One incident opens up a discussion of hate and racism

9 months 1 week 22 hours ago Wednesday, February 15 2017 Feb 15, 2017 Wednesday, February 15, 2017 7:35:00 PM CST February 15, 2017 in Top Stories
By: Allison Ross, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

LEBANON - Racial slurs and threats were yelled at young teens after a basketball game; this led to a further investigation into of racism and hate in one local town.

The mother of a 14-year-old Sedalia Smith-Cotton basketball player, Krista Padgett, was upset when she heard her son and other players were harassed and threatened with weapons at a McDonalds after a basketball game versus Lebanon.

"I was concerned for his safety and well-being and how it was affecting him and how it was going to affect him in the future," Padgett said. 

Lebanon police investigated the incident and found that the teens harassing the Sedalia boys were not from Lebanon. 

Padgett posted about the incident on Facebook, and she received a lot of response. Some people were supportive of her son, while others questioned what happened or did not think it was a problem. 

One Lebanon resident commented on that post and stated racism is not an issue in Lebanon: "This is a joke! Sounds made up if you ask me, I'm sure something may have happened but I doubt to the extent this women is saying! And to be completely honest y'all are making yourselves look ridiculous and pathetic!! It's crazy how us "White" didn't act a fool when Obama got elected but now trumps get elected the "colored" ppl start pulling out the damn racist card. I do believe what Trump says that everyone needs to go back where they belong...period!!! But that doesn't mean I'm racist Colored ppl are always ready to pull the racist s*** out and it's getting pathetic!!!!"

KOMU 8 News reached out to the resident to she if she could comment on the story, but she never wrote back.

The Smith-Cotton Tigers Boys Basketball team shared a photo to its Facebook page with the caption: "Before the game, the Lebanon boys basketball team and coaches wished the Tigers good luck and apologized on behalf of their community for the inident after their game last week."

Another incident involving a school teacher

Shortly after the basketball team incident, another Facebook post in Lebanon caught a lot of attention. A teacher at the high school, shared an article on Facebook titled, "Burned alive while unarmed ... Christians" with the caption, "For all you Christian haters this is what Muslims with guns did to unarmed Christians.. they used gasoline and just burned them alive... merciless... do you want to give anyone all the power and you have none?"

KOMU 8 News reached out to the school district about the post. Jacy Overstreet, Lebanon Public Schools director of communication, said, "Lebanon R-3 School Board policies do not condone discriminatory behavior by staff or students, and the District takes appropriate actions with students or staff if these policies are violated in connection to school activities or job responsibilities."

The mayor of Lebanon, Josh Ray, said sharing posts like that, reinforces hate.

"What I saw in that post was not ok. I am actually really dismayed at our society as a whole that we have such access to information, and we have still managed as a human race to just find the information that fits our frameworks," Ray said. 

Muslim woman in Lebanon weighs in on town atmosphere

Long-time Lebanon resident Wendy Abdulai said this is nothing new for Lebanon. Abdulai is Muslim and married to an African immigrant. Despite growing up in the town, Abdulai said she is treated like an outsider.

"I have been told to go back to where I came from," Abdulai said. 

And her husband gets the same treatment.

"My husband one time, actually a few blocks from our home, was called a derogatory name. He is an African immigrant, and so the N word has come out probably more than once, but once that we know of," Abdulai said.

Abdulai said this has been a problem in Lebanon for a long time. She said part of the issue is that the town is secluded and doesn't know any better.

The current U.S Census said in Lebanon 94 percent of the community is white, 1.3 percent is black, 0.7 percent is Asian, 2.4 percent is two or more races and 2.6 percent is Hispanic or Latino.

 

 

Mayor: 'When people start talking like that, you stop it.'

Abdulai said the rhetoric of the election has really brought people out of the woodwork. 

"We had a rally at the city council the other day regarding a racist incident that happened in town, and they will drive by in their big trucks and blow black smoke on us. And we had signs that said things like 'integrity' and just really positive messages, and it's still met with hate," Abdulai said.

Ray said racism is a problem, but Lebanon is not alone.

"To the extent that I think it exists everywhere, I think that racism exists here," Ray said.

Despites these issues, Abdulai stressed how much she still loves Lebanon.

"I think Lebanon is a great city. I think it's got a lot of potential. I just hope in the future it can continue to move forward, and I think under Mayor Ray it will," Abdulai said. 

Ray said if you hear something that doesn't sound right, say something.

"When people start talking like that, you stop it. Because if you're ok with that, then later on you're going to have people that say a little bit more and a little bit more insulting and a little bit more racist. And then you end up with violence and issues that are a little bit harder for our town to tackle," Ray said.

Going forward Ray plans to lead by example, he is going to be taking diversity training classes in the hopes others will join him. 

 

More News

Grid
List
WILLARD, Mo. (AP) — A Greene County sheriff's deputy responding to an alarm call has been involved in a crash... More >>
28 minutes ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 4:05:09 PM CST November 24, 2017 in News
HAMEL, Ill. (AP) — A Missouri college student is the third person to die after a major crash this week... More >>
35 minutes ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 3:58:25 PM CST November 24, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Fire Protection District said it battled more than usual brush fires Friday. "There's nothing... More >>
36 minutes ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 3:57:00 PM CST November 24, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA -Racism, sexism, homophobia and animal abuse have all had a home on Reddit, but the website is taking steps... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 1:25:26 PM CST November 24, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A jail inmate has been charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action after authorities... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 12:11:47 PM CST November 24, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia man involved in a deadly shooting in May has been indicted by a federal grand jury... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 11:40:00 AM CST November 24, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man early Thursday morning for various drugs and weapons charges. CPD says officers smelled... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 11:37:00 AM CST November 24, 2017 in News
KIMBERLING CITY, Mo. (AP) — Two tangled bucks that drowned in a Missouri lake last month have been memorialized in... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 11:05:00 AM CST November 24, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Three Thanksgiving Day killings in St. Louis have brought this year's homicide total to 188, matching... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 10:58:31 AM CST November 24, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A soldier home for Thanksgiving in St. Louis is OK, but he lost his car and... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 10:44:30 AM CST November 24, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A man who was arrested after sleeping in a Kansas storage unit with his two... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 10:32:21 AM CST November 24, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police are investigating after two officers fatally shot a man and wounded a 14-year-old... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 10:13:19 AM CST November 24, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police said Thursday night's shooting at the Columbia Mall was an accident, and happened as a man tried... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 7:43:00 AM CST November 24, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Micah Baker has had his car broken into three times since he moved to Columbia seven years ago.... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 3:30:00 AM CST November 24, 2017 in News
FORT LEONARD WOOD - Soldiers attending 787th Military Police Battalion for Military Police One Station Unit Training enjoy a traditional... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, November 23 2017 Nov 23, 2017 Thursday, November 23, 2017 8:45:00 PM CST November 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Parks and Recreation had big plans in mind when it first started building a championship level disc... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, November 23 2017 Nov 23, 2017 Thursday, November 23, 2017 7:49:00 PM CST November 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Shoppers put down their forks and picked up their wallets as Black Friday deals ran into Thanksgiving. ... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, November 23 2017 Nov 23, 2017 Thursday, November 23, 2017 7:39:00 PM CST November 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Volunteers, young and old, served food to hundreds of people for Almeta Crayton’s Everybody Eats 20th Annual Thanksgiving... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, November 23 2017 Nov 23, 2017 Thursday, November 23, 2017 2:50:00 PM CST November 23, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 70°
5pm 69°
6pm 66°
7pm 62°
8pm 59°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

4:00p
Jeopardy!
4:30p
Jeopardy!
5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
4:00p
The Goldbergs
4:30p
The Goldbergs
5:00p
American Dad!

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
7:30p
Trolls Holiday Special
8:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
iHeartRadio Music Festival, Night 2
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld