A middle-school football team in Massachusetts was forced to bring their season to an early close when one of their players' homes was spray-painted with racist graffiti. The attack also included slashing the boy's tires. Initially investigators believed that other members of the boy's team were to blame. The graffiti message said, "Knights don't need *n word*", and during their football games, some members of the team had been known to yell racially charged hate-speak.
Eighth grader Isaac Philips, the boy in question, is of mixed race, and out of concern for his safety, the school ended the team's season early. What seemed like a cut and dried (if awful) story of racism and hatred came to a close. Now it has come to light that it is more complex than we ever thought possible.
Currently, it is being reported that the boy's own mother, Andrea Brazier, is responsible for these heinous acts. His mother, who is white, has been a suspect since the beginning of the investigation. This is because her story contains wild inconsistencies. She changed her account of events many times throughout the investigation and finally stopping agreeing to cooperate with police. When eventually pressed by the FBI, she copped to the idea that she was involved but said her son and her husband had nothing to do with it. She gave no reason for her actions, saying cryptically that no one could ever understand why she's done what she's done.
This story is proof that the face of hate is more complex than we ever knew it to be. We think of sneering ignorant bullies, villains who are easy to identify. But the truth is always more nuanced. Who knows what her reasons were for perpetrating a hate crime on her own son. What matters is that it happened and that this shocking display of hate only further proves the pernicious nature of racism.
Why do you think the boy's mother could have done it?
Image via Anderson Mancini/Flickr