Talk:2009 Richmond High School gang rape

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Changes to the Lede[edit]

Recently, race has crept into the lede. This, just by being placed where it is, suggests that race is an issue in this crime. Yet, in spite of much talk (see sections above), there is no WP:RS claiming this to be true: quite the contrary, in fact. As race is not an issue, its only other use here must be as an identifier, and we don't want any more identifiers of the victim who is a minor.

I propose changing the opening sentence as follows:

The 2009 Richmond High School gang rape occurred on Saturday, October 24, 2009, in Richmond, a city on the northeast side of the San Francisco Bay in California, U.S., when a 16-year-old white[1] female student of Richmond High School was raped repeatedly by a group of young males of different races[1] in a courtyard on the school campus while a homecoming dance was being held in the gymnasium.

Comments are solicited. Bielle (talk) 16:36, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

  • I support that edit, strongly. Race was not an issue in this case . Off2riorob (talk) 17:32, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Note: Rob has attempted to destroy this article from the get-go. His "views" should be taken with a grain of salt.  ::Richmondian (talk)
  • Oppose Edit: If it walks like a duck an quacks its a duck. We don't live in a vacuum or cartoon land. Race must be stated since the victim of a different race was picked out of a group of girls of the same as race as the alleged rapists. Meishern (talk) 05:15, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Support per my earlier comments on the source, and lack of evidence that race was an issue. - Bilby (talk) 05:37, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
  • It adds to the lead and is completely appropriate. And, thanks to the earlier citation from LA times it is obvious that a huge # of people recognize the racial dimension of this crime. We don't need a reliable source stating an OPINION about whether its important, since the Times link specifically mentions a large number of people writing to the journalist about it. Also, as you may have noticed, "reliable sources" are typically sprayed with some sort of PC-brand disinfectant. UK-based editors, if you aren't familiar with American race-relations, I'd ask that you kindly step away from this article.
The implication that this "identifies" a minor victim is laughable and reeks of WP:BS and WP:IJUSTDONTLIKEIT Richmondian (talk) 07:46, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
@Richmondian, You have an interesting point which I didn't notice before. The people who are the most vocal against the exclusion of race in the article don't live in USA and aren't even immigrants inside the USA. It is interesting why these editors are so keen on this article since I doubt they fully understand the overall situation. I will not argue about Big Ben with a Brit or about a Kangaroo toe infection with an Aussie but there seem to be many experts from 10,000 miles away who feel competent enough to grasp the race relations within USA. People who never even saw a Latino or an African-American except on TV, and who don’t know LA Times from LA Wave feel they perhaps watched enough MTV, CSI or Monk to clearly understand the dynamics behind the event that occurred. I now understand why the quote from one of top newspapers in USA was dismissed so easily. Cheers! Meishern (talk) 11:20, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, but excluding people from a debate on Wikipedia based on where there live really isn't the right approach, and never is. It could well be argued that anyone who lives in the area has a COI and should step away - but that wouldn't be any more viable. The advantage of being from the region is that you bring local knowledge, but also risk having a POV of your own. The advantage of being from outside is that you are generally more neutral, but lack knowledge of the local context. - Bilby (talk) 14:44, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Who said exclude? But if you don't understand the context, it probably doesn't make sense to come and edit. And if you've campaigned agressively to ge this article deleted, well, I am going to look at your content-stripping edits very warily. I really don't know much about race relations in the UK or toe fungus in Kangaroos, so I am not going to go to those articles unless they need some basic cleanup/formatting. And to say that a local has a Conflict Of Interest is just insulting. I do not stand to profit off this article or its contents. Richmondian (talk) 06:44, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
You're right - I should have said POV rather than COI. A local may have a clear POV that may not be present in someone from outside. This doesn't mean that they definitely do, nor that they write based on that. Nor does it mean that someone who isn't local doesn't have one too. But I'd argue that not being too closely related to topics is a plus in terms of neutrality, so generally it seems good to have people from outside get involved in articles, especially given that local knowledge isn't verifiable, so while it can inform debate, we have to turn to the sources in the end. - Bilby (talk) 13:56, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I support the proposed edit. Most newspapers articles regarding this matter don't mention race due to editorial decisions by reporters and editors that it was irrelevant. Exercising our editorial discretion we should probably come to the same conclusion for the same reason. The possible racial subtleties are interesting and probably should be in the movie, but don't belong here where the issue is witnesses who did nothing effective to save the victim, not the race of the victim and her attackers. It's a matter of keeping our eye on the ball: people watched without doing anything. Fred Talk 18:59, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
That is against all known wikipedia policy, Fred. Richmondian (talk) 06:44, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't think it is against policy to model our article on peer-reviewed sources. We can identify the ethnicity of the defendants, but you can't find a reliable source that contains evidence that the incident was racially motivated. We can imagine such feelings but there is no source for them. If there is a fact of that nature it consists of a report of the assumption some people made. Fred Talk 20:56, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Absolutely support the edit. The opinion column is a fine source for the author's opinion, but not for statements of fact. The fact that the column mentioning race only does so to discuss that race was specifically not brought up in the original news article clinches it for me.--Cúchullain t/c 21:03, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
The article states a fact, plain n simple, that is confirmed in other reliable sources, for one. Richmondian (talk) 06:44, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
The opinion column states some facts, but it doesn't matter as it's an opinion column, not a news article. Especially considering that the opinion stated therein is that said facts aren't particularly relevant.
This sfgate article, it that's what you're talking about, mentions the race(s) of the suspects, it does not mention the race of the victim. It only mentions the suspects' race at all three sections into the piece, in a bit about one suspects' relatives claiming the prosecutors have racial motives, as he's the only black suspect to be arrested. The article gives no particular credence to this, and makes no indication whatsoever that race was a factor in the crime.
Bottom line is, the sources don't make race an issue in the story. This Wikipedia article does. That's the opposite of what should be done.--Cúchullain t/c 17:05, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong support - for the removal of the POV content that this crime was racially motivated. Off2riorob (talk) 14:20, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

This edit by Dlabtot reflects the consensus here and at RS/N. Dlabtot's summary declares the WP:RS concern that the source quoted is not reliable in respect of the race of the people involved. Aside from this aspect, there is clear consensus that there is currently no reliable source, as WP defines such, for the claim that race was a factor in the crime. To mention it at all, and especially to mention it in the lede, would be to make an indirect claim that it was significant. This is not a conclusion about whether or not the claim is true, just that it is not verifiable. Bielle (talk) 04:06, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Uh, D1abtot, whoever that is, is mistaken. The sources are entirely reliable: LA Times, SF Chronicle, and others, in pieces about this subject specifically. Anyway, "reliable sources" is not a policy about whether something is significant enough to be in the lead. Richmondian (talk) 04:29, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Richmondian, there is almost no support, here or at WP:RS/N for your point of view. Please cease inserting racial designations in the face of the clear consensus to omit them. Bielle (talk) 04:53, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Bielle, please stop edit-warring now. The article was quite peaceful before this remove-the-races campaign began. The race of the attackers is well-cited and in many, many sources. The victim's race is not mentioned as widely. I know there are some editors here that will stop at nothing to destroy this article for unknown reasons. Race is actually one of the biggest issues in this story. It may be hard for outsiders to see, but it has been discussed in the community extensively. BTW the victim and her two friends who were seen on cnn, have left the school and the area. You are doing no one any good by trying to cover up the racial aspect of the attack, and may even be part of the problem. Richmondian (talk) 05:07, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
In order to stop edit warring, I'd have to have started. I haven't made a single change since May 22 [1]. This is tedious. I have requested assistance here. Bielle (talk) 07:46, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

I'm going to copy most of a post I made in another discussion as I think it's relevant here

"Regarding sources - Not everything published in a reliable source is itself a reliable source - reliable sources don't operate on the osmotic principle, reliability doesn't leach into everything they publish. Things like op-ed pieces, gossip columns, blog posts from commentators etc generally fall outside the reliable sources envelope, even if the publication is otherwise considered a relable source."

Now - can someone give the links to of the sources being used to support the inclusion of the racial content below. I'll then evaluate them and give my comments. Exxolon (talk) 09:34, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

The primary article, which is what most of this was about, is:
Subsequently two others have been raised:
The first of these mentions the race of the attackers who had been arrested at that point, but not the victim. The second mentions the race of one of the attackers. The second has only been used to support the claim that race is an issue, rather than to source the race of those involved. - Bilby (talk) 10:31, 16 July 2010 (UTC)


The LA Times is a reliable source, but the article cited is an opinion column, not a news article. SFGate is a reliable source and the article is a news article and the races of the defendants are a part of the article. (It actually identifies all of their races contrary to your statement "<name> is the only black suspect named in the case. <name> is white, and the other suspects are Latino." but not the race of the victim. I'm unsure on the reliability of Colorlines. The author is the Managing Editor so it's also unclear whether this is a news article or an opinion column.

When dealing with real people we have to apply WP:BLP very carefully. The first source fails as it's an opinion column. The second mentions the races of the defendants and includes comments by a defendants relatives expressing apprehension about the fairness of any legal process due to his race but not the race of the victim. The third needs further evaluation.

As it stands in my opinion we are not currently justified in including this information in the lead (British English)/ lede section. As the trial progresses if a racial dimension is brought into the trial and reported on in reliable sources in proper news reports we can then include that information in a neutral fashion. We must remember our actions here can have real world effects and be conversative, especially when it comes to real people and legal processes. Exxolon (talk) 11:06, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Not a major point, but just to clarify - by "the second mentions the race of one of the attackers" I meant the second of the two alternative articles, specifically the Color Lines one. I just phrased it badly. :) - Bilby (talk) 11:12, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
It's abundantly clear that there is no consensus to include the information in the lede, least of all attributed to an opinion column. The information can be found, but there is absolutely no indication that it's important.--Cúchullain t/c 13:35, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree, there is a clear consensus, lets remove it.Yes check.svg DoneOff2riorob (talk) 14:21, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
off2riorob has tried to damage this article in the past -- see above. his comments should be taken with a grain of salt Richmondian (talk) 21:30, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks Exxolon, for weighing in. Whether the fact taken from the LA Times Op-ed is accurate has never been in doubt; the claim has been that the main theme of that particular Op-ed piece was not being represented faithfully, which is not the domain of WP:RS) And, WP:RS touches specifically on Op-ed pieces in top-tier publications. "These are reliable sources, depending on context, but when using them, it is better to attribute the material in the text to the author." So I think the RS issue is clear enough. I do not see a BLP issue in mentioning the race of someone who is not even named. Richmondian (talk) 21:30, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

The final comment from the Reliable Source noticeboard:
If a reliable secondary source, and this includes staff editorials, discussed or debated race as an issue, then it is appropriate to mention race in the article. Squidfryerchef (talk) 00:43, 17 July 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Richmondian (talkcontribs)
A more representative comment from the same noticeboard
One source does make the observation, in the context of saying the information is unimportant and irrelevant. It is a clear example of a misuse of a source. And no, it is not a political bias to say that an opinion column, even one from a well-known newspaper is not a suitable source for information about a living person, most especially when the column makes the opposite point ("I don't believe that [race] explains the attack") from the one you want it to ("race IS an issue"- above) --Slp1 (talk) 21:44, 16 July 2010 (UTC) added here by Bielle (talk) 01:08, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
The problem Bielle, is that WP:RS noticeboard is a place to discuss reliable sources, not whether something is given undue weight. Richmondian (talk) 02:42, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Why is that a problem particularly? I'd imagine that editors commenting on that noticeboard, knowing the context, are entitled to comment on undue weight as well as the inherent reliability of the source. Different sources will be reliable for different purposes. I don't currently see a consensus in that discussion or in this one to make the changes you wish to make. Do you have something to change people's minds on this? If not, maybe we are done here. --John (talk) 02:51, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
The problem is that a reliable sources noticeboard loses any legitmacy when the editors there can't make a simple call about reliability or not, and don't even seem to realize that they are on the reliable sources noticeboard. If they had simply chose between "yes, reliable, per <sommething>", or "unreliable, per <somethingelse>" then the board has merit. If they go off on tangents there's no use seeking an opinion there. We might as well stay here if we want tangents. In any case, I believe the matter was settled, concisely, by Squidfryerchef: SOURCE IS RELIABLEYes check.svg Done. Richmondian (talk) 04:30, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Why does the reliable sources noticeboard lose credibility when editors (who're volunteers like you and me) judge a situation where you give them the context in relation to that context? I disagree. These matters are seldom clear-cut and context is everything in sourcing. The matter was not settled by Squidfryerchef's comment; as this editor gave no rationale and many of those who disagreed with you (both there and here) did give rationales, I'd say the consensus is still clearly running against including the racial information you wish to add. --John (talk) 05:10, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
John, thank you for levelheadedness. First of all, this is not something I'd like to add to the article. It was something that was in the lede that some editors wanted to remove.
The whole point of the noticeboards is to seek opinions of those who have studied a police in depth. That is all. It isn't about seeking out pontificators that send discussion off in tangents. If there are multiple issues, such as BLP, NPOV, etc, we can go to multiple noticeboards. But for now the noticeboard is adding zero. I don't think people at the board have even read the policy they are commenting on, as it specifically spells out how Op-Eds should be treated. Here's my reading
Source is reliable, per RS, due to being LA Times, SF Chron, and the RS portion on Op-eds.
BLP is not an issue. Mentioning a victim's race, which is mentioned in the LA Times, does not identify the victim. I challenge anyone here to find the victim's name.
NPOV is not an issue, a simple "white" or "multicultural" qualifier is neutral and not undue weight. The examples on the NPOV page seem to relate to egregious POV-pushing, not simple descriptive terms. But, historically NPOV has been interpreted broadly so this one falls into an area that could be debated endlessly. Richmondian (talk) 02:04, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
With all due respect, I suggest you review WP:CONSENSUS, one of our core policies. Dlabtot (talk) 05:34, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Consensus is clearly against including the material. The op-ed piece was being used to imply that race was a factor in the crime, when that is the opposite of what the piece said. The actual news articles also do not imply that race was a factor. Seriously, it's time to move on.--Cúchullain t/c 13:04, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Mentioning race and saying that the attack was racially motivated are two very different things. If we have reliable sources documenting this information why would choose to exclude it? - Schrandit (talk) 07:07, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Since the reliable sources don't, this whole sub-conversation is irrelevant. Dlabtot (talk) 15:44, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
What are you talking about? We have half a dozen reliable sources describing the races of the involved parties. - Schrandit (talk) 19:24, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Could you please list these alleged 6 sources? tia Dlabtot (talk) 22:06, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Two very different things yes, but qwe don't report Johnny was a Hispanic unless it is relevant to the story, which the citations don't assert it is. Off2riorob (talk) 07:13, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Do the citations assert that the purpetrator's age is relevant to the story? - Schrandit (talk) 07:16, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I would say they do yes, perhaps not the exact age but the fact that they are school children or minors. Off2riorob (talk) 07:19, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I think you see my point. Perhaps it would be necessary to include that the victim was a minor but not to say that she was 15, or to list the ages of the suspects that have been rounded up so far. We also include other non-essential information that we have reliable sources for (the type of liquor being consumed, the fact that she was a student at the school, etc.)
We also do knowledge race later on in the article noting that the government's outreach efforts have been aimed at black-churches.
We should put the race of the suspects in context (that the state did not pursue hate crimes charges) but if we have the information from reliable sources our censorship would be remiss. - Schrandit (talk) 07:31, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't see your point, the assertion in the lede had the effect that the rape was racially motivated, that it was racially aggravated, this is unsupported in the citations. Keeping such misleading detail and original research out of an article is not censorship. Off2riorob (talk) 07:35, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Where did say that the rape was racially motivated? - Schrandit (talk) 07:41, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree Schrandit. The diff says nothing about the rape being "racially motivated" or "racially aggravated". Does including age in the lead mean the attack was age motivated or aggravated? Does including the date or time mean it was time-date motivated? I don't know why anyone would read it that way. I believe wikipedia's policy is to state the simple facts, let the reader to any interpretation he desires. And you raise an excellent point. If we indicate that outreach efforts have been directed to black churches, does that not imply that the attackers were largely black?
Richmondian (talk) 08:10, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
PS Keep in mind Rob's original purpose on this page: deleting the article, and, to that end, ensuring it is be as low quality as possible so that it ultimately be deleted.
When this article was written originally it was like a children's comic, the name of the raped girl was inserted and the alleged rapists, it was awful and imo had real life problems, quality experienced editors improved it and now I don't care if it stays or goes, at least it is not so bad as it was then.Off2riorob (talk)
I can see an argument for not including it in the lead as it isn't particularly important but why should this go in the body, where we insinuate it anyway? - Schrandit (talk) 08:15, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Do you mean "why should", or "why shouldn't"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Richmondian (talkcontribs) 08:22, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Bingo, I meant "why shouldn't". - Schrandit (talk) 08:25, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
The same case keeps it out of the article as keeps it out of the lede. Where do we insinuate that race was a mitigating factor in the crime? Off2riorob (talk) 08:39, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
And what case is that? - Schrandit (talk) 08:49, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, the one outlined in this thread. 08:52, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I have looked through most of that and it is still not clear to me. - Schrandit (talk) 09:13, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Adding the races to the intro implies that it is a factor in the crime, or at least in the story. This implication is not stated directly in any of the sources; in fact the sources say exactly the opposite. This is just cherry-picking information from various sources and arranging it to imply a conclusion not made in any source, which is really bad juju.--Cúchullain t/c 14:04, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
How does adding the races into the article imply that race was a factor in the crime? - Schrandit (talk) 19:24, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

If race is not relevant, it shouldn't be mentioned, certainly not in the lede - even if it were mentioned in reliable sources, which it is not. For example, the article on Thomas Jefferson - a white slave owner - does not mention his race. Dlabtot (talk) 03:25, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

A hint of race?[edit]

I'm not an American, and hadn't even thought of race being an issue here until I got to almost the end of the article, where it speaks of "predominately African-American churches". It seems to be the only mention of race in the article, but it's there. It says to me that race IS an issue in this crime, but everyone is tip-toeing around it in writing the article.

When people deliberately conceal aspects of an event, even for politically correct reasons, it actually leads to worse situations. Readers will make their own assumptions. I'm trying to work out what the "African-American" connection is, and trying to be objective about it.

Exactly what is the article hiding? HiLo48 (talk) 08:54, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

We are not hiding anything at all, we have reported what is in reliable citations and not asserted anything that isn't. Off2riorob (talk) 08:59, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I'll admit to not having read all the sources (nobody should have to), but that mention of African-American churches would not have been made in isolation. It would have been in the context of either or both the victim or the accused being African-American. You'll be hard pressed trying to convince me that the only mention of "African-American" in all the sources was in a mention of those churches. Or perhaps there is some "general knowledge" about this school of which I, as an outsider, have no "knowledge." HiLo48 (talk) 09:05, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I have read many of the sources, we have, from reliable sources, the race of the victem and all of the suspects.
I agree 100% the hiding it and hinting about it in the article makes things appear far worse than they actually are, most of the suspects are actually Latino and at least 1 is white. - Schrandit (talk) 09:13, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
That mention is not related to the rape, but to the response made by those churches and the city to the issue of violence raised by the rape. The "African-American" aspect covered there isn't otherwise connected. - Bilby (talk) 09:09, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Then why only African-American churches? It still seems odd. HiLo48 (talk) 09:11, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
The government specifically targeted that community in response to the rape. It is directly tied to it. - Schrandit (talk) 09:13, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Without anything drawing a connection, I can only assume that those churches happened to get together to get behind this particular program. It is interesting, but it could relate to those churches deciding to band together, or that those churches are the most common in the area, or just happenstance. At any rate, it seems to be a separate concern. - Bilby (talk) 09:22, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
The article specifically says government officials sought them out after the rape. - Schrandit (talk) 09:31, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Schrandit, I'm afraid that this is a red herring as far as your current concern goes. You'll need something drawing a direct connection between the churches and the race of the attackers to use this approach. - Bilby (talk) 10:14, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Exactly. There is absolutely no indication that the police were working with black churches in particular because of anything to do with the crime. Rather, in the wake of the rape they were making an effort to reduce violence, and that effort happened to involve talking to black churches. This is another example of drawing a conclusion that's just not there.--Cúchullain t/c 14:35, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
The article more than implies that they do. Again, hiding and hinting about these things make them appear much worse than they are. No one is implying that age was a factor in this rape but we have realiable sources for the ages so we included that information. Why not the same here? - Schrandit (talk) 19:24, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Since there is no 'hiding' or 'hinting' going on, your comments don't make much sense to me. Dlabtot (talk) 19:30, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

I don't get it. No one is hinting anything by including simple facts, no one is violating the "biography of living persons" policy by including these facts. The alleged attackers were multicultural, mostly Latino, non-students. One black student and one white student were arrested. The black student's family claims he was arrested to make the group more multicultural. The victim was white. Why do people want to hide this stuff? It was been reported in multiple reliable sources. The consensus of late seems to include this information. Schrandit, Richmondian, SquidFryeChef, Meishern. Richmondian (talk) 19:47, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Thank you Richmondian. I now know a little more. But other readers won't. My concern with the article is still reflected in my title for this section of Talk. There is a hint of race - African-American churches. In a country that has had serious racial issues in the past, that's a dangerous thing. It's weird just sitting there, being the ONLY mention of race in the article. Some editors are saying it has nothing to do with the rape. If so, why is it there? If it does have something to do with the rape, the article needs to say why. Otherwise, people WILL speculate. And if they can be well sourced, facts such as those you have just presented should also be there. HiLo48 (talk) 20:34, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
There is a straightforward mention of 'predominantly African-American' churches in the article, based on what was published in reliable sources. To call this a 'hint of race' involves inventing a new definition for the word 'hint'. Dlabtot (talk) 21:17, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
But WHY do the sources mention the churches? What do they have to do with the rape? HiLo48 (talk) 22:16, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
As you will see if you bother to read the WSJ article that is the single source for this mention[2], the 'Ground Zero' program was instituted in response to the high crime rate in Richmond, and this was the most high-profile crime in Richmond in the year prior to its founding. It is a rather tenuous connection and in my opinion doesn't really add anything of value to this article. It certainly does not in any way indicate that race was a factor in this crime. Dlabtot (talk) 22:25, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
It is conceivable that Marcelles James Peter's family's accusations of racism against the prosecutors[3] could be added to the 'Arrests' section, although I would argue that it would give undue weight to what appear to be unfounded accusations. However, that is the only mention of race that appears in reliable sources reporting about this incident, other than the 'Ground Zero' article in WSJ, which is already included. Dlabtot (talk) 21:52, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
HiLo48, you said "In a country that has had serious racial issues in the past, that's a dangerous thing." Which implies that we should remove all reference to race. This runs counter to wikipedia's aims. We chronicle the facts, within some limits (WP:BLP for instance). If there is a problem with the article, it is that we only mention the African American churches, which misrepresents the reality of the case. Richmondian (talk) 23:48, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, and that's exactly what I meant by being careful. Having learnt more about it here, I agree with Richmondian that the link between the rape and the action the the African-American churches is tenuous. There is certainly no direct link. Would it do any harm to remove that mention? HiLo48 (talk) 03:37, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I certainly don't think so. I would have done so myself, after reading the source, except I was afraid that doing so might escalate the ongoing dispute. Dlabtot (talk) 03:51, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Seems like the best thing to do is stop filtering race in the beginning. Simple solution which doesn't lead to obliterating information throughout the article. Richmondian (talk) 05:08, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I have no idea what you are trying to say. 'filtering race'? What does that mean? Dlabtot (talk) 05:11, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
State race wherever it is relevant to the story. Don't pick and choose, and says "it's only ok to mention it when talking about African Americans". People can them come here to get the whole story, and people won't walk away thinking that the attackers or the victim were African Americans. Richmondian (talk) 05:22, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree that if it were relevant, and cited to reliable sources, it should be mentioned. However, neither of those qualifiers apply in this instance. Can you point to a reliable source that mentions the race of the victim? Dlabtot (talk) 05:29, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, there are multiple reliable sources for this info. Please see above. Richmondian (talk) 05:41, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
What is the url of the alleged reliable source or sources that discuss the race of the victim? If you don't want to engage in an honest dialogue, don't provide the url(s). Dlabtot (talk) 05:57, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
We need two things: a reliable source providing the race of the the attackers and the victim, and a reliable source drawing a connection between the race and the rape. The best we have is a reliable source covering the race of the attackers, (SF Chronicle) but that is not in relation to the rape itself, but an accusation made by the father of one of the accused. There just isn't a reliable source that we've found connecting race to the rape itself. If it is relevant, maybe the connection will emerge during the court cases? - Bilby (talk) 06:11, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

The race information from that link is not a quote from the father, it is unquoted and says: Peter's family accused prosecutors of having racial motives. Peter is the only black suspect named in the case. Smith is white, and the other suspects are Latino. This is enough for me to indicate it is worthy of inclusion. We do after all include that the girl drank brandy. I don't hear anyone griping about brandy being an irrelevant detail. The victim's race is also in a reliable source, as discussed in detail above. Richmondian (talk) 06:24, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

So what you are saying is that you can't provide a url for a reliable source that discusses the race of the victim. Thank you for making that crystal clear. Dlabtot (talk) 06:27, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
If you were willing to say exactly what source you were talking about, it would allow us to examine whether it actually supports what you are saying or not. So far it appears that is a discussion in which you are not willing to engage.
I encourage you to identify the source so that we can move the discussion forward. Dlabtot (talk) 08:15, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
There are more than a few, here is the first one off google - - Schrandit (talk) 14:36, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Your assertion that there are others is noted. What are their urls? Dlabtot (talk) 20:34, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
That's the one that most of the discussion above is about - it isn't sufficiently reliable, though, and specifically argues that there isn't a connection between race and the attack. - Bilby (talk) 14:43, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Actually, as an Op-ed from the LA times, it is reliable. Per WP:RS:

A prime example of this are Op-ed columns in mainstream newspapers. These are reliable sources

The existence of the Op-ed alone indicates there is a connection. That's why she wrote the piece. I don't know who here is from America but I can tell you the media here bends over backwards to conceal race in most cases. That concealment doesn't mean the details aren't relevant to an article.

Richmondian (talk) 18:56, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

More cherry picking. The full quote from WP:RS is: "Some sources may be considered reliable for 'statements as to their author's opinion, but not for statements of fact without attribution. A prime example of this are Op-ed columns in mainstream newspapers. These are reliable sources, depending on context, but when using them, it is better to attribute the material in the text to the author." It is abundantly obvious that the opinion column can't be used how you want to use it. It needs to stay out, unless you want to use it to source the author's opinion that race is insignificant to the story.--Cúchullain t/c 19:46, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
From the opinion piece:
But I didn't mention race in my column because I don't believe that explains the attack. None of the teenagers mentioned race until I pressed them on it; several even thought the victim was Latina.
Even the girl who summoned police that night couldn't answer when the 911 dispatcher asked, "Is she black or white?" She'd heard only that the victim was naked, "probably intoxicated," and young, "like a ninth-grader." [4]
It would be allowable under WP:RS to cite this as Sandy Banks' opinion that race was irrelevant - but that wouldn't make much sense in the context of an encyclopedia article, would it? We certainly don't want to include in the article all the things that are not relevant. Dlabtot (talk) 22:04, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
The races of the attackers are described in SF Chron, not in an Op-Ed -- so those are not even under RS discussion. Can you stop removing them every time an editor inserts them?
As SquidFryeChef pointed out, it is allowable under RS to include the victims race as well. It is a verifiable fact that the victim was white and that many people wrote into Banks to talk about it. This is not an opinion of Banks. If you wanted, I suppose we could have a "response" section where we mention that Banks did not believe race precipitated the attack.
I don't see why people are so obsessed with keeping race of attackers but don't mind other details, such as the brandy. Wikipedia has no special regulations regarding race that I know of, but I see no one demanding that the brandy details be removed. I believe I smell the distinct stench of political correctness wafting through this talk page. Blech. Richmondian (talk) 23:23, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
It is conceivable that Marcelles James Peter's family's accusations of racism against the prosecutors[5] could be added to the 'Arrests' section, although I would argue that it would give undue weight to what appear to be unfounded accusations. But to mention this irrelevant information in the lede would be a clear and unambiguous violation of WP:UNDUE - as has been explained to you ad nauseum. You are trying to insert race where it is irrelevant - according to the very source you have touted. Dlabtot (talk) 23:28, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Please read the source, Dlabtot. The information is not from anyone's father. The father claims that race was an issue, but the father is not the one describing the races of those arrested. And such, it is from a reliable source. Please stop claiming otherwise and stop reverting those who add it. To do so is edit-warring. Richmondian (talk) 23:38, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
You haven't addressed my point, which is that according to the sources, race is irrelevant here, therefore it does not belong in the lede. Rather, you are just repeating yourself. And since I didn't claim that it's not a reliable source, saying that I did seems fairly disruptive to me. A I strongly suggest that you review WP:CONSENSUS if you haven't done so already, and while you are at it, I suggest you review WP:EDITWAR and especially WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT. Dlabtot (talk) 00:55, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

I'd agree that this whole thing seems to be going in massive circles. The issue has been discussed at length at the RSN and here, and the overwhelming consensus has been that mentions of race were inappropriate per multiple WP policies. Have any new sources emerged since then? If not, this whole discussion appears to to be to be a classic example of WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT and WP:DISRUPT. --Slp1 (talk) 01:35, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

What the board did NOT say is that the sources are unreliable. And that's all the board was useful for. In fact, the final comment, which no one disputed there, was that they were in fact reliable, including the "op ed" piece. Ergo, reliable sources. DONE. PLEASE DO NOT BRING THIS UP AGAIN.
Onto others
UNDUE weight: the journalist said, clearly, that many had written her about race. And its all over internet boards, myspace, youtube, and various sources which don't meet RS for factual content....but do give a sense of the size of the community that believes its important. In that case, the view that race is relevant to the case is held by a significant group.
I don't think its the be-all end-all issue in this article, but am wary of removing content when it adds value, especially when the content amounts to just a couple of words (e.g. "white" "multicultural" "latino") etc. and when the stench of politically correctness is strongest.
I'd actually like much -more- content in here but it has been stripped out with dubious claims and threats of blocks.
What wikipedia probably needs is some sort of policy arbitration committee, but that's not going to happen anytime soon. Richmondian (talk) 02:07, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
No, it appears that you have not accepted or understood that there is no YES/NO differentiation between what is and what is not a reliable source. Very few sources are considered good sources for absolutely everything. The BBC, for example, is usually a highly reliable source, but for medical and science articles (for example) the BBC isn't generally considered a reliable source. Similarly, an opinion column may be a reliable source for the opinion of A, but it is not a reliable source for Fact B. This has been clearly spelled out by multiple editors at RSN This is a policy matter per WP:BLP and WP:V. You are of course welcome to try to change the policies on the talkpage of the policy if you think that these need changing, but as you say, this is unlikely to happen in the short-term.
What is "all over the boards" is irrelevant, like it or not, to WP. There are multiple boards that argue that the earth is flat, that no astronauts landed on the moon, or who finger people for killing JFK. WP does not care about these factoids, until and unless reliable secondary sources make the point. No reliable secondary sources make the point that race is an issue here, as far as I can see. Can you provide any sources to contradict this? If not, it is an issue that is best shelved.--Slp1 (talk) 02:34, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
"In fact, the final comment, which no one disputed there... " Do you actually believe that whoever gets in the last word has 'won' the discussion? And that every differing opinion needs to be disputed? You seem to have ignored my repeated requests to review our consensus policy. Dlabtot (talk) 03:36, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

If you don't like the LA Times here is the SF Gate - Peter is the only black suspect named in the case. Smith is white, and the other suspects are Latino. - Schrandit (talk) 04:30, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Yup, thanks Schrandit. Perfect source for info on the attackers. I hope the others won't plead WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT. Richmondian (talk) 04:43, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

For a quick summary:

  • on the WP:RS board, the last comment, undisputed, said our source was reliable. There was no consensus prior to that about our source being unreliable. Just a lot of talk about this n that.
  • Schrandit, Richmondian, SquidFryeChef, Meishern, 415Playa and others disagree with Dlatbot's supposed 'consensus' to keep this cited, relevant information out of the article.
  • The current article mentions only African Americans, which is misleading when coupled with the efforts to remove race elsewhere in the article. A reader from Australia was very confused by this.
  • WP:BLP is not an issue here. The BLP review board said as much. Dlatbot, please stop bringing up these arguments over and over again. Saying "the white victim" does not reveal anyone's identity, which is minimal for being a BLP issue.
  • Now that we know the viewpoint exists, thanks to our sources, what is all over the internet is a perfectly relevant sanity check. And, as we've all undoubtedly seen, the view that race is relevant is widespread. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Richmondian (talkcontribs)
This is getting nowhere, I'm afraid, because we keep going over the same issues. To repeat what was said before, we need two things:
  1. A reliable source that provides the race of all the parties
  2. A reliable source that argues that race was a factor in the rape
What we have is one non-reliable source that provides the race of all parties at that point in time, (the LA Times op-ed), but specifically argues that race was not a factor, and one reliable source that provides the race of the accused only, (the SF Chronicle), but which does not draw a connection between race and the rape, only noting that the family of one of the accused argued that their son/nephew was arrested because of his race. Neither meets the second condition, and only one partially meets the first.
We need to find a reliable source, or multiple reliable sources, that meet both conditions, and then show that we aren't running into problems with undue weight. The best bet, from my perspective, is to let this sit and see if race is shown to be a factor as things develop, as so far we don't seem to have anything reliable that makes the connection. - Bilby (talk) 05:24, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

I would only need a source that says that race was a factor in the rape if I wanted the article to say that race was a factor in the rape. - Schrandit (talk) 05:58, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

But you are by raising it. That's the problem. The vast majority of the reliable sources don't seem to mention race, and we don't have any reliable source that mentions race in relation to the rape itself, and only one that mentions it in relation to the arrests. Adding it in suggests that we find it relevant when the reliable sources didn't, and that's not our role. If it becomes relevant – if reliable sources identify race in relation to the rape – then we add it with due weight. It's being very, very careful, but then this is clearly a sensitive topic, and care seems warranted. - Bilby (talk) 06:14, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Woah woah woah, hold the phone my friend, how have I claimed that race was a factor in the rape? - Schrandit (talk) 06:45, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps I didn't word that correctly? My point was that adding it makes it seem relevant, whether or not it was - not that you've argued that race was a factor. - Bilby (talk) 06:59, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Was the type of liquor she consumed a factor in the rape? - Schrandit (talk) 09:35, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I've adressed this below. - Bilby (talk) 09:44, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

No Bilby, Schrandit has the right read on this.

  • We do not need it all mentioned in one source. Articles use information from multiple sources.
  • Our LA Times source is reliable. That was the last conclusion on the WP:RS noticeboard.
  • We don't need an article saying that race was the --reason-- was for the attack to include race. It's like the brandy, no one is saying brandy is the reason (though it may have been), we don't just say "drinking alcohol" because brandy provides richness to the article. We can likewise describe the participants. Or are you saying that we need to strip out the information about the brandy too? Richmondian (talk) 06:43, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
This is where we keep running into a problem. Even if the LA Times article was reliable - and the last word does not, as Dlabtot made clear, equate to a final decision - it specifically argues that the race was not relevant. As to your second point, saying "X was drinking brandy when she was raped" doesn't lead anyone to think that the brandy was relevant, but they might think that the drinking was. Saying "X, a white girl, was raped by ..." does make it relevant. They're not equivalent in the way you seem to think they are. I'm not sure where we go from here: you clearly aren't convinced by any of the arguments above, and those disagreeing are clearly not convinced by your stance, either. It feels like a stalemate to me. My reading of the argument is that consensus is against including it, but then I'm also biased - perhaps we should just go to an RFC if nothing else is working? - Bilby (talk) 06:57, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
If you don't like the LA Times article surely the SF Gate article must appease your RS concerns. - Schrandit (talk) 09:35, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I stuffed up and called it the SF Chronicle, not the SF Gate above. Otherwise those comments hold. - Bilby (talk) 09:44, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
The is the San Francisco Chronicle.--Cúchullain t/c 13:08, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I guess I wasn't as confused as I thought. Too much marking over the last couple of weeks, I guess. :) In that case I'll just point to my earlier comments. - Bilby (talk) 13:12, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I think Bilby is probably right about there not being enough solid material linking the rape to race. Hence I return to my original query which was about the only mention of race in the article - the African-American churches. If we cannot link race to the rape, we certainly cannot link African-American churches to it. If they participated in a program to reduce crime in the area after the rape, that is wonderful, but it should not be in the article, because they had nothing to do with the rape. HiLo48 (talk) 08:17, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't see any particular reason to add the churches. Others may feel differently, though. Perhaps we should try and separate out these threads? - Bilby (talk) 09:56, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
To be clear, the information about the Churches is already in the article, so I suppose this would be a discussion as to whether or not to remove it. - Schrandit (talk) 10:11, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
To be fair we currently deal with the black churches bit just how the article deals with it. It's already in a bit of a vacuum in the source; the article makes no real issue of race until it says that in the wake of the crime police made an effort to curb violence, and this included trying to work with black churches. It doesn't make any conclusions about it, so we certainly shouldn't either, even if we decide to keep the information.--Cúchullain t/c 13:08, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Including race in the article[edit]

If I may, as I read things the two of you are both Australians. I don't know a terrible lot about Australia but in America our people are heavily divided into easily recognizable racial groups. Because of this, most reports of crimes will include a description of the perpetrator's and often of the victim's race because it makes them easier to identify. This does not imply that the crime being discussed has racial motivations, such a thing is rare and would be explicitly mentioned in the story.
Paging through a few articles on Wiki I came across ones like this, this and this or this list of executed persons. All include race though there is no indication that race was a motivation in their crimes. Again, I don't know how the mentioning of race in the reporting of the crime goes in Australia but in America it is very standard and does not indicate, or even particularly hint at, a racial motivation for the crime.
I'm going to try to patch up a few things in the article and, where appropriate, note as much of the background of the individuals at play as we have from reliable sources. Let me know what you think. - Schrandit (talk) 09:35, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
The problem has not been whether or not we can add more information, but what information we should add. - Bilby (talk) 09:56, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
We ought add in as much information about the persons as we can realistically verify. Just so you aussies don't get the wrong idea, we don't just mention race when it comes to bad things that happen - take this fine fellow - he was a black Indian. Is it necessary to include that in the article? Probably not, but it is included in the sources so we might as well inform the reader as best we can. - Schrandit (talk) 10:11, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
We add material based on due weight, not based on how much we can find, and with living people there are other considerations. We aussies are also well aware about issues to do with race - race relations aren't issues that are unique to the US. Perhaps, though, I can ask a counter question: if race is so important that it must be included, why do virtually none of the reliable sources covering the rape raise it? - Bilby (talk) 10:39, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Because most of them were written before the identity of the suspects was known. - Schrandit (talk) 10:41, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually, that is not true. If you look above, you will see a lengthy discussion of a piece in the LA Times were the columnist says the races were known, but not included in the coverage because they are not relevant. Dlabtot (talk) 15:34, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
If I may also include a question - how does the idea that the victim was drinking Brandy do with your notions of weight? - Schrandit (talk) 10:48, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
From what I can tell, the articles post the arrest don't mention race either. It's just not being covered - out of hundreds of articles, we have one reliable source that covers race at all, and none have yet turned up which cover race in direct relation to the rape. And if you see brandy and race as being comparable, then I don't have a problem with removing brandy from the article, although that may be a tad pointy. - Bilby (talk) 10:52, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I never said Brandy and race are comparable I'm just having a bit of hard time feeling out how you see WP:weight. If you'd really like to me go out and look for more sources I will if that'll let my last edit stand. - Schrandit (talk) 11:01, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
If we can dig up an article covering race in relation to the rape I'll definitely consider it, but we'll need to open it for discussion. I still think this may emerge, if it proves to be an issue, during the court cases. - Bilby (talk) 12:03, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Again, hold the phone. Why would it have to be in relation to be sufficient for the edit I proposed? - Schrandit (talk) 12:04, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Schrandit's little lecture notwithstanding, I'm American and I think the races ought to be left out. Regardless of what he thinks the "American standard" for such things is, the Wikipedia standard is that we only reproduce the material and conclusions in the sources, and in this case the *American* sources do not make an issue of race. Thus neither should we.--Cúchullain t/c 13:25, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

This material is supported by multiple reliable sources. - Schrandit (talk) 13:45, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Great. Perhaps you can list new ones you've found here so we can discuss them.--Slp1 (talk) 13:57, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

[6] - Schrandit (talk) 14:01, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
No dice, that's the same article as this one (SF Chronicle), which has been discussed repeatedly.--Cúchullain t/c 14:18, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
And what was the objection to this particular Pulitzer prize winning paper? - Schrandit (talk) 14:20, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
If you'll read the article, or the discussions about it above, it only mentions the race of the suspects, not the victim, and does so only in passing. The mention occurs only in a brief section on allegations from one suspect's family that the prosecutors had racial motives in arresting him. The article gives no particular credence to this, and does not suggest that race was a factor in the crime or in the story.--Cúchullain t/c 14:27, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Perhaps we can save some kilobytes by asking you to check the extensive discussions above, including responses made to you when you suggested this same source before..--Slp1 (talk) 14:37, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
And why would the article need to suggest the race was a factor in the crime? - Schrandit (talk) 14:34, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Because we don't do original research and synthesis on WP. If race isn't part of the story in RSs, it isn't part of the story we tell here. --Slp1 (talk) 14:37, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I really don't see why that's so hard to grasp. We're just going around and around in circles now. I think we will all benefit from stepping back for a bit. --Cúchullain t/c 14:41, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

If you'd like. Perhaps a new direction might help. Please take a peek at my edit to the page and let me know if you find it objectionable. - Schrandit (talk) 14:44, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Ok, lemme make sure I follow, we're now done with WP:RS, WP:UNDUE, WP:BLP and are now claiming that stating race is WP:SYNT? Richmondian (talk) 23:12, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Nope, not "done" with any of core policies/guidelines you mention, all of which are relevant and remain in effect here. And I pointed out the WP:SYNT problem on the RSN days ago.[7]. I guess you missed it.
Cuchullain has it right. Let's take a break unless some new argument or evidence emerges. --Slp1 (talk) 23:35, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

I think the proposal being advanced here and the discussion held at RSN are different. RSN discussed whether race was a factor in the crime, but this edit made no such allegations. Do me a favor, give it glance and let me know if think anything was objectionable about it. - Schrandit (talk) 23:52, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

No, RSN discussed whether the race of the victim and the alleged assailants should be included in the article.[8] The discussion, based on the sources given, and which have not changed, was clearly against it. Your edit goes contrary to that, and in fact adds unverifiable information about the race of the victim and details of the assault that are not in the citation given. You also added the name of one of the accused, also contrary to discussion above. So yes, I agree with with Bilby, that per multiple policies including consensus, BLP, V etc, your edit was not an improvement to the article. --Slp1 (talk) 00:11, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Actually, the RS board is just a discussion board, not an authority, but in particular on claims that go beyond RS to "synth". Maybe take it to the synth noticeboard? But I'm pretty sure since the info is in reliable sources about the crime, there's no synthesis here. In any case, the final verdict on the RS board was that the source for the victim's race was reliable. And I still haven't seen a good reason why details about beverages are ok, but not races. Please remember that wikipedia is not censored, lest the putrid stench of political correctness make us all sick to our stomachs. Richmondian (talk) 03:32, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Like any similar board WP:RSN is there to open up discussion to a wider audience and try to find a broader consensus. It is abundantly clear that there is no consensus to include the race information with the sources we have. At this point you're just repeating yourself. It's high time for a break.--Cúchullain t/c 16:03, 23 July 2010 (UTC
Well, I'm going to repeat myself. Why does the article have one single mention of race, the African-American churches? After reading all the material above, I still don't know. The article certainly doesn't tell me. It hints to me the the offenders were African Americans. Is that what we want the article to do? HiLo48 (talk) 21:56, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
HiLo, you've hit on a key point. Concealing race in one part makes for a very misleading article. I believe we should just state the facts, it enhances the articles and doesn't leave any gaping holes in the story. Others disagree and believe we should hide certain things. And I can promise you, removing the portion about African American churches will not make people understand the story any better. They will --always-- wonder what the race of the attackers and victim were. It's a multiracial community after all.
BTW African American churches are some of the most powerful non-governmental organizations in the community. Also, give a church a few bucks and the pastor might encourage his flock to vote for you. They've nearly all withdrawn from the effort. [9] Richmondian (talk) 05:52, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
PS I just read about the Ashfield gang rapes and Sydney gang rapes. Awful stuff. Seems people in Australia were at first very angry that government officials broke with the official PC policies and released the ethnicities of the rapists.
Yes. Quite true for some. On the other hand, some popular radio shock jocks showed no inhibitions at all in condemning certain religious and ethnic groups, for a lot more sins than they had ever heard of. The problem with crimes like this is that they may, or may not, be racially motivated. If race is involved, it should not be kept secret. If it's not, let's find someone wise saying so. and report it in the article. HiLo48 (talk) 06:22, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
If race is not a factor, then it does not need to be mentioned, full stop. That's the default position, and the current consensus. If we later discover reliable sources that confirm it is a factor, then we can review the consensus. Until then, let's all just go about our business of making an encyclopedia, not a supermarket tabloid. Bielle (talk) 06:49, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Since when was that the default position? Was the type of alcohol used a factor in this rape? Was race a factor in this case(you know, the one linked to in the lead)? I'm with HiLo, hinting at things like this rather than just reporting what the sources say makes them seem much worse than they are. - Schrandit (talk) 09:41, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
But race IS mentioned. Just a little bit. Dangerous. HiLo48 (talk) 07:13, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
I've removed it. The whole "response" section needs an overhaul and updating, in my view.Slp1 (talk) 13:17, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Personally I don't see what the big deal is here. I don't take a mention of black churches to imply anything about the crime itself, only that there are a lot of black churches in the community and the city was reaching out to them in the wake of the crime. At any rate that's all the source implyies. But I don't care if it's removed.
Schrandit, it's the default position because it hasn't been demonstrated that there's support for the inclusion of the material. burden of evidence and all that. Time to move on.--Cúchullain t/c 14:37, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually there's been a lot of support and including it would prevent overseas editors form getting confused about the churches. Do not remove this info to prove a WP:POINT. Many editors want it in there. Another case of WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT? And another great example of how non-US based editors might have difficulty getting the context. Richmondian (talk) 18:48, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't see any strong support for the African American Churches mention apart from you; in fact of those who have commented, HiLo[10], dlabtot[11] both suggested removing mention, and Schrandit seemed to agree "I'm with HiLo". Cuchullain and I don't really see the problem with it but are willing to go with its deletion (or not). Richmondian, please be careful with the labelling editors and edits as edit warring, pointy, IDHT etc. If you feel the need, you should back them up with diffs to prove your point. In this case, I am quite clear that neither apply. --Slp1 (talk) 20:11, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually it is not the mention of 'African-American' that I suggested removing, it is the entire mention of the 'Ground Zero' program, since the source makes clear it was not actually started in response to this particular crime as is implied in this article. Dlabtot (talk) 20:56, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Sorry that I misunderstood you a bit, but what you say in terms of a more extensive cut is fine by me too. As I mentioned above I think there's a lot work to be done on the "response" section. I'd include the Ground Zero info, which I agree seems quite tangential.--Slp1 (talk) 21:00, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
There's no consensus to add the racial info you want to add, and in the absence of new reliable sources being found or a new consensus being generated, this will remain so. Tell me, why is it so important to you to add this info when the consensus is against you? --John (talk) 18:55, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Are you talking about removing the African American churches mention or the race of the attackers or the race of the victim? There's actually no consensus to remove either of these. I'm not sure why some editors are so intent on removing them, claiming things like "original synthesis" polices are violated. As an experienced wikipedian, I'd hope you could weigh in on the two of these. I'm also not sure why people are so obsessed with race here. That the girl drank brandy has drawn little scrutiny. No one seems concerned that this is WP:UNDUE or violates WP:SYNTH etc. I hope this isn't driven by WP:POLITICALCORRECTNESS Richmondian (talk) 19:14, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
My thoughts were driven by the fact that race was already mentioned in the article - the African American churches. And I'm still not sure why. It's pretty simple really. If the crime was motivated by race, we should say so. If not, it shouldn't be. HiLo48 (talk) 19:48, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
I read the source again, and it does not imply that the program was instituted because of the rape. It merely mentions the rape as having drawn attention to the city's violent crime problem, which was the reason the program was implemented. The whole paragraph needs to be removed from this article.--Cúchullain t/c 17:20, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
The way I see it, there are many factors that were not motivators for the crime but which we have RSs for and so we include them (the Brandy, etc.). Even if race was not a factor (and I think it is safe to say it was not), if we have RSs for it we should include it like we should include age, residency, school status and any other facts that would help paint a better picture. BTW, this seems to be how we handle race on every other page depicting a crime that I have seen. - Schrandit (talk) 22:52, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
"If the crime was motivated by race, we should say so. If not, it shouldn't be" Why? I'm not aware of any wikipedia policy or guideline that info in crime articles must be motivational. Another thing HiLo, you will rarely know if the crime was 'motivated' by race. That's largely hidden away in the attackers mind, and in the US, if a defendant admits such a thing the crime gets upgraded to a much more serious "hate crime" that can result in years more in prison. Richmondian (talk) 02:23, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
You're just repeating yourselves at this point. Matter of fact, race is rarely mentioned in articles on crimes unless it is part of the story. Looking at some recent ones, Murder of Derrion Albert doesn't mention race. Murder of Annie Le mentions that the victim was born to "a Vietnamese American family", but does not otherwise mention her race or that of the suspected killer. Kidnapping of Jaycee Lee Dugard says nothing about race. Northwest Airlines Flight 253 (the "underpants bombing") does not include the race of the suspect, or needless to say, the intended victims. This article is the same. Race isn't a part of the story; some editors are trying to make it part by cherrypicking facts from sources. That doesn't jive; consensus is clear that the material should stay out unless new sources are found. Seriously, the horse is long dead, put down the stick.--Cúchullain t/c 17:20, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Does the reader need more than this to know the ethnicities in these cases?

Annie Le "Ethnicity Vietnamese American"; WAS PHOTO OF EAST ASIAN WOMAN Any guess as to Jaycee's ethnicity?; WAS PHOTO OF CAUCASIAN GIRL Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a "Muslim Nigerian citizen" WAS PHOTO OF AFRICAN MAN

Seriously. Please address the actual discussion, not spread disinformation.

Richmondian (talk) 04:23, 28 July 2010 (UTC) Images converted to links. - Bilby (talk) 06:05, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, you're just grasping at straws now. I didn't say those people (or *the other people involved in the stories*) don't have ethnicities (or races, which is actually what you're on about here). It's just not brought up if the sources don't treat it as relevant to the story, in those articles or in this one.--Cúchullain t/c 12:22, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Please remain WP:CIVIL, Chuchullain. The point is their articles clearly state their races, with very clear photos and sometimes w text ("vietnamese american" named "le" next to huge photo of an east asian woman ... can't get more explicit than that). Please stop trying to mislead people here. Richmondian (talk) 17:38, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
That's only your personal interpretation, and is quite irrelevant.--Cúchullain t/c 17:48, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
So, I can remove the mention of the African American churches? HiLo48 (talk) 18:05, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I support removing the paragraph, as the source does not connect the program to the rape.--Cúchullain t/c 18:09, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
If it is confusing you into thinking African Americans committed the crime, just insert the races of the *actual attackers*. Mostly Latino, one white, one African American. Then no one is confused. Richmondian (talk) 04:23, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Good edit, Dlabtot. And no, Richmondian, it's wasn't removed simply because it's confusing. It was removed because it's irrelevant.--Cúchullain t/c 12:22, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Sorry guys, nice attempt at being bold dlatbot, but I'm going to revert this. The only reason this came up was because we had one editor confused into thinking african american churches must be where the attackers worship. He was confused because of earlier changes, which I'm also reverting since it's now clear that they don't lead to article clarity. Richmondian (talk) 17:38, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Nice try, but the source doesn't connect the Ground Zero program to the rape. And, as demonstrated, there's no consensus to keep the race information, which you've tried to reinsert without any sources this time. Really, it's time to move on.--Cúchullain t/c 17:48, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

The citation does link the two. It describes the rape, and says "Residents at the November vigil following the Richmond High assault. The incidents were catalysts for the creation of the city's Ground Zero anti-violence program"[12]. Would you agree that connects the two? Richmondian (talk) 18:06, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I had read the text of the article but I must have missed that picture caption. Dlabtot (talk) 18:13, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
I too missed the mention in the picture caption; it's not tied specifically in the article itself. It's still pretty tangential. Even if it were replaced, however, it is obviously not a reason to include the race information.--Cúchullain t/c 18:24, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Its a big initiative catalyzed by the rape. Is that sufficient for inclusion? Richmondian (talk) 00:04, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Update needed[edit]

There is no mention of any court proceedings against any of the defendants since November 2010. Surely something has happened since then? NtheP (talk) 13:55, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

It takes a long time. Ari Morales was just sentenced (2013). He plead guilty ... can't see why it 3-4 years to sentence him. Richmondian (talk) 00:04, 12 January 2013 (UTC)