The Dozier White House Building (WHB) A Historic Site, A Monument of Granite
First I would like to thank all that were involved in the Dozier School case. I know how busy you are so I will keep this short and to the point. I remember what Minority Leader Arthenia Joyner said about Dozier: “We can't go back and change the sins of the past but we can set a reminder so that this never happens again.” The reminder is the White House Punishment room which should be declared a historic site.
The WHB is the ultimate reminder. Boys as young as seven to twelve years old were punished by flogging with a whip you cannot use on a farm animal today. Flogging is torture and was far beyond the guidelines for corporal punishment. People were sent to prison for flogging as late as 1952. Sadly, Boys under the age of twelve to seven were flogged the most.
If the WHB cannot be saved then a granite slab, inscribed with a picture of the WHB, the 2013 Cabinet names that voted for the exhumations, Professor Erin Kimmerle and Dr. Christian Wells who found the unknown bodies. A synopsis of events, the location of the boy's final cemetery and an ending quote.
I feel this monument should be put in Tallahassee as this Cabinet did what had never been done before. They went 60 years into the past and rendered justice. This could be good for Florida as they did not “sweep this under the rug” as we are famous for. We need to change that indictment, the next cabinet and the new administrators have some big shoes to fill. There is power in a story read by 1.18 billion people, Tallahassee and Marianna could use that to their mutual advantage. People all over the world are waiting to see how Florida can bring this story to an ending that sets an example of accountability and justice for all.
The young people of the last few decades are innocent of what happened and it was unfair that they should bear the brunt of something their ancestors did decades ago. I agree with Adam Putnam, the land should be returned to Marianna in a ceremony with representatives of all the Youth Organizations for this symbolic return, that they may heal their town's image and economy. I would hope representatives from the White House Boys and the townspeople could shake hands and end this in a peaceful manner. Tearing down the WHB may happen but that is not the point here, destruction is never the answer, nor does it bring closure. The true closure was the return of some of the boys to their relatives that waited for decades, wondering why and where their missing children had gone. Now is the time for the spirit of compassion, forgiveness and a greater understanding for us all.
Democratic leader of the Florida Senate Arthenia Joyner: “It rights the wrong of a system that not only tolerated these abuses but looked the other way year after year. We can’t change the sins of the past but, we can establish a reminder so that they’re never repeated.”
Author Maria Tumarkin: “In the world we inhabit, traumascapes are everywhere. “Traumascapes hold the key to our ability to endure and find meaning in modern day tragedies and the legacies they leave behind.”
It is better to extend a hand than to raise a fist, forgiveness is only for the strong.....RS