John Cecil 
Member since Sep 19, 2012


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Recent Comments

Re: “Opinion: A personal take on Watermelongate from a parent who feels a different kind of outrage

I think Dr. Mcginley made great progress as superintendent, and appreciate all the work she did to improve the schools, however I don't agree with her knee jerk actions of interrogating the students without notifying their parents, then holding a press conference in which she imposed a very negative and inaccurate characterization of the football team. After she rushed to fire the coach, an African American teammate started an on line petition at http://change.org/ to have him reinstated and was interviewed by the P&C in which he claimed there was no racist components that had been embellished. This was all before CCSD own official investigation which found no racism involved. Yet the newspapers kept claiming there were monkey sounds and racist caricature as fact, even after everyone involved, including African American's said this wasn't true. I don't see the point continuing the abusive characterization of the football team and students as "white middle class elitist" etc. I think you have to listen and report what the students were saying to form an accurate opinion. I was impressed with all the student's interviews, articles and comments. However, I don't think I'll be commenting any more on local events. I thought I was trying to stay involved and helping our local community by putting in my two cents, but the reporting has become increasingly despotic.

3 of 4 people like this.
Posted by John Cecil on November 30, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Re: “Opinion: A personal take on Watermelongate from a parent who feels a different kind of outrage

If the City Paper decided to have a charity fund raiser in which local celerities such as news personalities, smashed watermelons, this wouldn't be considered racist. After all, David Letterman and Gallagher both smashed watermelons to have fun in their comedy acts. Right? However, if Jack Hunter, columnist for the City Paper were to wear his Southern Avenger confederate mask and smash a watermelon this might be considered racist. Especially if he wrote "Abraham Lincoln is Saddam Hussein," on the watermelon, as those were his comments as a columnist here.

So the act of smashing a watermelon isn't racist. In this case, its the allegations of making monkey sounds and drawing a Sambo like image, and how that was reported, is the racial component. The high school students were also interrogated like criminals without the presence of their parents, which apparently was legal, but the parents felt that was an overreaction.

You now have the opportunity to defend your characterization of a a high school football team as "racist, making money sounds, drawing Sambo like image, grade-a-dumbasses, douch bags, privileged middle class, with a victim complex disorder."

An African American student started an online petition to have the coach reinstated, and claimed he led the demonstration and there was no racial intent.

My uncle read about this in Charlotte, but it just said a mostly white high school made monkey sounds, drew racial caricatures on a watermelon and smashed it, which, of course, at face value, when reported in that context it does appear point blank racist ritual.

I wondering if you are surprised by the lawsuit? Is this the first time you have been sued? If I had a blog and wrote such inflammatory comments about high school students, who had already been subjected to a criminal like interrogation, just for the act of smashing a watermelon, I would certainly recognize the high probability of being sued and make sure not to embellish anything and avoid inflammatory comments.

I like the City Paper and the entire community. I with everyone the best in sorting this out. Like everyone else, I'm just reading reading news articles, and wish they would make up their minds if this was racist or not, or at the very least have a objective perspective, because part of the story is the overreaction.

7 of 9 people like this.
Posted by John Cecil on November 28, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Re: “Opinion: A personal take on Watermelongate from a parent who feels a different kind of outrage

It would have been easy to avoid a defamation suit by simply including the teammates, such as the African American who was interviewed, who said these were normal football hoots and started the on line petition that was successful in rehiring the coach. However, the subsequent articles continued to claim it was a "racist ritual", "monkey sounds" the image was "Sambo" like, and called the team "racist douch bags, grade-a-dumbasses" and now "privileged middle class" with a "victim complex" disorder.

I think all the inflammatory rhetoric contributed to the overreactions of firing the coach and Dr. McGinely. I think they should offer Dr. McGinley her job back and use this as a learning experience. And perhaps the City Paper could attempt to write a objective article that includes some of the critical developments in this ordeal, such as interviewing some of the football players who climbed it wasn't racist. But it's probably too late and a waste of time and effort for me to suggest a objective resolution where people don't feel like they are being defamed, ridiculed, or made fun of. Peace out.

7 of 14 people like this.
Posted by John Cecil on November 27, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Re: “Opinion: A personal take on Watermelongate from a parent who feels a different kind of outrage

Lets say a newspaper claimed a football team was sexually harassing female students because one female heard "animal like ape sounds" when she walked past a football practice, and assumed they were hooting at her because she had on her yoga pants. However, everyone on the team,parents and teachers, all said it was just normal chanting all football teams make, there was no other instance of sexual harassment at the school, and there was a female on the team who was leading the hooting who was interviewed and said these were normal chants all football teams make and no one even noticed this other girl in her yoga pants. Can a newspaper keep calling this team rapist and perverts because it sells more advertising? Would calling them "grade-a-dumbasses" be considered inflammatory? And if the newspaper supported this by drawing a comparison to other rapist, rape culture, in the history of the city from 70 years ago, would this also cause more of a loss of their reputation? What if the comments in the articles were from people convinced they were indeed rapist and perverts based on the newspaper's claims of sexual harassment as fact and not just one girl's perception?

9 of 23 people like this.
Posted by John Cecil on November 27, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Re: “School district forces out superintendent who fired coach who condoned racist ritual

Malik, I think the student who started the petition at change.org to have the coach reinstated and was interviewed should be respected. If he changes his mind and thinks there may have been some racism or was intimidated I would respect that also. But he was very emphatic that this was something he did on his own the very next day. In this day and age I think we would hear about racism if there was any. Most people of all ethnicities around here are educated and work together. I think a constructive dialog is good and most people are good, and need to keep addressing issues. What bothered me was that people are still using this as a form of racial intimidation because they can't admit they overreacted.

0 of 2 people like this.
Posted by John Cecil on November 3, 2014 at 4:19 PM

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