How To Help The Biracial Boy Who Was Almost Lynched In New Hampshire
In late August, a young biracial boy in Claremont, New Hampshire, was nearly lynched by a group of white teens who had reportedly mocked him for being half black. Police are investigating the incident in which an eight-year-old was hanged by a group of teens as his sister screamed for help. In spite of the rope burns and wounds left on his neck, the young boy is miraculously alive. And now, a GoFundMe for the biracial boy who was nearly lynched is looking for donations to help him in his recovery.
If you want to help Quincy make a quick recovery, you can help by donating to the GoFundMe page, which was started by Christa Curtin Savala and has been approved by his mother, Cassandra Merlin. The donations will be used to cover costs related to Quincy's medical expenses, moving expenditures for the family to relocate to a new town, and to help his sibling, who witnessed the heinous event, get therapy. Savala says she started the GoFundMe after reading the news report and reaching out to Merlin.
"I felt a strong impulse to help Quincy," Savala tells Bustle. "What he has suffered is horrible and inhumane and I wanted him to have a chance at living a happy productive life."
Merlin, Quincy's mother, spoke with The Root on Wednesday and described life after the disheartening incident in August. Merlin said that while her son was recovering at a good pace and seemed to have coped with the trauma of the event in an impressive manner, her daughter, Ayanna, wasn't doing so well.
"[Ayanna]'s a little bit worse off than Quincy. She cries a lot,” Merlin told The Root. “For the first few days, she refused to eat any food, she wouldn’t sleep. She’s been very emotional lately. And she’s very protective over her brother now."
In spite of the police not investigating the incident as a racially motivated crime, Quincy's grandmother Lorrie Slattery alleged in Valley News that the reprehensible violence directed at her young grandson was charged with animus toward his African-American heritage. Bustle has reached out to the Claremont Police Department and the New Hampshire State Police. According to the grandmother, the word "lynched" had been reportedly thrown around during the incident.
According to Slattery, no adults were present during the attack, which meant the account was narrated and pieced together by children who had witnessed it. Quincy's sister and other young witnesses of the incident said that Quincy had been playing in an open yard when the white teenagers began issuing racially-charged epithets toward Quincy. According to the grandmother, several teens reportedly got on a picnic table and held a swing rope to their necks, allegedly encouraging Quincy to "do this." With a rope reportedly around his throat, Quincy was then allegedly pushed off the table by the teens who reportedly made no attempt to rescue him as he swung back and forth.
Slattery had been critical of the official position taken by the local police on the incident. "If it was an accident, that boy or anybody there wouldn’t have left him. I believe it was intentional," she said.
It's because of the apparent motivation behind the incident that inspired Savala to create the GoFundMe. Savala is a psychologist and says she believes it's crucial that Quincy and Ayanna get therapy immediately. "Early intervention after trauma is very important for recovery and long term health," she says. "What he has suffered is horrible and inhumane, and I wanted him to have a chance at living a happy productive life."
Merlin told The Root that this was not the first time her son had been on the receiving end of anti-black racism. "When they were teaching in school about slavery, kids would tell him they couldn’t play with them because they were white and he was black," Merlin said.
The mother's main message for the world is simple: This is not new. Merlin told The Root that she wants people to know what happened to Quincy and learn from this. "I don't want it to be hushed down and people acting like it never happened," she said. Most importantly, she said she wanted a more active and sincere effort on part of the Claremont police department so that her son could know that justice would be served and that "they're not going to get away with it."
It seems as if Merlin's demand is being heard. The Claremont police, the New Hampshire State Police, and the Attorney General's office are investigating Quincy's case at the instruction of Gov. Chris Sununu. In a statement to the public, Sununu vowed to conduct a fair query into the matter and said, "It is my expectation that local and state authorities will investigate appropriately and I’ve asked for regular updates on how things are proceeding. Hatred and bigotry will not be tolerated in New Hampshire."
Celia Darrough contributed to this report.