If there's one lesson we've all learned from the Trayvon Martin controversy, it's this: Young black males are generally up to no good.
This appears to be the message one of the Walnut Bend Home Association directors sent to fellow Walnut Bendians Tuesday.
Under the subject heading "Suspicious Black Males in the Neighborhood," Paul Faucher's e-mail addresses an alleged assault of a local teenager by a black male. Per the e-mail, the teenager was at a convenience store when the aforementioned black male "asked to see his iPod....When the teen asked for it back, the black male [led] him down the path next to the drainage ditch north of Briar Forest. At that point several black males assaulted the teen and took his iPod and cell phone."
After a few paragraphs about how Harris County Precinct 5 constables are "keeping an eye" on black males with criminal records who live in the area, Faucher delivers the money-sentence: "If you see any group of young black males in the neighborhood after school, chances are they are up to no good and should be reported as suspicious persons to the Constables [sic]."
When contacted by e-mail, Faucher told Hair Balls that he wouldn't comment unless we told him who forwarded his e-mail our way. When we told him we were going to write something regardless, he wrote, "I doubt seriously that my comments would make it into your article in context."
So to reiterate, Faucher first declined to comment on the grounds that we wouldn't divulge our source, as if that's even relevant, and then he expanded his decision to pre-emptively accuse us of mangling the essence of anything he'd say. That's pretty odd for a dude who advises his neighbors to call the cops any time they see a group of young black males in the area.
Speaking of context, it's not like this heightened sense of danger (or paranoia) came out of nowhere:
Located in west Houston, near Westchase, Walnut Bend is close to a large apartment complex where many Katrina evacuees moved, upsetting some of the locals. In 2006, the Houston Chronicle reported that Houston Police Department statistics showed a crime increase in the apartment complex in the year following Katrina.
Craig Rench, then the president of the Walnut Bend Home Association, was quoted in that story as saying, "There's a reason to be stirred up in our area....Statistically, I don't think the crime rate inside the bounds of our neighborhood is any higher....(But) there is no doubt there is a lot more loitering and a lot more people walking around, and many who speak (Louisiana) accents."
If anything, we just hoped Faucher could clear up the part of that sentence about seeing young black males hanging out "after school." Is 3 p.m. some sort of Negro Witching Hour? What if a group of black males is spotted being all black and male at 5 a.m.? Would that eliminate all suspicion?
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And since his warning applies to "any group of young black males," does that mean residents should call police if they see a black church youth group selling lemonade to raise money for starving orphans and puppies, and orphaned puppies? And for that matter, what constitutes a "group"? Is three young black males a group or merely a gaggle? What if two of the young black males are conjoined twins -- are they counted as one young black male, or two?
Seriously, the least Faucher could've done is clarified what he meant by "if you see any group of young black males in the neighborhood after school, chances are they are up to no good...." Because we're obviously missing the context on that one.