|THE WHITE HOUSE BOYS SURVIVOR’S ORGANIZATION
A Project Dedicated to the Survivors of the White House
P.O. Box 5817
Clearwater, Fl. 33758
President: Michael O'McCarthy USA: 864-275-7364
Vice President: Robert Straley 727-447-4441
EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com
“Those who do not learn the lessons of history are bound to repeat them.” Santayana
The state of Florida has one of the worst records for juvenile care in the United States. The negligence
on the part of the Department of Juvenile Justice continues to this day: Underfunded, poorly trained
and screened staff, overcrowding and the lack of a progressive system of care, treatment and skill
training produces a recidivist rate “…for males … 46 percent and for females it is 28 percent.” (Florida
Performs.com.) That includes boys and girls returning to the system for “more of the same,” or
“graduating” to adult correctional institutions.
“Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know
for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee..." John Donne
We are more than “our brother’s keepers.” We are the guardians of the health and welfare of any child
in our neighborhood, town, city, county and state. The children are our heritage and our future. When
one is mistreated, it affects an entire society. We must stand for justice now; on their behalf and ours.
THE WHITE HOUSE BOYS SURVIVOR’S ORGANIZATION’S SUGGESTED COURSE OF POLITICAL ACTION:
A POLITICAL AGENDA – WHERE WE ARE NOW:
As is any democratic movement for justice, it takes time and requires patience and diligence. It requires
of us to exhaust every available institutional remedy so when and if we reach the point of a negative
response from the powers that be, we are able to demonstrate to the citizenry that we have been
reasonable and met with unreasoned response. When we have exhausted that democratic course and
we must seek alternate methods in our pursuit of justice.
With the “abeyance” of the Claims Bill in the Florida legislature we have reached one of those negative
responses to our call for justice. If and when we enliven the Claims Bill we will officially state our
grievances, provide the proof of the wrong done to us and our kind and hold the state government
responsible for our reparations while at the same time educating the voting people of the state of
Florida, especially that of our class of people, of the consequences of this system of injustice levied
upon us and now upon the current class.
We have now entered the first course with our class actions suit in the Circuit Court of the Sixth
Judicial Circuit in and for Pinellas County, State of Florida, Civil Division. Should our case fail there we
have the option to continue with appeals into the appellate courts and the federal courts. That process
is fraught with years of delay; not a healthy outlook for the aging “White House Boys.” And frankly, our
case is not likely to overcome the barriers of Statute of Limitations which require a court to rule that the
damage done was so severe as to demand that the statute be set aside in pursuit of justice or
Sovereign Immunity (King’s Law stipulating that you could not sue the King (the state) for the wrongs it
has done you.”) That too requires a judgment that the harm is of such magnitude that it overrides the
King’s protection; in this case its defense of its minion, Tidwell it has thrown the cloak of the king over
Frankly, we will never receive justice if we are unwilling to work for it. We will never receive justice if it
is we who stand alone. We can only achieve justice if the people of the State of Florida rally to our
cause and demand redress and reparations be ordered by the legislature and signed into law by the
governor. This process is as old as the call for political and social justice and it requires conscious
raising, organizing and the means to bring the voice of the people to the powers that be. What follows
is a tried and true democratic method to achieve just that.
We have had our differences in getting here. Some were where we allowed personality issues to
override principles, some of the differences were of a strategic nature and we bear the error.
Much of the personal pain that effected those decisions came from the irrevocable lash marks and
sexual defilement and their pain consequences and more reflected damage done us.
But it is time to let the past be the past for there is one common factor that unites us: we were the
throwaway kids of the State of Florida and victims of the infamous White House and dens like it at other
Florida School for Boys and Girls.
The state treated us with inhumane measures, but we have survived. We were the children who would
be under the rule of DJJ today. Thus, we are in a unique situation to be of service to those who are like
us. (For the accurate Time Line of how we became “the White House Boys” and the history of our
campaign please see the addendum below.)
The social origins of the children who would become known as “The White House Boys” which includes
all the boys and girls confined at the Florida Schools for Boys and Girls and the later designated prisons
Understanding the racial and economic backgrounds of THE WHITE HOUSE BOYS, all those juveniles
who suffered incarceration in the Florida Schools for Boys and Girls and under the rule of the
Department of Juvenile Justice, tells us that kids from our class are that last of the last.
We are the last to have stable homes; the last to have the benefit of emotional support for our growing
years; we are the last to have adequate funds for food, clothing, lodging, adequate health care; last to
have decent a decent education; the first to be drafted; the first to be casualties of war; the last to be
adequately defended in court– we were then, the last to have a decent enough background for jobs; to
be able to earn our way.
We were the first to be victims of our parent’s dysfunction, many of who were previous victims of the
same social system into which we were born: drug addiction, alcoholism and spousal and child abuse.
These were a matter of everyday life in our homes. Out of the dysfunction we exploded into the arms of
the law enforcement and the courts. Rather than support, care and treatment; rather than having the
benefit of adequate legal representation before a court, or psychological testing and then counseling
or treatment, we were ship-loaded into the state system: whether it was first orphanages, (foster care
homes,) or directly into state-wide institutions, we soon became the basis of a sub-class of Floridians
whose most likely final destination was more confinement, more dysfunction and then more
confinement until a good part of our lives had been wasted away.
The “career path” for our peers was meaningless jobs or the military. Very few of our class would every
see the “American dream” realized. At best it would be working our lives away at menial jobs, labor or
low management positions; living on high interest credit until a meager Social Security would allow us
to die slowly, encumbered by age and illness. That was the forecast if we were lucky enough to evade
life sentences in prison or mental institutions or death row.
Only a couple of times in Florida history have this abomination of life been revealed: in the true story
realized in Gideon's Trumpet (Henry Fonda television movie,) and Chattahoochee, with Gary Oldman and
Dennis Hopper. Those were the only portraits of the cruel and inhumane Florida system of corrections
and mental health treatment for the world to see. Or recently in the cases of Anderson who was
smothered to death in a boot camp or Caldwell who was hammered to the ground and gang beaten at
Dozier have we seen how this system continues its role as the grim reaper of the children of Florida’s
dysfunctional poor, working and destitute classes.
The White House Boys cause is larger than the recognition of our pain and suffering; more important
than an apology from the temporary politician living in the Governor’s mansion; more significant than
any reparations given us.
Our cause is to bring light where there has been none and is to this day the dark shadows in which the
state best operates. To reveal a social and economic system so inherently corrosive that it eats away
the lives of millions of people by either jailing them or holding them in submission to the profit of the
state until old age or death takes them.
The political course of action --- What Must Be Done:
First each of us must prepare then send out our story to our respective websites, www.whitehouseboys.
com and www.thewhitehouseboys.com , then to everyone you know via email, directing them to our
websites. Build an E-Mail and phone tree: you will have five non-White House Boys to email and/or
phone when there is significant news or an event that requires attention. Each of those five will know
five more, and so on and so on.
Second, we must ask those to pass it on to everyone they know, and so on and so on.
Third, arrange for speakers for events at your church or social organization to explain who the White
House Boys are and what we are about. A speaker’s committee and a information committee (to provide
both print and electronic information on the White House Boys,) must be elected with volunteers to
Fourth, each of us must write emails or hard mail to, and then telephone the offices of, your STATE
elected officials telling our stories and demanding that the State of Florida take the necessary
measures to “make us and our families whole” for the damage done to us and our peers.
Fifth, we must reach out to the religious institutions in our community and ask that they join with us in
pursuit of justice for ourselves and our families, and extend a watchful eye over and a call for mercy for
those behind the wires of DJJ.
Sixth, because we chose this course we must exhaust the state and, where applicable the federal court
remedies – while simultaneously supporting the forthcoming Claims Bill which will cause legislation to
be passed giving us reparations and putting into law those reforms necessary to see that the state of
Florida will “Never, Ever Again” abuse its most vulnerable children but rather, lock into place budgetary
and legislative guarantees that those children placed in the State’s care receive the education,
psychological and physical care that will better their lives and give them an equal opportunity to be
Lastly, we must prepare to follow in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. who
taught us that those in power only respond to more political power and that peaceful, nonviolent
protest is constitutionally guaranteed and is a righteous process for letting those in power know they
may be not long in power should they not join us in our just cause.
December 9, 2008