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BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3

InOBU 30 Sep 02 - 07:21 PM
Blues=Life 30 Sep 02 - 10:46 PM
catspaw49 01 Oct 02 - 12:48 AM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Oct 02 - 05:24 AM
Áine 01 Oct 02 - 10:19 AM
M.Ted 01 Oct 02 - 11:18 AM
wysiwyg 01 Oct 02 - 12:38 PM
SharonA 01 Oct 02 - 05:20 PM
SharonA 01 Oct 02 - 05:32 PM
Nerd 02 Oct 02 - 02:28 AM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Oct 02 - 06:20 AM
InOBU 02 Oct 02 - 07:07 AM
GUEST,Louise (they say I'm not half bad) 02 Oct 02 - 11:21 AM
Ron Olesko 02 Oct 02 - 11:59 AM
GUEST,Nerd 02 Oct 02 - 01:00 PM
catspaw49 02 Oct 02 - 01:19 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Oct 02 - 02:47 PM
Nerd 02 Oct 02 - 03:13 PM
Áine 02 Oct 02 - 05:21 PM
NicoleC 02 Oct 02 - 05:35 PM
SharonA 02 Oct 02 - 05:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Oct 02 - 06:16 PM
NicoleC 02 Oct 02 - 07:07 PM
catspaw49 02 Oct 02 - 07:26 PM
M.Ted 03 Oct 02 - 04:28 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Oct 02 - 04:55 PM
Wolfgang 04 Oct 02 - 05:48 AM
GUEST 05 Oct 02 - 12:38 AM
InOBU 05 Oct 02 - 04:17 AM
GUEST 06 Oct 02 - 05:43 PM
Big Mick 06 Oct 02 - 05:54 PM
InOBU 06 Oct 02 - 06:27 PM
GUEST 07 Oct 02 - 12:22 AM
M.Ted 07 Oct 02 - 12:35 AM
SharonA 07 Oct 02 - 09:05 AM
Ron Olesko 07 Oct 02 - 09:46 AM
Big Mick 07 Oct 02 - 10:10 AM
GUEST 07 Oct 02 - 12:21 PM
Nerd 07 Oct 02 - 04:43 PM
Ron Olesko 07 Oct 02 - 05:01 PM
Nerd 07 Oct 02 - 05:05 PM
Ron Olesko 07 Oct 02 - 05:10 PM
Nerd 07 Oct 02 - 05:33 PM
Ron Olesko 07 Oct 02 - 05:39 PM
SharonA 07 Oct 02 - 06:02 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Oct 02 - 06:41 PM
InOBU 08 Oct 02 - 07:16 AM
wysiwyg 08 Oct 02 - 07:56 AM
catspaw49 08 Oct 02 - 08:31 AM
InOBU 08 Oct 02 - 08:55 AM
SharonA 08 Oct 02 - 11:47 AM
NicoleC 08 Oct 02 - 01:07 PM
M.Ted 08 Oct 02 - 02:55 PM
Nerd 08 Oct 02 - 03:22 PM
SharonA 08 Oct 02 - 03:29 PM
InOBU 08 Oct 02 - 03:40 PM
InOBU 08 Oct 02 - 03:44 PM
Ron Olesko 08 Oct 02 - 04:13 PM
Nerd 08 Oct 02 - 04:22 PM
NicoleC 08 Oct 02 - 05:00 PM
SharonA 08 Oct 02 - 05:29 PM
GUEST,McGrath of Harlow 08 Oct 02 - 05:53 PM
Áine 09 Oct 02 - 03:29 PM
catspaw49 09 Oct 02 - 03:46 PM
Ron Olesko 09 Oct 02 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,Wondering Alice 09 Oct 02 - 04:03 PM
Ron Olesko 09 Oct 02 - 04:40 PM
GUEST,Wondering Alice 09 Oct 02 - 05:22 PM
Ron Olesko 09 Oct 02 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,Wondering Alice 09 Oct 02 - 05:56 PM
greg stephens 09 Oct 02 - 06:02 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Oct 02 - 06:20 PM
greg stephens 09 Oct 02 - 06:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Oct 02 - 06:41 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 09 Oct 02 - 06:50 PM
Áine 09 Oct 02 - 07:10 PM
GUEST 10 Oct 02 - 12:32 AM
Coyote Breath 10 Oct 02 - 12:48 AM
greg stephens 10 Oct 02 - 02:55 AM
Bullfrog Jones 10 Oct 02 - 04:12 AM
InOBU 10 Oct 02 - 07:02 AM
InOBU 10 Oct 02 - 07:12 AM
Wolfgang 10 Oct 02 - 07:51 AM
InOBU 10 Oct 02 - 08:06 AM
SharonA 10 Oct 02 - 09:14 AM
Ron Olesko 10 Oct 02 - 09:35 AM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Oct 02 - 10:12 AM
SharonA 10 Oct 02 - 10:52 AM
Ron Olesko 10 Oct 02 - 11:12 AM
InOBU 10 Oct 02 - 11:18 AM
Grab 10 Oct 02 - 11:29 AM
Bullfrog Jones 10 Oct 02 - 11:31 AM
Ron Olesko 10 Oct 02 - 11:41 AM
SharonA 10 Oct 02 - 12:16 PM
Kim C 10 Oct 02 - 01:53 PM
InOBU 10 Oct 02 - 02:46 PM
SharonA 10 Oct 02 - 03:16 PM
SharonA 10 Oct 02 - 03:50 PM
Nerd 10 Oct 02 - 03:53 PM
SharonA 10 Oct 02 - 03:59 PM
InOBU 10 Oct 02 - 04:12 PM
NicoleC 10 Oct 02 - 04:19 PM
M.Ted 10 Oct 02 - 04:37 PM
SharonA 10 Oct 02 - 04:37 PM
SharonA 10 Oct 02 - 05:05 PM
Kim C 10 Oct 02 - 05:29 PM
InOBU 10 Oct 02 - 08:31 PM
Coyote Breath 10 Oct 02 - 08:46 PM
Blues=Life 10 Oct 02 - 08:48 PM
InOBU 10 Oct 02 - 08:53 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 10 Oct 02 - 09:08 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 11 Oct 02 - 12:44 AM
InOBU 11 Oct 02 - 07:16 AM
SharonA 11 Oct 02 - 09:02 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Oct 02 - 09:32 AM
InOBU 11 Oct 02 - 11:42 AM
SharonA 11 Oct 02 - 05:56 PM
InOBU 11 Oct 02 - 06:34 PM
Coyote Breath 11 Oct 02 - 09:57 PM
InOBU 11 Oct 02 - 10:29 PM
InOBU 12 Oct 02 - 10:00 AM
SharonA 14 Oct 02 - 06:14 PM
InOBU 14 Oct 02 - 07:22 PM
InOBU 14 Oct 02 - 07:34 PM
InOBU 14 Oct 02 - 07:42 PM
NicoleC 14 Oct 02 - 09:40 PM
InOBU 15 Oct 02 - 07:46 AM
Bagpuss 15 Oct 02 - 07:54 AM
InOBU 15 Oct 02 - 08:48 AM
Ron Olesko 15 Oct 02 - 09:55 AM
InOBU 15 Oct 02 - 10:22 AM
Ron Olesko 15 Oct 02 - 11:29 AM
NicoleC 15 Oct 02 - 12:30 PM
SharonA 15 Oct 02 - 12:47 PM
Wolfgang 15 Oct 02 - 12:57 PM
Wolfgang 15 Oct 02 - 01:17 PM
SharonA 15 Oct 02 - 01:28 PM
Wolfgang 15 Oct 02 - 01:35 PM
EBarnacle1 15 Oct 02 - 03:05 PM
Nerd 15 Oct 02 - 04:32 PM
InOBU 15 Oct 02 - 04:54 PM
Bullfrog Jones 15 Oct 02 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,The Great American Public 15 Oct 02 - 06:20 PM
InOBU 15 Oct 02 - 06:23 PM
GUEST,Sceptic 15 Oct 02 - 06:36 PM
Blues=Life 15 Oct 02 - 06:58 PM
GUEST,Ron Olesko 15 Oct 02 - 07:00 PM
GUEST,Sceptic 15 Oct 02 - 08:18 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 15 Oct 02 - 09:16 PM
InOBU 15 Oct 02 - 10:22 PM
InOBU 15 Oct 02 - 10:23 PM
InOBU 15 Oct 02 - 10:24 PM
InOBU 15 Oct 02 - 10:29 PM
InOBU 15 Oct 02 - 10:36 PM
Amos 16 Oct 02 - 01:07 AM
GUEST,Sceptic 16 Oct 02 - 09:07 AM
InOBU 16 Oct 02 - 01:39 PM
SharonA 21 Oct 02 - 04:50 PM
GUEST,Sceptic 21 Oct 02 - 10:31 PM
Grab 22 Oct 02 - 10:35 AM
SharonA 22 Oct 02 - 11:36 AM
Nerd 22 Oct 02 - 04:47 PM
InOBU 22 Oct 02 - 05:08 PM
SharonA 22 Oct 02 - 05:54 PM
SharonA 22 Oct 02 - 06:09 PM
NicoleC 22 Oct 02 - 06:18 PM
InOBU 22 Oct 02 - 06:39 PM
InOBU 22 Oct 02 - 06:42 PM
Grab 23 Oct 02 - 08:58 AM
InOBU 23 Oct 02 - 09:20 AM
catspaw49 23 Oct 02 - 09:29 AM
Ron Olesko 23 Oct 02 - 10:01 AM
InOBU 23 Oct 02 - 10:09 AM
SharonA 23 Oct 02 - 10:46 AM
InOBU 23 Oct 02 - 11:41 AM
SharonA 23 Oct 02 - 12:10 PM
InOBU 23 Oct 02 - 12:16 PM
SharonA 23 Oct 02 - 01:33 PM
Áine 23 Oct 02 - 02:07 PM
SharonA 23 Oct 02 - 02:35 PM
SharonA 23 Oct 02 - 05:02 PM
Grab 24 Oct 02 - 09:04 AM
InOBU 24 Oct 02 - 10:34 AM
InOBU 24 Oct 02 - 10:38 AM
Ron Olesko 24 Oct 02 - 10:46 AM
InOBU 24 Oct 02 - 11:46 AM
InOBU 24 Oct 02 - 11:50 AM
Ron Olesko 24 Oct 02 - 01:32 PM
InOBU 24 Oct 02 - 01:40 PM
Nerd 24 Oct 02 - 04:58 PM
GUEST 25 Oct 02 - 12:40 AM
Grab 25 Oct 02 - 09:00 AM
Stilly River Sage 11 Nov 02 - 12:55 AM
InOBU 11 Nov 02 - 06:56 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Nov 02 - 07:25 AM

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Subject: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 07:21 PM

I slept four hours two nights ago, two hours last night. I am too knackered to say much other than this is a huge huge wonderful badge of honnor and I want us to have another wee look and pat ourselves on the back for all the prayers for Spaw when he had his wee crisis... tick tock old boy...



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

Now as to the unsound arguements, etc, I am enjoying a wee rant with my pals because of all the having to be very scholarly in the papers. But, everything we are saying here is quite intersting, it seems to me that folks are having a huge time getting past their desire to see this as a country that treats Travellers well... now, seems to me we spoke of racial profiling, out placing of children, denial of liceneces to work, group slander in the press, you have seen folks get on these posts and make clearly racist comments about Travellers and still you say, I have some chip on my shoulder, by the way, thanks Barnical ol pal... cheers to all, I am off to the kip; Larry


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Subject: RE: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Blues=Life
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 10:46 PM

Larry.
As in any ethnic group:
They ain't all good.
They ain't all bad.
She still hit the kid.

Find your way back to that, before you state that the folks here are "having a huge time getting past their desire to see this as a country that treats Travellers well."
You have been ranting a bit, and assuming that "we all" give a damn one way or the other about an ethnic group that until a few weeks ago MOST OF US HAD NEVER HEARD OF!
I'll state again, the only place I've even heard of the Travellers has been here in the Mudcat. (Aine, it doesn't matter if you can search and find it, I still have not seen anything in the news reports I've seen.)

Finally:
She still hit the kid.
Justify that. And just that.

Peace,
Blues


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Subject: RE: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: catspaw49
Date: 01 Oct 02 - 12:48 AM

Justify nothing. When I entered into this discussion I had no intent of trying to justify the actions of the mother. What she did happens everyday in every class of society all across the country and my concern here is that she be treated no differently and that a caseworker is acting in the best interests of the child without prejudice. To do this requires that certain elements be taken into account when it comes to the placement of the child and on that side of the equation, cultural issues do enter in. The mother doesn't need a "break" because she is anything....the child does.

What she did was wrong. She needs help. She is not alone. So do thousands of others. Were it within my power I would happily play God and decide who should and can be a parent....but that ain't the way things work. Mom needs help, possibly punishment...that's another issue. The child needs to be cared for and protected in the best possible way which is another issue. And my only issue here.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Oct 02 - 05:24 AM

Are people saying that they they have never heard of Travellers, as a term widely used for various people known otherwise by such names as Gypsies or Tinkers? Or do you just mean that you didn't know that there were Travellers in the USA as well?

Áine has given some very good links on this thread about Travellers. And there are some great songs in the DT.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Áine
Date: 01 Oct 02 - 10:19 AM

Dear Blues=Life,

I didn't have to search for the newspaper quote I posted in my message here in Part 2 of this thread. All I had to do was open the Sunday edition of my local newspaper, as I stated in that post.

I won't argue that you (a) have never heard of the Irish Travellers or (b) have not seen any coverage whatsoever about them in the newspapers you read or electronic media to which you may have access.

However, I would suggest that this is a great opportunity for you to learn about the Irish Travellers (and the other travelling communities of the world), and the prejudice that they have faced in the past and still face with today. Besides the informational links that I provided in my previous post (which I provide once again below), other folks have provided links to informational sites and songs. Why don't you take advantage of this chance to inform yourself about the Irish Travellers; and perhaps you'll better understand why there is a genuine concern about how this group is treated by civil and law enforcement authorities and the media.

All the best, Áine

Links:

The Handbook of Texas Online

The Gypsy Lore Society; Information on Gypsy & Traveler Cultures, Gypsy and Traveler Groups in North America, (adapted from the introduction to Gypsies and Travelers in North America: An Annotated Bibliography (where the original citations will be found)

Travellers' Rest: Fact And Fiction About Irish Travellers in the U.S.A.

Irish Traveller Notes and Resources

Pavee Point Travellers Centre; Supporting Human Rights For Irish Travellers

The Irish Traveller Movement


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: M.Ted
Date: 01 Oct 02 - 11:18 AM

Blues=Life--Your input here seems to boil down to the idea that if *you* haven't heard about it, then it can't possibly matter--curious why you think that--


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: wysiwyg
Date: 01 Oct 02 - 12:38 PM

No, I think the posts from Blues are about looking at what the real issue is, and asking Larry to address his/her idea of what that is-- the fact the child was abused.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 01 Oct 02 - 05:20 PM

Click on the following link to return to Part 2 of this discussion:

BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 01 Oct 02 - 05:32 PM

If you wish to return to Part 2 of the discussion, but would prefer it to appear as a "split" thread, click on this link:

BS: Traveller Discrimination in USA - Part 2 (page 1 of "split" thread)

...or should I have linked this thread to the last page of the "split" thread? Would that be the more proper protocol during this transitional period, when there are still multi-thread discussions (soon to be a thing of the past)?


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Nerd
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 02:28 AM

Hey Larry,

what's the status of that exculpatory evidence you were so excited about a couple days ago? It seems to me that (as Blues and others have noted) the issue of whether and why Ms Toogood slapped the bejeezis out of her kid is taking second place to advocacy on behalf of the Traveller community. Hey, I credit travellers with keeping musical traditions (remember them?) alive and well, with bearing cultural riches and social burdens out of proportion to their small numbers. But I STILL think Togood deserves much of the scrutiny she's received.

I want to be clear again: I do not deny that anti-Traveller discrimination exists. BUT, showing that there is any such discrimination in this case is hard, at least until a final decision is reached concerning placement of the child. We are jumping the gun if we assume the courts will reach a bad decision because Toogood is a Traveller. So far they have done precisely the same thing they would do to me if I were on that tape slapping Martha.

There has been a lot of illogical talk suggesting that any scrutiny of Toogood amounts to discrimination. One of the great illogical moments of part II, for example, came when someone complained that they were only looking at Togood because they KNEW she was a traveller. I countered: did Kohl's really know she was a traveller? What's the evidence for that? My interlocutor responded: well, they prosecuted her for shoplifting before, they must know her ethnic group.

SO...how do you know they weren't looking at her because they prosecuted her before for shoplifting? Do we expect them NOT to be suspicious of people they have previously prosecuted for shoplifting? Where is there any evidence that her ethnicity ever entered into this case at all?

Aine: your links to Traveller articles, both positive and negative, are wonderful. But all the media babble about Irish Travellers doesn't prove that Toogood's ethnicity affected the CASE at all, only the media's coverage of the case.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 06:20 AM

If the focus of attention moves on here from looking at a particular case to looking at wider issues, that seems sensible enough. The particular case is in the court system, and there are people busily assembling the facts and so forth.

That's where it belongs surely, at this time, where all relevant information can be brought together and examined, with, as catspaw noted, the interests of the child being the central and most important thing. I can't see how arguing about the facts of a particular case at this point really adds anything useful.

That leaves a lot of wider issues where there's room for valuable discussion - the Mudcat brings together a range of people you don't very often find.

For example, what do you do when you see someone treating their children badly, the situation of marginalised communities, how the media reshape stories to fit the preconceptions of their readers...and perhaps songs and stories relating to these kinds of things and this kind of episode.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 07:07 AM

Hi Nerd: No, I can't yet speak about exculpatory evidence, but will soon, most likely.

2. Store security guards had already identified her as a Traveller and dumped the contence of her purse out on the counter and were going through her things when she went a third time to retrieve her child who had gotten away from her again,

3. The anti traveller bias as I have said for the umteenth time, is removal of a child of a cultural, isolate from her community and out placing that child with a family of a culture which is not her own.

4. The courts already reached a bad decision when they removed the child, even temporarily from the community.

I have said all the above until I am blue in the face. Run, do not walk to the nearest Indian nation, and politely ask to speak to anyone who lives there. Ask them why the Indian Child Welfare act exists. The youngest child who can talk will tell you.

Jeeze louise!

Larry

line breaks added by mudelf ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: GUEST,Louise (they say I'm not half bad)
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 11:21 AM

"Jeeze louise!"

Larry,

I don't why you brought me into it. But since you did, I will break my silence.

I get the sense that you're mitigating the fact that this woman beat her kid because store security had identified her as a potential shoplifter. From what I've gathered about Ms. Toogood, their suspicion was not misplaced (regardless of her ethnic group).

However, SHE HAS NO EXCUSE FOR BEATING HER CHILD!

I was beaten as a child. Beleive me, even when there are not physical scars, the psychological scars last a very long time, if not a lifetime.

Louise


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 11:59 AM

Larry, blue does not become you! :)

The problem is some of us do not agree - or rather do not SEE - the prejudice that you claim in #2, 3 & 4 of your statements - AS THEY RELATE TO THIS SPECIFIC CASE. Is prejudice the factor in this case? It still hasn't been proven with facts, and I hope that it won't be a loophole to exonerate this woman from any crime that was committed.

From what we are READING in various media cases, these procedures seem to be in line with similar cases, regardless of the ethnic background. If YOU can divorce the ethnic background from this case, the punishment - or rather procedures - seem to justify the suspected crime.

Again, we are all just expressing our opinions based on the information that we have received. This is what a jury does, but they have an advantage of hearing the evidence and arguements first hand.

I don't think the majority of us have been as prejudiced as you claim in previous statements. There is a difference of prejudice and ignorance. Ignorance is easier to fix - research, discovery and learning will make that go away.   Prejudice is harder to fix but it is still a reachable goal.   Please don't let your frustrations get to you - your work is honorable and perhaps you need to step back and listen to what people are saying in order to combat.

I wish you luck and I am doing my best to keep an open mind. This past weekend I shared some excerpts from the Ewan MacColl/ Peggy Seeger radio ballad The Travelling People on my radio program. I hope people will listen to items like this and some of the things that you are saying and realize that prejudice does exist, even if it turns out not to be the factor in this case.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 01:00 PM

Larry, I don't think it's valid to say that the removal of the child from her culture is a bias or an example of discrimination. You can say it is unjust because Travellers deserve special treatment for this, this and that reason. But that's not the same as saying the failure to give that special treatment is discrimination or bias.

The Indian example is a good one. If there is a policy to give children to other Indians, that is a special case created solely for the Indian community and does not pertain to German Americans, Filipino Americans, or Irish Travellers! Thus you can argue that new laws are needed to address the specific needs of travellers, but that's not the same thing as saying that people in this case are discriminating against them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 01:19 PM

Well, the precedent set by the American Indian laws does lend credence to the accepted idea of placing kids as I have stated. I have a personal problem with that set of laws myself because of the extent to which they go.

Adoption has been a problem with Native American children because the law allows that any child with 1/32 Native American heritage is in fact Native American. Now that is just flat ridiculous and has been finally overturned in court. The case in question was one where the biological father tried to stop an adoption of two children who had lived with their adoptive parents for their entire lives because he could prove he was 1/16 Indian......Never lived with them or was involved in the culture in any way, but he was 1/16 Indian. It went to the SC and was overturned in favor of the adoptive parents....."in the best interests of the children."

Once in awhile they get it right.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 02:47 PM

Any system of having rules based on mathematics like that is daft. The only thing to do is to find trustworthy people who know what they are doing, and give them the job of making decisions like this. Maybe they'll get it wrong sometimes, but less often than the mathematical formulae will.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Nerd
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 03:13 PM

Larry, in your most recent post, as regards #2:

My point was this: the argument that their knowledge that she was a traveller made them suspect she was a criminal is illogical because the reason they knew she was a traveller is that they had previously caught her shoplifting. This is not according to me, but according to one of the posters in part two who was agreeing with your position. If this is the case, they did not assume she was a criminal because she was a traveller, they learned she was a traveller because she was a criminal!

Thus, it is far more likely that they were suspicious of her this time based on her prior crime, than based on her ethnicity. After all, they could not tell by looking at her that she was a traveller, and would never have found out if they hadn't had to investigate her.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Áine
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 05:21 PM

Dear Mudcatters,

I found a very well-balanced article on the Newsweek magazine website that I believe gives a well-rounded report of what Larry, I, and others on this thread having been trying to say about the Toogood case.

Click here to read the article. I hope that this will help to inform and enlighten us all.

All the best, Áine


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: NicoleC
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 05:35 PM

I don't really consider an article that only quotes the opinions of the defense lawyers and supporters of Mrs. Toogood "well-balanced."

Perhaps it was because they had a difficult time finding any anti-Traveller sentiment among the parties involved, like the prosecutors office?


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 05:52 PM

I, too, read the article Áine posted and wasn't any better informed than before I'd read it, except for this sentence in the article: "On Friday [September 27], she [Madelyn Toogood] was arrested a second time for giving false addresses to authorities." This is just unbelievable!!! Doesn't this woman understand that, by continuing to show such disregard for the law while under arrest and under the court's scrutiny, she is further damaging her case????? So much for her statement that she'd be willing to do anything to get her child back... she can't even tell the truth to the authorities about her addresses.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 06:16 PM

"...an article that only quotes the opinions of the defense lawyers and supporters of Mrs. Toogood."
"Joe Livingston, a senior agent with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division" - which would he be, a defense lawyer or a supporter of Mrs Toogood?




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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: NicoleC
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 07:07 PM

You're right, I missed that one. It was right before it mentions he has investigated Traveller cases for 2 decades. And his statements are pro-Traveller; not, as some would have us believe, rife with discrimination by law enforcement. And he's not -- I think -- actually involved in the case, is he? So why did they dig him up for a quote?

Then we have her lawyer, an anthropologist, and an Irish Traveller who lives in Ireland.

Where's the supposed "serious prejudice" shown by people involved in the case? Couldn't they find any for the article? Or are we judging the merits of her case based on the poor journalism of local TV stations and ratings-hounds in the newspaper industry?


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 07:26 PM

Geeziz.....Aine said it was a well balanced article and it seems to give a history, some background, etc, in a pretty even fashion. What's the problem? Good overall job of reporting.   Thanks Aine.

I'd like a lot more info on several aspects but we're unlikely to get any without an inside source to CPS.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: M.Ted
Date: 03 Oct 02 - 04:28 PM

A lot of you seem to feel that "It's obvious that she broke the law, so she deserves whatever she gets" because it satisfies their sense of anger at the crimes that seem to have occurred--The legal system goes to great pains to see that things don't happen this way, though---

First, the legal process sets high standards of proof--evidence goes through a very elaborate screening process before it can be considered by a jury, and second, the process is careful to evaluate every factor that might be prejudicial to those who must decide a case--in other words, anything that might encourage a jury to decide that a defendent deserves punishment for anything other than the crime that he or she is being prosecuted--

Most of you are not ready to consider that prejudice should be considered here because you are certain of the defendents guilt, and believe that if it is considered, it will allow to the defendent to escape punishment--what you should really think about is the idea that if unfair discrimination has been a factor, it will prevent justice from being done-


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Oct 02 - 04:55 PM

Those are the reasons why in the UK it would be contempt of court to be having that kind of stuff in newspapers once someone's been charged with an offence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Wolfgang
Date: 04 Oct 02 - 05:48 AM

Thanks for the link, Áine, 'well-balanced' is a good description of its content.

Two bits from it:
(1) "That this woman and the people involved happen to be of Irish Traveler descent is totally irrelevant to the case and we fail to understand why such an issue is being made about her ethnicity," says Collins. "
Yeah, that's what many here thought from the very first posts on.

(2) Did I read correctly (it qwas not completely unambiguous) that Ms. Toogood was the first to introduce her ethnic background into this case?

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 12:38 AM

They are making and issue of her ethnicity because Ms. Toogood made an issue of her ethnicity. Trapped and desperate she played the "Victum Card" identifying herself as an "Irish Traveler" and now she must suffer the lashes of her own community for breaking "the code."



Sociologists/Pscychologists have reaped premium, raw material for analysis since the young child has been removed from the norms of her cult-like society and is available for "de-briefing."


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 04:17 AM

Dear Wolfgang,

No, she was not the first to introduce her ethnicity, the police and press did, and then began to publicly slander her entire ethnic community so that bigoted racist trolls like the anonamous guest who wrote "Sociologists/Pscychologists have reaped premium, raw material for analysis since the young child has been removed from the norms of her cult-like society and is available for "de-briefing." could carry on the tradition of prejudice that for almost ten centuries has put these people on a forced migration towards genocide, slavery, exclusion and all the host of violations of human rights heeped on Travellers and "Gypsys" and excused by ignorant bigots from the shadows by the use of words like "cult like."

All the best, out he door and on the road again,

Larry

P.S. Dear Guest, better the norms of our culture, that has never started a war, has a murder rate so far below yours that it can't be statisticly counted, wherein there is such little child abuse and drug addiction that it cannot be studied as a cultural trait, in short better a Gypsy than a racist anyday.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Oct 02 - 05:43 PM

As long as your are "Gathering Material for the Defence" this is the BEST article I have read about the subject. Your "friends" must be paying you well, or you are very twisted in your ideologies, or perhaps, this is the "price you pay" so you can get closer to the "inner circle" of traveler trust.

The following editorial is enough for the prosecution to get any jury to send your client to jail for a long time. (I refuse to watch television, except in an emergency, and seldom listen to the radio - therefore, I have not seen the horrific tape - nor do I ever want to - but I have seen films of the Harlow experiments - they are chilling.)

EXCERPTS from:

Los Angeles Times - Op/Ed page one CHILDREN -Young Brains Shaped by Abuse October 6, 2002
By DEBORAH BLUM
MADISON, Wis.

It's a kind of gospel of neuroscience that our brains do their best job of preserving a memory when emotion helps burn it in. We need photographic records of the easy moments because they slip away. Our neurons, those busy nerve cells in our brains, are careless with contentment. They don't pay close attention. It's the jolt of shock or grief or fear that etches a memory deepest.

To understand just how powerful this effect is--like national tragedy, like death in the family--you have to recognize just how important a parent is to a small child. Actually, we ought to have that one down by now. The most compelling experiments ever, illuminating the inescapable bond between an abusive mother and a child who needs her, were done in the 1960s. Let's not fool ourselves: We've known for decades what a dangerous parent means to a small child.

The studies I'm thinking of were done by the late Harry Harlow, a University of Wisconsin psychologist who used baby monkeys as his model for small children. In this particular set of experiments, he wanted to know what happens to a child whose mother rejects her. He wanted to be very precise about the nature of rejection. So he and his colleagues built a series of "evil" robot mothers. They had soft padded bodies and blandly smiling faces. But they were evil, all right. One shook infants until their teeth rattled. One was spring-loaded to hurl the baby animals away. The most infamous came equipped with brass knobs that would ram into a baby as it cuddled in.

Harlow and his colleagues expected that they would end up with neurotic babies. And they did. But, unexpectedly, they also produced devoted ones. No matter what the mothers did, the babies always came back. A baby monkey would pick itself up, wait until the knobs retracted, and once again wrap itself around the mother. It would cling hopefully to the shaking mother, trying to stay on. The infants seemed tireless in their willingness to try again to persuade their mothers to, well, be mothers--be loving, be safe.

Those studies represent only a fraction of Harlow's sometimes lovely, sometimes explicitly painful research into parent-child relationships. He believed that his other work, demonstrating the importance of a loving touch, mattered more in everyday life. No one grows up whole and healthy, he insisted, without "a solid foundation of affection." But he was emphatic about the value of the darker studies. Not every child gets that foundation; some get the opposite, obviously. And yet all children need loving adult support. If you're going to study love, Harlow insisted, you have to study all its aspects.

Since the Harlow days, psychology has leaped forward in illuminating our need for that foundation of affection, and nurturing, and security. No psychologist argues that parents need to be perfect, that we permanently damage a child through the occasional gust of impatience or anger. But the emphasis there is on occasional. Consider once again the accidental gotcha of that parking lot security tape. Does anyone believe that this was the one, the only time that Martha Toogood's mother took out her frustrations on her child?

Researchers such as Robert Sapolsky, at Stanford University, have shown that a young brain does its desperate best to cope with an environment of fear and threat. It restructures. It notches up the stress response. It keeps the body poised for flight. It floods the nervous system with angst. When the child grows up, the adult brain is beautifully designed to hover right on the edge of panic. Although there's a certain hyper-alertness in that, Sapolsky and his colleagues see no advantage. They see cost. Stress-related hormones and neurotransmitters put real wear and tear on the system and have been linked to destruction of brain cells and to memory loss.

And abuse wears away at the potential of the child in other ways. Psychologists once thought that all people had an innate ability to read facial expressions, were born knowing how to register a friendly smile and an angry frown. Now studies contradict that. Experiments instead show that abused children can be face-blind. Consistently, these boys and girls will read anger into a smile, see real threat in even the mild irritation of a raised eyebrow. Their brains show a sudden furious leap of response, one that doesn't register in children from more supportive homes.

So "I had a bad day" doesn't make it as an excuse, not for Martha Toogood's mother, not for any of us. Let's go ahead and file the videotape away. And, yes, let's give that child a break from home. I hope she has a chance for some silly, happy moments, gets to pile up some of those bright, casual photographs. Memories count. Let's not forget that.

*

Deborah Blum is a Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer and the author of "Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection."


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Big Mick
Date: 06 Oct 02 - 05:54 PM

The trouble, M. Ted, with your analysis is that it presumes the prejudice had something to do with the arrest and outrage. The genesis of this whole ridiculously long thread was that it was premised by Larry as an example of prejudice against Travelling People. The simple fact is, regardless of who put it out first, the outrage and response came before anyone knew she was a traveller.

My personal opinion is that our friend Larry knows this too. He is using this to elevate the discussion of prejudices against Travellers. And most of us sucked right in.

Aine, thanks for the great reporting.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 06 Oct 02 - 06:27 PM

Hi Mick: Hope all is well with ya, The store reported, though they refuse to comment how they knew, (legal questions about racial profiling...) that they did know she was a traveller, which is why they turned her purse out, and so, yes, from right before the incident, as I said, this was about Madalynne as a Traveller, as far as the evil monkey crap above, some nonsence is not worthy of comment.
Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Oct 02 - 12:22 AM

Big Mick--Outrage is a form of rage, rage is the problem here-- I see many people here responding out of their own anger and the anger is being fueled by allegations of every kind--

As to you Guest,the article you posted ought to be grounds for charges of cruelty to animals against the Harry Harlow, but it adds nothing but more hysteria to the discussion, which hardly needs it--

Why focus all this attention on Ms. Toodgood? If you were shocked at what you saw, you don't know much about child abuse, because that scene, and much much worse are played out everyday--

Cynic that I have come to be, I think that the wide spread anger and outrage at Ms Toogood is really outrage at   being reminded that child abuse exists, and the efforts to portray her as a transient, petty criminal are really effort to make abuse look like it only occurs in the margins of society--


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: M.Ted
Date: 07 Oct 02 - 12:35 AM

That was no guest, it was me--sorry--


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 07 Oct 02 - 09:05 AM

Larry says, "[The Kohl's store in Indiana] reported... that they did know she was a traveller, which is why they turned her purse out..." Not quite. The news stories I had read at the time of Toogood's arrest said that the Kohl's store security suspected her of having shoplifted at that store and therefore searched her purse and followed her movements with security cameras once she left the store... and she is KNOWN to have shoplifted at another Kohl's store (the one in Texas). It would make sense for store security to have a policy of being on alert for people who travel between two areas and are known to have shoplifted in one or both of those store locations.

They didn't detain her because she's a Traveler, they detained her because she's a Traveler who shoplifts. I'm sure that the Travelers who don't shoplift are free to shop at Kohl's without having their purses emptied (was Toogood's sister's purse emptied?). There's no "effort" (as M Ted says) involved in portraying her as a transient, petty criminal; she is a petty criminal who also happens to be a transient.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 07 Oct 02 - 09:46 AM

This arguement keeps going around in circles and the frustration seems to be coming out on both sides.

It bothers me that people who do not see the "prejudice" that many claim is the basis of this case are being labeled at "bigots" and "racists". Is that how we settle arguements, by labeling the opposition in such a manner? Seems like the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree.

There needs to be education. It is obvious that there is a prejudice against Travelers and transients in this country.   The fact that it may or maynot be a factor in this case should be a separate issue. I wish those with facts about prejudice would continue to share and educate those of us that are looking for enlightenment on a situation that has not been in the limelight before this.

Keep a level head, put yourself in the shoes of those with opposing viewpoints and try to fathom why they don't always agree.    There is no way we can eliminate discrimination and prejudice until we can remove the threads of its existence from our own hearts and minds.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Oct 02 - 10:10 AM

Right on, Ron.

I am fine, Larry. With everything but your arguments here, that is. You have used an old tactic called obfuscation, and I am disappointed in it. The simple fact is that this woman is a petty thief. She is also someone who has abused a child and it was captured on film. Further, her actions show that this is a pattern with her. The authorities had a responsibility to protect the child, and they did. Some folks with an agenda (and I include you in this group, Larry) have used it to elevate their own cause. I understand the tactic, but in this case it disappoints me. We are dealing here with the physical and mental abuse of a child. You are attempting to place that in a subservient position to your own agenda of traveller discrimination. It is my opinion that you should be ashamed of this. If a woman were beat up by a traveller, would you do the same? If a traveller committed murder, would it be the same tactic?

You are too far in to back off, but it is my sincere hope that in your private thoughts, you will re-examine the stand you have taken. This is not about travellers rights and prejudice against these folk. It is about a child. Period.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Oct 02 - 12:21 PM

From the South Bend Tribune:


September 29, 2002

         Real life justice

         Everyday cases of abuse reflect
         difficult decisions

         By MARTI GOODLAD HELINE
         Tribune Staff Writer

         SOUTH BEND -- Worldwide
         attention on the Madelyne
         Toogood child battery case
         has prompted heated debate
         over what her punishment
         should be if she is
         convicted of beating her
         little girl.

         From the streets of South
         Bend to the call-in shows
         on talk radio and cable
         television on both coasts,
         the speculation continues.
         Strong emotions have been
         raised by the 25-year-old
         woman seen on a security
         camera videotape appearing
         to repeatedly hit her
         4-year-old daughter in the
         parking lot of a Grape Road
         shopping center.

         Some have expressed concern
         that the punishment will be
         too lenient. Others fear
         that all the media
         attention will lead to the
         mother being punished more
         severely than she deserves
         -- or more than someone who
         committed a more serious
         act of abuse.

         With all the attention
         focused last week on
         Toogood's case, St. Joseph
         Probate Judge Peter J.
         Nemeth noted, "This goes on
         every day. We have these
         cases all the time."

         Attorney Michael Gotsch,
         who works with CPS, noted
         that the Toogood case "is
         not the worst case of abuse
         in St. Joseph County. We
         see much more serious cases
         frequently."

         Here are some real child
         battery cases from St.
         Joseph County. In these
         crimes, the defendants
         pleaded guilty to charges
         like Toogood's. To protect
         the identities of the
         children, we're not
         publishing the defendants'
         names.

         Dirty kitchen, beaten
         children

         A 34-year-old father of
         four from South Bend was
         charged with beating his
         four children, aged 8 to
         14, with a thick,
         2-foot-long wooden rod when
         he became upset with them
         for not cleaning the
         kitchen and being
         disrespectful while their
         mother was sick in bed with
         the flu.

         After being alerted by
         school officials, police took the 11-year-old girl
         to a hospital to treat wrist and head injuries. The
         three boys had bruises in places such as their
         lower backs, legs, shoulders and heads, according
         to court documents.

         The children told police their father roused them
         from bed and beat them about 2:30 a.m. when he came
         home from work.

         The father pleaded guilty to two of the four felony
         counts of battery on a child and was sentenced
         earlier this month by Superior Court Judge Roland
         W. Chamblee Jr. to a suspended 18-month term on
         each charge. The father was placed on probation for
         18 months and ordered to participate in counseling.
         The prosecutor's office asked the judge not to
         suspend the sentence and to require the father to
         serve some time, but Chamblee chose not to.

         Mom uses extension cord

         A 45-year-old South Bend mother came home to find
         the bathroom a mess and her things moved around.
         She whipped her three children with an extension
         cord, causing large, red welt marks on the backs of
         the legs of her 11-year-old daughter and 10- and
         13-year-old sons.

         One child secretly called police and reported the
         beating. The children said their mother tied them
         to a pole in the basement before the whipping.

         The mother was charged with three felony counts of
         battery on a child and three counts of criminal
         confinement. She pleaded guilty last year to the
         three battery charges, and the confinement charges
         were dismissed. In the plea agreement, the
         prosecution agreed not to recommend prison time.

         Judge Jerome Frese treated the batteries as
         misdemeanors for sentencing and imposed a one-year
         sentence on each, which was suspended.

         He placed the mother on probation for three years
         and ordered her to complete whatever counseling was
         recommended in Probate Court.

         Stepfather uses belt on boy

         Last September, an 11-year-old boy told his
         stepfather he had done his homework and then later
         admitted he lied about it. The 28-year-old
         stepfather took the boy to the basement, where he
         used his belt to whip the boy on his buttocks and
         legs, leaving many bruises. Someone from the boy's
         school in Mishawaka contacted Child Protective
         Services.

         The stepfather was charged with battery on a child,
         a felony, and the boy was removed from the home for
         a time. Two months later, the stepfather pleaded
         guilty to the charge with an agreement with the
         prosecutor that the case would be treated as a
         misdemeanor for sentencing. The stepfather received
         a suspended six-month jail sentence from Superior
         Court Judge William H. Albright, who put him on
         probation for six months with an order to complete
         parenting classes.

         A similar charge of child battery was filed against
         the stepfather last month and is pending. He is
         accused again of using his belt to whip the boy,
         now 12, many times because the boy had not cleaned
         his room. The boy's mother has been charged with
         neglect. The boy's aunt contacted authorities when
         he came to her house after the latest beating.

         3-year-old stepdaughter hit

         A 22-year-old Mishawaka man was charged twice in
         four months with striking his 3-year-old
         stepdaughter, once in the face with his hands and
         another time by throwing a telephone
         caller-identification box that hit the girl. The
         second incident resulted in a deep cut that
         required stitches and the loss of a tooth.

         The stepfather pleaded guilty in 1999 to both
         felonies of battery on a child and was sentenced on
         each case to three years in prison, but Judge Frese
         suspended the sentences. The man was placed on
         probation for six years and ordered to spend two
         years on home detention. The man spent more than
         three months in jail while the cases were pending.
         He was also ordered to have no contact with the
         girl and her mother without the judge's prior
         approval.

         Two stepsons, two cases

         A 24-year-old South Bend man struck his 5-year-old
         stepson in the face, leaving bruises and a black
         eye, after the boy had run out of the house. The
         man pleaded guilty in 1999 to a felony charge of
         child battery in a plea agreement that said the
         prosecution would not oppose misdemeanor treatment.
         Judge Frese placed the man on probation for a year,
         suspended a one-year jail term and ordered the man
         to stay in counseling.

         A year later, the same man was charged with child
         battery for beating his 10-year-old stepson with a
         leather belt, leaving behind severe bruises on his
         leg and buttocks. A police report showed the
         younger boy, the 10-year-old's brother, had also
         been whipped.

         The stepfather pleaded guilty to the charge under
         an agreement that called for an 18-month suspended
         sentence, parenting classes and counseling.
         Superior Court Judge William T. Means placed the
         man on probation for 18 months, ordered 80 hours of
         community service, counseling and no contact with
         the victims without approval.

         When parents fail

         Sometimes, a parent or guardian fails to meet those
         or other court-ordered requirements.

         "While it's our initial goal to reunify the family,
         unfortunately, we do fairly regularly terminate the
         rights of parents," said Charles Smith, director of
         the St. Joseph County Office of Family and
         Children, which oversees CPS.

         In such cases, the child is put up for adoption, or
         guardianship arrangements are made. Parents could
         also face further criminal action.

         Reports of child abuse often come through third
         parties such as relatives, neighbors, schools,
         hospitals, physicians and police.

         According to statistics from the Indiana Family and
         Social Services Administration, of the 434 cases of
         physical abuse to children reported in St. Joseph
         County in 2001, 166 were substantiated.

         "Every case we substantiate, or unsubstantiated, a
         copy of the complaint and findings go to the
         prosecutor's office," Smith said.

         It is then up to the prosecutor's office to decide
         whether criminal charges are warranted.

         Tough choices

         Professionals who deal with child abuse cases say
         no case is typical and that often there are only
         hard choices to make.

         "There's no one action we do in every case. Each
         has different circumstances," said Carolyn Hahn,
         executive director of CASIE Center, an agency that
         coordinates investigations of child abuse cases.

         "Children are usually attached to the people who
         abuse them," Hahn noted. "You don't want to punish
         the victim when you're trying to rehabilitate the
         offender. It's a real tough call."

         Child Protective Services, the agency that
         investigates cases of child abuse and neglect,
         handles every case according to its circumstances,
         which can vary widely, Smith said.

         The severity and type of abuse are among factors
         taken into account.

         "It's a situation where there is a range of
         seriousness within which any number of things can
         happen," Smith said.

         The victims of substantiated cases of child abuse
         often are placed in foster or residential care, as
         Toogood's little girl was, at least long enough to
         begin to resolve the issues that led to the abuse.
         While the victims may undergo counseling and/or
         treatment for physical injury, the parent or
         guardian may have to meet a number of requirements
         to regain custody, such as counseling, alcohol- and
         drug-abuse treatment, and classes in parenting,
         anger management and home management.

         Nemeth's court deals with the children's issues and
         decides whether youngsters should be removed from
         their home.

         "I think, where possible, the child should be with
         family members," Nemeth said last week. "I think
         the statute requires the Office of Family and
         Children to look at that. I think it's certainly
         preferential to the child rather than to be with
         strangers. It all depends on the individual
         circumstances."

         How the system works

         The Superior Court where the criminal cases of
         child abuse are heard attempts to work with the
         Probate Court, which oversees the children if they
         are removed from the home by CPS.

         In a typical St. Joseph County case of child
         battery, a defendant pleads guilty to the Class D
         felony charge and receives a suspended jail
         sentence along with a term of probation that
         mandates counseling and, sometimes, community
         service, fines or other requirements.

         A Class D felony carries a sentence of up to three
         years but can also be treated as a misdemeanor,
         which has a one-year maximum sentence.

         Whether the St. Joseph County prosecutor's office
         will agree to a suspended sentence or try to
         persuade the judge to impose some jail time depends
         on the circumstances of a case.

         From his experience, longtime defense attorney
         Philip Skodinski believes probation to be
         appropriate in child abuse cases when the parent is
         making an effort to turn around his or her
         situation.

         He also believes that a child battery offense
         should not be treated any differently than any
         other Class D felony, so that someone with no prior
         record should be entitled to have the conviction
         entered as a misdemeanor just as much as someone
         charged with theft.

         Records show that many child battery convictions do
         end up as misdemeanors.

         "I would say there are a lot of cases that are not
         serious enough to prosecute," Smith said.

         It's extremely rare to have videotaped evidence of
         abuse as in the Toogood case. "There's a witness
         for the child," said Chief Deputy Prosecutor Ellen
         Corcella.

         Without that, the case may not have been charged at
         all or possibly charged as a misdemeanor, she said.

         Many felony child abuse cases involve an injury --
         bruises that were noticed or a fracture that
         required medical attention -- which result in the
         incident being reported. Photos of the injuries
         provide critical evidence.

         If the Toogood case happened without the videotape
         and some security guards or shoppers were
         witnesses, it's questionable the case would have
         been charged or even been sent to the prosecutor's
         office, Corcella said.

         Even if the child in a situation said she was hit,
         the parent could explain it away by saying it was
         just a spanking and that witnesses did not have a
         clear view.

         A spanking -- like a hand clapping a child's rear
         end -- is not illegal or considered abuse, CPS
         attorney Gotsch said. It becomes abusive if it
         leaves visible injuries.

         But repeatedly striking a child in the face or
         pulling hair as Toogood is alleged to have done in
         the video can be considered abusive.

         Regarding what the prosecutor's office will seek as
         a penalty in Toogood's case, Toth has said,
         "Obviously, jail is something you have to seriously
         consider in a case like this. In all child abuse
         cases, there has to be some kind of accountability.
         As the case progresses through the criminal justice
         system, we will be making more decisions about how
         we are going to proceed."


               J


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Nerd
Date: 07 Oct 02 - 04:43 PM

Hey Larry, I hate to be a one-reed accordion, but any news on exculpatory evidence?

Thanks, SharonA. That's exactly what I was trying to say on the 2nd, but Larry chose not to respond to that one...

And, just to be evenhanded, Larry is right to call certain people on this thread bigoted, but not most of us. I refer to the anonymous guest who says

"the young child has been removed from the norms of her cult-like society and is available for 'de-briefing.'"

Please, GUEST, don't judge people so harshly. Travellers are often secretive, it's true, but to call them "cult-like" is unfair.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 07 Oct 02 - 05:01 PM

Nerd, you are right that CERTAIN people (notably guests) have been very bigoted in their remarks. Most appear to be trolls that are trying to stir trouble and not really add to the conversation.

My problem is that whether intentionally or not, the words "bigot" and "racist" have been applied in wider terms. Many of us are trying to understand the issue and it has appeared that when a comment is made that contradicts the "b" and "r" words are quickly used even when there is no apparent or intended prejudice involved.

For the most part, people need to be taught.   It is hard to learn when the feeling being given is "you're either with us or against us". This Ayn Rand black/white thinking is what divides us, not brings us together - or more importantly gives us a respect for one another.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Nerd
Date: 07 Oct 02 - 05:05 PM

Well said, Ron. I agree, and I think a little less hand-wringing and name-calling on this thread would be a good thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 07 Oct 02 - 05:10 PM

You are right! I'm sorry I called the Guest a troll! Some of my best friends are trolls! :)

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Nerd
Date: 07 Oct 02 - 05:33 PM

The Troll-American community frowns on this sort of racist attack, Ron. You'll be hearing from my Lawyer...but then, Lawyers suffer from this sort of thing too :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 07 Oct 02 - 05:39 PM

Hey, we know all about lawyers.   Ever sit down to dinner with one? Plus they have short arms, never can quite reach the check.

Ron

(hey comeon, that was sarcasm!!! I love lawyers too!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 07 Oct 02 - 06:02 PM

Thanks, Nerd. I'm having trouble finding any news reports on the internet to support Larry's claim that Kohl's store security "turned her purse out." I could only find one mention of Toogood's purse at all: in a CNN interview with Toogood on September 22nd (click on link to go to interview: http://asia.cnn.com/2002/US/Midwest/09/23/tuchman.toogood.cnna/). Here's the "purse" excerpt from that interview:

CNN's GARY TUCHMAN: Not that anything went wrong in the store? Not that you took anything or ...

TOOGOOD: No -- I never took nothing. I come in with a bag and I double-knotted it before I went in. As soon as I walked through the door, I double-knotted that bag twice.

TUCHMAN: But you think the camera outside was following you?

TOOGOOD: No ...

TUCHMAN: Why was the camera following you, do you think?

TOOGOOD: Because -- I -- because they opened my bag in the middle of the store. I have in my shopping cart with my little girl. And somebody come over and opened up my bag -- unknotted it and opened it and looked through it. And I come over and said, "That's mine. What are you doing?"

TUCHMAN: So they were suspicious of you?

TOOGOOD: My purse was in it. Yeah -- it wasn't unattended. It would be like a shopping cart -- a lady with a shopping cart that left -- yeah.


I gather from this account that the plastic bag that Toogood took into the Kohl's store, into which she had put her purse, is the bag that was opened and searched. This is not at all unusual. Many department stores have a policy that prohibits shopping bags from being brought into the stores – in order to prevent shoplifting. Even at Wal-Mart, the "greeter" will stop you if you carry a bag into the store, and will send you directly to the customer-service counter if the bag contains an item you wish to return (and will prevent you from going anywhere else in the store!). So if Toogood entered the store with a shopping bag, I'm not surprised that she was stopped by security and that the bag was searched. Nowhere does she say that the purse itself was searched, just the shopping bag, but if the purse in the shopping bag had been searched it would again be standard procedure for anyone suspected of shoplifting because of his or her actions.

Elsewhere in that interview, she claims that she was nervous in the store because she thought people were identifying her as a Traveler and were going to take her child because she had no permanent address, but that makes no sense unless authorities had already identified her as an individual who was endangering her child in some way. Sounds to me as if she was just spouting some rhetoric about prejudice, but it also seems that she doesn't believe that prejudice played a part in the court's decisions concerning custody of her daughter. I say this because the following exchange occurred later in the same interview:

TUCHMAN: Madelyne, do you think you're a victim here?

TOOGOOD: No.

TUCHMAN: It seems like you're saying that the state is doing something wrong.

TOOGOOD: They're probably just doing their job....


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Oct 02 - 06:41 PM

Sometimes people say really acute things here thta can get missed in the rush - and I think what MTed said here was one of those times:

I think that the wide spread anger and outrage at Ms Toogood is really outrage at being reminded that child abuse exists, and the efforts to portray her as a transient, petty criminal are really efforts to make abuse look like it only occurs in the margins of society.

A lot of people would really like to think that things like that only happen on the margins, and that it isn't "people just like us" who do it. The same way they'd sooner think the same about other types of violence and abuse that goes on in families.

But it's not true. Just because people don't go in for shopliftig or stuff like that doesn't make them any less likely to hit their children, and vice versa.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 07:16 AM

Hi Mick:

My deep inner thoughts are very clear on this case. I have worked for years with Native Americans who have suffered the same abuse as Madalyne's daughter, being forcable removed from their people and having their self immage destroyed. We all forgive our parents their transgressions as part of growing up, we are raised by humans. When we are slapped by our folks in our lives, and it is not a pattern or does not cause injury, we forgive as we grow. What we do not recover from - and the evidence is clear, is long term assaults on who we are. Indiana seems to be comming around to this point, and over the past weeks we have been doing better and better.

If this goes to a full trial exculpatory evidence can come out, and it will. As to profiling by the store there is also more to be said about this, soon. I understand folk being impatient, but trials take time and patience.

I will try and get you all a site for yesterdays piece in the South Bend press which adds much light to my point.

As to Madalynne being a "thief" as she was called, I have two responces. First, from the way that Travellers have been policed, I would not put much faith in convictions. I don't know a Traveller who has gone to trial, for two reasons. First, they believe, and not without reiforcement from the prejudice we see here, that juries will judge them not as Americans, but as Travellers. Second, as being a "flight risk", huge bail is set, often around $50,000, or being held on minor charges without bail until trial. So, Travellers plead guilty and pay reparations again and again to things they have not done. This linked to the view by police that they are not a culture but a criminal cult, colors the way investigations of them is carried out. So, is conviction proof to me that Madalynne is a thief? I don't know, does that have anything to do with her as a mother? Over a million folks are in jail in the US today, how many more have been in jail? What would we do if we took all their children away, or do you only want to take away the children of groups you discriminate against as "Gypsies".

All the best,

Larry

PS I have not completely ignored exculpatory evidence... all the forensic evidence shows the child was niether seriously hit, or ever was in the past ... for the umpteenth time, check the various doctor's statememnts on both sides.

line breaks added by mudelf ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 07:56 AM

Larry, discrimination is about abuse via power. The one lacking most power that day was the child. The one most abusing superior power was the mother. And-- beating a child is not a civil right.

If Mommies can't be expected to keep a grip in the face of discrimination, tell me-- how the heck did all those slaves make it this far? And if they SHOULD not be expected to keep a grip-- oh my, I need to stock up on ammo, because here come all the people my great-great-greats wronged, and all the ones I unawarely insulted.

OK....... so say a black man has spent the day out and around taking care of business, and everywhere he goes he gets spat on, called a nigger, invited to leave stores, pulled over by cops and searched, roughly, maybe hit... all with no reason... and he goes home and kicks his dog, and it's caught on tape. Is he a victim, or a bad guy? Now say he goes upstairs to tuck the little darling into bed and the little darling smarts off, and he smacks the little darling. Who is the victim, and of whom?

In other words, does discrimination suck and make a person act (sometimes) like an a**hole? Sure. Does it victimize people? Of course. But does our society excuse the behaviors that result, or not?

Does this wash?: "Mommy only hit you all those times because someone was really mean to her because of who we are." Further, "Mommy should have gotten away with hitting you all those times, and she would have if the bad people who don't like us had not had a camera running." Is that the kind of enculturation that leads to a responsible life?

Discrimination sucks. Actually, though, many of us here live with it every day. (I think I'll go find someone to punch out, someone smaller since I'm not too strong.) But you can't beat a child on videotape and expect nothing to happen, anymore than a cop can beat a black man (or a Traveller should it occur), on videotape, and expect nothing to happen!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: catspaw49
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 08:31 AM

We are looking at an entire series of issues in this case. I can't speak to most of them, having neither the particulars, the knowledge, or the background and experience needed to make any kind of substantive statement. There are two issues here where I do feel I am as qualified and knowledgeable as most and do have that particular expertise. I have addressed both in previous posts.

On the issue of the abuse itself, that level of abuse occurs hundreds of times a day across the U.S. This doesn't make it right by any means but in most cases like this one, the abusive parent is generally sentenced to something, but jail isn't often a part of it. When a parent admits their need and is willing to adhere to a strictly managed case plan, a three month agreement as to treatment and whatever else is mandated is entered and then the case is reviewed at the three month or six month time and matter of the child(ren) is determined at that time. For many of you I know this sounds lenient, but I have seen it work well as I have also seen it fail miserably. Perhaps you need to understand that under any Temporary Custody agreement a parent's rights to the decisions made in the rearing of the child(ren) are not relinquished. In the overwhelming majority, the rights of the parents are used to keep the parent involved, even get them more involved, in the parenting process. Folks, foster parents cannot even get the kid a haircut without the permission of the parent(s).

The other issue here is the placement of the child which I have addressed extensively in previous posts. Emergency placement is just that......placement in an emergency, and should last no longer than two weeks at which point a suitable longer term placement should have been found. As I have said before, relative placement is always the first option and offers the best and least traumatic situation for the child. I am fearful here that Indiana is not looking in that direction for other reasons. I don't know. What I do know is that this is a case needing a CASA if I ever saw one.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 08:55 AM

Forget walking a mile in someones shoes, some folks on Mudcat cannot take a single step. Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 11:47 AM

Gee. Larry, you're not making an "assault" on "who we are", now are ya? *G*


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: NicoleC
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 01:07 PM

Lemmee get this straight:

Ms. Toogood is not a criminal, she's been wrongfully convicted in the past because she's a Traveller.

She shouldn't be treated as a flight risk -- even though it's an inherent part of her culture and she already has a history of it, Because she's a Traveller, she should get special treatment.

It's not her fault she hit the kid, because she was mad at someone else. It's the store's fault she abused her daughter.

It's the store's fault she can't control her anger.

The store should not implement it's normal security procedures, because she's a Traveller and it might hurt her feelings.

And anyone who doesn't think that "poor Ms. Toogood" is the victim instead of the child is racist and a bigot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: M.Ted
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 02:55 PM

Thanks for reading my post, and taking the time to think about what I had to say, Kevin--

As to the rest of you, some seem concerned about examining the facts, and some want to be prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner--If you don't know who you are, don't worry, the rest of of us do--




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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Nerd
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 03:22 PM

MTed: I've been the first to say on this thread (perhaps literally the first) that this sort of abuse occurs throughout our culture, not JUST among one group. And I'd agree that our rage at her is partly rage that this behavior does exist among us.

But the "efforts to portray her as a transient, petty criminal?" She IS a transient, and it seems very likely that she is a petty criminal as well. The news media are merely reporting what's there. What else do you expect them to do? If she were a corporate executive, they'd report that, and if she was the PTA president they'd report that too. If she was a waitress...not so much. Because they ARE driven by "what makes a good story," but they are ALSO limited by the facts of the case.

Also, I don't think anyone else out there in the world is focusing on her being a traveller to make it feel or look like this only occurs on the margins either. It is WE on this forum who are focusing on the fact that she's a traveller, largely because of Larry's advocacy for the community! The major media used travellers as a "hook" because it was an unusual community people didn't know about--a "good story"--then dropped it. USA Today did one story on travellers and pretty much ignored her ethnicity the rest of the time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 03:29 PM

Seriously, Larry, the way Nicole characterizes your post of 08 Oct 02 - 07:16 AM is the way it sounds to me, too. Your argument is so full of holes that it's all holes and no argument! For instance, saying that Toogood' shouldn't be considered a thief because you put no faith in jury convictions of Travelers makes absolutely no sense because she hasn't yet been convicted or acquitted of the theft charge against her in Texas. There's a warrant out for her arrest on that charge (and another warrant on the unpaid-traffic-ticket charge), but she left town rather than face those charges. That fact, plus the fact that she has four driver's licenses in four different states, plus the fact that she left Indiana with the child she abused to escape arrest after her sister was arrested for not revealing Madelyn's whereabouts, plus the fact that she altered her own and Martha's appearance while out of the state of Indiana, plus the fact that she gave false addresses to authorities in Indiana after her arrest for felony battery, are sufficient reason for the state to consider her a flight risk regardless of her cultural orientation. Saying that she shouldn't be considered a flight risk because some other Travelers have been held on high bail or no bail at all for minor offenses makes no sense because (a) the facts I just stated indicate that she – and not any other Traveler but she – may be considered a flight risk, and (b) the charge against her in Indiana is a felony charge.

A lot of people here have already refuted the things you've said in this morning's post, but you keep repeating them anyway. You accuse others here of being unwilling to take a single step in anyone's shoes but their own, yet you seem unwilling to give any real consideration to anyone's point of view but your own. Why should we move if you won't?


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 03:40 PM

has four driver's lshe hasn't yet been convicted or acquitted of the theft charge against her
So someone not convicted is guilty?

licenses in four different states -
not a fact, an aligation.
Show me a single case where a mother slaping a child and leaving no bruse leads to a felony charge, one instance, anywhere in the US.
As to the surity of my convictions, I know the family, I know community, I know the forensic evidence in the case, and many of you have never laid eyes on a Traveller or even heard of the community before two weeks ago, according you what you have said here. I have worked for over a dozen years on cases involving the out adoption of Indians Roma and now Travellers. I stand on acedemic credientals, field work, and experience. Yes, I am rather sure of my convictions. When you ask me to move my opinon towards yours, I will not accept that Traveller children should be out adopted, and I don't agree that a parent who slaps her child without raising a bruse should go to jail. I am just not that hard hearted. I would agrue with that parent that they need to get a grip and not do that, lock em up, no. Take their kids away, no. I got hit with a belt when I was a kid, and had good well meaning parents. I am completely sure that it would not have been in my best interest to lock up my father and give me away to strangers. If you want to lock up every parent that slaps their child, go ahead, but don't blaime me for opposing you.
Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 03:44 PM

spacing problems above... she is only accused of having four licences, this is not a fact it is an aligation.
Now, if we have nomadic people in the US, are you telling me that the law cannot find a way to accomodate their rights? Nomadism is not rootlessness, it is a culture that has evolved an ecconomy tied to ancient traditions of moving about, often due to forced migration. ... Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 04:13 PM

Larry said - "Show me a single case where a mother slaping a child and leaving no bruse leads to a felony charge, one instance, anywhere in the US."

Can you show us a case where it led to an aquittal? Again I go to the analogy of firing a gun and missing. You would still be charged with attempted murder.   When you have witnesses to a beating (in this case the tape) isn't the potential for harm the determining factor?

I agree with you Larry that every parent who slaps a child is not automatically headed for jail.   The disagreement, or rather question, that many of us have is this - did we see a slap or did we see a beating? I don't think any of us, including Larry, can honestly answer that.

She will have her day in court and then we will see what happens.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Nerd
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 04:22 PM

Larry,

Just to Support some of what you say:   I agree that a child should not be permanently removed from parents based solely on what we saw on that tape. I have already stated this, and also that the system needs to work on this case so we can see what happens. THEN we can judge if injustice has been done. But you seem to be saying she should not even be tried for any of her alleged crimes! We can't say if a trial was unjust until after the trial. Those who try to prevent the trial from happening at all, when there is obviously a good deal of evidence, are (if not paid lawyers) knee-jerk advocates for the accused. The rest of the country, I think, wants to see the outcome before we make judgments about the fairness of the case.

You seem to be saying that the system should not be allowed to proceed because you're already sure of the outcome. So if some people here are accusing her of crimes that she's merely on the lam for and not convicted of, you are equally guilty of condemning the Indiana authorities without waiting to see what will happen.

By the way, there is a big difference between what you said (that travellers plead guilty rather than stand trial) and the reality in her case (she fled).


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: NicoleC
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 05:00 PM

"I don't agree that a parent who slaps her child without raising a bruse should go to jail."

I totally agree, Larry.

"I will not accept that Traveller children should be out adopted"

Since this hasn't happened yet, why insist that it will? The child is in temporary custody in a place that CPS was certain was safe for her. If acceptable caretakers can be found among her family (*IF* Ms. Toogood loses custody, which also hasn't happened yet), then of course that should be the first consideration. And it will be, unless CPS in that neck of woods acts entirely differently from everywhere else.

I've yet to see a single item of evidence which points to prejudice among the people actually handling the case. I have seen a lot of half-truths and mischaracterizations of events in this thread, like the purse episode. And the more half-truths I see, the less it is possible to take any of the claims of bias -- in this case -- seriously.

How can we scream prejudice over events that haven't happened yet? There's a difference between being vigilant -- which is probably called for since prejudice can always be a factor -- and assuming it WILL happen and complaining ahead of time. Why then the repeated accusations that those who do not think that prejudice is the determining factor in this case are either racist or blind? You are unlikely to find allies by slinging stones at the people most likely to be persuaded -- i.e. those that bother to think about and discuss the issue.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 05:29 PM

Larry: Concerning the theft charge against Toogood in Texas, you are correct that she has not been proven guilty in a court of law and is therefore legally innocent; however, the fact of the matter is that she and her accomplice were seen leaving the store with stolen goods and were caught with the goods just outside the Kohl's store, according to the report I'd read. If she'd stayed in town and faced the charges, how would she have been found "not guilty" except on a technicality?

As to the four licenses, I have seen it reported as the finding of Mr. Joe Livingston, a senior agent with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, who is researching the Toogood case. Doesn't an investigative discovery carry stronger weight than an allegation?

And as to Madelyne Toogood's abuse of her daughter Martha, I have to say that I am very tired of seeing you downplay it as nothing more than "a mother slapping a child and leaving no bruise" when Toogood herself has made statements to the effect that she not only slapped the child but shook her, pulled her hair, knocked her on the forehead and – according to the CNN interview that I linked above – struck her in her back. There's no medical examination that I know of that was done within one or two days of the incident caught on videotape, but I have read more than one statement from officials to the effect that it's possible that bruising could have healed by the time Martha was examined. But some of the abuse inflicted that day, such as the hair-pulling and the shaking, would not leave bruising in any case yet is nevertheless child abuse! Now, you or Bennett Zurofsky would have to tell me whether hair-pulling and shaking falls under the legal definition of battery, but aren't the various methods she used to strike her child considered battery (repeated slapping, knocking the forehead, striking the back)?

I don't know about anyone else on this thread, but I don't necessarily "want to lock up every parent that slaps their child", including Toogood. I read today on the SouthBendTribune.com site that Toogood is taking parenting and anger-management classes, so it seems she is cooperating with authorities in that respect. I made a statement back in Part 2 of this discussion to the effect that I didn't feel she should get any of her kids back until she learned to manage her anger; if she can put into practice the things she's learning in her classes, then I feel she should have her daughter returned to her eventually, with close supervision early on and with regular visits from child-protective services to be sure that she's not backsliding into old habits of anger non-management. As to long-term custody arrangements in the meantime, I read that authorities are considering the option of releasing Martha into the custody of Toogood's mother.

Frankly, though, I think that the fact that you know Madelyne Toogood's family and community, and have worked for a dozen years on cases of out-adoption of Travelers, is coloring your perception of this particular case. It just seems that you're trying so hard to tie this case in with your experience that you don't want to see it from anyone else's perspective. Just because you know the Toogood family doesn't mean that any morally or legally wrong thing that a family member does should be glossed over. Just because your parent struck you with a belt when you were a kid doesn't make that action okay; sorry, but I don't think your parent should have struck you any more than I think Toogood should have struck Martha. As the child-advocacy slogan goes, it shouldn't hurt to be a kid.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: GUEST,McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 05:53 PM

"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" seems an appropriate suggestion in this whole situation.

Only trouble is, I suspect there are some people around who would take that as an invitation to start throwing stones.


I posted that a couple of thread renewals back, and I thought that second paragraph was maybe a bit strong. Now it seems it was pretty spot on.

Somehow there do seem to be a lot of stonethrowers around, rushing to judgement. If some people feel that InOBU has made some wrong assumptions, albeit on the basis of rather more information than most of us have), fair enough. People disageee about things like this. But why all the anger and the indignation?

Everyone here is agreed, I hope and believe, that child abuse is wrong, that discrimination against people because of their ethnic status is wrong, and that in anything that is done the best interests of the child should come first. The rest is details, contingent details - important, yes. But there's no disagreement on the principles, just on how best to apply them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Áine
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 03:29 PM

Just saw this from the Associated Press:

Beaten Girl Placed With Grandmother

The Associated Press
Wednesday, October 9, 2002; 2:15 PM

SOUTH BEND, Ind. –– The grandmother of a 4-year-old girl who was repeatedly struck by her mother in a store parking lot was named as the girl's foster parent Wednesday.

Judge Peter J. Nemeth ordered that Martha Toogood be placed in the care of Mary Agnes Gorman. The girl's parents will still be limited to one weekly supervised visit with her.

Martha was put in state custody after her mother, Madelyne Gorman Toogood, was charged with felony battery of a child. A surveillance camera taped the woman striking her daughter in a store parking lot in Mishawaka.

Toogood, 25, remains free on $7,000 bond. She smiled in court when the judge announced his decision, and her attorney, Fred Hains, said she and her husband, John, were pleased.

"I think these people will cooperate and eventually the child will be reunited with the parents," Hains said.

© 2002 The Associated Press


Maith thú, a shem!

Le grá is mise Áine


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 03:46 PM

Congrats to the Judge, the caseworker and supervisor for doing their job, and mostly to a little girl who is where she should be at this time.

(Weekly or bi-weekly visits are the norm at this stage BTW)

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 03:51 PM

I guess the system can work and the cries of prejudice weren't a factor - it was just the justice system working methodically.   All that and the press didn't even mention that she was a Traveler. Just shows that we sometimes speak too soon and hopefully we learn something from this.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: GUEST,Wondering Alice
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 04:03 PM

I've seen reports about this case on CNN, CBS, NBC and ABC and I've read about it in the Boston Globe and USA Today.

Now I'm not saying I've seen every report that these outlets have had, but the only place that I've seen any reference to this mother's ethnic group is at Mudcat Cafe. In fairness to the media, they've been treating it as a normal child abuse case (in which they happen to have some incriminating video footage).

If it were not for Larry Inobu, I would not even know her ethnic group. Larry Inobu has an agenda and it's not the protection of that poor little girl.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 04:40 PM

Guest- I don't think that is a fair thing to say about Larry.   He has an agenda (and there is nothing wrong with that) but I don't think he is pushing it at the expense of the child.   There are two issues and both are being clouded together. If Larry is guilty of anything it is not communicating his case to the satisfaction of some people here on Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: GUEST,Wondering Alice
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 05:22 PM

Ron Olesko, here is the post with which Larry Inobu began the discussion of this case at Mudcat Cafe. The points that he made in this post, were repeated in his later postings. I'm shocked that you can read this post and then tell me that Larry Inobu's agenda is not at the expense of the child.

Subject: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: InOBU
Date: 23 Sep 02 - 11:27 PM
In The Mudcat Shop: Liberty , O Mar

Most anyone who can look me in the eye and say their mom did not once loose it and swat you as Madlyne Toogood did her
daughter (leaving no mark by the way...) well a lot of you would be not telling the truth. Fact is, that she is being prociscuted
for the crime of being an Irish Traveller in the United States, under the feet of the Statue of Liberty after the welcome to the
poor, hungry and tiered, there is a wee sign that says no dogs or Gypsies... and it is still bloody there. Call your local press and
ask why in a reported child abuse case, where there was no abuse, is the news interviewing cops from fraud units? It is
because after the crime of driving while Black, the next most prosicuted crime, is the crime of a Rom, or Pave or Romanichale
breathing the air of a free nation. Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 05:44 PM

Alice, I am equally shocked that you can't separate the two issues. I am the first to admit (and my notes in this posting will back it up) that I too feel that the focus was being shifted from the child to the issue of Traveler discrimination.    I still feel that some people have tried to do that.

I take issue with ANYONE who tries to turn words around, which is why I also took issue with your posting against Larry.    To say that Larry is not concerned with the child is plain wrong, even in the post that you copied he is not ignoring the child. I do believe that his focus is for the welfare of this child.   Larry took the unpopular position of saying that the child wasn't abused. I don't know if he is right or wrong.

What Larry did, and continues to do, is take another view of what happened. Most of us were shocked by what we saw on the videotape. Most of us have a hard time accepting the POSSIBILITY that we did not see the whole picture of what happened.

If you take the time to read Larry's OTHER postings, he is concerned about what happens to that child.   The thrust of his issue was on placing the child in a home where she will receive proper care and be in an environment that supports her heritage.

I'm not saying that Larry is correct. I'm saying that there are two sides and none of us no the whole story. We aren't the judge and jury here.

Let's not resort to name calling and character assasination. We become no better than the criminals in that case.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: GUEST,Wondering Alice
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 05:56 PM

Ron Olesko, let's look at exactly what Larry Onobu has said.

"Most anyone who can look me in the eye and say their mom did not once loose it and swat you as Madlyne Toogood did her
daughter (leaving no mark by the way...) well a lot of you would be not telling the truth."

Larry Inobu's direct implication is that most of us who claim that our mother's did not beat us the way that Madlyne Toogood beat her child are liars.

Larry Inobu directly says "there was no abuse" in this case and that the "fact is, that she is being prociscuted for the crime of being an Irish Traveller in the United States."

I'm sorry Ron Olesko that you cannot read Larry Inobu's agenda in his own words.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: greg stephens
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 06:02 PM

I find all this ethnic grouping stuff a bit confusing. How many can you be in?Only one, or lots? Are you necessarily in the same group as your parents (and what if they are different)? Who defines it, you or people discussing your case? Likewise" abuse": I've had the odd whack but I'm not sure I'd have wanted to dragged off to somewhere else.Having read all this, I find it all a bit strange. Time for self-examination: and I'm with McGrath...keep them stones in your pocket till you're sure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 06:20 PM

InOBU didn't say "all of you" - he said "a lot of you". (And that was referring to people in general, not just to those who said they hadn't ever been beaten.) And from my knowledge of people it's quite right to say that a lot of parents still smack their children and sometimes a lot more than just smack them - and yet mostly these aren't "bad parents", any more than a mother (or father) who is a rotten cook is a "bad parent". Just not too good at coping with a difficult job.

In previous generations (20, 30, 40 years ago) kids were hit more often and more severely than they are today. In fact isn't very long at all since the assumption in mainstream society was that it was only feckless and irresponsible parents who were unwilling to chastise their children when they misbehaved. Neglecting their moral duty as parents - "Spare the rod and spoil the child."

Ironically, in the light of this thread, it was one of the criticisms levied against Gypsies and Trfavellers that they failed to discipline their children properly.

'road' to 'rod' fixed by mudelf ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: greg stephens
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 06:26 PM

I would normally not comment upon peoples typographical errors, I think it's a bit school-masterly and patronising: but McGrath's "spare the road and and spoil the child", while discussing how Travellers and Gypsies bring up their children, is a classic of our time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 06:41 PM

Either a friendly elf has nipped in remarkably fast and corrected a spelling mistake there, or Greg's eyes are playing up.

But I wish I had said that, and said it intentionally too, because it's a great bit of word-play - and it sums up one of my main worries about all this, which has been set at rest by the cutting Áine gave us about court sensibly allowing the granny to have the child to live with her, while things are sorted out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 06:50 PM

I'm sorry Wandering Alice that you are reading your thoughts in Larry's words.

Again, Larry took a stand that is radically different from most of our views.   It is not a position that people won't even stop to consider.   He does not feel that what was viewed in the video was abuse, and he may be right. He may not. That is the point that most people are missing.

It is one thing to disagree with Larry. I too feel that he has interpreted points without looking to consider the other side. I also feel that IF she is guilty of a crime she should be punished ACCORDING TO THE LAW. There is no excuse for savagly beating a child. However none of us are in a position to determine the extent of that beating from watching that particular video.

I do feel that it wrong to put words in his mouth that weren't there - and I'm referring to your earlier comment about him not having the interest of the child in heart. If you read his comment, and I mean read ALL of his comments, I don't think you can draw that conclusion.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Áine
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 07:10 PM

Dear 'Wondering Alice',

I am Larry's friend and sister-traveller, and I assure you that he holds the interests of Martha Toogood firmly in his heart, and wants nothing but the best for her and her family. I realize that since you do not know him personally, you have to go by what you've read here on this forum. Even given that handicap, I find it incredible that you have formed such a mean-spirited opinion of him.   My final and definitive comment on your posts above is that you are totally and inexorably wrong.

I totally agree with catspaw when he says, "Congrats to the Judge, the caseworker and supervisor for doing their job, and mostly to a little girl who is where she should be at this time."

And I also totally agree with Ron when he says, "He has an agenda (and there is nothing wrong with that) but I don't think he is pushing it at the expense of the child.   There are two issues and both are being clouded together. If Larry is guilty of anything it is not communicating his case to the satisfaction of some people here on Mudcat." AND "If you take the time to read Larry's OTHER postings, he is concerned about what happens to that child.   The thrust of his issue was on placing the child in a home where she will receive proper care and be in an environment that supports her heritage."

Judge Nemeth has made his decision based on facts to which we are not privy, and I want to point out that he is not the same judge who will be adjudicating the felony charges filed against Ms. Toogood. Her case will probably not come up before the criminal court until after the first of next year. Therefore, discussing the criminal case will not get us anywhere, except to an exhaustive re-hashing of opinions that have already been expressed here.

I would only encourage those of you who have not previously known of the Irish Travellers (and the other travelling people of the United States and the rest of the world) to take this opportunity to learn about them, their history, cultures, and their collective struggle to survive against seemingly insurmountable prejudice, oppression, and genocide. In the three parts of this thread alone there are links to several informational sites on the Internet, many of which have even further resources to offer in the form of bibliographies and ongoing research contacts.

Well, the road is out for me on this one, and may I suggest that we all adjourn to happier subjects like BS: QE2's Dropped The Puck-It's HOCKEY TIME! -- and if you haven't ever heard of hockey, well then, all I have to say to you is 'there's none so blind as those who can't see the puck on the ice!' ;-)

All the best to all of you, Áine


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 12:32 AM

As a child in the 50's I distinctly recall when the "King of the North American Gypsies" died at his home in the neighboring town. It was a strange looking home with sphinx models at the walk way and a neon sign saying fortunes told. Rumor said that limosines of the rich and famous pulled in through the back alley.

All hell broke loose.

I have searched on-line newspapers from the era, but there is nothing of record for that period of time.

There was a gigantic encampment in the large city park. Hundreds upon hundreds - of entire - large families - in strange long length dresses and baggy pants desended upon the community. The city was swamped for sanitary facilities. Shop owners were extra vigilent. Parents made sure their children were in before dark and children were told not to talk to strangers. But the MUSIC!!! Strange, wonderful, decadent brass and violins and drums all playing together in wild joyful abandonment.

We drove by several times to stare at them in the park and avoided them in public. I still have some plaster of paris santa faces painted by children younger than me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 12:48 AM

InOBU; by now you are aware of the upcoming dateline "special" on Ms Toogood and the Travellers (the mysterious "secret society" according to the promo). Well, I'm glad that you started this thread. As you might recall I stated that I didn't have an awareness of Traveller discrimination in the US. After seeing the Dateline promo I am completely in agreement with you that there is discrimination and it is nasty! I am not sure what night this is supposed to air (probably Friday) I intend to watch and will try to tape it. (I must admit I'm not absolutely sure it is Dateline, I'll pay better attention to the promo this Thursday, but I was watching NBC only on Wednesday evening so it most likely IS Dateline).

CB


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: greg stephens
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 02:55 AM

We McGrath typo: It is a shame that elves sometimes remove things which get commented on, as it leaves the somments floating contextless. "spare the road and spoil the child" should havebeen immortalised as an Oscar Wildish great,not deleted by some cleaner-up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Bullfrog Jones
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 04:12 AM

Apart from one little posting earli in the first thread I've been keeping out of this, but after Ron and Aine's vitriolic attack on Alice I had to go back and re-read her posts convinced that I must have missed something. But no, she merely reiterates what a lot of sensible and fair-minded people have stated again and again and again in these threads. Ron says Alice, I am equally shocked that you can't separate the two issues. I am the first to admit (and my notes in this posting will back it up) that I too feel that the focus was being shifted from the child to the issue of Traveler discrimination.    I still feel that some people have tried to do that. Ron, the only person doing that is Larry. The only person pre-judging the case is Larry. The only person to get it totally wrong about the eventual placement of the child is Larry. I don't doubt Larry's commitment to the cause -- it's clearly wholehearted and sincere, but it is blinding him to the realities of the case, which SharonA and NicoleC have spelled out simply and eloquently againin the threads above. Aine says that not knowing Larry personally is a handicap, but suffering from that handicap simply means is that our reactions are based on what he says rather than who he is.

BJ


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 07:02 AM

Dateline did a pre interview with me. In their previous story about Travellers they interviewed Judge Peeler, who I met, who had nothing but good to say about Travellers. The NBC reporters said to him, "don't you have anything bad to say about Travellers", he said no, so they cut him out of the story. When they could not get me to say they were a people who had a culture of crime, they decided not to put me on camera. So, yes, watch Dateline and you will see anti-Taveller bias in all its glory or horror depending on your point of view. As to my being responcible for the racialisation of this case, I am going to put together a few before and after quotes. Be back in a mo... Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 07:12 AM

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The state is seeking indefinite custody of a four-year-old girl whose mother is accused of felony battery after a video camera caught her hitting the child.
According to authorities, Martha Toogood -- the girl in the video -- told them her mother, Madelyne Toogood, hit her with an open fist and pulled on her pigtails on Sept. 13, in the parking lot outside a Kohl's department store Mishawaka.
Doctors who examined the girl eight days later said they did not see any bruises or marks on her.
The petition filed by authorities claims Martha said there was a mark earlier from where her mother had hit her on her back.
The state Office of Family and Children said the girl was caused physical and emotional distress because of what her mother did to her.
A hearing on the petition seeking indefinite custody is scheduled for Wednesday.
... Please note two very important things. First the element of "new speak." The writer says "hit her with an open fist." I speak a number of languages, English being my first language, and I don't know what an open fist is. An open fist is a hand, to be hit ... not with a fist but the open hand, is a slap. It takes a real effort to raise a bruise with a slap. The second issue, is that the child now says there was a bruise on her back. Let's think about this. Children make terrible witnesses, as studies have shown, as they try to please the adult questioner. Here she is asked again and again, where there marks that the Doctors did not see. So she now says yes, on my back. She chooses a place she cannot see, so she can please the questioner, while not telling what she knows to be a lie. She knows there is not mark she has seen, so it must be on her back where she cannot see it.

Anti Traveller Bias in the press...
New York Post Andrea PeyserTOO BAD, TOOGOOD - YOU'RE A LOUSY EXCUSE FOR A PARENT
By ANDREA PEYSER
I'M GUILTY - NO, INNOCENT!
Madelyne Toogood, with hubby John, admitted smacking around her 4-year-old daughter - then pleaded not guilty in an Indiana court yesterday.
- AP


September 24, 2002 -- MOTHER of the Year Madelyne Toogood has three small children, four driver's licenses, and two names to chose from - depending upon the state in which she parks her trailer.
But Mommie Dearest has not one permanent address.
The country now is as familiar with Toogood's parenting skills as it is with the danger of Hurricane Isidore. This past weekend, the savage in blue jeans was all over TV, furiously whacking her small daughter about the head, a scene caught on surveillance videotape.
As horrifying as it was to watch, I could not look away.
She had to be stopped.
By the time Toogood surrendered to authorities Saturday - after running to two states and dying her hair brown - she'd morphed into the most despised human this side of Saddam Hussein. She also presented a self-serving story.
Toogood says her child, Martha, made her angry by wandering off in a store, forcing management to page her - twice.
What kind of a mother lets a 4-year-old out of her sight?
This train wreck of a mom is one of the so-called "Irish Travelers" - nomadic misfits of which I'd never before heard. Travelers wander with the seasons, looking for work in home repair. Previously, they drew the attention of authorities only for scamming customers.
Toogood is charged in Texas with skipping out on a traffic ticket and stealing goods from a department store.
About the beating she inflicted on Martha, she told an interviewer: "I shouldn't have did it." And, "Don't raise your hand to a child, it ain't worth it."
Ain't it the truth?
The truth is that Toogood's appalling attitude toward child-rearing is not so different from the thinking of many who see children as personal property to be raised as they see fit.
Little Martha Toogood is now in the care of strangers, while her brothers, ages 5 and 6, are with relatives. I feel for a child ripped from her parents. But this travesty of a family can't continue.
By foisting a bizarre, authority-shunning way of life on kids, the Travelers put them in danger. Toogood and her kind should be kept miles from children. Unless they agree to settle down in a place where they can be watched.
Until then, I thank God for videotape.

The article above was in the New York Post. Anyone who does not see the prejudice in it, I can't help you, sorry. This is only one of about 60 examples sent to me by Travellers around the country.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Wolfgang
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 07:51 AM

An 'open fist' as opposed to a closed fist or a flat hand is a position of the hand in which the thumb touches the fingertips. The shape of the hand in this position is still that of a fist but with the thumb and the fingers forming a circle. Hitting with an open fist is harder than with a flat hand but less hard than with a closed fist.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 08:06 AM

Dear Wolfgang... if that is in deed the case, anyone who can see that amount of detail in the video tape has better eyes than anyone else I have met. No, I think they mean a slap... which is why there was not mark - even on the child's back in spite of her attempts to be helpful. Cheers (prost!) Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 09:14 AM

Larry: All it takes to see a mark on a person's own back is to look in two mirrors, one mirror in front of the person and one behind. In addition to Martha' s statement that she had a mark on her back, there is Madelyne Toogood's OWN statement in the interview she did with CNN (that I linked in my earlier post on this thread) that she struck Martha "in the middle of her back" during the incident in the Kohl's parking lot in addition to the other abuse she inflicted on her daughter. Of course, she also claimed in that statement that there was never a mark on Martha. Obviously, you believe the word of the perpetrator of the abuse and not the word of the victim. Funny thing, but my copy of Faith and Practice says that one of the ways Quakers are known to serve the community is through victim support services.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 09:35 AM

Bullfrog Jones said "The only person pre-judging the case is Larry."

Again, that is not true.   Yes, Larry appears to have some preconceived notions (or perhaps information that we don't have) that seems to come across rather strong. He is not the only one. I still feel that you and others are focusing on Larry's committment to the cause of the Travelers and ignoring his committment to the welfare of the child. They ARE two separate threads.

Once again, I have to say that NONE of us can use that videotape as ABSOLUTE evidence in this case. The child is only seen briefly and the connection of her hands to the child CANNOT be seen on the tape. Yes, it surely looks like she is giving the child a savage beating - and if that is the case she should be punished to the full extent of the law. IF she is an abuser then the child should be removed.   HOWEVER, there is no HARD evidence to that effect, just as there is no HARD evidence that prejudice played any role in this case. None of us are privy to ALL the evidence in this case so our opinions are merely that - opinions.

Most of us (yes, I'm including myself) have been using this forum to air out our own views on child abuse, Travelers, the justice system, the media and each other. As the saying goes, opinions are like a**holes, we all have one.   This forum has become frighteningly similar to the talk radio shows with one-sided political agendas. Most people are UNWILLING to take a look at the other sides view.

Maybe mirrors should be attached to computers.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 10:12 AM

Why is it the job of people posting here to make judgements anyway? Once the court has decided, if anyone disagrees with what it decides, that's maybe the time to make judgements. The child is in a safe place, the processes of sorting out happened is under way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 10:52 AM

Ron Olesko says, "...the connection of her hands to the child CANNOT be seen on the tape..." At one point in the tape, before Martha moves to the back seat of the SUV, Madelyn's hand can clearly be seen holding and shaking the child.

In addition, one can see by the movement of Madelyne's body the force she used with each blow (whether slap or punch, it's still a blow). Some have theorized that she was hitting the seat and not the child, but that is contradicted by Madelyne's own statements.

Ron also says, "IF she is an abuser then the child should be removed.   HOWEVER, there is no HARD evidence to that effect..." The videotape is, in fact, hard evidence that she abused her child that day. If by "an abuser" Ron means a habitual abuser, then additional hard evidence is needed... which is why Madelyne's past behavior and the home environment in which she's been raising Martha – and the Traveler connection is part and parcel of that environment – are being investigated before Martha is returned to Madelyne's custody! Let's not forget, too, that abuse takes many forms, so even if there is no further evidence that Madelyne physically struck her daughter, there may or may not be hard evidence that Martha was abused in other ways (such as verbally, emotionally or psychologically).


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 11:12 AM

Sharon, I don't (and have never) disagree with anything that you are saying in your last paragraph, except the part about HARD evidence. As much as people want to think so, this isn't a smoking gun. You cannot see how tightly her hands are around the child, you can't see her "fist", and you can't see the effect on the child.   What you see is a woman that APPEARS to be going berserk. Ever watch a movie with a fight scene? When I see a wrestler get hit over the head with a metal chair, why isn't that assault and battery? The HARD EVIDENCE is telling me that I've seen a crime committed. Of course that is actors and this is real life, but that is an example of how the eye can be deceived. Film and video are a series of still pictures which the mind INTERPRETS as motion. By nature it is a deception of reality. You cannot be 100% certain of what you are seeing.

No, I'm not saying the video was doctored in any way.

While she has admitted striking the child, she has not (at least in any interview that I read) claimed that her blows were severe enough to inflict damage. She admitted to being a mother who let her emotions take over and did things that she shouldn't have, but her intent was never to hurt the child.   That may seem like a contradiction, but it really isn't if you examine the situation.

I am not as certain as you are about what I am seeing on the videotape. Again, I'm not saying you are wrong - but there is an uncertainty that must be questioned. In this country you are innocent until proven guilty. It seems that in this case and in many others people are rushing to judgement.

Sharon, I agee with you when you say that abuse takes many forms. I am not saying that Toogood is innocent. All I have been saying is that she deserves a fair hearing and presentation of evidence. The child needs to be examined for ALL the abuse you mentioned. If there is harm then it needs to be dealt with in a manner that will end the abuse and give the child a normal life (if any of us can define normal).

All I say, again and again, is that we can't rush to judgement on EITHER side. Everyone seems to be losing sight of the child's welfare and making decisions on what THEY think is best.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 11:18 AM

Sharon, my dear Friend: Faith and Practice does not always define who the victem is and what those rights are, what is being done to that child by the State of Indiana makes that a child a victem. This is not only my opinion, but the opinion of every expert on the effects of removing children from cultural isolates and outplacing them in the host community. As of yesterday, the judge in this case also agrees with me. As to the evidence of a doctor who examine the child against the words of a four year old, separated for a month by the state, asked again and again, where there marks? I'd go with the Doctors. I doupt that the four year old set up two mirrors in some room while on the road to New Jersy to check out her back... not likely, about as likely as the State of Indiana meant that an open fist was some Karate stance described by our brother Wolfgang, rather than the oximoron that is presented... As to lecturing me on my faith... that is best done in conversation, not writing and in a spirt of Friendly caring, not to make percived points in what looks to me like an arguement, somethings Friends don't (or try) not to do on matters (one reason I decided not to be a litigator...)
Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Grab
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 11:29 AM

Getting away from Alice's comments...

According to Aine's posting, after temporary placement with an emergency foster care family the child is now being cared for by her grandmother. After checking, the courts are satisfied that she is safe from abuse with her grandparents. They merely did the normal thing for any child abuse case, and even the Indian Child Welfare act couldn't fault them on any of that.

So after the normal process of the courts: the mother is freed on a low bail bond; the child is safe and with her family; the courts have separated the mother from the child and are applying to maintain that separation until the mother has demonstrated she is no longer a danger to her child; the mother is getting anger management classes so that she can take her normal place in the family; and weekly visits by the mother are allowed so that there's no permanent separation between mother and child.

Doesn't sound much like discrimination to me. Sounds like a classic, well-oiled example of exactly how a child abuse case should be run, all the 'i's dotted and 't's crossed, ensuring that the child's safety is secured short-term, that the family stays together medium-term, and that the abuser gets help so she can resume her place in the family long-term. Job done, and I think all the ppl on the state team for this should be proud of themselves. Sorry Larry, but for all your claims of how Traveller-related cases "normally" go, this has gone 100% by the book.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Bullfrog Jones
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 11:31 AM

Ron, you're right, there are two separate issues. That's what people have been saying here again and again. There is the issue of a mother accused of beating her child and the issue of the mother and child being members of the travelling community. Most of us don't connect the two issues. Time and time again posters to these threads have said that they weren't aware of the Toogoods' ethnic background until they read it in Larry's post. Larry is telling us that the mother won't get a fair trial because she is a traveller. Not hasn't had a fair trial, won't get a fair trial. That's pre-judging. He told us, way back that the authorities would tear the child from the heart of her community and give her to a non-travelling family. They didn't. She's with her grandmother. That was pre-judging. Ron, you said He (Larry)has an agenda (and there is nothing wrong with that) but I don't think he is pushing it at the expense of the child.   Yet now he appears to be telling us that the testimony of the child should be discounted. Why? Because it doesn't fit in with his agenda?
As McGrath says, it's up to the court to make judgements on the evidence presented. Then the arguments can really begin!

BJ


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 11:41 AM

Bullfrog, I guess Larry can speak for himself (obviously!!) but the point I was making was about the insinuation that Larry did not care about the welfare of the child, I think he has been clear that he is worrying about her welfare.   He is pushing his other points, but not at the child's expense.   

Yes, I agree with you that Larry pre-judged the State of Indiana and the judicial system in some of the statements he made.   Again, I don't think ANYONE on this forum, including Larry, has enough facts to make the decision.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 12:16 PM

Larry, as you well know, I am not a Quaker, so please don't address me as a "Friend" (with a capital F) because I don't want other people to mistakenly think that I am a Quaker. If you wish to address me as a friend, with a small f, that's okay with me! Lecturing me on how Friends admonish Friends is irrelevant since I'm not a Friend. But, as a friend (I hope), I'm questioning from the outside where Quaker loyalties lie in cases of child abuse. I couldn't find anything in Faith and Practice that addresses it directly but I see an emphasis, in the raising of one's own children within the Quaker community, on leading by example, on non-violence, and on resolving disputes by gathering together and listening to each family member's side of the argument. It just angers me to read what I see as a belittling statement by you of all people to the effect that Martha Toogood's word doesn't count.

And I'm saying this in a public forum because you made the statement in a public forum.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Kim C
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 01:53 PM

I am pretty sure a grown person could raise a bruise on a small child with a forceful slap.

I think someone already said that even if there are no physical marks, children still suffer from abuse. My mother didn't hit me, but she did hurt me emotionally, by the way she treated me, by the things she said. So don't anyone ever say to ME, the child must not be hurt very badly because she doesn't have any bruises.

Now... that being said... some of the media bits Larry posted are indeed ugly and unfair. What kind of a mother lets a 4-year-old out of her sight?

All of them.

Kids are fast. Unless you have them leashed to your body, they'll go chasing something shiny in the blink of an eye. I don't have any kids and even I know that.

But let's consider. Here's a woman who has an alias, four drivers licenses, and outstanding arrest warrants. If I remember right, you're not supposed to do that stuff...


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 02:46 PM

It has been aleged that Madalynne has and alias and four drivers licences, there has been no proof of that, nor likely will there be. That is one of the issues which will be contested, no doupt, at trial. As to your not supposed to do that stuff, for the few Roma and Travellers who do, Police officers are not supposed to pull folks over and photograph and finger print them for no other reason that ethnicity. In fact, they do this and have done this to nearly ever "Gypsy" I know. In the face of this, a small number of people racialised as "Gypsies" sometimes use false identities in order to achieve that right which you take so for granted. Apparently Madalynne does not do this.
Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 03:16 PM

Larry: No proof that Madelyne Toogood has an alias??? The two warrants issued for her arrest in Texas list her name as Madelyn Gorman.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 03:50 PM

Oh, yes, and let's not forget that the Toogood surname itself is an alias. Madelyn's husband's real name is John Lark.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Nerd
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 03:53 PM

Larry and folks:

Let's focus for a moment on what we all agree on. We all agree that it's a good outcome for Martha to be with her grandmother, and for her to remain there temporarily until her mom finishes her courses, gets the anger managed, and can reunite with her daughter. We all agree (I think) that anti-traveller discrimination was NOT a factor in that part of the case. Most of us agree that anti-traveller discrimination DOES exist, and that it MAY end up affecting Madelyne's case.

As I see it, the big difference is that most of us are waiting until the case plays itself out to decide whether anti-traveller discrimination has taken place, rather than assuming in advance that it will take place. As you can see, the "ripping a little girl away from her ethnic group is illegal and immoral" argument turned out to be unnecessary because that did not happen. As I suggested earlier, why not wait and see what else happens before we condemn the legal system? We'll see if the four driver's licenses turns out to be a trumped up charge or not (I'd guess not, Larry guesses so), and whether the decision of the court seems fair or not.

Until then, we agree on most things--apart from the boundaries between legitimate discipline and abuse, which I suspect vary widely from person to person and community to community. Given that, there's little point in arguing about it here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 03:59 PM

Sorry, I should have provided my source for that last statement about John Lark. It's from this CBS News article: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/09/20/national/main522684.shtml Here's an excerpt:

John Toogood is scheduled to be tried Jan. 6 on a theft charge in Kalispell, Montana.... In Whitefish, just north of Kalispell, detective Roger Bergstrom said a felony theft-by-deception warrant was issued for John Toogood in August 1999. Bergstrom said Toogood, whose real name is John Lark, was doing faulty home repair and duping residents, mainly elderly people.

Toogood charged an 83-year-old woman $3,000 to replace part of her cedar shakes roof, the detective said.   Toogood was arrested on the Montana warrant in Casper, Wyo., but promptly posted bail of $20,000 in cash and left. The bail was forfeited when he failed to show up in court, and part of the money was used to repay the Whitefish woman, Bergstrom said.

Police arrested Toogood in Fort Worth, Texas, for bail jumping, and he appeared in Flathead County Justice Court early this year on the theft-by-deception charge, Bergstrom said.   Toogood is scheduled for trial in Flathead County District Court on Jan. 6.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 04:12 PM

I am on my way out the door, so just quickly, Gormans and Carrolls are the same family, and that is Madalynne's maden name. My wife's driving licence, though we are married for longer than she would want me to tell you, says Gilmore-Otway, her federal ID , her Barr association card says Gilmore, her banking cards say Gilmore, and no, she is not a Traveller. Toogood is Johnney's name and his father's name. I am working on a case involving Vlax Roma, and the father and son have different names, though it is his birth father and he has no other father, as tribal people have a more complex naming tradition than do we, there are articles about this, if you are interested, off the top of my head there is an excellent one in the Internation Journal of Comaritive Law, which if you in fact want to go to the library to read, I will post the site. It is actually a great addition, most of the Articals are about Roma and it is a real page turner. You may also like the piece my my coleague and (I'd say teliphone friend) Prof. Weyrauch, on the subject of people's right to cultural secrets, it is part of one of his submissions under the title the Ethics of Disclosing Secrets. Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: NicoleC
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 04:19 PM

I think more is being made over the multiple driver's licenses than is really called for. At various points I've have more than one driver's license in multiple states, which is not -- as far as I know -- illegal, although some states require you give up your old license before they give you a new one.

It's also not unusual for a woman to have multiple names on various documents. A married name, a maiden name, a former married name, etc. I can't tell you how many variations my Mom has aquired after 5 marriages!

Nor is it really unusual for native americans to have a cultural name and a public name -- I can see something similar happening here with Travellers, maybe.

The issue is really whether we are talking about one person with documents in multiple names or one person who has multiple *identities* and tries to pass herself off as different people. I don't know if that's the case here or not, although if she isn't keeping her names straight when she talks to the police, it could have quite serious consequences for her. If she is using multiple identities, then it brings up the issue of fraud. If not, it's not really valid criteria in this case, is it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: M.Ted
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 04:37 PM

Given that her mother's surname is Gorman, I suspect that it is a maiden name rather than an alias--

As to the comments that things are now as they would be in cases like this, it is because there has been a lot of effort, on the part of many people, to create an awareness of the problems--I know that some of you have trouble believing that this is anything but an advocacy rant on the part of Larry, but it isn't--

Please go back and read the articles from the local paper--you will see that the issue of Traveller discrimination has been a big concern in the community--both judges have made considerable effort to see that things be handled fairly in spite of all the negative national media attention, and in spite of the prosecutor's hotly contested re-election efforts(the judge put off pleadings on the criminal charges til after the election, and said that he wanted the case be settled without the need to go to trial)--

Mercifully, the national media have withdrawn from the situation, but the downside of it is that they are now all here, in the DC area, making a mess of our sniper situation--It is unbelievable how they twist the story around--but that's a story for another day--


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 04:37 PM

So part of this complex naming tradition is that a person gives one name when she's arrested one time and another name when she's arrested another time? (Madelyn Gorman in Texas, Madelyn Toogood in Indiana) (not to mention the different spellings of Madelyn, Madelyne, Madalynne...) Sorry, Larry, but this is at best an abuse of that "tradition" to try to keep authorities from connecting one crime with another committed by the same person. These "traditional" names are being used as aliases.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 05:05 PM

That's a thought, though... If I'm ever arrested, maybe I should give the police my mother's mother's maiden name, and do a little creative spelling with my first name (how about Scherrin?). No, wait, I can't do that, I'm a white Anglo-Saxon, not a member of an ethnic culture!

Sheesh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Kim C
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 05:29 PM

Fair enough, Larry, you're right, police are not supposed to pull people over Just Because They Can. But how do you look at someone and say, he's a Traveller, let's pull him over? I mean, you wouldn't know someone was a Traveller unless you KNEW they were a Traveller. Right? It's not as though they look any different from anyone else. Right?

Let me ask this, though. Do the Travellers who are criminals, understand that their bad behavior does a great disservice to their entire community? Do the Travellers who are NOT criminals, believe the criminals should be punished?


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 08:31 PM

At present a statistic would be hard to come by, but my experience of meeting a great number of Travellers is that it is likely that fewer Travellers are criminal than the national average in the population as a whole, but that is not a supportable fact, it is purely anicdotal, as is the opinion of the police interviewed in the articals. However, I have had more entre to the general population of Travellers than they have. Travellers do, and I have seen it, isolate members of the community who commit crime, as it is bad for buiness. As to spellings of her name, when I was a paralegal I recvied a memo from my boss correcting the spelling on my name... often. Some folks and cultures don't put a lot on spelling and some do. My father called me Lor, or Lorcan, my mother Lawrence, my school friends, Larry, I use all of those names... lock me up, keep me away from my nephew and niece, call my family and I bizarre and secretive as we speak a few languages at home... oh no, as Sharon points out, I'm not a Traveller, I'm settled... Cheers Larry, Lor, Lorcan, Lollya, etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 08:46 PM

Thanks for both the clarification and additional information InOBU! I was struck by the vicious tone of the promo as much by what it said. Your experience with Dateline is all too familiar. They sometimes do us a service by exposing some of the incidents they do. But if they have a "slant", a particular point of view, and what they are coming up with in their research or interviews doesn't support that point of view, they will scrap an "episode" rather than go forward with the true story. I'm pretty sure that it is Friday when this will air and I'll bet that they wil include footage from their past attempt at maligning these people. If I am able to tape it I will PM you.

CB


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Blues=Life
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 08:48 PM

I've been trying real hard to stay out of this, but I have to rebut one point. The idea that a slap doesn't do harm ("No, I think they mean a slap... which is why there was not mark") has never been hit with an open hand by someone who knows what they're doing, or is being powered by adreniline (boy, do I need a spell check!) I've been hit by closed fists and open hands, and it makes little difference which one you are hit with when the strike is driven by proper technique or by fury. If you don't believe me, let me hit you just one little open handed slap. I'll even give you a cold beer when you wake up.

Peace,

Blues
(former bouncer and karate practitioner)


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 08:53 PM

Thanks CB! Friday it is... And Sharon... is there a reason I should know you aren't a Quake?!?! I know there are a few Quakers here on Mudcat, a few attenders, can't remember who is who all the time, but, a word on Quaker faith, we don't have a creed so pointing to Faith and Practice, while in my childhood, may be a prelude to being written out of meeting, that kind of thing seldom happens these days, especially when the breach is defending oppressed communities... so friend or Friend, I actually call lots of folks either interchangably... we are kinda like that, inculusive, so I hope you aren't offended by either. Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 09:08 PM

Coyote Breath & Larry - you are both 100% correct in your feelings about shows like Dateline.   If they can't find information to back their story, they drop it. They look for guests who will be arguementative and colorful. The facts are secondary.

Remember the Dateline story where they put explosive charges behind the wheel of a car they were test driving? They were trying to show how unsafe the car is.   I don't know where you buy your cars, but mine rarely come with explosive devices behind the tires.

As I've mentioned in my previous points, I don't like to make accusations without facts. I will say that I spent 12 years working for a well recognized cable news organization in a technical capacity.   It left me with a real poor opinion of most journalists.   I really can't mention names publicly, but I saw things that left me disgusted. I remember one well know "journalist" (it sickens me to call him that) who was trying to prove a point about the time of a murder. One of the pieces of evidence was a cup of ice cream. The lawyers were trying to prove that because the ice cream did not melt the crime couldn't have taken place when it did.   This "journalist" decided to do a live on-air scientific test by placing a cup of ice cream on his desk during the show.   At the end of the show he had a cup of melted ice cream to prove HIS point that the ice cream would melt fast.   What he didn't show or mention was his asking one of the crew to hold the ice cream next to a hot studio light during commercial breaks. Several of us complained to the VP of our news division and the next night this "journalist" had to re-do apologize and re-do the test.

Of course there were some great journalists who I worked with that have a great deal of integrity. I don't want to paint a bad picture of all the media, but the point is, QUESTION what you see. Sometimes the obvious is not what really happens.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 12:44 AM

Welcome edification....OBU.

It is nice to have a compendium of family names associated with theft, larcency, graft and perversions (child marrages).

Until this thread, I never dove into the culture of this minor sect of society.

I am thankful find that Fitzgerald, Mullagun, Jones, Schmidt and Bartlebe, are not favored amongst your fellow travelers on this orb.

Thanks again,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 07:16 AM

Hi Garg... chuckling... Most of the Gorman's are up in Boston and are not Travellers at all, in fact would slap you a lot harder than Madalynne if you called one a Pavee! They are fishermen from Conamara. If you are interested in Irish music, you most likely have dove into Traveller culture. Cheers, Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 09:02 AM

"...would slap you a lot harder than Madalynne", Larry?? You can't just downplay what Toogood did to her little girl, now you have to make a joke out of it???? I'm thoroughly disgusted.

You ask if there's a reason you should have known I'm not a Quaker: only because we discussed it on another thread some time ago, but apparently you don't recall. No problem but, again, I'd rather not be called a "Friend" (capital F) and have people think I'm a Quaker when I'm not. I don't share the Quaker political agenda by any means.

But Quaker or no Quaker, I truly am disturbed by your lighthearted treatment of the abuse Toogood inflicted on her daughter, and especially by your little joke about abuse. It turns my stomach.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 09:32 AM

I wonder if we get more upset about the bad things we'd never do ourselves or the bad things we are worried we might in fact do? With the anger being a kind of protection against that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 11:42 AM

Frankly it is not a joke, I think the slap Madalynne gave her daughter is not anywhere near the punch of a Conemara fisherman. I recieved one, a sucker punch, for standing up to segrigation in Boston a few years back... So, not a joke at all. I was hit from behind and knocked unconcious for speaking out against prejudice and injustice and I continue to do so. As to Quaker political agendas, I was not aware we had one? Are you refering to Quakers such as Richard Millhouse Nixon? Herbert Hover? Ben Kingsly? Programed meeting members? Hicksites? Gurneyites? Wilburites? Kenyan Friends? Gee even in any of the groupings I never found a political agenda, other than seeing God in everyone? But, I guess that may be a political agenda when you attempt to stop folks from hurting each other. Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 05:56 PM

Larry: Actually, the political agenda to which I referred has to do with what I've read in Faith and Practice about opposition to incarceration and retributive punishment and capital punishment, about civil disobedience, that sort of political-issue stance. I don't disagree with everything it has to say about personal-relationship issues, however. Still, as I say, I don't want others to see me being called a Friend and mistakenly assume from that that I agree with everything Faith and Practice says Friends are to feel about political issues, when in fact I do not. Am I being any clearer this time (I hope)?

For instance, when it comes to stopping folks from hurting one another, I think prison is an acceptable option for stopping people who have hurt other people by breaking certain laws. I've read that John Toogood has been convicted of hurting people by scamming them out of their money in Philadelphia PA and Akron Ohio. If he's convicted of this latest charge of scamming in Montana and sentenced to prison to deter him from scamming again, at least while he's in jail, I don't see this as necessarily a bad thing.

I know that you've said, Larry, that Travelers plead guilty to charges like these when they're innocent of those charges, but (a) I have trouble believing that's as prevalent as you make it out to be, and (b) I don't know if Toogood pleaded guilty or innocent to any of the three charges of scamming that I've mentioned here.

Perhaps Travelers and Gypsies/Romas need to be better educated about the legal system so that they don't enter guilty pleas for things they have not done – and learn how to work within the legal system to obtain effective defense against false charges – rather than take the attitude that they might as well break the law because they think (mistakenly or not) that police officers are profiling them anyway, or that they should "use false identities in order to achieve that right which [others not of their ethnic origin] take so for granted". Two wrongs don't make a right! Just because some police officers and state/federal authorities are corrupt (and, yes, some are, and others are not) is not a valid reason for any Travelers or Romas (or anyone else!) to corrupt themselves as well. It's just an excuse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 06:34 PM

"Perhaps Travelers and Gypsies/Romas need to be better educated about the legal system so that they don't enter guilty pleas for things they have not done – and learn how to work within the legal system to obtain effective defense against false charges "
Where can I begin to educate you, my dear friend. Perhaps you have read parting the waters? Good start. It takes a near miracle to begin a civil rights movement. One must begin with the expectation of rights. The great question for all civil rights workers is how to begin to foster that expectation. You mention that you are an Anglo Saxon American. Well, much of knowing a world without an expectation of rights is hidden from you, it is experiencial. One has to walk in dark and hopeless places to understand. I have, and maybe that is why you and I don't understand each other. Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 09:57 PM

Just watched and taped the Dateline bit on the travellers. Even I could see that Lea Thompson has her own agenda in this. There was nothing of substance, a great deal of nudge, nudge, wink, wink and obviously a pathetic attempt to impress us with their (Dateline) grasp of a "little known society" a "secret society" of "thieves and con artists". What a crock of fetid dingo kidnies!

Lets hope they never turn their baleful gaze upon Northern Ireland.

CB


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 10:29 PM

Well said CB: Note, they say they have been investigating "these strange people" for seven years and the only really bad events are from their primary informant, Wanda Normile, who any time anything about Travellers happens they have to pull out the Wanda story again, now alomst two decades old... some crime spree. Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 10:00 AM

By the way, we did also see an example of the wretched "crimes" of Mr. Toogood on Dateline. After a nation wide search they came up with one of his "crimes of fraud". According to their informant, Johnney gave him a greatp price to put down asfault on his driveway. He complained that the black top is thinner than he promiced. Wow, Al Capone is reborn. They say he is guilty of nine civil and criminal wrong doings. Yes, he has a single felony conviction of overcharging on a job. He plead guilty and paid restitution to an old woman he charged $7,000 dollars for home repair work. Hmmmm. I have worked with small contractors in New York who have overcharged me every once and awhile, I have never seen a felony come out of an overcharge on a 7,000 job except in cases involving Travellers. I have seen lots of small claimes (think how much of 7,000 is over and how much charge) or civil suit. Let's face it, it takes a lot less effort to see the prejudice against Travellers than to see them as criminals. Dateline, as per the last seven years did not use a single expert to speak on behalf of Travellers in spite of doing pre-air interviews with me, for example. Well, there you go, Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 06:14 PM

Here is the transcript of the segment on Irish Travelers from the "Dateline NBC" television program to which Larry refers: http://www.msnbc.com/news/820204.asp

While it is true that, in this segment, Dateline "did not use a single expert to speak on behalf of Travellers" as Larry says, many of the statements Larry has made in his last two posts are disputable and some are downright incorrect.

If by "the Wanda story" Larry means her attempted scam at Walt Disney World, that scam was perpetrated on October 31, 1992 so that story is not two decades old... only one! According to Dateline, Wanda also admits to having had "28 aliases, running repair scams, [and] shoplifting" so she did, in fact, have a crime "spree"; the attempted scam of Disney was simply the most famous (or, more accurately, infamous) of her crimes.

Larry says that Wanda's story details "the only really bad events" investigated and reported by Dateline, yet Dateline reports this of Madelyne Toogood's family: "Her husband's grandfather killed another Traveler. One brother-in-law was convicted of swindling more than $100,000, and another skipped out on an assault charge." Since when are murder and assault not "really bad events"??

Larry says that "[John Toogood] has a single felony conviction of overcharging on a job. He plead[ed] guilty and paid restitution to an old woman he charged $7,000 dollars for home repair work." There's no indication from the Dateline report that that repair work was ever done; was it? If so, was it done properly? The conviction was for theft (theft by deception? theft of services?), and the report states that Toogood "paid back the stolen money". Without knowing more about the charges brought against Toogood and the reasons for those charges, I don't think we can assume this to be a case that should have been settled in small claims court rather than with a guilty plea to a criminal felony charge.

Was this the charge made in Pennsylvania, or the one in Ohio (and were there felony charges and convictions in both cases?)? I ask because, in PA, small claims court handles civil disputes involving no more than $8,000 (and if prosecution was seeking pain-and-suffering payment or other fees, the dispute could have topped $8,000 – and if there were criminal charges, then they could not have been heard in a small claims court). In Ohio, only civil actions for the recovery of money in the amount of $3,000 or less can be considered in small claims court. This information was obtained from these two sites: http://www.pennsylvanialawonline.com/smallclaims/smallpa.htm and http://www.ag.state.oh.us/agpubs/smclaims.htm

As much as Larry would like to downplay Toogood's actions by sarcastically calling them "wretched 'crimes' " and putting "crimes of fraud" in quotation marks as if they weren't really crimes, they were. It doesn't matter whether or not Toogood's crimes rise to the level of Al Capone's; theft by deception is still theft. Where's the supposed prejudice in seeing theft as theft without regard to ethnic origin?

I do see prejudice, however, in Larry's statement to me that, because I'm white, he assumes I've never been in a "dark and hopeless place" where I've experienced discrimination of any kind. I guess he's never heard of discrimination based on gender, or socioeconomic position, or age, or body weight, or medical condition. With regard to ethnic origin, though, I'm told I'm English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish, French and German, and I don't even know the ethnic origin of my father's father since he was a bigamist and no one in the family talks about him; so perhaps "Anglo-Saxon" doesn't accurately describe me. I do know that my mother looked dark enough that city bus drivers used to give her dirty looks because she didn't sit in the back of the bus and they weren't sure enough of her ethnic origin to order her there. And my father, born in 1913, certainly experienced discrimination as an "illegitimate child". What else do I need to say about my family before Larry's convinced that I wasn't raised in an ivory tower? Maybe I should show him a picture of my Italian-American cousin's Italian-African-Haitian-American child.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 07:22 PM

A quote from you, Sharon..." I'm a white Anglo-Saxon, not a member of an ethnic culture!"... hmmm. Cheers all, Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 07:34 PM

What else do I need to say about my family before Larry's convinced that I wasn't raised in an ivory tower? ... perhaps understanding that prejudice exists for others? Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 07:42 PM

This may help you understand... Larry

DISSIDENT VOICE
www.dissidentvoice.org
October 11, 2002

______________________________

Stealing Gypsy Children in America
by Galina Trefil
Dissident Voice
October 11, 2002
______________________________


During the 18th century, the Moravian government used to send soldiers and empty carts into the Romani (Gypsy) settlements. The soldiers grabbed the Romani youngsters, and when the carts were full of screaming, crying children, they greeted the protesting parents with a cat-of-nine-tails or worse. Sometimes the parents, knowing they would probably never see their children again, committed suicide on the spot.

The children were forced into homes run by White families to whom the government paid small monthly sums. Usually, due to the abuse in these homes, the children ran away, desperately trying to relocate their parents.

My ancestor, Martin Starsi Trefil, was a nomadic Rom during that time. Six of his children were stolen away in those governmental carts. Whether Martin Mladsi Trefil's five sisters ran away, I do not know, but none were ever heard from again. He himself was never again permitted to live with his parents.

Such children were forbidden to speak Romani, the Hindi-based language of their ancestors, so they were completely unable to live their lives in accordance to romaniya (the Romani ethical principals). This made my forcibly settled ancestors seem more like Gadje, not Romani: They couldn't speak their own language and didn't even know their own cultural rules, so they couldn't act in accordance to the marime (cleanliness) laws.

All they knew was that they were Gypsy children stolen from their parents and their heritage, and were raised in a culture which called them pick-pockets, cannibals, and, ironically, stealers of children!

In the name of my ancestors, I have been outraged at the media's handling of the case of Madelyn Toogood. Ever since Mrs. Toogood was filmed beating her young daughter, I have heard not-so-subtle innuendoes in the news against the Romani people, because Mrs. Toogood happens to be Rom. My people are once more referred to as evil, charlatans, pick-pockets, and child-thieves!

To the non-Romani community, I wish to clarify that beating children is not part of our culture. A Romani proverb is "You don't bring children up by beating them, but rather by using words." To us, there is nothing as important having happy, healthy children, so when discipline is necessary, we discipline with words, not slaps.

Beating children is not in league with romaniya. I would be surprised if her entire tribe isn't furious with her. She committed a crime, and she drew attention to our community. As every "Gypsy" knows, if one of us does something wrong, all of us will be blamed for it.

And we are being blamed for it, and I charge that we, the Roma, are the last ethnic minority in this country that the press is still allowed to freely denigrate. If Madelyn Toogood were French, would I be hearing that French people are abusive towards children? I doubt it!

Would news reporters dare make inferences in regard to African Americans if Madelyn Toogood had been one? Would they dare bring up her ethnic background if she were African or Native American, a Jew, Asian, Hispanic, or any other more-widely recognized minority? Perhaps not, because it would not have been "politically correct."

What most concerns me is that I keep hearing that little Martha is going to be wrenched away from her family and placed with White foster parents.

Whereas I doubt Madelyn Toogood is a fit parent; still, she does have a large extended family, members of which are willing to take Martha.

Martha Toogood has the right to be raised in the culture of her ancestors.

If she is given to White foster parents, how is this country's government better than the one that stole my ancestor and his five sisters from his parents? Is this 21st-century America or might we just as well be back in 18th-century Moravia?

If our government can't guarantee she'll be given White foster parents who will teach her how to hold her chin up and say, "I am a Romani Gypsy and I am proud of it," then the government has no business absconding with her.

How many Gadje families could supply enough Romani culture and history to give her an adequate, positive self-image? How will Martha Toogood be able to raise her head in a world that identifies "Gypsies" as criminals? Will her new-found White foster parents teach her about the centuries of slavery and persecution that the Roma have endured ever since we entered Europe from India? Will she be given Romani role-models such as Irina Botezata, the Romanian Gypsy slave who became a princess; actors and artists such as Bob Hoskins, Yul Brynner, Charlie Chaplin, Rita Hayworth, Django Reinhardt, the Polish poetess Papuzsa, and Mother Theresa?

In summation, I should like to clarify three things to people interested in the case. First, we Romani love our children. We do not beat them or hurt them and those among us who do are not acting in accordance with our culture. They shame us. Second, bringing ethnicity into the situation is not ethical. If ethnicity had not been a factor, how would we spectators have known that the Toogoods are Gypsies? Third, for the love of that child, do not steal her from her culture!   She has a right to know her origins, and I, as a descendant of great-grandparents who fled the persecution of the Czech Republic as dark-skinned Gypsies, would really like to believe that my ancestors found a country that, unlike the one in which they were born, does not steal Gypsy children.

___________________________________________

format edited by mudelf ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: NicoleC
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 09:40 PM

Larry, I thought your comments about race were rather condescending and snide, too. Just because someone doesn't share your viewpoint about this case doesn't mean they don't understand it and certainly doesn't mean they're an oblivious white person.

I'm sorry, but we can't correct the history of discrimination by making Martha potentially pay a huge price with her physical and mental health, and in the case of some kinds of abuse, her life. Child abuse must be investigated, for the welfare of the child, to make sure she's not in danger. It does nothing to help the Traveller community if the legal system and CPS fails for the sake of an ethnic issue. The article you posted is harping on about how evil the government is for taking the child away from an abusive parent and giving it to white people, when, indeed, that didn't happen and the child is with her family.

I'm reminded of the fable of the boy who cried "wolf." I'm trying REALLY hard not to develop the attitude that this is a non-existent problem because a few people are trying to turn a non-ethnic issue in a major race dispute. It's a disservice to the Traveller community to minimize real prejudicial events with this kind of case. Mrs. Toogood does not make a good ambassador for her ethnic group.

I'm sorry if anyone expected quality journalism out of "Dateline;" it wouldn't be from past performance. It was bound to happen that one of the tabloid shows would grab the race issue and make the opposite mountain from the mole-hill. Whatever the media is saying, I've seen no evidence that the legal authorities involved in the case have done anything except follow the law to the letter.

And that, in the end, is the issue here, is it not? That Martha is safe and Madelyne is prosecuted (or not) fairly?


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 07:46 AM

Well, lets start with crying wolf...

Indiana Seeks Indefinite Custody Of Martha Toogood
Authorities Report On Interviews With Child Seen In Videotaped Beating

POSTED: 6:51 a.m. CDT October 8, 2002
UPDATED: 7:34 a.m. CDT October 8, 2002

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The state is seeking indefinite custody of a four-year-old girl whose mother is accused of felony battery after a video camera caught her hitting the child.

According to authorities, Martha Toogood -- the girl in the video -- told them her mother, Madelyne Toogood, hit her with an open fist and pulled on her pigtails on Sept. 13, in the parking lot outside a Kohl's department store Mishawaka.

Doctors who examined the girl eight days later said they did not see any bruises or marks on her.

The petition filed by authorities claims Martha said there was a mark earlier from where her mother had hit her on her back.

The state Office of Family and Children said the girl was caused physical and emotional distress because of what her mother did to her.

A hearing on the petition seeking indefinite custody is scheduled for Wednesday.


Now, luckly, this outragious proposal was not accepted by the judge. But, this was the approach of the state of Indiana for the best part of the month.

As to me becoming less than sensitive to the feelings of folks who don't see prejudice here... let's look at a few issues. I don't fault anyone for unconcious racisim. Some folks exihibited unconcious racism in their posts about Gypsies here. However, the more that one denies that there is a problem the more I feel the word unconcious is appropriate. Appathetic neighbors accepted without quesition the round up of my mother's family a few short years before I was born. They did not care as the ashes of my flesh and blood drifted down like snow that August night, from the high chimneys of Auswitz Berganbelsen. In the sorrow and rage in every heart wherein flows Roma blood, being snide is the gentlest reaction we can summon up. If some can't deal with it, so be it.

Can't see the racism? Try begining here, the New York Times over a span of 25 years did a study of discrimination against the varrious ethnic populations of the US. Let's have a look, shall we?

Top of the list, most trusted and loved we find... hmmmm... Native White Americans, My, my my... fancy that! Next, people of the ethnic community of the respondant. (Oh....Ok....), British, Protestant, Catholics, French (doing well so far, eh?) Irish, Swdes, Austrains, Dutch, Norwegians, Scotch, Germans, Southerners, Italians, Danes, French Canadians, Japanese, Jews, People of Foreign Anscestory, Finns, 1st generation immigrants, Mormons, Greeks, White South Americans, Chinese, Hungarians, Czechs, Poles, Russians, Isrealis, Argentineans, Latein Americans, Asian Americans, Negros (their language, not mine), Koreans, Slavs, Wisians, Africans Blacks, Arabs, West Indian Blacks, Mexicans, Guatemalans, Vietnamese, Nicaraguans, Haitians, Puerto Ricans, Cubans Refugees, Iranians, and .... .... Gypsies. Dead last, evan below Wisians, a made up test group.

Without appology, your Wisian Friend (I just climbed five degrees up in most people's esteem),

Larry

italics and line breaks added by mudelf ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Bagpuss
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 07:54 AM

Just a pedantic aside - if you can eat it, drink it or mend your pants with it, then it is Scotch. otherwise it is *Scottish* or *Scots*.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 08:48 AM

Right you are Bagpuss. I was quoting the New York Times, also a wee error, after Laten Americans, comes Asian Indians, Filipinos, American Indians then Armenians, also after Greeks, it should read White South Africans... Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 09:55 AM

Larry, Your points about prejudice are well taken. I sincerely thank you for helping to bring this to light.   The media falls into stereotypical reporting - "facts" based on prevailing attitudes instead of the truth. The article you posted from Dissident Voice really gives light to a side of the Travelers that we haven't heard in this forum.

However, again, you haven't been able to make a convincing arguement as to how and why prejudice have influenced this specific case. I'm not saying your wrong, but if I were in a jury I would not feel that you have made a strong case. For every claim that you make that Toogood was treated differently, there are examples that this is the norm for any case of suspected child abuse. You might be very well right, and I am waiting to hear more about this and continue to hope that everything works out for both mother, child and the Traveler community.

Likewise there are a number of people who are up in arms about the abuse of the child and strongly voice their opinions about what should be done.   NONE of us can be sure of what occured and what damage (if any) has been done to the child and mother. While the videotape is pretty damning, a close inspection produces as many questions as it does answers.   It is a natural feeling to protect the child. No child should be submitted to abuse and a parent who truly hurts a child deserves to punished to the full extent of the law.

Let's just remember that we are only voiceing opinions. The facts will come out.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 10:22 AM

OK Ron... back to square one. First of all, it is a genuine rarity, that a child is out placed when a member of a suspect class for discrimination, this has been the norm for most states I know of, for quite a long time here. Nor is it normal to investigate doctors who do forsensic work in a child abuse case when the only evidence is that they took photos, for a week after they knew he was a doctor they kept the case open. Nor is it common that defining elements of a people's culture are used as a reason a state gives for saying that an ethnic community are unfit to raise their children (the State of Indiana said they would not turn over the child to a nomadic Traveller). ... have to run, important phone call, I will be back to this... also remember that seeing something on video is not proof of much, which is why forensic evidence is done to suppliment, gotta run, Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 11:29 AM

Ok Larry, I guess we disagree on what is "norm". I respect your statements but I have read and heard the opposite about placement of a child in cases where there is a danger of flight. You may call it a decision based on prejudice against Travelers, but it appears that the court was trying to insure the child would remain safe. You may not agree with the rationale, but I don't think their decision was based on prejudice. Again it is differing opinions on proper procedure. Not everyone is raised in the same household with the same rules and the same set of values. By that I don't mean to insinuate that one standard is better than another - just different. Not everyone follows the preachings of Dr. Spock or other experts. Again, everyone has passionate OPINIONS on what is right in this case. Ultimately none of us will be the judge or jury - and perhaps that is fortunate.

I am glad that we agree about the videotape evidence. I don't know if you mis-read my comment, but I have said previously that people can't believe everything they THINK they see on a videotape.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: NicoleC
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 12:30 PM

Larry, again you insist that anyone that doesn't agree with you is racist and ignorant.

That, my friend, is prejudice in the classic sense. Without knowing me, my ethinicity, what prejudice I may or may not have experienced, you assume that I am complicit with the type of people that slaughtered Jews, Romani, Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, and anyone else that was different.

You are unlikely to win allies by not only ignoring the feelings and opinions of those outside your group, but insulting them as well. If your goal is to end prejudice -- as I think it is -- then maybe you need to spend a little less time pointing fingers and a little more time trying to be inclusive. Because whether someone is a Traveller or not, or someone agrees with you 100%, that doesn't mean they don't have something valid to say.

"Go away, you're not a Traveller and you don't understand," is not an attitude that will achieve your goals.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 12:47 PM

Larry: Where did the article you posted on 15 Oct 02 - 07:46 AM come from? I couldn't find any such article with a Google-search.

You posted: "A quote from you, Sharon...'I'm a white Anglo-Saxon, not a member of an ethnic culture!'... hmmm." I posted that on 10 Oct 02 - 05:05 PM as part of an attempt to point out the fallacy of using the excuse of a "cultural naming tradition" for submitting aliases to police when one is arrested. First you used that statement to tell me that I can't possibly understand prejudice because I'm white, and now you're using it to tell me... what, exactly? What's your point?

As far as your post of 14 Oct 02 - 07:34 PM (" 'What else do I need to say about my family before Larry's convinced that I wasn't raised in an ivory tower?' ... perhaps understanding that prejudice exists for others?") is concerned, of course I understand that prejudice exists for others. What I've been trying to say in many posts to this thread is that prejudice against a person is no excuse for that person to cry foul when he or she is arrested, convicted and punished for his or her criminal activity. My family members could easily have considered themselves victims of prejudice but they have not. They could have reacted to prejudice by victimizing others but they did not. They could have engaged in home-repair scams or shoplifting scams to "achieve" what the rich folks down the street "enjoy" but they did not. Instead, they made an honest living. So I have sympathy and understanding for others who experience prejudice, but I have no sympathy or understanding for those who try to blame their own bad behavior – and the resultant distrust of those individuals – on prejudice. Likewise, I have no sympathy or understanding for those who attempt to gain preferential treatment – by police, by the court system, by child protective services, by any local, state or federal authority – because of their ethnic origin, no matter what that origin is. Equal treatment, yes. Preferential treatment, no.

Now, as others have pointed out on this thread, legal authorities in Indiana have given no indication that they are treating the Madelyn Toogood battery case any differently than such cases would be handled for anyone else with the same criminal record that Madelyn has, nor that they are treating the Martha Toogood custody case any differently than such cases would be handled for anyone else with the same criminal records that her parents and other relatives have. Ethnic prejudice simply is not a factor here. Even the article you posted on 15 Oct 02 - 07:46 AM, Larry, does not mention Toogood's ethnicity, only the investigation into the incident on September 13th and the conflicting accounts of the physical and emotional harm it may have caused. For the authorities NOT to have considered indefinite custody would have been irresponsible of them.

As for the investigation of the doctor in New Jersey, it was begun because he had his photos of Martha Toogood (taken of her in the nude) developed at a photo lab which, of course, has to report to authorities when anyone gives them nude photos of children to be developed. The authorities were making sure that the photos were not child pornography. Again, no ethnic prejudice involved.

Yes, absolutely the media "falls into stereotypical reporting" as Ron says, and that should not be tolerated, but there's no reason to assume that authorities are swayed in any way by it or to assume that authorities are handling a criminal case with prejudice simply because the case involves an Irish Traveler. To assume such a thing is to be prejudiced oneself!


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Wolfgang
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 12:57 PM

The article Larry cited from´

Time Magazin article about 'wisians'

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Wolfgang
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 01:17 PM

Reading the original of that article is interesting for another detail from above:

The petition says the child, Martha Toogood, told authorities that her mother hit her with an ''open
fist'' and pulled on her pigtails


Larry, when citing that (10 Oct 02 - 07:12 AM) left away the quotation marks and called it 'New speak' as if the writer had invented the words 'open fist'. Reading the article shows that the writer actually only cited and put the words in question in quotation marks to show that these were not his own words.

Larry, if you misrepresent and overstate this way in a case where we can check it, why should we believe what you say when we can't check it.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 01:28 PM

Thanks, Wolfgang. Please note, all, that the article Larry cited from is dated Tuesday October 8, while custody arrangements for Martha Toogood were still being deliberated. Madelyn's mother was awarded long-term custody of Martha the next day, Wednesday October 9. Note also that, in that article, it also says, " 'The court will ask the parents whether they want to admit or whether they want to deny the allegations in the petition,'said Michael Gotsch, an attorney for the Office of Family and Children. If the parents admit to the charge, the court will set a date for an order outlining steps the parents will need to take to try to regain custody, Gotsch said. If they deny the allegations, a trial on the allegations will be held."   So the court has certainly considered the possibility of eventually returning Martha to the custody of John and Madelyne Toogood.

This admission or denial of the allegations of the petition was to have happened at the hearing on October 9. Can anyone tell us (or link us to an article telling us) whether Madelyne Toogood admitted to or denied the allegations?


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Wolfgang
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 01:35 PM

I'm sorry, for I see now that the original AP article may not have been the newspaper article Larry was citing from. So the misrepresentation may have been the work of a journalist and not of Larry. I apologise if that is the case.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 03:05 PM

As a Jew, I can certainly empathize with some of the statements here.

First, the libel about "the gypsies will take you if you are not good" is very similar to the blood libel [The Jews will take you if you are not good. They will use your blood to make their matzos.] originally perpetrated by the participants in the first crusade and since to justify the murder of Jews. As with many of these libels, there was never a documentable case of the libel being true. It was a clear case of blaming the victim.

Second, the generic damnation of Gypsies as dishonest is similar to the [now fading somewhat] characterisation of Jews in the early parts of the last century. Even the language is similar.

Third, as with many ethnic groups, both Romany and Jews still have an solid element of "What will the outsiders (non-members of this group) think about all of us because of the actions of a few of us." I know that I still feel very uncomfortable when I hear or read of a Jewish landlord or businessman or other person being charged with some crime, especially if it is one that fits the stereotype.

Image is very important.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Nerd
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 04:32 PM

Good points Ebarnacle. In fact, (to bring this back to folk music), in some blood-libel songs where the Jew is the culprit (like Little Sir Hugh), when times change the Gypsy becomes the culprit instead.

One thing that confused me: in one of the articles larry cited above, the author writes about what is happening to Madelyne Toogood "just because she is Rom." But she is not Rom, in fact, she's an Irish Traveller. This is an example of a writer with an axe to grind being a bit loose on the details in order to prove her point, I think. She also says that if Madelyne were French, we would not be hearing about how the French beat their children, so the media harping on Roma is an example of prejudice. Now, I've seen literally NO article claiming that beating children is a cultural attribute of Romanies, or in fact of Irish Travellers. So again, the writer's setting up straw man arguments.

What the newspapers ARE reporting is that irish Travellers are a fairly secretive, nomadic culture, and that some of them are involved in home-repair scams. As I've said, this is all true. While it is an example of prejudice to point it out, as it would be to say "some blacks are muggers," or "some jews are cheap bastards," it's nothing you can cry libel over.

Finally, none of this has much bearing on the legal case, which, as we've seen, seems not be succumbing to pejudice at all. So what it boils down to for me is that this is a PR issue for the community, and Larry's their PR guy on Mudcat. Since I sympathize with the community, I understand Larry's wish to present them in a good light. But I don't think the legal system needs much help in this case, at least not so far.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 04:54 PM

Hi Nerd... a note on your question about the Rom who calls Madalyne's family Roma. They are. They are both Romanichal and Irish Travellers by marriage. Now, Romanichals are in fact Roma, the language they speak has many common words and a common root, and they are in fact part of the same diaspora. Irish Travellers, as is seen in Madalynne's family, are a decendant culture, a result of both cultural drift and intermarriage.
As to being a PR guy... no, the family asked me to use my knowlege of the community to speak to the racisim in the press, and in the statements of the State, early in the case. Now, if in fact, my making experts available has had an effect in illustrating some issues to the court through the press, great, if the Judge was remarkably inlighted all by himself, even better - I don't forsee a day in the immidiate future when Travellers will not need the small number of us, they have trusted to speak on their behalf, but it is not PR, it is decemination of knowlege. Everything I present the press, I give direction to footnoted articles, by colleagues, something the detractors of Traveller culture do not do.
Cheers, Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Bullfrog Jones
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 05:41 PM

Larry, you're presenting your case in this forum to people who, by and large, know and admire you for your musical talent, your generosity and your knowledge. People who like you, and who have been bending over backwards for a long time now to be as fair to you as possible. People who acknowledge that Travellers of whatever race suffer from discrimination and who despise that discrimination. Yet I think it's fair to say that you have failed to convince the majority here that discrimination is a factor in this case, and that seems to have been your main, if not only, argument. I hope you're doing a better job of convincing the great American public.

BJ


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: GUEST,The Great American Public
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 06:20 PM

Hey BJ,

Except for those who look in at Mudcat, none of us in the Great American Public has heard of Larry or his crusade to convince Mudcatters that Ms. Toogood is a victim of discrimination rather than a child abuser.

It's the same with his music. Does anyone know anyone who's not a Mudcatter who's a fan of Sorcha Dorcha?

That reminds me. Remember a few months back Larry was complaining that there were conspiracies preventing him from getting gigs. And then there was the time Larry was complaining that he couldn't keep his band together because everone in the band didn't want to rehearse with him.

Is there a pattern here? I remember a guy in school who was always right and everybody else was always wrong. Not that I think of it, his name was "Larry."


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 06:23 PM

Hi BJ. Actually, I have been doing a better joh with the press. Every newspaper that quoted me, and quite a few did, reported favorably about the Travellers. The fact that NBC cut me, and Dr. Mari Beth Andereck after the intitial interview I think shows their bias. But, the rest who called, quoted me in generally favorable pieces. Thanks for the interest..... if you'd like I can email you some of the press coverage. As far as the majority here, well, there is a small subset of catters on this particular thread. Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: GUEST,Sceptic
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 06:36 PM

Larry,

Perhaps you can provide references (preferably links) to some of this press coverage that you claim is quoting you. Searches on Google, Yahoo News, the NY Times and other major newspapers show no hits combining "Irish Travelers" with "Otway".

All I can find is your sayso in the Mudcat Forum.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Blues=Life
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 06:58 PM

I've got to say, Larry, that if your purpose has been to show that discrimination was at the heart of a little girl being beaten, you still haven't convinced me. If your purpose was to show the Travellers in a good light, you have had an opposite result. "I think he doth protest to much" holds true here. As in any other attempt to bypass individual responsibilty by the "not my fault" defense, this "Prejudice against travelers" defense ranks right up there with the "Twinkie" defense. What's next, "the devil made me do it?" I've always been enamoured with the mystique of the Roma and related people, haveing been smitten with wanderlust at an early age. However, I was also smitten with logic at an early age. You are doing the travellers no favors. I'm sure that I am not alone in tiring of the "You're all a bunch of racists, you don't understand, nothing happened to the little girl" argument that you've been presenting.

As I've said since the beginning:
"As in any ethnic group:
They ain't all good.
They ain't all bad.
She still hit the kid."

Back to music.
Blues


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: GUEST,Ron Olesko
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 07:00 PM

Larry,

The fact that Dateline cut you does not show their bias, it shows poor journalism and what is wrong with network television. True, you can define that as bias, but in reality it is a symptom of the producers trying to put out a product that will grab ratings. Dateline looks for soundbites, not speeches. Please don't take offense, but I saw your guest show on Fox News Channel with O'Reilly and I really think he ran circles around you. O'Reilly is a pompous ass who doesn't want to hear any other opinion, but you didn't do a convincing job of getting a point across.    The networks look for guests that have charisma and command. If they air views that are in opposition to the thrust of the story, the sound bite is going to come from someone who will capture the viewers attention, not send them to the remote to click off the show.

I always look to Abbie Hoffman as an example. He realized that the media was a theater and he worked the stage well. His views were not popular at the time, but he managed to get his message across.

I'm not saying that you need to levitate the Pentagon, but if your intention is to educate and get people thinking, you have to take a step back.   You've presented some great facts here in recent times, but you've also let your frustration show at those who question you. You might influence more people with a little empathy for their lack of information.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: GUEST,Sceptic
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 08:18 PM

Guest, Ron Olesko,

You write to Larry: "The fact that Dateline cut you does not show their bias, it shows poor journalism and what is wrong with network television."

Maybe Dateline cut Larry because he's a lousy guest. You go on to say: "Please don't take offense, but I saw your guest show on Fox News Channel with O'Reilly and I really think he ran circles around you."

Or maybe as a more reputable news outlet than O'Reilly, they came to the conclusion that Larry is no expert.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 09:16 PM

Guest - No, I did not mean to insinuate that Larry was a "lousy" guest as you seem to enjoy calling. (I would say something about your choice of words but I don't want to offend the Troll population that might be reading this)   Guest, it seems like you are no different than those you like to criticize. At least Larry uses his name. (I used guest before because I lost my cookie - sue me).

Larry just isn't the circus clown that network news looks for.   I may not agree with Larry's point of view but I sure respect him, and I have no problem with signing my own name.

Having worked for NBC for 12 years, I would be the last to call them "reputable".

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 10:22 PM

October 7, 2002
Travellers: Media coverage racist, unresearched
Group is 'the most family-oriented ethnic culture beside the Amish'
By SHEILA FLYNN Southbend Tribune Staff Writer
See Related Stories: Toogood saga unfolds...

As Madelyne Toogood returns to court today, Irish Travellers and some experts on their culture are alleging that media coverage of Toogood and Travellers over the past three weeks has been unfair, unresearched and nothing short of racist.

Toogood, an Irish Traveller, was videotaped by a security camera Sept. 13 apparently striking her 4-year-old daughter in the back seat of a vehicle parked outside a Mishawaka department store.

"The last time I remember reading this type of language was when the Nazis were rounding these people up to throw them into ovens," says Larry Otway, a political scientist who has studied Travellers and fought for their rights since the 1970s. "And I've only made comparisons to the Holocaust maybe two or three times in my life."

Otway cites phrases from various newspapers nationally, which spoke of Toogood and "her kind" and stated that the "obscure clan" should be rounded up and forced to stay in one place so they could be watched.

"There is a need for the recognition of rights," Otway says.

Richard J. Waters, who is of Traveller descent on his mother's side, expresses similar views on his Web site "Travellers' Rest: Fact and Fiction About Irish Travellers in the USA," at http://www.travellersrest.org/index.htm.

"Is the question, 'I just wanted to know if, from your experience, it is considered OK in (the Traveller) culture for parents to beat their kids so mercilessly?' one you would ask of a Chinese, or a Mexican, or a black under the same circumstances?" he asks. "Then why us?"

Although there are no definite statistics stating how many Irish Travellers live in the United States, estimates gauge the population to be between 10,000 and 40,000.

When combined with Scottish and English travelers and members of the roma clans, who are commonly referred to as "gypsies" and are of Eastern European descent, the number probably reaches to more than 1 million, Otway says.

"If, in fact, this was a criminal subculture, than everyone in the U.S. would have been robbed so many times by these people that they would not be able to maintain their existence," Otway says.

Reports of home repair scams are sensationalized, Otway says, adding that as in any culture, only a small minority of Irish Travellers are con artists.

"There are those who say that they (or perhaps we) are none but scam-artists and thieves," Waters says. "I say not, that I have been privileged to be kin to a clan of hard workers and survivors, by and large an honorable people.

"Are there grifters among us? Yes," Waters says. "But there are many among you who may also be justly called 'criminal.' Surely not all or even most of you, however. Nor most of us either."

Many accusations are brought against members of the group simply because they are Travellers, Otway says.

"Because of old stereotypes, they have criminalized certain things for Travellers that are not criminal for others," Otway says. "Overcharging on a paint job, which is a matter of art, is prosecuted as a felony, and I would challenge anyone in this country to try and bring felony charges against any other contractor who is not a Traveller."

Otway explains that most Travellers do not traverse the country scamming people, but rather travel to the same locations every year to work for an established clientele.

"The patterns of migration are not random," Otway says. "For generations, the same families have returned to the same places that they have gone before.

"They've done excellent work and as a result have built up a client base that they count on. The police have the idea that these are fly-by-night businesses. This is not reality. They are nomadic businesses.

"Frankly, scamming people is bad business."

Many Travellers acquire long rap sheets because, after being falsely accused of crimes or faced with overblown charges, they post bail and leave, Otway explains.

"If you arrest a Traveller and hold him for trial, his family has real hardship," Otway says. "They pay it back in order to go on with their life and their career, and then they develop these long rap sheets.

"I know very few Traveller criminals. But I don't know any Travellers that have not had their civil liberties abused."

He says that, amidst the hype of the Toogood case, an extreme injustice is being wrought upon Martha, the child involved. Authorities placed the girl with a foster family after Madelyne Toogood turned herself in.

"By the age of 4, a Traveller child has a complete sense of identity of a Traveller," Otway said. "Being a Traveller is as much a part of her as being human. When that child is placed with a non-Traveller family, the message that is sent to that child is that her community is incapable and unworthy of raising her.

"There is a syndrome of failure that follows that because we cannot remove one identity and replace it with another. Rather, we have a person that has no identity, and every expert will tell you that has a recipe for failure.

"That is a human rights abuse."

His ideas support Toogood's campaign to place Martha with family members, keeping her within the Traveller community and in a familiar lifestyle. Even their primary language is different from that of mainstream Americans; Travellers speak Scelta, which is a mixture of romani language and Gaelic. They speak English, too, but the linguistic difference marks a significant change in Martha's environment.

And the assumption that Travellers, as an ethnic group, are unfit to care for the child is another example of the racist attitudes toward them, Otway says. Children are extremely important to Travellers "like to any culture -- any human beings."

Waters also inveighs against what he calls biased media coverage.

"It seems a regrettable enough occurrence without that factor, but let's face facts: The widespread media coverage does make it worse, extending what was perhaps an isolated 30-second act by an individual to a mass indictment against the most family-oriented ethnic culture in the USA beside the Amish," Waters writes.

Staff writer Sheila Flynn:

http://www.southbendtribune.com/stories/2002/10/07/local.20021007-sbt-MICH-A6-Travellers__Media_co.sto

line breaks added by mudelf ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 10:23 PM

After video beating, experts shed light on reclusive, nomadic clans
Associated Press
Sept. 25, 2002 06:35:00

DALLAS - The tearful testimonial Madelyne Gorman Toogood gave in front of glaring TV cameras after she was videotaped beating her daughter was starkly uncharacteristic of the reclusive, media-shy Irish Travelers culture to which she belongs, experts say.

Toogood, who was caught beating her 4-year-old daughter, Martha, in a department store parking lot, said she is a member of the clannish, nomadic culture of Irish descendants, most of whom came to the United States as refugees during the potato famine in the 1840s.

"By nature, they're very reclusive people," said Joe Livingston, a South Carolina state investigator who has been tracking Travelers for nearly two decades. "They tend to shy away from publicity."

Some law enforcement experts who have studied the culture paint it as a secret society, fond of material wealth evidenced by gaudy jewelry and new vehicles.

Police often associate Travelers with scams involving fraudulent home repair that target the elderly. They tend to use aliases, carry bogus identification cards, and avoid contact with non-Travelers, whom they call "country folk," authorities said.

But professors and academics said the reclusiveness is a defense mechanism against stereotypes and the ancient persecution that has haunted nomadic peoples throughout history. Travelers, who may be Irish, English, or Scottish, have no more criminals among them than any other ethnic culture, experts said.

"If there were, they could not sustain their living," said Larry Otway, who began studying Irish Travelers in 1977 and has worked as a paralegal and adviser on court cases involving Scottish travelers.

What the clans in the culture do share, Otway said, is a nomadic lifestyle, a language called "Scelta" with roots in Gaelic and Romani, an almost "pathologic" devotion to Catholicism, and an anti-bureaucratic form of self government that he describes as a "consensus democracy."

The largest Traveler settlement is a group of 3,000 in Murphy Village, S.C., experts said. Toogood is believed to belong to the Greenhorn Carrolls, a Traveler group in the Fort Worth area. Estimates of the U.S. Traveler population vary from 20,000 to 100,000.

Ian F. Hancock, a professor at the University of Texas who wrote the Irish Travelers entry for the Encyclopedia of the South, said a distraught Toogood called him Thursday seeking advice.

"She was scared to turn herself in because she knows very well how the police feel about the Irish Travelers," said Hancock, who has a reputation as a sympathizer of the group. "She didn't think she'd get a fair shake and she knew she'd been rough with the child."

Toogood, who also has two young sons, remains free on a $5,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 7. If convicted, she faces up to three years in prison.

She was scheduled to have a 90-minute supervised meeting with her daughter on Tuesday but the child, who is in foster care, was sick. An attorney for the state said Toogood would be allowed to see Martha on Wednesday if the girl has recovered from the flu.

Hancock and other academics said they believe Toogood's case has been sensationalized by the media because of her ethnicity.

"As bad as what she did, and it's inexcusable, I still think there's an awful lot of profiling going on," Hancock said. "Very much is being made of her ethnic background. If she were German American or Italian American, would that even be an issue?"

line breaks added by mudelf ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 10:24 PM

Oct. 6, 2002, 1:30AM
Irish Travellers live on the fringes
By ALLAN TURNER
Copyright 2002 Houston Chronicle

To police, the Irish Travellers are clannish, tight-lipped masters of scam. Give them the chance, and they'll resurface your driveway with motor oil. Lower your guard, and their $35 roof repair will cost you 100 times that much -- and all you'll have to show are shingles swabbed with silver paint.

To their friends, the Travellers are victims of discrimination, targeted because they are transient blue-collar workers who prefer to be left to themselves. Descendants of 19th-century potato famine refugees, they are loyal, hard-working, family-loving and devoutly religious.

But to most people, perhaps, the Travellers are simply a mystery -- a group hardly noticed until one of their members, Madelyne Toogood, shocked the nation when she was caught on a security videotape beating her young daughter in the parking lot of an Indiana department store.

Now, with the repeated televising of the beating, tales of Traveller transgressions -- including a Fort Worth shoplifting charge against Toogood -- have filled the news.

"People always ask me what percentage of them are honest and what percentage are crooked," said Joe Livingston, a South Carolina state intelligence agent considered an expert on the group. "It's very hard to provide an answer."

Toogood's defense attorney, Houston's Rocket Rosen, said he became involved in the Indiana case through his long-standing connection with the Travellers.

"It's a joke," he said, "but people call me their 'corporate lawyer.' "

Rosen has handled about 20 defenses for members of the group in 15 years, most of them minor crimes -- and he finds the Travellers delightful, despite their reputation for reclusiveness.

"They are nice people," he said. "They are friendly. On my birthday, I always hear from six or seven families."

Rosen, who also is representing Toogood's husband, Johnny, in a Montana scam case, suggested that complaints against the group often stem from simple business misunderstandings.

Travellers frequently work in home-repair trades. And, said Rosen, "paving, roofing and carpentry lend themselves to grievances. There's always a battle about how much you owe."

Houston police disagreed.

"These are organized criminal families," said Lt. Mark Glentzer of the major offenders division. "The women run different types of scams. The men are the ones we run into a lot. Basically they prey on the elderly, and they are very smart."

Glentzer said the Travellers -- one of several transient groups on police radar -- divide the city into sectors to avoid competing with themselves for victims. Investigators, he said, often find Travellers using false names.

"You don't find legitimate people with six or seven names," he said. "They'll rent apartments under different names. Everything they do is just on the other side of the law."

Typically, the workmen will arrive in a neighborhood with equipment in tow. Sometimes they'll claim to have supplies left over from another job and offer to paint, pave or repair at an astoundingly low price.

"They'll find someone living alone and, say, offer to repair his roof for $35," Glentzer said. "They'll be very insistent. Then they'll get on the roof and take paint and slop it around and then give him a bill for $3,500. The price will have increased to $35 a square foot. They basically intimidate you into paying, then they run to the bank and cash the check in a matter of minutes."

By the time police arrive, the perpetrators are well down the road, the policeman said.

Such crimes are not uncommon, Glentzer said, although he could not provide the number of such incidents reported involving Travellers because police do not classify such crimes by criminals' ethnicity.

"I tell people Travellers will do what opportunity will allow," said Livingston, a senior intelligence officer with the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division. In South Carolina, which is home to a major Traveller encampment -- as is White Settlement, near Fort Worth -- Livingston admonishes residents to use common sense when dealing with itinerant workmen.

"If someone knocks at your door offering to do work," he said, "be leery, very leery. Ask for references. Get a contract -- and not just on a blank sheet of paper or the back of a McDonald's bag."

Livingston acknowledged that transient groups such as Gypsies or Travellers naturally inspire suspicion in settled populations -- an observation Indiana University professor Donald Baird seconded.
Baird said he encountered "perceptions that they were no-good, lying thieves" when he studied Traveller culture in Scotland.

"But they were absolutely wrong," he said. "They were 100 percent wrong. The majority of Travellers were hard-working and generous, decent people. The perceptions were based on hearsay, wild imaginings and things of that nature. Maybe human beings just need an outcast to blame so they don't have to look at themselves."

Until the Toogood incident, Irish Travellers made few media ripples in the United States. There was perfunctory news coverage of a January 2000 auto accident in Fort Worth in which five Traveller teens were killed. All were younger than 14 and carried false identification.

In 1997, the stereotype of the group's penchant for criminality was exploited in Traveller, a Southern road flick produced by and starring Fort Worth native Bill Paxton. The movie had limited distribution and little impact on Paxton's career.

In Ireland, Travellers frequently have been in the news as they battle entrenched prejudice. Frequently impoverished -- Travellers typically die a decade earlier than their mainstream Irish counterparts -- they face discrimination as overt as being barred from pubs.

In Ireland and the United States, Travellers are devoutly Catholic and often speak their own language.

Breandan Mac Suibhne, program director for the Keough Institute for Irish Studies at Notre Dame University, traced the Travellers in Ireland to at least the 1600s. The nature of their work as tinsmiths and horse traders required that they travel in search of new customers. Coincidentally, their travels made them cosmopolitans, and they became the torchbearers of Irish musical culture.

"They were the great fiddlers," Mac Suibhne said.

With the growth of the 19th century's Industrial Revolution, Traveller skills were less in demand. And in the aftermath of the midcentury famine, in which at least 1 million perished, the Travellers were marginalized.

"There was a shift in society," Mac Suibhne said. "Before the famine, an acre of potatoes could support a family for a year. Afterward, land was more important, massively important. It went from a society that married young and had many children to one that married later and had fewer children."

By contrast, the migratory Travellers placed little importance on land. They continued to marry young and rear large families. Their trades were mildly disreputable -- tinsmithing was associated with constructing moonshine stills and horse trading was analogous to selling used cars. Fiddling likewise was viewed as a dubious calling.

"After the famine," Mac Suibhne said, "the Travellers became an affront to an increasingly conservative society."

Many Travellers immigrated to the United States -- today, estimates of their U.S. population vary wildly from 7,000 to 40,000 -- and pursued their old trades along with new ones such as barn painting.

"In five generations they struggled their way up. They pulled themselves up by their bootstraps," said Ruth Andersen, an Austin-based folklorist who has studied Irish Travellers for about 20 years.

"They were family oriented -- they tended to pull kids out of school at 15 or 16 to be homemakers. There aren't a lot of Ph.D.s in anthropology, but they learned to cook and clean and do an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. They were earthy. They tended to gravitate to trades that didn't require a high school diploma. Ones that would leave them free in the evening to be with their families, not bringing home a briefcase of work."

John Clapp, a police spokesman in White Settlement, said Travellers own four mobile home parks in the community of about 15,000. The group stays in camp for part of each year. Clapp said Travellers occasionally are ticketed on traffic stops but have not been involved in reported crimes in his community.

"They stay to themselves," Clapp said. "They're into paving, blacktopping, things like that. They home-school their kids. They very seldom go to public schools. I guess they're like everyone else -- they just keep to themselves."

But the Travellers don't exactly blend in.

"Around our community, we're pretty lower-middle-class," Clapp said. "Their trailers are pretty nice. They're the ones driving the really expensive automobiles, the Porsches, the fancy Excursions."

"They do like to display certain types of wealth," Andersen said. "If (mainstream) people liquidated their house and didn't send any of their kids to college, then maybe they could spend it all on cars and jewelry.

"The Travellers just have a different worldview. They have always lived in small places like trailers and carts and wagons. In their traditions, to show you're hard-working and not a layabout, you have to have the accouterments, a nice watch or jewelry or a suit for church on Sunday."

Larry Otway, a New York political scientist, lawyer, Irish boat builder and musician who has studied with Irish Travellers, suggested popular -- and especially police -- portrayals of the group simply are misleading.

"I'm a Quaker," he said, "and in many ways they are more mainstream than we are."

Otway dismissed claims of widespread Traveller criminality as "finding crime where you look for it."

"Travellers have been the focus of the most aggressive racial profiling by police departments in modern times," Otway said.

"They've been described in the media as being a `criminal cult' and of having a `bizarre culture.' Those accounts touch on a primitive aspect of the human soul that says, `other.' It's that sense of other, the dangerous other."

Traveller migrations are "not random," he said, but reflect a pattern of annually visiting old customers. "The police giving a sense of Travellers wandering and looking to scam is inaccurate. It's a matter of returning and doing work for people you know.

"If indeed theirs was a criminal culture, everyone in America would have been robbed several times over."



line breaks added by mudelf ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 10:29 PM

Here is a cut and paste, unless someone would like to do a blue clickie for the little hobbit troll who sais no one other than Mudcat knows about my band. It is the unsigned band page for BBC Scotland.

My CD has been played on some 20 0r 30 radio stations... and often is played on Bernard White's show on WBAI in New York, he likes the Amadou Diallo song, espcially... So, go to the link below, and click on the MP# to hear the band.

By the way, obviouly 12 steps are not enough for you... perhaps you may try getting a life.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/musicscotland/celticroots/unsigned/index.shtml

Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 10:36 PM

One more thing, wee hobbitt Troll, why don't you have the good graces to sign your name to your ad hominum attacks? Could it be that you have never done a thing in your life worthy of signing your name? Maybe you could barrow one? Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Amos
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 01:07 AM

First, I would say that Larry has convinced me that the case has acheived national scale and been exagerrated to the proportions of President Clinton's moral lapses, largely because of the ethnic vector and the misuse of it as a factor in the case by the media and some of the participants.

There is a clear case to be made for the weight of prejudice at play in the media treatment of the case, and Larry has made it.

Second, if in addition to being a bad-tempered and violent mother on occasion Ms Toogood has also become the poster child -- not by her own choice, but by the invocation and mellerdramatizing of the media -- for bias and incivility toward those who choose to live the Gypsy or Traveller life, that was not Larry's doing and if he uses the fact to assist those he is committed to helping, let him. He is doing good in the world, and his rhetoric, if occasionally imprecise, is not a patch on the baloney being promulgated through some mass media channels. If you really want a study on tight-lipped secretive clannish folk who worship material wealth, have a low regard for the conventions of law, and commit fraud through deception, study the lives of the two Georges Bush. These Travelers are pikers compared to what a REAL white-collar crim can get away with. And as the newsclips offered above show plainly, Ms Toogood's alleged crimes are picayune compared to some of the Good Ol' Boy woodpile lessons being administered out there. Let us trust the courts to maintain a balanced hand as they have done so far.

Personally I am grateful to Larry for opening the door to a whole world I had not been cognizant of.

Let it rest. I suspect wee Martha will be just fine.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: GUEST,Sceptic
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 09:07 AM

Hey Larry,

Thanks for the articles. All I wanted some verifiable backup to your claims. Always check your sources they taught me in college.

A question though. Just how old are you? In the first article you supply, you are quoted as saying: "The last time I remember reading this type of language was when the Nazis were rounding these people up to throw them into ovens." You claim to have been reading that type "when" the Nazis were perpetrating genocide. That was 60 years ago my friend. Assuming you learned to read when you were about 6, you must be at least 66 years old. We've met in person and I'm sure you're not that old.

Now, I haven't studied the Irish Travelers the way you have, but the discrimination they may face here in America is not comprable to what was faced by the many millions of Jews and others who were exterminated by the Nazis.   I've not heard of any plan by the Bush Administration to round up all the Irish Travelers, turn them into slave labor and and put them to death just because they are Irish Travelers. Your overuse of such rhetoric cheapens your cause.

The language that you quote, such terms as "her kind" and "obscure clan" is mild compared to the way that many other groups have been characterized in recent years. Think of Jews in the Arab world, Arabs among the Israeli Wet Bank settlers, African and Native Americans here at home, Catholics in Northern Ireland and countless other examples.

Larry, my man, your rhetoric is so far over the top that you discredit your cause.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 01:39 PM

My Dear Sceptic:

No I am not 60... though closer to it than away from it, I was... but as to my rhetoric. Here is the offending article upon which I was commenting. Now, as I said to the reporter, who catured very nearly exactly what I said, fair play to her... was that I rarely make compairisons to the Nazis. However, when one writes, as below, that a people should have their children removed... see towards the end of this trashy writing, she says their children should be kept far from them, refering to Travellers... I expect she feels the same about all Roma as well... here it is in all it's ignorant horror and glory.
All the best, Larry

New York Post Andrea Peyser
TOO BAD, TOOGOOD - YOU'RE A LOUSY EXCUSE FOR A PARENT
By ANDREA PEYSER
I'M GUILTY - NO, INNOCENT!

Madelyne Toogood, with hubby John, admitted smacking around her 4-year-old daughter - then pleaded not guilty in an Indiana court yesterday.

- AP

September 24, 2002 -- MOTHER of the Year Madelyne Toogood has three small children, four driver's licenses, and two names to chose from - depending upon the state in which she parks her trailer.

But Mommie Dearest has not one permanent address.

The country now is as familiar with Toogood's parenting skills as it is with the danger of Hurricane Isidore. This past weekend, the savage in blue jeans was all over TV, furiously whacking her small daughter about the head, a scene caught on surveillance videotape.

As horrifying as it was to watch, I could not look away.

She had to be stopped.

By the time Toogood surrendered to authorities Saturday - after running to two states and dying her hair brown - she'd morphed into the most despised human this side of Saddam Hussein. She also presented a self-serving story.

Toogood says her child, Martha, made her angry by wandering off in a store, forcing management to page her - twice.

What kind of a mother lets a 4-year-old out of her sight?

This train wreck of a mom is one of the so-called "Irish Travelers" - nomadic misfits of which I'd never before heard. Travelers wander with the seasons, looking for work in home repair. Previously, they drew the attention of authorities only for scamming customers.

Toogood is charged in Texas with skipping out on a traffic ticket and stealing goods from a department store.

About the beating she inflicted on Martha, she told an interviewer: "I shouldn't have did it." And, "Don't raise your hand to a child, it ain't worth it."

Ain't it the truth?

The truth is that Toogood's appalling attitude toward child-rearing is not so different from the thinking of many who see children as personal property to be raised as they see fit.

Little Martha Toogood is now in the care of strangers, while her brothers, ages 5 and 6, are with relatives. I feel for a child ripped from her parents. But this travesty of a family can't continue.

By foisting a bizarre, authority-shunning way of life on kids, the Travelers put them in danger. Toogood and her kind should be kept miles from children. Unless they agree to settle down in a place where they can be watched.

Until then, I thank God for videotape.



line breaks added by mudelf ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 04:50 PM

An interesting development made the news over the weekend: another felony theft charge against Madelyne Toogood. For those who didn't hear about it, here's the story...

Reprinted from the South Bend Tribune, October 19, 2002

LaGrange issues warrant for Toogood
Shipshewana department store claims theft of fabric

By JOYCE MCCARTNEY, The Journal Gazette

LAGRANGE -- Madelyne Gorman Toogood, the woman police say was caught on a St. Joseph County department store surveillance camera beating her daughter, is now facing a theft charge accusing her of taking fabric from a Shipshewana department store. The felony theft charge was filed Thursday against Toogood and Margaret Jean Daley, Toogood's sister, LaGrange County Prosecutor Jeff Wible said Friday.

The charge alleges Toogood and Daley went to Yoder's Department store in August, took some fabric and told a store clerk it was already paid for, Wible said. Neither Toogood nor Daley have been arrested on the outstanding LaGrange County warrants, officials at the LaGrange County Sheriff's Department said....

[Toogood's] sister, Daley, was charged in St. Joseph County with failure to report child abuse. Last week, a St. Joseph County judge ruled that Daley could leave the state, allowing her to go to Missouri, where her husband and four sons were.

Randy DeCleene, spokesman for the St. Joseph County prosecutor's office, said the LaGrange County case will likely have no bearing on Toogood's case here. "Assuming that it's true, it's unlikely it would have an effect on the case in St. Joseph County because the supposed (LaGrange County) incident happened before her problems in St. Joseph County," DeCleene said.

However, Michael Gotsch, attorney for Child Protective Services in St. Joseph County, said there could be an impact on efforts to reunite 4-year-old Martha Toogood with her parents. Martha is living in the St. Joseph County home of her maternal grandmother, Mary Agnes Gorman, who is functioning as a foster parent for the little girl. Martha could remain in her grandmother's care six to 12 months.

"It could have an effect," Gotsch said late Friday night of the LaGrange County charge. "It may complicate our providing services to the family."

Assuming the child's safety can be assured, Gotsch said, federal and state laws require CPS to consider reuniting the family. The family is next due for a court hearing Wednesday, Gotsch said. At that time, CPS makes recommendations about services the family needs. "We'll advise the court of what we know (about) additional new information," Gotsch said.

In LaGrange County, Toogood is accused of assisting her sister in the theft of fabric from the store, Wible said. The two women went to the Shipshewana store on Aug. 21, took fabric to a cashier and said they bought the fabric the Saturday before but forgot to take their package because their children were distracting them, said Larry Yoder, a manager at the store. When the women left the store, employees realized the fabric had just been cut that day, he said.

At the time, store employees and management did not know who the women were, but when St. Joseph County authorities released the surveillance tape, she was recognized, Yoder said.



By the way, I have much to say in response to Larry's last few posts, but I've been off having a life and posting to a small number of the other threads on Mudcat for the last week or so. But since Madelyne's story has been refreshed in the news by this latest charge, I guess it's time to refresh this thread again. I'll be back later today or tomorrow to post my reactions to Larry's comments from last week.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: GUEST,Sceptic
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 10:31 PM

Hey Larry,

Thanks for posting the article that led to your conclusion that the prejudice against Irish Travellers in America is comprable to that faced by the victims of the Nazis.

Yes, the article is prejudicial. However to suggest that that article is any way comprable to the kind of scapegoating and anti-Jewish, etc. propaganda of the Nazis is ludicrous. Your rhetorical comparisons only serve to discredit you and your cause.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Grab
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 10:35 AM

Larry, the one thing no-one argues with is "after she was videotaped beating her daughter".

You've yet to show any evidence of discrimination in how she has been treated. I'm sorry, but that's it. You've shown plenty of prejudice in the media and in the police in general, I'm quite convinced of that. But in how this woman and her daughter were handled, every single stage in child abuse procedures was followed to the letter, to ensure the child was safe from harm.

As a side-note, remember that op-ed columns are a "cheap shot". In the UK, I've seen op-eds over the last year or so saying that any one of the following groups should be banned: (a) gypsies, (b) caravanners, (c) campers, (d) walkers, (e) cyclists, (f) BMW drivers, (g) football fans, (h) smokers, (i) non-smokers, (j) hunt supporters, (k) hunt saboteurs, (l) folk musicians... I could, without too much trouble, find you an article for every one of these. Whether the columns are anything worth listening to, or whether it's some joker running their mouth trying to get a reputation as "controversial", is up to an intelligent reader to decide. Using such an article to show nationwide prejudice is not an intelligent move. I'm afraid it rather shows you don't understand the nature of newspapers, in spite of your links to the media.

And comparisons to the Nazis don't help either - quoting from the ever-helpful Jargon File:-

Godwin's Law prov.

[Usenet] "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress.


Most of us on Mudcat will be familiar with this rule, so you've rather depth-charged your argument there...

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 11:36 AM

Good points, Graham and Sceptic. Let me add, with regard to "the nature of newspapers", that Larry based his Nazi-comparison on an editorial in the New York Post, not an article. The Post doesn't exactly exemplify politically-correct journalism to begin with, and editorials allow journalists more freedom of personal expression than is proper to be inserted into a news article. There's nothing new or unusual about finding inflammatory remarks in an editorial, and the New York Post's Andrea Peyser has a first-amendment right to make them. For Larry to characterize such an editorial as "media coverage" is misrepresentative of the nature and purpose of Peyser's remarks.

But let's take a closer look at what she said that upset Larry so: "Toogood and her kind should be kept miles from children. Unless they agree to settle down in a place where they can be watched." Does Peyser mean, by "her kind", Travellers who "[foist] a bizarre, authority-shunning way of life on kids" or mothers who " furiously whacking [their] small daughter[s] about the head"? Either way, her concern seems to be for the welfare of children, not for the persecution of an ethnic group.

Also, I feel compelled to point out that Peyser NEVER said that Travellers should be "rounded up", as Larry misstated to the South Bend Tribune. What she said was that Toogood, and people who abuse children in ways she thinks Toogood is abusing her daughter (physically and, through lifestyle, psychologically), should be kept away from children unless they AGREE to settle down in a place where they can be watched. News flash to Larry: the Toogoods have agreed to stay in Indiana while Madelyne's custody settlement is pending. Madelyne has agreed to supervised visits with her daughter (where she can be watched). Madelyne's mother has agreed to move to Indiana so she can have custody of her granddaughter Martha (under the watchful eye of Child Protective Services, who first checked out Gorman's record and found no evidence of criminal activity). So Peyser's remark about being watched can be interpreted to mean being cooperative with the legal system and Child Protective Services.

Personally, I think Larry is crying wolf by crying "Nazi". To be sure, there is neo-Nazi activity in the US, but I don't think it's to be found in Peyser's editorial. I'm very sorry to hear that members of Larry's family were persecuted and killed in Europe during the Holocaust (see Larry's post of 15 Oct 02 - 07:46 AM on this thread), and I can see where his surviving family's trauma might cause him to see a Nazi in the face of everyone who criticizes anyone who happens to be Roma, but people can express anger about child abuse – and what they perceive as child abuse – without being Nazis.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Nerd
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 04:47 PM

Hi Folks. Been away from my computer for a few days; sorry I didn't respond, Larry. All I can say is "oh, I didn't know that!" (about her being Roma as well as Irish Traveller).

I still don't think the CASE as such exhibits any racism, and all you've been able to show is that some reporters are assholes. Just like "some travellers are con artists" and "some Jews are misers," this is a fact from which it is dangerous to generalize any further.

Any news on the exculpatory evidence?

Nerd


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 05:08 PM

The case is still pending, so comment on evidence is not yet appropriate. As to separating children from theirfamilies on the basis of ethnicity, anyone who does not see that as a form of genocide should, well be off somewhere getting a life. As to the "beating" not being contested, it has and is being contested. Video can not show the difference between a beating and a slapping, and as to the new charges they are garbage. Anyone who has done defense work knows the standards applied for identification of a suspect, immidiatly after an event, here we have an identification months! after and after Madalynne and her sister have been villified through out the world.
Cheers Larry
PS this was only one of many many racist articles, for example Dennis Hammil's piece.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 05:54 PM

But are these "racist articles" articles, or editorials like the New York Post piece?

Far from being villified, Madelyne's sister had the blessing of the court to leave Indiana while her case is pending.

"As to separating children from their families on the basis of ethnicity", again I'll say that the New York Post editorial seemed to me to suggest separating children from their families on the basis of families' mistreatment of those children, not on the basis of ethnicity. And, again, that is something that is done by Child Protective Services for the children of families determined to be abusive REGARDLESS of ethnicity.

In the case of the Toogoods, they already admitted to the court that their child Martha is "a child in need of services" at the hearing on October 9, and admitted to the charges in the state's petition that, among other things, Martha had a mark on her back from the September 13 incident. It would seem that the child spoke the truth after all when she said that she had the mark on her back, despite Larry's insistence ON the 10th that "I doubt that the four year old set up two mirrors in some room while on the road to New Jersey to check out her back" (even though Martha had several days at home, between September 13 and the time Madelyne took her to Maryland and New Jersey, to find two mirrors or to ask one of her brothers to look at her back!). The information about the Toogoods' admission to the state's charges comes from this South Bend Tribune article: http://www.southbendtribune.com/stories/2002/10/10/local.20021010-sbt-MARS-D1-Child_to_live_with.sto


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 06:09 PM

As for the new charges of felony theft being "garbage" in Larry's opinion: the theft occurred on August 21 and the videotape, on which the store clerks recognized Toogood, was released to the press during the week following September 13 – less than a month apart. Once again, Larry has bent the truth until it has broken.

I have no doubt that descriptions of Toogood and her sister were given to the police immediately after the August 21st theft. Perhaps the store clerks had already identified Toogood through her mug shot in the meantime. We'll know for sure when this particular case comes to trial! Till then, I for one can't and won't assume that the word of the witnesses of a theft is "garbage".


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: NicoleC
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 06:18 PM

"Genocide"?

Well, that pretty much wraps up any shred of plausibility left to the argument.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 06:39 PM

Nicole... yes genocide, cultural genocide the removal of a people's children on the basis of ethnicity is defined by UN conventions as form of genocide. As to a mark on the child's back... the only reference to that is the statement of a four year old, no other evidence of that mark has yet been presented. By my count, August to Ocotber is more than a month... I will go and fetch my calandar.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 06:42 PM

and by the way, any legal scholar will tell you that eye witness accounts are the least accurate evidence of a crime bar none.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Grab
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 08:58 AM

Jaysus! Removal is ON THE BASIS OF CHILD ABUSE! Anyone's children, of ANY racial group (white/black/Traveller/Indian), are removed from them and from their family in cases of child abuse to ensure that the child cannot be further abused, and are placed temporarily with a "trusted" foster family authorised by the State. When the court's found a safe place for them to be with their family, they go there. The reason for this is that child abuse may be "kept within the family" - for example, the grandparents may be the main abusers (this has happened before), and the physical safety of the child has absolute #1 priority over everything else.

Quoting the relevant UN resolution (from http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/p_genoci.htm):-

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.


If you are saying that the relevant people in the social services removed the child *explicitly* with the intent to destroy the Roma/Pavee/Traveller ethnic group, you'd better have proof of that accusation, given that the severity of this crime is on a par with mass murder. Given the evidence against, and the fact that the same procedures would be followed for a person of any ethnic origin, you're pissing in the wind.

While we're on UN issues, check out http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/27.htm which is very relevant to this discussion. "Declaration on Social and Legal Principles relating to the Protection and Welfare of Children, with special reference to Foster Placement and Adoption Nationally and Internationally". This contains the line:-

When care by the child's own parents is unavailable or inappropriate, care by relatives of the child's parents, by another substitute--foster or adoptive-- family or, if necessary, by an appropriate institution should be considered.

The girl was placed with a foster family temporarily. As a permanent solution, she is now placed with her grandparents. Sounds like the UN would be perfectly happy with the situation. Find me a UN convention that says it's OK to leave a child with their abuser if the abuser is of some non-WASP ethnic origin, and I'll grant you the point; until then, I'll quote you another except from the same declaration:-

In all matters relating to the placement of a child outside the care of the child's own parents, the best interests of the child, particularly his or her need for affection and right to security and continuing care, should be the paramount consideration.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 09:20 AM

Graham my dear fellow, read the whole thread... I was responding to an artical which said that Travellers should be kept from their children for foisting on them an athority shuning culture. Though it is not true that shuning athority is part of Traveller culture, as the artical was written by an ignoant semi literate nut, the idea of removal of a people's children is a violation of the above UN convention which you site, and thanks. Now, I am not saying that every bigot who has posted anti Traveller articles is in fact semi literate, for example, Dennis Hammil exhibits his unconcious bigotry in his piece about Travellers, which is indeed a shame, Dennis is generally a good writer, but like many has a logic block when it comes to this Romani decended culture. Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 09:29 AM

Two points: It is generally accepted in the social service community that longer term temporary placement with someone of the same ethnic origin/background is preferable and in the best interests of the child. This was done in this case.

Second, note a slight terminology difference. Martha was initially placed in emergency foster care and after apprpropriate investigation of the possibilities, was placed with the grandparents for temporary foster/alternative care. A child in permanent custody will NOT be returned to the parent. Based on Social Services findings and court hearings (separate from any trial of the parents), Judges issue orders for Temporary or Permanent Custody....Temporary Custody agreements are usually for 6 months and can be extended in either 3 or 6 month blocks. A child can be returned to the parent at any time prior to the end of the agreement if Social Services makes that recommendation and the Judge approves the request. Returning the child also comes with a Case Plan that must be adhered to until Social Services terminates the case, again with the approval of the Judge.

Permanent Custody agreements are again issued by a Judge upon recommendation and proof by Social Services. Once this has occurred, the parent relinquishes all rights to the child and they are available for adoption.

I just wanted to be clear that in this case, and at this point, Martha was placed in Temporary Custody of the court, an emergency home was found, a suitable Relative-Foster Temporary placement was then achieved. Martha is NOT in any form of Permanent Custody....nor should she be. Rights of the parent have not been withdrawn and if the mother adheres to the case plan during Temporary Custody, it is highly unlikely that Permanent Custody will ever become an issue before the court.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 10:01 AM

Well put Spaw.

Not to detract from the thread, but the whole concept of placing a child with the same ethnic/background really is an enormous task when you think of it. Any group whose bloodlines have been in the same country for several generations begins to meld into a "mainstream" culture.   Both my mother and father's families have been in this country since the late 1800's. My heritage can be traced back to Poland and Hungary. Both had a Catholic background that flourished in rural Pennsylvania. My wife's family emigrated from Austria and Russia in the early 1900's and came from a Jewish culture that settled in Brooklyn.   My point is this - and this is a tough example to use, but if my children were ever put into a situation where they needed temporary placement, what would the consideration be?   Without knowing my family, how could a determination be made on what sort of family to place the child with?   

America has been built upon immigrant cultures. Many families have lost their sense of identifiying with a group and consider themselves simply Americans. By what we are learning, the Travelers, through choice, have kept their traditions alive.   It may be easy for us to sit on the sidelines and criticize the process of placement, but if you sit in their shoes you might see how difficult a decision it may be.   Ultimately, there are no "winning" solutions.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 10:09 AM

Hi Ron and Spaw... Spaw you are right, however, at the time of the start of this post, the State was saying that they would not place her with a nomdic relitive. Now, they have forced settlement on a family member, and the family complied. I don't think that is a wonderful solution, but it is a compromise the family made. And, Ron, cultural isolates are a unique situation. Most American ethnic groups assimilate to a degree, the Amish, the Orthodox Jewish Community, Travellers are a small minority that maintain separate languages and isolation in the community for generations. So, if we say, took an Amish child and put her in an Jewish home, until the family got a teliphone in case they had to call a doctor for the child, we would see this case in a different light. Nomadism is as much a part of Traveller culture as simplisity is part of Amish culture.
Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 10:46 AM

Larry (in response to your quip about calendars):   You had originally said of the felony theft charge in Lagrange, Indiana, "here we have an identification months! after". The article I reprinted said "At the time [of the theft on August 21], store employees and management did not know who the women were, but when St. Joseph County authorities released the surveillance tape [of Madelyne Toogood, recorded September 13 and released within the following week], she was recognized, [store manager Larry] Yoder said."

So the identification was made within a month of the theft. The charges were not officially filed until October 17. Please don't confuse the two, and please don't try to confuse anyone else about the two!

As to your statement that "eye witness accounts are the least accurate evidence of a crime", this isn't a case of an eye witness watching a crime in progress from the sidelines. The article states, "The two women went to the Shipshewana store on Aug. 21, took fabric to a cashier and said they bought the fabric the Saturday before but forgot to take their package because their children were distracting them, said Larry Yoder, a manager at the store." The cashier was face-to-face with Toogood and her sister, according to this account, and the two sisters talked to the cashier directly. The cashier would have had ample opportunity to get a good, close look at both women, in a situation where he or she could concentrate on their features (rather than being in a panicked state with a gun in his or her face, or some such). I don't doubt that the cashier could accurately identify them from that encounter. So the "least accurate evidence" argument doesn't hold water in this instance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 11:41 AM

Hi Sharon, the article you "posted" was available by subscription only. In the case of the most prolonged contact with a suspect, the law demands that you show an arary of photographs and have the suspect picked from the array. In this case, any court I have ever had contact with, would dismiss this identification as being tainted by the public exposure, and by the presumptions made by the press in showing the photographs. One month is a long time to be that sure, if in fact it is a month. I recieved a call about this over the weekend, and it was news to the family. The reliablity of eye witness evidence is greatly suspect in every case, as we remember in a variety of contexts. Here there is a person who believes she has been defrauded. Now, she is faced with a slew of press which puts forward the notion that Madlynne is a member of a society of scam artists. This is more an example of the harm to rights the coverage has created than proof of the criminality of the Madlynne and her sister. Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 12:10 PM

Larry also says: "at the time of the start of this post, the State was saying that they would not place her with a nom[a]dic rel[a]tive." Larry, why should the state have risked the possibility that Martha would have disappeared AGAIN??? Remember, she'd already been taken out of the state by her mother and disguised by her mother (with a haircut), and the in-state relatives were refusing to reveal her whereabouts to authorities. Once the mother turned herself in, she allegedly gave false addresses to authorities. This kind of behavior doesn't exactly foster an atmosphere of trust between the family and the state. After that, why should the state believe any family member who might have promised to cooperate with authorities while taking the child out of state as part of the family's cultural nomadism?

As so many people have reminded you on this thread, the state's first concern is with the safety of the child. Like it or not, the state is legally bound not to be as concerned with an ethnic culture's traditions as with ensuring the safety of the child. Whether the Irish Traveller culture in America assimilates itself into American society or not, it is still living in the US and is subject to US law. Larry, your argument seems to be that US law should be more concerned with ethnic tradition than with ensuring the safety of a child at the risk of violating tradition. That kind of a bid for preference of one ethnic culture (over laws that are supposed to apply to every US citizen) simply is not viable in a nation whose overriding principle is that all are created equal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 12:16 PM

Equality means equality of cultural rights as well. I need not go on with this sillyness with you as I can tell how yo look at the world when you make a point of correcting my spelling in spite of my openess about the reasons I do not spell corectly. I can emagine the world in which you would choose to live. This is why my mother's people saw a thousand years of forced migration. Good day


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 01:33 PM

Oh, please. Now you're taking my pedantry in correcting your spelling as an insult to your dyslexia??? If I'd cut-and-pasted your statements without correcting your spelling, would that be okay or would you see that as pointing out your dyslexia by repeating your misspellings????? I'm not trying to insult you, Larry, so you can stop playing the victim now.

And what the heck was that last quip about the world in which I would choose to live having anything to do with the last thousand years of forced migration of any people?

These are not reasonable statements. It is obvious that you don't wish to have a reasonable discussion on this subject, but rather to lash out at people who disagree with you and who have the temerity to point out the fallacies in your arguments.

"Equality of cultural rights"? You have failed to prove that the Traveller culture's rights have been of any less consideration to Indiana authorities in the Toogood child-custody case than any other culture's rights would have been.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Áine
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 02:07 PM

"It is obvious that you don't wish to have a reasonable discussion on this subject, but rather to lash out at people who disagree with you and who have the temerity to point out the fallacies in your arguments."

Sharon, I think your own statement applies as well to yourself. Larry has made attempt after attempt to reason with the posts that didn't agree with his own, yours included. I don't blame him a bit for feeling that this discussion is going nowhere. This is definitely a situation that fits the ol' chestnut, "Discretion is sometimes the better part of a valor".

I'm very sorry when these discussions become victims of the all-too-popular j'accuse tactic of faltering debate teams, and instead of points of view being made, arrows of personal attack are launched.

This argument has become moot -- let's not beat the dead horse of entrenched and enflamed personal vindictive anymore.

All the best to all who participated here, Áine


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 02:35 PM

Áine says, "Larry has made attempt after attempt to reason with the posts that didn't agree with his own, yours included." I disagree, in that I don't find Larry's attempts reasonable, but instead rhetorical. I'm surprised and disappointed to read that you think I've been lashing out emotionally at Larry in the way that he's been lashing out at me and at other people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: SharonA
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 05:02 PM

Larry (re your post of 23 Oct 02 - 11:41 AM): Oops, sorry, the Tribune archives articles after 7 days. If necessary, I'll try to purchase the article I tried to link to, so I can post it here.

As to the Lagrange theft charge, do we know that the store clerk had not already picked out Madelyne's picture before September 13th? Do we know if Indiana law demands what you describe? It will be interesting to see if the court does in fact dismiss this case for the reasons you give. I can't see why Lagrange would file a charge if they knew the court would throw it out. The fact that the charge was not filed until October seems to indicate that there's more to this story that we don't know yet. We'll see!

SharonA, non-Nazi (in spite of insinuations to the contrary)


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Grab
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 09:04 AM

My apologies then Larry. I didn't realise from context that you were still talking about the article.

they have forced settlement on a family member, and the family complied. I don't think that is a wonderful solution, but it is a compromise the family made.

Your initial position was that by removing the child from the Traveller community, the social services were harming the Traveller community and the child. Now the social services are "forcing" a settlement whereby the child is returned to her family and the family are "complying" with this? "Forced" and "complied" has no other meaning but that the grandparents did not *want* to care for their daughter's child! Is this language deliberate?

I agree with you that "eye-witness" evidence of someone recognising them on the TV is a very tentative case. You're correct that unless they have further evidence, that in itself isn't enough to get a definite yes or no.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 10:34 AM

Hi Graham... I do not mean that taking the child is forced!!! Settlement is a very sensitive issue for Travellers. As a result of nearly one thousand years of forced migration - upon pain of death for stoping for more than 24 hours through out most of Europe, a form of this law exists today in France, where nomadic travellers are moved on at gun point after 24 hours, though capital punnishment is no longer perscribed... but to the point, Traveller culture has adapted wonderfully to centuries of forced migration. Now, their community and culture and ecconomy is based on nomadism - or more accurately, being semi nomadic. Forced settlement means the loss of cultural eliments that are to a degree definitional in the way Travellers think of themselves. Now, for a society which has accepted that we are all interchangeable, and no American is expected to have one job for ones whole work life, this nexus between who we are and what we do is not easy to understand. I have some understanding from my contact with the Traveller communities. They, and Roma, were the first people I knew to use cell phones, a huge new adaptation to the flow of this community in their patterned migrations. Most calls I get,(many a week, sometimes many a day) one can hear that the call comes from a family on the road. hey are travelling between work - wedings, funerals, reunions constantly. To be forced off the road, is to be bannished from one's community, ones town. Their town is in motion and being forced to settle is to stand by and watch your world pass on to the next stop without you. So yes, Martha's grandmother is making a great sacrifice and compromise, and one that I don't feel is fully within that child's interest. She should be at weddings, she should be with other Traveller children, She should be who she has a right to be.
Thanks for the respectful nature of your interest, Graham.
All the best, Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 10:38 AM

OH! I get the confustion. SETTLEMENT! I don't mean A settlement, I mean settling the family in a fixed abode!!! I am a wee bit thick in the morning. I have to run off to the mid west today, so I am also a bit preoccupied. Graham, check out my new song about Lough Neagh! It is under the Otway's new song, post... Cheers Larry,


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 10:46 AM

Larry, she will be.   The story that I heard yesterday, please correct me if I have it wrong, is that Madyln must take anger management and child rearing courses. Once she completes them she will regain custody.   The story I heard on the radio yesterday said that she could have custody anywhere from 6 to 12 months.

Again, it sounds like a fair and standard practice. If you look at these people as INDIVIDUALS, the result is one that will keep the child safe and help the mother deal with her issues.

Of course it is a situation that should never have happened in the first place, but it did, and now the laws of this country are being followed.

Also Larry, your discussion of the paranoia based on centuries of prejudice gives us insight, however how connected is the Traveler community to groups in Europe?   Is there a connection that would allow for sharing of information such as the situation in France?   Why would a Traveler in the U.S. be fearful of something that is happening in Europe - are you saying that Travelers are moved at gunpoint in this country?   I'm not disagreeing with you, just trying to understand how this paranoia exists in this country.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 11:46 AM

Hi Ron... There is in deed constant conection. Though the great periods of migration are between 1847 and 1909 (aprox) There has been constant drift into the community from the 1620 - this year. Pavees (Irish travellers from Ireland) are easialy recognised by Romanichal (Scottish and English Trvellers) and Irish Travellers and interact socialy. Some American Travellers I know have gone to France for the huge religious gathering of Roma in the south of France to celibrate Saint Sarah's day (Sorcha Dorcha!)

But, they need not go to Europe to learn to fear exposure as travellers. I sited the New York Times artical from 1992, which shows them at the bottom of a list of 58 groupings in the standing of ethnic groups here. I don't know many Travellers who have not been stopped by police on the highway as a result of the agressive racial profiling, taught by police manuals, for example the South Carolina police manual "Gypsies Travellers and Theives" (emagine a police manual called Hispanics, Negros and Drug dealers for the sake of comparison...). When stopped they are given the choice of being taken in on pretextural charges, or being finger printed and photographed on the road. Most, no all I know, comply, as they have no expectation yet of basic rights.

I DREAM of a funded program to take the field work I have done, and done by Dr. Andersen, and Dr. Anderck, and one or two others, and create a programatic approach to the miriad of rights violations faced by these people every day, however, to date the responce on the part of existing rights groups has been cold apathy. For years, I formally knocked on doors with an organisation I founded called the Lawyers Committee for Roma Rights and Recogniiton. Among other problems which arose from this organisation, instead of realizing the 90,000 a year salery average for graduates of my law school, I went serriously broke looking for a minimum wage grant to do the work. People don't care about Gypsies, they want them out of their town, their country their world. Even we Quakers, our responce to the most numerous community of need in Europe is one single worker in an office in Hungery, the Roma Education Project, now slated to close.

You think I am touchy about all this? Almost a decade of people who don't know, don't care to know, who don't acknowlege a problem when statistical evidence shows the scope, a million Americans in need of the most basic rights, well, yes, each morning I need to fight to take the chip off my shoulder to get out of bed.

BUT Ron, I respect and thank you for the respectful questions. On Sunday when I get back from the mid west, I may have a much bigger wieght to bear, but thems the riggs of the town.

Cheers Larry

line breaks added by mudelf ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 11:50 AM

OH! AND RON!!! Check out the new song about Lough Neagh, under the post, Otway's new song.... Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 01:32 PM

Thanks Larry, I will check out the song!

I do appreciate the education that you have been providing to those of us who want to learn more. It is a shame that this forum has resulted in name calling and anger at times, but I think that is reflective of the emotions we all felt about this case - even if we aren't directly connected to the participants.

For those of us who grew up in the white suburbs and are considered "mainstream", we truly cannot understand what it is like to be considered "different". It is not easy to put ourselves in the shoes of those who face prejudice on a daily basis.

While I may disagree, or rather not yet recognize the impact being a Traveler had on thie particular case, I do appreciate learning about situation and seeing your points on how it COULD have a bearing.

When we can separate ourselves from the emotion and make the attempt to see where the other side is coming from, we all learn and hopefully improve.   We can't solve these issues until we learn to deal with each other.

Thanks again Larry. Perhaps we can continue this discussion in the future. Obviously the story is larger than the Toogood case.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 01:40 PM

It is in deed... and larger than this post! We are almost up to 200 on this thread, which would make something like near to 400 over all! When I get back there may be other things to say, but I think it should start a new thread, I feel for those with a slow computer like mine! Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Nerd
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 04:58 PM

Larry,

In all this, I think you're still blurring the distinction between the CASE and the MEDIA. In the CASE, Martha has been given to her grandmother, NOT removed from the cultural group, which would constitute genocide. In the CASE, Ms. Toogood has received the same treatment anyone would in any ethnic group.

In the MEDIA, a few assholes have suggested cultural genocide. But again, a few assholes doesn't mean American culture is a culture of assholes, or a culture of intolerance and racism, any more than the few con artists among the Travellers mean that Traveller culture is a culture of con artists.

Is it just me, or do others on this thread see a basic difference between the case and the media coverage thereof? THAT'S essentially what I disagree with Larry about, the significance of the assholes in the media. After all, you can find assholes in the media who will urge you NOT to conserve energy, NOT to vote for black people, "Kill a Commie for Christ," etc. Their opinions are only as important as their impact on the public. Though I understand and appreciate Larry's pointing this stuff out to us, I'm not sure how significant it is in the grand scheme of

1) the government/legal system's treatment of travellers and

2) the US public's treatment of travellers.

As to the CASE, I just don't see any discrimination there yet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 12:40 AM

More than one person appears intoxicated by this thread - either with the esterous fruit of the vine or by the hubris of their ego.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Grab
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 09:00 AM

Ah, I get your point, Larry. Talking at cross purposes a bit there then! :-/

Yeah, I agree not the ideal solution. Still, in child abuse cases where the child's being cared for by someone else, you do need some way of keeping track of where the child is. Not an easy problem to solve.

I'll dig out your song when I get a chance (banned from downloading at work, unfortunately).

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 12:55 AM

There may be a newer thread that covers this, but I found this one when I did a search. Here's an article from today's Seattle PI. Unfortunately, she seems to have found herself in a loop. Every time she is asked to fill out information now, they can hang her with it if she doesn't tell the truth.
Online story
    Sunday, November 10, 2002 · Last updated 5:51 a.m. PT

    Mom in Taped Beating Arrested Again

    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A woman caught on videotape beating her 4-year-old daughter has been arrested on a warrant issued in Michigan for allegedly giving false information on a license application.

    Authorities say Madelyne Toogood, 26, gave a false address and name when applying for a Michigan driver's license and state identification card in May. A conviction could carry up to five years in jail.

    In Indiana, she faces a felony child battery charge after a department store surveillance camera in Mishawaka captured her beating her daughter Sept. 13. The tape was broadcast nationwide.

    The girl is now living with her maternal grandmother.

    No trial has been scheduled on the battery charges, and Toogood had been free on $7,000 bond before her arrest Friday.

    Toogood remained in the St. Joseph County jail Saturday night. She is expected to be extradited to Michigan, according to South Bend police supervisor Sgt. Scott Ruszkowski.

    Toogood belongs to a nomadic group called the Irish Travelers. She has pleaded innocent to charges that she and her sister stole fabric from a department store in August.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: InOBU
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 06:56 AM

There is a new thread on this Srs... can some good mud elf make a hot link? CHeers Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the US 3
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 07:25 AM

I'm no elf, but here it is: BS: Traveller Discrimination Update...


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This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 24 May 5:31 PM EDT

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