Sunday, January 11, 2015

And Justice For All?

Maria Geryk introduces Calvin Terrell to the crowd of about 100- 125 Middle School parents/guardians and a few hand picked students

No tears were shed, nobody puked and professional counselors were not required as "social justice" speaker extraordinaire Calvin Terrell paid a return visit to the Amherst Regional Middle School -- the scene of the crime -- to "reenact" his October 2nd routine that terrorized far too many impressionable young students.

This time around school officials told parents to keep their children at home, kind of like cops separating two partners in crime during questioning so they can't compare notes.

Although nine ARHS students, all members of IGET (Inter-Generational Equity Team), were trotted out to the front of the room to tell the crowd why they are "warriors".

ARPS Superintendent Maria Geryk, the highest paid public official in Amherst, announced at the outset that no video recording was allowed (while looking directly at me).

 Calvin Terrell displays a t-shirt from a racist group in his home state of Arizona

Over the course of the first two hours the affable Terrell put on a good show that was a cross between a pep rally and a religious tent revival meeting.

 Audience stands for one of many interactive exercises

But the last half hour became a bit more somber as he reenacted the "visualization" exercise that was the most traumatic aspect of his controversial October 2nd presentation.

He told the attentive audience that this would be the "exact same way I did this with your kids."

He asked us to close our eyes and envision heading into our school on a cool October night holding the soft hand of a five year old girl, with our most beloved adult accompanying us, walking on our left.

Suddenly people are running, shots are fired, and we're understandably scared and confused.

A man near us pulls a gun of his own and says he's going to end this, but he's cut down by the shooter who is yelling things indicating he had been bullied.  Another shot rings out, only this time it's the police doing the shooting and the perp is neutralized.

He then pauses ... and you can almost see the Hollywood-like cut to a new scene which he describes as a room in a funeral home with two coffins, one of them for a child.  It's a closed coffin because the child was shot in the face with the resulting damage too great for the mortician to repair.

We then take a brief break and he asks everyone to check on the persons sitting next to them to make sure they are emotionally okay.

But in the October 2nd version I heard from a half-dozen Middle School students (one of them my daughter)  there was a much closer more graphic visualization of the shooter killing the 5-year-old girl and your most beloved adult right in front of you while you helplessly watched in sheer horror.

No wonder they didn't want this talk recorded.

Terrell also made snide remarks about men who dress "in Brooks Brother suits and work in tall buildings" yet he claims the reason he doesn't want his talks recorded is to protect his intellectual property, which generates a decent income.

In this case $38,000 for ten visits to Amherst.  So even if tonight was "free," it was done to protect his $38,000 contract.  Kind of like a restaurant giving you a free meal because the one you paid for previously gave you salmonella.

 Calvin Terrell:  As photogenic as he is smooth talking

As I was taking video at the outset of the meeting (and no, I was not going to video the entire 2.5 hour presentation) a woman sitting behind me suddenly snatched my iPhone, reminding me that it was against the rules.

I was sitting in the front row seat of the PUBLIC Middle School auditorium, the same seat I have occupied over the past 24 years as an Amherst Town Meeting member.  It was well below freezing tonight so keeping the auditorium warm (and lit) cost the taxpayers a few dollars.

And this event was sponsored and promoted by the Amherst PUBLIC schools to try to atone for the October 2nd mishap that was widely covered in the local media.

Social Justice does not trump the First Amendment.




Editor's note: To her credit the woman who grabbed my Iphone did apologize to me; as did Calvin Terrell to the audience late in his reenactment for having upset some students at the original October 2nd presentation and badmouthing the town after the controversy erupted in the media. 

80 comments:

Calvin Terrell said...

Realized that an internal feeling of frustration can become disgust, which is the path to demonizing another. Do not twist into that which is twisting you. I was showered with love from fellow warriors of IGET (Inter-Generational Equity Team) of Amherst College and Amherst Public Schools. The waters of virtue they poured upon me, along with the spiritual breezes of the Most High, turn my flaming mind into a heart burning with love and kindness. Even for those who may hate me and have even worked to hurt me. Thank you IGET for the learning and collaboration. Also, thank you to those who worked to hurt me, In Lak'ech; I see you as an ally, not an enemy, because your energy and attempts to assault me drew out mental, emotional, social, and spiritual muscles latent within my soul. Blessings to you Larry and Amherst!

Larry Kelley said...

Yes, I believe the American Indians measured a man by his enemies. The bigger the better.

Jackie M'Vemba said...

Again with the warrior bullshit. Does Anyone buy into this?? Outrageous t- shirt. Kinda -- what--? Racist ain't it. God almighty!

Anonymous said...

Social justice. Again my question is: what's the difference between social justice and just plain justice?

Anonymous said...

Whatever, Calvin.

Anonymous said...

Room was about a quarter full. Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Ed's version is a bit different. The man with his own gun doesn't say *anything* but recognizes an off-duty police officer and the two of them use hand signals to coordinate an ambush on the perp, which is successful with the perp being terminated.

The officer gets promoted in response to public pressure and the APD has to invent some award for civilian valor and awards it to the man with his own gun. The NRA hires him to go on a speaking tour and he becomes quite wealthy.

Hey, that's my version -- good guys w3ith guns save the day.


Anonymous said...

He took his hat off.

Anonymous said...

I tried out for the Inter- Generational Equity Team, but didn't make the cut.

keithw said...

How is it that they can enforce no videotaping? They can certainly "respectfully request" that no one record footage but that's about it. And what if you had resumed recording?

Anonymous said...

Ass-backward!

The routine response for the Amherst schools.

Larry Kelley said...

Keith: As Kirik used to say, "What are they gonna do, beat you up?"

And I'm pretty sure even at my advanced age I could still take Calvin.

A journalist never wants to become part of the story, so I did stop videotaping.

Interesting thing is the Gazette photographer was w-a-y more of a distraction than I was (up to that point anyway), as she moved around the front of the room and snapped numerous photos.

Technically speaking the woman who grabbed my camera did not violate the First Amendment as she is not a government employee.

Maria on the other hand is, so her edict to ban videotaping is a violation.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 11:40 pm:

Difference between "Social justice" and "Justice" is that actual "Justice is what we used to refer to as "Equal Justice." Social Justice is un-equal justice, incorporating the equivalent of quotas, prosecutorial discretion, reparations, and other forms of targeted favoritism for or against individuals based on race and other identity dis/advantages.

In other words, Social Justice is newspeak for Injustice.

Anonymous said...

lol. Common decency is alive!

Anonymous said...

Performing artists often point out that recording is illegal. That rarely stops a decent pirate. Arrrr.

Larry Kelley said...

Do we really want our kids learning important concepts from a "performing artist""

Reminds me of when Eve Ensler said 'Vagina Monologues' should be taught in the elementary schools.

Anonymous said...

Social Justice apparently equates being Whit with the SS. Imagine if You gave a presentation and displayed a Tee with a similarly racist comment about blacks. And for this he gets Paid??

Anonymous said...

Sry mr. T. Didn't realize the tee was from another group.

Anonymous said...

Calvin Terrell, by possessing and proudly displaying that racist shirt (which includes Nazi references) you prove to the world that you are nothing but a phoney. You speak in gibberish bullshit-speak like some prophet, but your undertones of hatred for whites is blatantly evident. Clearly you smoke too much shit. It figures the left-wing liberal world would be attracted to your anti-white rhetoric. You are no warrior, you are a sad, sad bigoted person and only you can't see though your bullshit. Oh, and can we get the check for our table when you can. And my daughter would like a refill of her drink please.

You are fucking delusional and anyone that buys your shit is weak and without conscious. You're act is laughable. I watched your circus show and I have to say my gut still hurts from having to hold in the laughter.

Larry Kelley said...

Well he did say a "warrior" speaks their mind.

Anonymous said...

The First Amendment doesn't include the right to use other people's work without their permission.

Larry Kelley said...

Yes, actually it does. It's called "fair use."

And out of his 2.5 hour presentation I would have only used a few minutes, which a Court of law would consider fair.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Terrell, have you any idea how defamatory making shirts with the Schutzstaffel is to people, namely those with Jewish ancestry? One of the three divisions if the German SS was the Totenkopfverbändein who was in charge of the death and concentration camps. Using such a symbol is very disrespectful to many people of many different ethnicities to this day.

If you truly understood tolerance you would not sink so low as to use such hideous symbols, then have the gall to smile while proudly holding up such trash. Showing such ignorance proves to me that you really have little understanding of tolerance. You are no warrior, you are a bully.

I am appalled that Amherst allowed such a racist as yourself to speak to the children. I will certainly pass this information onto the JDL so that you may be monitored.

Walter Graff said...

Any form of recording and selling, giving away, public presentation of any element containing copyright creative/intellectual content is illegal without having obtained the legal signed and notated releases from all individuals, companies, organizations, etc. unless as Larry correctly states, it is fair use. Larry was in his legal rights to record some of Mr. Terrell's presentation.

petervickery said...

For Anon 11:40. Newspeak-to-English: If the word "justice" is preceded by an adjective, replace that adjective with "not." If the word "social" precedes a word, replace that word with "ism"

Anonymous said...

Once again Kelley has a need to make a community story about himself. Either stand your ground and take the video or shut up about it. Sounds like the kid in middle school who is suddenly brave once the dust has settled and the hallways cleared.

I thought this story was about Terrell!'s return?

Anonymous said...

And did anyone here even go to the presentation? The t shirt was evidence of a nazi group alive Ian's well in Arizona where Terrell lives. He wasn't displaying it to promote it.

I'm not a big terrel fan but the bias in these posts is obvious.

Anonymous said...

"Mr. Terrell, have you any idea how defamatory making shirts with the Schutzstaffel is to people, namely those with Jewish ancestry?"

He didn't make the shirt. He's showing that these despicable hate groups exist in Arizona.

Larry Kelley said...

Cowardly Anon Nitwit 12:01 PM,

And if I had stood my ground and Mr. Terrell called off the presentation at the 5 minute mark then you would be saying I am an unprofessional, disruptive blogger making the news rather than reporting it.

The interesting thing is for the entire duration of the short video Mr. Terrell is within 2-3 feet of me (even closer than the woman sitting behind me.)

So obviously he knew I was videotaping it, but he let the women (Maria and my accoster) do the enforcement work for him.

Not very warrior-like of him.

Anonymous said...

BLESS YOU brother Calvin Terrell. You cannot throw pearls to swine. Keep on shining on and doing what you are doing which is REACHING our youth. They need more WARRIORS like you to step up and chant truth and justice in the face of adversaries. You are an inspiration and you are symbolic of what some of us in this "happy valley" have experienced either first hand or via family members. Not just some glorified image as some shallow minds would have you portrayed as. You are LARGE. Your voice MATTERS as does the voice of our youth. You are not foreign to us. You words and your voice are not falling on deaf ears! WE ARE WITH YOU in solidarity!

Anonymous said...

If you didn't show up for this presentation, you have ZERO business having an opinion.

Larry Kelley said...

All the more reason it should have been recorded.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that I'm going to defend Calvin Terell here at least as far as the T-shirt goes. I believe he was displaying it just to show how much I hate is really out there. I don't think he was calling white boys nazis. And pretty much everybody hates Nazis unless you were related to one I suppose. Other than that, I'll stick to plain old-fashioned justice, not the social kind. Because actually I'd like to be rich.

Anonymous said...

Lol

Anonymous said...

"BLESS YOU brother Calvin Terrell. You cannot throw pearls to swine. They need more WARRIORS like you to step up and chant truth and justice in the face of adversaries."

Perhaps not the best person to quote at this time, but Bill Cosby says it best:

"Because we are making fools of ourselves"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGqlrVmVULc

Larry Kelley said...

Yes, Calvin did NOT print up the t-shirt as a prop (I thought my photo description telegraphed that), he was merely using it to show that racists are out there.

And it must be particularly troubling that they are home based in Arizona, his home state.

The t-shirt display came up fairly late in the presentation, and if you were there you probably remember him looking at me and ASKING me to take a picture (which of course I did).

Anonymous said...

"The t-shirt display came up fairly late in the presentation, and if you were there you probably remember him looking at me and ASKING me to take a picture (which of course I did)."

And you fell for his propaganda giving him free press with just the image he needs to sucker another school to pay his rent.

Anonymous said...

"Realized that an internal feeling of frustration can become disgust, which is the path to demonizing another. Do not twist into that which is twisting you. I was showered with love from fellow warriors of IGET (Inter-Generational Equity Team)..."

Calvin attended the Rev. Al Sharpton school of how to talk as if big words and phrases show how intelligent you are... Propheterizing.

"We have defeated Jim Crow, but now we have to deal with his son, James Crow Jr., esquire."

Larry Kelley said...

Geeze, I can't win today. By filming him as much as I initially did I was "breaking the rules," and another silly woman asked me what kind of an example that sets for my children.

Some of my fellow journos thought I should have stood my ground more firmly.

And one real First Amendment hardliner thought I should have smacked someone.

Anonymous said...

Yep, smacked some sense into Geryk for allowing this dog and pony show.

Larry Kelley said...

Well she at least had the common sense to approach me from the front as opposed to the woman who grabbed my iphone from behind.

Anonymous said...

I was at this event as a parent of a child that was upset by the visualization portion of the program. I wanted to hear why the school never notified the parents and why the school didn't even seem to know what the content of the program would be before allowing Mr Terrell to speak to our kids. While I do see the value in the experience for our kids to come together, the visualization portion of the program seems out of context with his message. Why teach more fear to our kids to get them to open up and be good to each other? Why not facilitate that in a less violet, fearful way? The skits that were used were not shown last night but that in itself can be useful as a visual, emotional experience. I was there and I felt most of the message was great and I understand it was delivered in an expedited way. There is still a lot of hate in our world, town and community and we all need to take our part in cleaning it up. I was really taken back by the behavior of the person that slapped Larry Kelley's phone away as he recorded. I think Mr Terrell would have addressed it sooner or later as he got into his program and that assault was not needed. Also free speech took a slap to the face last night for sure in that auditorium of a public school. I Was very disturbed by that. The tee shirt shown was clearly explained by Mr Terrell that the hate group that produced them are from his home state in AZ and they spread horrible hate and fear. He talked about how they broke into his home. He said to Larry, yes get a photo of this, I want them to know I am not afraid of them.

Anonymous said...

You know what bothers me about this "debate"? It's that it's all adults saying what they think children need to learn/need to be shielded from. I personally know only one student for whom Calvin's presentation wasn't a positive life-changing experience. And yeah, Calvin is a performer to a certain extent, and yeah, he gets paid to do this work (it's his JOB), and yeah, his messages are not academic research papers, but he got through the kids on the issue of privilege and kindness better than any teacher could. My son has a new understanding of the larger world because of the presentation. Give Calvin-hating a rest people.

Larry Kelley said...

And again I would point out it was a 17-year-old student at ARHS (1999) who ended up getting 'West Side Story' banned (because it was "racist").

Another sacrilegious assault on the First Amendment.

Anonymous said...

Really? Well it is racist. We don't do black-face minstrel shows these days either. Times change, and these old racist portrayals are no longer appropriate.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering, did he display articles or exhibits from hate groups of any groups other than white boys?

Jackie M'Vemba said...

I boycotted as promised. I don't buy in, brother C.

Anonymous said...

Is this a joke?

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen Putney Swope in decades. But this comes close.

Anonymous said...

Does it count, may we have an opinion if we've seen video of his speeches?

Anonymous said...

It's okay to quote Bill. It has only been alleged that he did what he's accused of. Plenty of Terell vids out there. Plenty to go on. Opine away.

Anonymous said...

Yes it was clear that Larry had the correct caption with that photo. If you didn't read that, you might get the impression that Mr. Terell does not think White is Beautiful...

Anonymous said...

I give you a lot of credit for Trying, Larry.

Anonymous said...

Guy's a carney huckster, a jive turkey. A do-nuthin' no-count fool. In other words: a perfect character actor in the Amherst public education mileu.

Anonymous said...

The constitution means a lot to that woman. Clearly.

Anonymous said...

Life-changing for me too. I hate this warrior bullshit more than I did before. Seen the vid.

Anonymous said...

I'll give my opposition a rest when Calvin gives his social justice rap a rest. Deal?

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 12:12 - Thank you for your measured description of the issue you and your had with presentation. I'm not sure why my sensitive child was not upset by the visualization, but he felt it was an important way to make the point that we need to pull together NOW, rather in the face of a tragedy. He and a friend made up from a year-old argument after the presentation. That said, I agree that it seems like there could be a better way to bring kids to that point of seeing that we are "all one".

And thank you, and Larry, and others, for further explaining the t-shirt. Google the slogan and you will see who's selling it: skin heads. A young person who left a white power group to join his "peaceful warriors" gave it to Calvin. IMO, a person recruiting members AWAY from the skin heads, neo-nazis, etc. deserves more respect than he's getting in this discourse.

Anonymous said...

I didn't get why a person promoting kindness and tolerance and who is against stereotyping divides up people into Thugs, Cowards, Soldiers and Warriors. This felt like name calling. Is a person who doesn't stop a nasty remark really a Coward? Is a person who backbites a Thug? Should we ever call a person who commits a violent crime Dirt? ("Dirt buried in dirt.")

Do I have to earn my humanity? Do you? Does a 10 year old? I think we all share it inherently.

Does anyone in Massachusetts need a visulization of shooting and blood after 2 planes flew out of Boston into the World Trade Center buidlings, after the marathon bombongs and the Newtown massacre an hour away from Amherst? Does any of this not seem real to our children? I wish my kids lived in a bubble.

Terrell is well-intentioned and has a lot to say about how painful bullying is but---

Anonymous said...

"Swine" now they're calling us. (I think the expression is "pearls before swine.")

Anonymous said...

What exactly did u find racist in WSS? You miss the point of one of the greatest works in the history of American Musical Theater. But we digress...

Anonymous said...

What exactly did u find racist in WSS? You miss the point of one of the greatest works in the history of American Musical Theater. But we digress...

Anonymous said...

The vagina monologues is sexist. Sexism is deemed okay?

Anonymous said...

Forgiveness is divine. Just gimme a break with the Warrior crap. Unnecessary. Warriors go to war. Help us out and join the US Armed Forces if you think being a Warrior is for you.

Anonymous said...

Social Justice not necessary. Justice is all you need. And justice cannot hinge on how we "feel" things ought to be.

Playing you cuz you're $$$ buying it. said...

Yeeowzah,

at least Jere woulda showed up

in a nice wool blazer and slacks.


-Squeaky Squeaks


p.s. Well, She blends in, one supposes.

Anonymous said...

Larry, have a loook at that first photo you posted. I think you got the caption wrong. It should read:

Maria Geryk and Calvin Terrell perform "Summer Loving" from the hit Broadway musical Grease to the crowd of about 100- 125 Middle School parents/guardians and a few hand picked students.

Anonymous said...

If someone tried to take my phone.... They would get a quick karate chop to the throat. Or a bitch slap. CA - POW. Self defense!
That would just be my muscle memory kicking in.:)

Chuck Norris

Mommy, does my life mean anything to you? said...

I ~knew~ I'd seen him somewhere...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxsnXxwoaME


-Squeaky Squeaks


p.s. Say what now?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQYY27UZR_w

keithw said...

Anon 8:35

You're an imposter. Chuck Norris doesn't have muscle memory. Muscle has Chuck Norris memory. And if anyone even dreamed of taking Chuck Norris' phone, they'd have to wake up and give themselves a quick chop to the throat.

Anonymous said...

I thought the directive was "Please refrain from bringing students." Yet there were "hand-picked" students present. Whose hand picked them and why?

Anonymous said...

Lets all remember in the Fiefdom of Maria Geryk, Maria gets what Maria wants.

Or

Its Maria's way or the highway, but she will talk to you about it with a smile on her face as she kicks you to the curb.

or

Ultimate power corrupts Ultimately, maybe that is really for some other Amherst issue.

Either way good luck, I'm out of this looney bin and taking my kids and my toys with me, good luck.

Anonymous said...

These students were hand-picked from the small group that was brain-washed by this guy. While you did not get video, we did:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFnSxeDfENk

Anonymous said...

I find myself having to act like one of the Pod People when I'm at work here. You can fool them and blend in this way. They will not attack because they will think you're one of them. Just don't go to sleep. Whatever you do you Must Stay Awake...you've GOT to believe me. You've just GOT TO!

Anonymous said...

Lol. Good one Pod Person. I know the feeling. Social Justice = Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Gimme regular old justice Any day.

Anonymous said...

Maybe she wasn't assaulting you, Larry, nor interfering with your right as a journalist.

Maybe she was just "checking" your "privilege."

Anonymous said...

She put her hands where they didn't belong. Howzabout we all do that?

Anonymous said...

5:34, maybe she should have just kept her damn hands off another persons property. Simply raising her hand, or standing up to say he was recording it. But, no, this is Amherst. Maybe she thought he had a Texas flag on his phone case. Righteous indignation!

Anonymous said...

Texas flag! Lol. Good one!

Anonymous said...

Squeak on, brother Squeaky.