Why Do Plain Dealer And Phillip Morris "engage in a dangerous, hypothetical game of racial "what if"" about Randie Winston

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 09/22/2009 - 15:12.

When my friend Kieth called and asked me to come over, last Thursday night, I could tell by his voice something was very wrong. When I arrived, he looked in shock - he told me his youngest son's mother had called to say their child had shot a mail carrier in Maple Heights.

Kieth was clearly devastated by the thought of the harm his son had caused the victim, Daniel Kondas, who later died, and his family.

And, Kieth was heartbroken for his son, Randie Winston. And, for his loss of a son to prison.

Kieth loved his son and talked about him often. I believe Kieth was a good father, under hard circumstances.

Randie was raised in a broken, urban, struggling homeworld, as are so many kids in Cleveland. Randie had his father's involvement in his life, throughout early childhood, and has as much as possible all his life.

But Keith was the primary parent for Randie for only a few years, when Randie did well in life. Keith was not able to get legal custody of his son Randie, so Randie was largely not raised by Kieth, past eight, or so.

When Keith lost his battle for custody, he says he told the judge "You just killed my sons"!

Well, truer words have not been said since, as we see this failure in society led to the worst imaginable, yet entirely predicted outcomes.

Custody lost, Kieth was not allowed to help raise his children. Kieth says he often couldn't even track them down at holidays, to give them presents.

Records will show Kieth has paid his child support, and tried to stay in contact with his son, and planned to have him work with him in his painting business, as he became an adult. Kieth was determined to help his son find a good path in life, if he could.

But, I believe, other people took Randie down other paths that led to tragedy for so many. That path started taking its turn for the worst in a court, in Cuyahoga County, about 10 years ago.

I met Randie this spring, visiting with his father, and I did not see a monster in him. Randie did not seem to hate me in any way, including for being white.

Why he killed must be determined in court. My understanding is this was an armed robbery gone worst, and I am interested where Randie obtained the gun and if he was somehow pushed to do this by others.

Yet, in an opinion column today in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, "Hate Crimes Need Larger Definition", Phillip Morris labeled this a "hate crime":

I think mail carrier Daniel Kondas, for instance, was a victim of a hate crime. As of Monday afternoon, the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's office had yet to file charges against the 19-year-old black male suspect, who police say shot and killed Kondas, a 23-year-veteran of the Postal Service.

But law enforcement officials say they believe that the homicide, committed in daylight, was the result of a botched robbery attempt. Nowhere, however, is it yet being suggested that the crime was motivated by hatred.

Why? Because the 53-year-old Kondas was white and his alleged teenaged killer is black. If the races of the victim and offender had been reversed, however, this crime would already loudly be dubbed a hate crime, although all of the circumstances surrounding the assault have yet to be assembled.

So what's the point? Why engage in a dangerous, hypothetical game of racial "what if"?

I'm confident Phillip Morris is not informed about anything factual regarding Randie Winston, and this case, beyond what has been released by authorities. So, Phillip, as you say... "So what's the point? Why engage in a dangerous, hypothetical game of racial "what if"?"

There is a crime to be solved here. A man was shot and someone will pay. It seems Randie was involved in shooting the man, and will pay. He now needs a fair trial. Society needs a fair trial.

What is his crime? What is the price he will pay? That is to be determined by a court of law, rather than a lynching mob led by a black "columnist" trying to sell his opinions and newspaper to a largely white audience.

At this point, Morris and the PD have so tainted the justice system and jury pool here, Randie doesn't seem to have a chance of a fair investigation or trial.... this smells of a lynching.

That is a hate crime, exactly like the white-against-black hate crimes of all times, and it was committed by the black Morris against the black Winston.

As Morris himself concludes, "the overwhelming majority of hate crimes against African-Americans are committed by other black men". I'd say Morris' column against Randie is an excellent example of that, as Morris seems motivated by hatred against blacks.

I'm so concerned about Randie receiving fair treatment in the media and under law, I contacted a crime writer at the PD, last night, before seeing Morris' column, with the following message:

    Randie Winston 
         Norm Roulet  to latassi
         Sep 21 (16 hours ago)
    I saw your bio on Cleveland.com and thought you may be interested in discussing the Randie Winston case with his father, who is a good friend. I've also met Randie, and believe there are many aspects to this horrible tragedy worth reporting, beyond the obvious.

    Let me know if of interest.

    Norm Roulet
    REALNEO - 7GEN - Star Neighborhood Development

    Disrupt IT

Of course, I haven't heard back from latassi at the PD...

Kieth would like to talk to the media, if their intent is more honorable and legal than to commit a hate crime against him and his son to sell newspapers.

Consider the conclusion of Morris' column and ask, does it even remotely make sense?:

Kondas' violent death is no different, no more defensible, and no more explicable, than the deaths once routinely delivered by nooses. His homicide was rooted in a shocking, despicable disregard for life. It was a modern urban hate crime.

We need to start labeling these crimes for what they are. At a minimum, any robbery that ends in a murder of the victim should be considered a hate crime.

No, Phillip, those are called homocides. You are not qualified nor chosen to rewrite the encyclopedia or even our urban dialect.

For the benefit of Phillip Morris, the Editors at the PD, and others who have not yet discovered Wikipedia, below is a definition of Hate Crime. This is a very important category of serious crimes, that is not remotely similar to what the Maple Heights Police and witnesses have indicated is what happened with Randie Winston, and the PD owes him and his family an apology for using them in such a despicable and hateful way.

They are human, and suffering.

Hate crimes (also known as bias-motivated crimes) occur when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her perceived membership in a certain social group, usually defined by racial group, religion, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, gender identity, or political affiliation.[1]

"Hate crime" generally refers to criminal acts which are seen to have been motivated by hatred of one or more of the listed conditions. Incidents may involve physical assault, damage to property, bullying, harassment, verbal abuse or insults, or offensive graffiti or letters.[2]

Concern about hate crimes has become increasingly prominent among policymakers in many nations and at all levels of government in recent years, but the phenomenon is not new. Examples from the past include Roman persecution of Christians, the Ottoman genocide of Armenians, and the Nazi "final solution" for the Jews, and more recently, the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and genocide in Rwanda. Hate crimes have shaped and sometimes defined world history. In the United States, racial and religious biases have inspired most hate crimes. As Europeans began to colonize the New World in the 16th and 17th centuries, Native Americans increasingly became the targets of bias-motivated intimidation and violence. During the past two centuries, some of the more typical examples of hate crimes in the US include lynchings of African Americans, cross burnings to drive black families from predominantly white neighborhoods, assaults on white people travelling predominantly black neighborhoods, assaults on gay, lesbian and transgender people, and the painting of swastikas on Jewish synagogues, as well as attacks against European Americans, such as the Murder of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom and the Wichita Massacre. [3]

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Sanity is in order, but justice must be paid

The loss of a loved one is never an easy thing to deal with; particularly when it's unexpected--as a result of violence.  Add to this, the fact that in said case (from what you write) the person who was murdered was a public service worker who was fulfilling a job that almost everyone would agree falls into the category of a "non-threatening" activity; to say nothing of the fact that based on his years of service to the Post Office, the victim was likely middle-aged.

Just from a casual observation, it all adds up to something that absolutely, positively should not have happened--being understandably regrettable--inflaming much ire.

That said, the deed is now done and therefore should not be viewed in hindsight through the grossly perverse lense of bigotry...i.e. "race-baiting."

Hate crimes are real.  I have first hand experience as a victim.  And yet, all crime does not constitute "hate" as it were.

So, was this a hate crime?

What will the facts prove?

Being an effeminate male in America, equates being queer or homosexual; even if the facts say otherwise...the stigma still remains.  A similar stigma can be observed of being a black male in America; that by default black and male, equals suspect and/or problem to be dealth with.

It is this type ofs paranoid fascination that has cost the lives of many black men; innocent or otherwise.

Consequentially, sanity is in order...but justice must be paid.  Though with it already being well known public fact that Blacks are much, much, much more like to receive the death penalty (harsher sentences overall) the Plains Dealer, need not use its endless supply of ink to pen articles that would needlessly put a noose on this young man's neck; however heinous his crime.

Whatever the outcome, there will be no winners in this scenario.


Awful tragedy

    This is an awful tragedy for everyone involved.  The innocent victim and the perpetrator who doesn't understand the consequences of his own actions.   Now we have two families wounded and scarred and your own family, too, Norm.   It will take a long time for everyone to heal, if ever.  I wish there was a way to make this kind of pain never happen again.

Norm, I offer my condolences

Norm, I offer my condolences to you, to your friend, and to his family, as well as to the family and friends of the victim.  I agree that this is not a good time for the Plain Dealer to start more trouble by writing articles like the one written by Morris.  I read it too and I couldn't understand exactly where he was going with the article.  I thought he was trying to tell all of us that any killing is a hate crime.  But, after reading the definition of hate crime I can see how it would be very difficult to label this particular crime a hate crime.  I feel so bad for all involved in this tragedy.  My heart goes out to you and your friend.  I am so very sorry. 

Update on Randie Winston

I heard today from Randie's father and I was more saddended to hear he has been in the hospital from stress, and his son is on suicide watch.

I'm sure there are many who will say that is good. I am very sorry for all involved.

If the PD intends to lead a lynching, they are well on their way to claiming their victims' lives.

These are not such simple matters - Morris is wrong... I'm sure reading the coverage of this tragedy in the PD has been a factor in the deeping harm caused all parties and the community, and our position as a racist disgrace in global society.

Disrupt IT

Today's header

I assume the photo shows your friend, Kieth, the father of the son who committed murder.  The father has to bear some of the horrendous pain for his son's actions.  What a horrible pain to bear and all we can all do now is to look for redemption and healing water to wash away the sins.

Kieth wants justice for his son, and lessons to be learned

Right now, Kieth's son is being victimized by the worst of unreal NEO - Bill Mason, Phillip Morris and the Plain Dealer - and that is making matters far worse for everyone here. Before there may be any healing in our community, Randie must have a fair trial. REALNEO will make certain of that.

Disrupt IT

Fair trial

  Yes-I agree, Norm.  Good luck with this effort. 

The other day, coming home I felt sick to see a kid riding toward me in one of the low-rider bikes, kids use around here to collect drug orders...the same slack look in the posture, everything said "drugs-for-sale." As the kid approached, his face broke into a smile, he waved to me, and I recognized him as one of the smartest kids in the neighborhood--a student who orders books online and voraciously reads Manga.  I have mixed emotions.  Is he playing two roles in society to get along? Or is he just camouflaged to survive.  And, this isn't just an urban phenomenon.  Watch your newspapers and local news.  This happens to all boys (and some girls) during their teen years.  It's happening in Bay Village, and Shaker, and Solon. 

This is not a rite of passage, I would want to live through again. 

Ask the young man

Being white among a group of black friends, we talk about race and customs regularly. Ask the smart young man what's up - I'm sure you'll learn a lot.

Disrupt IT

I will

  and not to play into stereotypes, but to clarify any assumptions--he is not African-American...