A racist and threatening Facebook exchange between high school baseball players has some wondering why a threat to lynch another person is not being taken more seriously by two Illinois schools.
Crete-Monee High School honor student and pitcher Jihad Yousef was stunned the day after playing a double header against Peotone, when he checked his Facebook page and found a disturbing message from a Peotone player, according to Phil Arvia of the Southtown Star.
NBC Chicago released the reported Facebook message:
"hey jihad or whatever ur muslim [censored] name is, come to peotone and be ready to be noosed in the trees....here in peotone we dont [------] around when it comes to [------] ...just be ready to become our slaves just like the way it should be since [------] dont provide to the country,...were hosting a ku kulx klan [sic] rally this week if u wanna come and be our victims."
"I was, like, confused," Yousef said. "I had to refresh the page. The feeling, I couldn't even say I was mad. Shocked, maybe."
After trying to ignore the message, he ultimately decided to show some friends and his parents--who contacted administrators at Crete-Monee and Peotone high schools and the Peotone police. The offending student has been given a five-to 10-day school suspension and two-game baseball suspension. The Southtown Star reports:
Yep, apparently the kid will be playing baseball again this season. What would the administration's response have been if someone showed them a Facebook picture of this young man drinking beer?
This is a threatened lynching.
"I don't care about his 10 days," Paula Yousef, Jihad's mother, told Arvia. "I want to know what's going on in his head. ... There's so much hatred in those words."
"This doesn't fall into the hate crime category," Peotone Police Chief Bill Mort told the Southtown Star. "In very preliminary review by the state's attorney, we may be looking at a misdemeanor, perhaps a felony, under some fairly new statutes regarding threatening texts."
Arvia writes that both schools are pleased with how the situation was handled, but points out that the case was not taken nearly as seriously as it should have been.
"Their kids are not racist," Crete-Monee Principal Brian Riegler told Arvia. "This issue is not representative of their school or their community. This is an anomaly."
Arvia disagrees: "Someone here needs to be ashamed for these actions and show it."