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My kin
This month's issue of Texas Monthly has an article about my nephew, Corey Hicks. “There’s a black man out here on the side of the road... he must have got drunk and fell out.”


What the investigation unearthed was a story that no one in Linden wanted to believe: Billy Ray, who is mentally disabled, had been taken to a party, ridiculed, called racial slurs, knocked unconscious, and then dumped by the side of the road. Even the strangers who had come to his aid were not Good Samaritans but two of the perpetrators.

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Oh geez, i think I'm going to cry; this is so very sad.

Good grief, he's your nephew? I've already read the story - it's fairly notorious.

Do you have any contact with him? Does this strike you as the kind of thing he'd do?

Um, I don't know how to answer that. It is bizarre reading the magazine article... it tries so hard to tell a one-sided story like an after-school TV special. In reality, the story is more complicated, and I think the family is a little upset at the generalizations: white people bad, while people bigoted, white people killers.

Corey says he never incited violence and denies saying any of the quotes from the article. He claims they were invented by Colt's lawyer to help his defense. Meanwhile, Colt claims there was only one drunken punch, not enough to inflict the large amount of damage the prosecution suggests. Billy Ray wasn't brought to a party "as entertainment". There were no fire ants. Corey says he genuinely tried to get Billy Ray medical attention.

But of course none of Corey's parsing and details excuse any of the events of that night.

Corey's father was a police officer and was shot when Corey was a boy. Corey joined the navy but got sick during boot camp and almost died... so it's weird the article mentions his service as if to paint his as a big tough guy. Corey was reportedly an excellent jailer, and was kind to the minorities he worked with. Right before this incident, Corey's sister starting dating a black guy, and Corey refused to be in the same room with her. Even now, their relationship is strained. On the other hand, Corey has never minded me dating his uncle, even living with us for a while, and has said kind things about the gay community.

Do I think a bunch of bored, broke post-high school idiots would get drunk in a field and do something they'd regret? Most definitely. With a felony record (and two children out of wedlock not mentioned in the article) Corey's life will be hard. I worry that the upcoming high-profile civil lawsuit will turn into a circus for the town, and won't help anything. They sure won't be able to get any money from Corey - we had to give money to his mother for a lawyer for the first trial. It's sad... that's about the only think everyone can agree about.

Wow, that's heartbreaking =(

this is sad - for everyone involved.

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