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Category: Bob Herbert

A Death in Destrehan

A Death in Destrehan

By Bob Herbert, Op-Ed Columnist / New York Times Destrehan, Louisiana, February 1, 2007  On the afternoon of Oct. 7, 1974, a mob of 200 enraged whites, many of them students, closed in on a bus filled with black students that was trying to pull away from the local high school. The people in the mob were in a high-pitched frenzy. They screamed racial epithets and bombarded the bus with rocks and bottles. The students on the bus were terrified. When a…

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“They Beat Gary So Bad”

“They Beat Gary So Bad”

By Bob Herbert, Op-Ed Columnist / New York Times  St. Rose, Louisiana, February 8, 2007  Juanita Tyler lives in a neat one-story house that sits behind a glistening magnolia tree that dominates the small front lawn. She is 74 now and unfailingly gracious, but she admits to being tired from a lifetime of hard work and trouble. I went to see her to talk about her son, Gary. The Tylers are black. In 1974, when Gary was 16, he was accused of…

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Gary Tyler’s Lost Decades

Gary Tyler’s Lost Decades

By Bob Herbert, Op-Ed Columnist / New York Times Destrehan, Louisiana, February 5, 2007  The term time warp could have been coined for this rural town of 11,000 residents that sits beside, and just a little below, the Mississippi River. A remnant of the sugar-plantation era, the region’s racially troubled past is always here, seldom spoken about but inescapable, like the murk in the air of a perpetually stalled weather front. The Harry Hurst Middle School is on the site of the…

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