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Census Worker Found Hanged

Census Worker Found Hanged

From the HuffingtonPost:

“The FBI is investigating the hanging death of a U.S. Census worker near a Kentucky cemetery, and a law enforcement official told The Associated Press the word ‘fed” was scrawled on the dead man’s chest.

The body of Bill Sparkman, a 51-year-old part-time Census field worker and occasional teacher, was found Sept. 12 in a remote patch of the Daniel Boone National Forest in rural southeast Kentucky. The Census has suspended door-to-door interviews in rural Clay County, where the body was found, pending the outcome of the investigation.”

William Sparkman was a boy scout leader, teacher, single father and a cancer survivor who been working for the Census Bureau for several years.

What we cannot forget is that William Sparkman has a family and a community that mourns his loss. You can read more about William Sparkman on a Topix forum for London, Kentucky.

The concern for many is that the death of William Sparkman might be an indirect result of the escalating vitriol in our political discourse, particularly the campaign against the Census by Rep. Michelle Bachmann, helped along considerably by Fox news pundit Glenn Beck.

But it’s important not to jump to conclusions and wait for the results of the FBI/police investigation currently underway. At this time we do not know that Sparkman was murdered although Lucindia Scurry-Johnson, assistant director of the Census Bureau’s southern office in Charlotte, N.C., said law enforcement officers told the agency Sparkman’s death is “an apparent homicide.” That’s not an official conclusion, so let’s wait for the official investigation results.

Regardless, I think we should consider Sparkman’s death a warning against politicians and pundits doing their best to stoke the fire of hatred and fear directed at federal employees under the Obama Administration. Words produce actions and should be chosen much more carefully than they have been by many.

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Photo by Tara Kaprowy / Staff Writer

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107 comments

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2:03PM PDT on Jun 26, 2011

Sounds like a follow up to the rampage shooting in Tucson AZ on 8 January 2011. This was done by a young man who within a timespan of 3 year went viral, and also on the viciousness of some of our TV hosts and/or contributors. The assessment was that instable people listen to a lot of that hate and act on it. Rationa - not really, reality - absolutely. As a result of the January incident, the Institute for Civility, spearheaded by the University of AZ, was initiated.

12:33PM PDT on Jun 26, 2011

My thoughts and prayers are with the poor man's family. How awful.


Michelle Bachmann is a frickin' idiot.

The census is GOOD for communities. If you don't get counted, then they don't think you need schools, hospitals, fire stations, etc. Moron.

What guarantee do we have it won't be used for anything else? It is a federal offense to use it for ANYTHING but the census. I suppose the fact that your SS#, employment status, job title, income sources are on your TAXES, means she won't fill out IRS forms every April?

9:15AM PDT on Jun 26, 2011

My sympathy goes to his family and friends.

8:42PM PDT on Oct 1, 2009

"Also by your way of thinking; anything the left says must have been said by CNN, MSNBC, Bill Maher, Michael Moore, Madonna or some other Hollywood actor or actress, or Obama & that is never inciting in your opinion."

Believe it or not, I'm one of that increasingly rare breed of Americans, one that builds his opinions based on research through many sources, education, talking to others who share my opinions and those who don't, all the while actively working to understand the forces, both selfish and altruistic, that cause me to take sides in a debate such as this. Apparently you've confused me one of the countless many who get their opinions handed to them by the media circus out there. Most who turn their brains off and allow the talking heads to do their thinking for them watch Fox News exclusively.

"This was a horrible crime & the Perpetrator should pay. I hope they find the criminal & I don't care if he is a Democrat, Republican, Independent or Communist. Why can't you stop accusing?"

Yes, I hope they find him/them too, they deserve the worst. I also don't care about their political affiliation, but have little doubt as to what that affiliation is and where their sympathies lie.

8:38PM PDT on Oct 1, 2009

Well.........I can think, write & believe & side with whomever!!

It is still American.......Free speech & opinion reigns!!

Plant trees for life......................

8:30PM PDT on Oct 1, 2009

"Some just can't seem to stop pointing a finger to make themselves look good."

Apparently you think I'm here for selfish reasons, B.M. Well then, this is another fine example of a subject you know absolutely nothing about, yet feel obliged to comment upon.

8:23PM PDT on Oct 1, 2009

Thank you Roseann..........Some just can't seem to stop pointing a finger to make themselves look good. It is a free country still as far as I know. You have every right to your opinion even if you are wrong.......Which I doubt you are.

Plant trees for life...................

7:43PM PDT on Oct 1, 2009

Thomas said: Perhaps Rosanne, you'd like to attempt to prove there's NO connection between the hate speech on Fox news and the ideological and racial violence in recent months. American history is full of instances of lynching caused by hate speech being heard by the wrong people. There are also a lot of hate crimes where blacks kill whites & those are swept under the rug & never publicized. You can be a racist & black as long as you commit a crime against any race. I did not accuse FOX News of anything, you & Judith & others did. The burden of proof belongs to you. In the US, a person is innocent until proven guilty. In your world, it seems to be the opposite. Also by your way of thinking; anything the left says must have been said by CNN, MSNBC, Bill Maher, Michael Moore, Madonna or some other Hollywood actor or actress, or Obama & that is never inciting in your opinion. So live in your little pristine perfect world & I'll live in the real world where people listen to whatever station they want & should not be called mindless, or ignorant. A man is dead because of some nut, some evil person. You should stop pointing the finger at any group & just pray for Sparkman's family. This was a horrible crime & the Perpetrator should pay. I hope they find the criminal & I don't care if he is a Democrat, Republican, Independent or Communist. Why can't you stop accusing?

1:39PM PDT on Sep 28, 2009

I'm curious, what makes you think this is gang related?

11:35AM PDT on Sep 28, 2009

This is indeed a cowardly act, with a tragic ending. But, based on the facts in evidence, I think it is probable to conclude that this was drug or gang related. It seems likely that some drug dealers mistook this poor man for a Federal narcotics agent. At least that is what I hope it is.

Granted, this does not change the outcome or make things any better for this poor family, but it would be good to know that the conservative group has not stepped over the line into violence.

elizabeth
www.marchbooks.wordpress.com

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