, I first looked into this thread to see what new problem I was going to be facing at airports. Imagine my suprise to find out that I was being a bigot because the woman who beat up on her 4 year old was an Irish Traveller. Oh. I'm sorry. Well, that's all right then, hit the kid again.

Excuse me? You can't have it both ways, folks. As Aine said, "As I read through the posts to this thread, it is apparent that many of you are unaware of the history and background of the Irish Travellers (Pavees)." How can I be discriminating against this woman if I am ignorant both of an ethnic group, and her membership in it? Sorry, but that dog won't hunt.

The ONLY mention I've seen so far about Irish Travellers has been here. And the logical basis of the "she's being discriminated against, that's why she's innocent of whomping on her kid" defense seems to be on a par with the old example of the man who killed his parents, and then pleaded with the judge for mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan.

Finally, I don't think foster care is a great option. But it sure beats a punch to the head.

It's about a 4-year old kid, stupid.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 29 Sep 02 - 08:35 PM

Believe me, if Geraldo Rivera had footage of people beating their children you would see primetime specials galore. The press loves such things. This is a "hot" topic for the media - it plays on sympathy and it is something most people can relate to in one way or another.

I don't mean to sound prejudiced against the media since I've spent some of my career in that arena (on the technical side), there are some good journalists left in the world.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Sep 02 - 05:18 PM

There are many "nice," white American mothers who beat their children. You don't see the media blowing their cases out of proportion.

Then again, if they had footage of the beatings on video, they probably would.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Sep 02 - 09:37 AM

Congratulations to all of the Mudcatters who continue to defy the wishes of McGrath of Harlow by discussing this issue.

I know that I'm not the only one who's sick of Kevin McGrath going on and on and on and on and on about something and then trying to decide for the rest of us when the discussion is over.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: GUEST,Ireland
Date: 29 Sep 02 - 09:12 AM

Larry, give Toogood some real advice, advise her to dump the team, go to court with one lawyer and get it over and done with.

Saves time and money, you have some legal circus going on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 29 Sep 02 - 01:12 AM

Apparently not, which would make it less of a "draw" for the major networks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Sep 02 - 12:56 AM

Was there a video tape of the 8 y.o. and the stun-gun?


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 29 Sep 02 - 12:51 AM

Let's see how the press handles this story. A man in Texas is in jail on charges he used a stun gun to discipline his 8 year old son. He is on jail with a $15,000 bail. (Higher than Toogoods I believe). All four of his children have been placed in foster care. (Did I read that Toogood still has custody of her other children?

This sparking example of human excrement told the Houston Chronicle - "The belt didn't work; this did. It hurts much less than the belt. I've whipped his ass so hard that it left marks. That just didn't send the message and this did".

I'm sure some of you are asking - no there is no mention of his ethnic background other than he is from Texas. It will be real interesting to see how this story plays in the U.S. press in comparision to Toogood.

Maybe I need to rethink my feelings on capital punishment.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Sep 02 - 12:50 AM

Mrs. Toogood will also be held accountable to a court of her superiors - within the traveler system of justice - the penalty for bringing the community into "high profile" can be harsh enough that she will wish to be in the "kindly hands" of a state penal system.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: JJ
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 11:52 PM

The story was on the 11:00 WCBS local news here in New York tonight with emphasis on the question: is the child in custody really Martha? But not one word was uttered about Irish Travelers...


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: Nerd
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 11:43 PM

Yes, Larry, you have been a bit confusing about your role. I assume that you are telling the truth in both posts, though, and that you are a consultant to the lawyers, hence part of the team but not the counsel. Is this accurate?

In any case, I really can't agree that loudmouth bigots in the press prove anything about the actions of the social workers or the authorities. No one is saying prejudice doesn't exist. But you pointing out that some journalist I've never heard of is an asshole doesn't have much bearing on whether prejudice was shown by the authorities in the case itself. I'm waiting for the new evidence you've promised, especially now that there are new charges relating to giving the address of strip-mall drycleaner as their permanent abode (I know, I know, travellers don't have a fixed address....)


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: InOBU
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 11:41 PM

Hi Garg: They really do contribute. Much of the comments here, at some time and another get mulled over by the team, which at the moment is a lawyer, a phd folklorist - which sounds less serrious a study than it is, it entails antro, sociolgy, linguistics... but I read and contemplate our little microcausem of the world here, and it helps me to learn how to explain Traveller culture as opposed to steryotypes to the world at large. I get support and inspiration from M.Ted and McGraw, and Spaw and others, but where would a boxer be without a good sparing partner. That is why I always said that you are underapreciated, you have at times been a good sparing partner, a bit of sand papper to get folks smoothed out and on the plumb!
Well, I have to get off to the kip. I am on the road driving alone at 8am to go many miles before I sleep, and to see wonderful things. God bless all, and thanks.
I'm just going to take off the tirsty boots for a few hours, then I am on the road again.
Scare off them demons, Garg, Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 10:34 PM

There are a lot more traveler traits in you than you admit to, Larry. Back on the 26th you stated, I am part of a legal team

Would you like to ask the generous MudCat community for a donation?

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 07:35 PM

Thanks 928. Ol' Kevin sure likes to play the Lord Konow-It-All of Mudcat. He is very tiresome.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: GUEST,928
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 07:33 PM

But, once again, couldn't we move on here from this particular case, which is now in the court system, and turn to other relevant matters?

McGrath,

You and anyone else are always free to move on and turn to other matters. If you don't want want to continue in this thread, you're not obligated to read it, let alone pontificate endlessly, as you do often in so many threads, and certainly not to dictate to everyone else what they should be concerned about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 07:21 PM

And anyone who hasn't listened to the MacColl/Parker Radio Ballad The Travelling People, you've missed something, but you needn't keep on missig it. And if you buy it, remember to do it via CAMSCO.

But, once again, couldn't we move on here from this particular case, which is now in the court system, and turn to other relevant matters?

To quote what I said a couple of posts back "I think and hope that everyone who has joined in is actually agreed on what really matters - violence towards children is wrong and cannot be ignored; and prejudice and unfair discrimination and persecution of any group of people is wrong, and cannot be allowed."


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: InOBU
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 07:04 PM

Hi folks, I am not the lawyer for the Toogoods, I am a political scientist with a Juris Doctorate, who knows a huge amount about Roma and a good deal about Travellers, and has access and a personal relationship with the real experts both with a Phd and a thrity foot trailer, so to speak. As far as what has gone on in the case before I was asked to speak with the press, I wont comment on that. The Traveller issue was raised before anyone called me. As to my effectiveness, the story on the AP was the first positive word about Travellers published, and the talk with Bill O'Rielly on FOX went well, so I am told. We will see what the public says about CNN. As far as it goes, here I have commented on what has been public record. Frankly I think some of the Catters are bending over backwards to not see the prejudice here, and some who talk about Irish Travellers shouting at them with Irish Accents, know nothing about Travellers in the US and are parading a potenial prejudice... (gee that came out like Johnny Cockran, sorry folks...) anyway, I am sharing an informal natter with my mudcat family, while avoiding anything confidential, because, you, dear singers of the truth, are the hope for spreading the word they way it should be, in a cultureal context. You folkies owe travellers more than you think, Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: GUEST,Ireland
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 05:59 PM

Larry, If you are part of the Toogood defence why are you bringing this into the public domain. The ethnic tactic is wrong it has backfired, juding from the posts people did not care about the womans origins. Playing this card seems to have turned people against her, not doing too good a job.

People are actively seeking information on this person i.e southbend link how many are doing so to gain info to attack this woman. The legal team are leaving this woman out to dry as it seems she is getting little sympathy or understanding.

Maybe I'm wrong but as I'm Irish you will excues me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: InOBU
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 05:13 PM

Bless you Spaw, that is the truth. The real story will out, a little at a time, and I hope the press is there to cover it, not in the sensationalist way it has been presented, such as Andrea Peyser saing, "This train wreck of a mom is one of the so-called Irish Travellers - nomadic misfits with I'd never before heard of..." she goes on to say "By foistering a bizare athority shunning way of life on kids, the Travellers put them in danger." I don't have a lot of time to say much, I have to run down south, having only been back a few hours from the mid west, and for the rest of the evening work on a Romani child custody case... folks, look at the above, I can give you ten or twenty equaly vile statements in the reporting... when you call any culture bizarre, misfits, there is only one word for you, a bigot, and bigotry hurts children in a way that maybe a Traveller knows better than alot of our fellow countryfolk.
Best wishes to all, keep thinking about this, keep watching and learning. Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 02:57 PM

Suppose they were Amish..............

I've really tried to stay away from this one.....I really have. I'm not going into any credentials I might have to judge this one as most of us here are talking through our hats anyway. What you saw on the videotape happens many times everyday all over the country. Sometimes the offenders are caught......Most times they aren't.

When they are and Children's Services is involved, the law enforcement agency authorizes the emergency temporary placement of the child in foster care. The first task after that of the caseworker is to find a suitable longer term foster/relative placement. The first place to look is to the relatives and if they are available, suitable, and willing to commit to the rules governing foster placement (yes, there are extensive rules that cover foster care), then the child is placed with them. In this process, the first and foremost motive that drives the decision should be "the best interests of the child." Not flight risk....Not the opinions of another's style of living. The best interest of the child.....period.

I, and none of you either, know the details that the caseworker and casework supervisor are investigating. If they are being driven in their investigation by public opinion, they are not doing their job. If they are being driven by the feelings and thoughts of a prosecutor or anyone else with an ax to grind, they are not doing their job. The job is to find the best possible placement in the best interests of the child.   Safeguards can be set up within the placement agreement and if they are broken, then the placement is moved. The caseworker and supervisor are free to do this and it is done in almost every case of "relative placement" as a matter of course.

The only thing I can say here with any degree of certainty is that children in foster care would almost always prefer to be with relatives.....or their parents, regardless of how abusive the situation. I have seen kids that had parents who murdered a sibling and they would prefer to be with the parents even so. It's a tough thing to understand........

I'm outta' here...........Should have kept my mouth shut.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: M.Ted
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 12:31 PM

I wrote to the South Bend Tribune and asked them to set up a page with links to all their Toogood Articles, which they were happy to do--South Bend Tribune Toogood Special Page This will make it easy for all of you to read about what has actually been going on in the community--I love the internet!

html link fixed by mudelf ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 12:15 PM

Sometimes when a bunch of Travellers of one sort or another have been in a field and move on the place looks pretty messy - very often of course it's not so much a question of them moving on as of being moved on, and that's a major factor.

But a few weeks or months on and the field looks OK once more. But when a developer moves in, and churns up the ground, and puts down concrete foundations or covers the surface with asphalt for parking and so forth it's going to take a lot longer before it looks right.

I'm thinking of a particular little field near where I live where a few years ago just this happened. After a few travellers had been moved on they left the place looking pretty bad. It didn't take that long though, and the place recovered well, and was really pretty once more. Then the owners - who of course weren't any kind of Traveller - turned up, and put up great rusty wire fences around it, and big iron gates, and laid down concrete parking over most of it. They had some idea of using it as a lorry park, that never came off. Years later and it looks a real dump.

Human beings have a tendency to wreck the places we occupy - and we need to find a way to avoid doing that. Up until a couple of generations ago Gypsies and other Travellers were actually pretty good at passing through the world without wrecking the stopping places. Where this has changed, there are a lot of reasons, and many of them not their doing at all.

I've had obscenities shouted at me by young men with English accents in white vans, but it hasn't made me think any worse of the English in general. Of course, I have enough contact with English people who aren't like that to recognise it as being just the way some people are. The danger is when people generalise from an isolated instance, and think it tells them something that applies to a group as a whole, when it's a group they haven't had too much contact with.

And that's really what lies behind the worry some of us have expressed about this whole episode. The very fact that it seems that, for a lot of people, it's the first time the existence of the Travelling People has come to their attention, means a real danger of this kind of stereotyping. Especially when "the experts" creep out of the woodwork and encourage the process, with the cooperation of people in the media who like to keep the story simple and dramatic.

Arguing about what exactly happened in this case, and how it was dealt with, isn't really too helpful.

I think and hope that everyone who has joined in is actually agreed on what really matters - violence towards children is wrong and cannot be ignored; and prejudice and unfair discrimination and persecution of any group of people is wrong, and cannot be allowed.

The rest is details and speculation about facts where most of us, including me, really haven't actually got the facts. We're a bit like the friends who came to blows arguing about the colour of a horse - and they were in the dark anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: Leadfingers
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 11:01 AM

Wether one is prejudiced or not,the behaviour of people who APPEAR to be of one group or another will colour ones views on that group.I like to think that I am as liberal minded as the next man (provided the next man is NOT the good Senator Mc Carthy)but I have very little time for any body who moves onto a nice green field and leaves a huge mound of filth and old car parts behind when they move on to their next site.Equally,the three young men who drove past me in a Transit pick up when I stopped for a newspaper and shouted oscenities in broad Irish accents at me for no reason at all. Can I be blamed for thinking unkind thoughts about Irish Travellers?. But it wont stop me going to the Old Crown for a pint of Guiness and to join in with the Irish band who play there. Another point to consider is that your average Catter is possibly a person who's education has stuck a little more than some peoples,and they are therefore more able to see through the headlines that the Tabloid Press are prone to present us with.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 07:34 AM

No, Mr. Ted: I don't think that Larry should back off the case. I think that the Travellers need an advocate to make sure that there is no discrimination in the decision as to the long-term placement of the child. As I said, I'd probably lean toward keeping the child with the parents, while holding them accountable for their criminal actions and requiring the mother to get counselling. I'd all expect that there'd be some on-going evaluation ond supervision of the family. What I do believe is that because Larry is the lawyer for the Travellers, he of necessity only presents information that is on their behalf in this forum, and in the best possible way. That makes it impossible for us to evaluate the issue of where the child should live. I am not qualified to make that decision, and I don't believe that Larry is in a position of objectively making it, either. It's like asking the defence lawyer to make the decision in a court case. I want this case handled with justice. I just don't believe that this forum is a place to discuss it anymore. Thank you, Kevin. You understood what I was saying. Let's leave this to the officials now, and let Larry do the job he has been hired to do, whether there is actual payment involved, or not.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 06:33 AM

I think it'd be better if we all backed off from concentrating on this particular case, and leave it to the court process. That's what I took Jery as meanig there. As they say, we're in danger of generating more heat than light.

Let's talk about songs instead for a bit, and their relationship to the real life of the Travelling people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: M.Ted
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 01:55 AM

Are you saying that Larry should recuse himself from the case, Jerry? Larry knows more about the case than any of us, because he is actually involved in it--he has access to more of the facts than anyone else here, and he will play a part in the final resolution of the case because he is a lawyer involved in the matter--


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: GUEST,McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 07:07 PM

In these islands the term "Traveller" has been used for the last thirty of so years as the normal term to cover various groups of people who might otherwise be described as Gypsies, Tinkers, Didakoi. It sets aside the kind of arguments that might arise as to what to call particular people, and uses one aspect of the way of life they have in common.

More recently the term has been used - as "New Age Travellers" - to describe people with a non-travelling background who for various reasons have adopted a related lifestyle, a combination of hippieish people, and of refugees from marginalised lives in cities. And in fact people from older communities of Travelling People have sometimes wished to distance themselves from these newcomers, rejecting the term, or qualifying it,maybe by describing themselves as "Gypsy Travellers." That's because "new age travellers" have come in for a lot of bad treatment and scapegoating.

I'd think most people who are into folk music would inevitably be familiar with the term "the Travelling People", thanks to Ewan MacColl's song. (The link there is to Dick Gaughan's song site - I couldn't find it on the DT, though likely enough it's there.)

Incidentally, it's a strange thing that the word "traveller" means exactly the same as the English word "roamer" - which sounds exactly like Roma. But I think that is a sheer coincidence, since I gather the word "roam" dates back to a time before the Roma came to Europe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 06:34 PM

It's unfortunate, but IMO the "discrimination" is buried back in that time when the only Travellers most people in the US had ever heard of were the criminal element preying on folks in scams and frauds, who called themselves "Travellers." Benign Travellers didn't step forward then (nor did their allies), as far as I know, to let people know of the honorable people who also claim that identifier. I wish they had. I've served as ally and defender to every victim of injustice (individuals and groups) that I've ever known personally or known about, and put myself and my reputation on the line to do it. But until a chance thread here at Mudcat, I'd never heard of any sort of Traveller except the kind who wants my money and will do a lot of bad things to get it. And neither has anyone I know, who I've asked about it, since that thread.

To blame people for discriminating when they have never been given correct information is unrealistic. And offering correct information, in the middle of a firestorm about what millions have now seen on videotape, is even more unrealistic. IMO the battle for fairness lies elsewhere.

The effective and peacemaking way to gain allies, understanding, and equity is not to cry foul over any individual case, and berate people for being dumb, but to lovingly and accurately educate people over a long period of time about who people actually ARE. And IMO the present instance serves as a very poor starting point.

Don't blame people if a criminal group has co-opted an honorable but little-known name. Take the name back, instead, reclaiming it in honor and peace.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 06:30 PM

Like many Mudcat threads, this one has wandered all over the place, and now is somewhere where I don't think anyone can give an intelligent opinion... me included. We've gone from challenging Larry's original statement that the charges leveled against a Mother who beat crap out of her kid were discriminatory, to who should get custody of the child. God help anyone who had to rely on Mudcat, or any other group you care to choose to make a decision on Child Custody. I know from personal experience that far more investigation and evaluation go into the process than could ever occur on Mudcat. And, it is done by people who have far more experience than most of us. Count me out on figuring out where the child should be. I think you should count Larry out, too, personally, and you too McGrath. We just don't know the details, and it looks like Larry made up his mind before he even knew half the facts. I agree with Larry that I hope the decision is made without prejudice. I don't agree that the only decision possible without prejudice is to put the child back in her home. I'd probably lean in that direction myself, but what do I know? What do any of us know about an issue as complex as long-term custody? There's far too much, "I'm thinking about the child, and she should be in her community," and "I'm thinking about the child, and she should be removed from an abusive situation." Truth is, when it comes to custody, I don't think we know what the Hell we're talking about. I'm sure that I don't. I still think Larry has consistently minimized the damage to the child, and glossed over the problems in the family, the police records, the scams. Better that someone more objective look at this one...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 06:03 PM

My quote was the fact the family is part of the Irish Travelers will play a role in whether other family members get temporary custody of the girl – and whether the Toogoods regain custody not as Sharon characterised the family's association with the Irish Travelers. Not associated with, but part of, therefore indicting the entire clan, IMO. Substitute "migrant worker" or any other minority group for "Irish Travellers" and see if it sounds like prejudice.

I'd hate to think that if I'd hit my child that my family and extended family would be judged by my actions and denied temporary custody of my children; as close knit as we were, my children would have been severely traumatised by such.

Also, as I understood it, from some ealier posting, this clan does not go from state to state, but rather winters in one for about six months, then goes back to the other.

M. Ted, thanks for the local information.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 05:50 PM

MTED - the high bail is because she has already skipped out on other hearings. She has proven to be a flight risk - and flight risks can be anyone, not just a Traveler. Since she turned up here in NJ, I guess she is rather mobile. I guess if you consider that prejudice, it is - but it still doesn't show that the prejudice is against Travelers, rather it is prejudice against someone who has skipped a court appearance.

I do think a child's place is with the mother, when all legal and psychological critera are met.

Thank you for contributing to the "cheap talk" with the rest of us.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: M.Ted
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 05:41 PM

It is relatively easy to find the website for The South Bend Tribune, which is the local paper-- and if you did you would learn that there is quite a concern in the community that the unusually high bail (Class D felonies usually have a $500 bond set, rather than the $5000 fine that was set by St. Joseph County Superior Court Judge Jerome Frese) was based on prejudice--you may also see for yourself Jerry, that, though you may not have known that the Toogoods were Irish Travellers, Michianans (the name that the folks in the South Bend/Niles metropolitan area use to desribe themselves) have known about it since the Toogoods were first identified in the video--

You would also have learned that Mr. Toth, the prosecutor of this case, is up for re-election, and, at least in some quarters, his actions in this matter are suspect--

Also, you would gather that the farther someone is from the scene of the crime, the more severe a punishment they seem to demand--Michianans seem to believe that the family unit is much more important than Mudcatters do, and many express the need to return the child to the mother, albeit with the necessary counciling and support, as soon as possible.

Talk is cheap, folks--and most of what you all have posted here is cheap talk--


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2
From: SharonA
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 05:40 PM

Ron, thanks for your response and for clearing that up! I see the situation of watching media sensationalism as one of "knowing your enemy." As you say, we the public create the demand for sensationalism that the media supply, so I guess "we have met the enemy and he is us", so each of us needs to be his or her own media watchdog!

Thank you too, M Ted, for your response. I still can't imagine what the exculpatory evidence for Toogood's behavior might be... guess I'll have to wait for Larry to share it before we see if we – and more importantly, the court – can be convinced that it's a satisfactory explanation. I'm skeptical, though, since so far Larry hasn't managed to convince many of the posters on these two threads that his argument holds water.

Waiting with bated breath,
Sharon


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