The killers Derrick Donchak and Brandon Piekarsky thought they were home free when they were exonerated by an all-white jury in a sham trial a few months ago. And they were encouraged by the many white townsfolk and public officials who vigorously pushed the lie that Ramirez was responsible for his own murder.
Now comes word that the feds have arrested six persons (2 of the killers, Sheriff Matthew Nestor and 2 police officers) on charges including federal hate crime, obstruction of justice, conspiracy, official misconduct and extortion.
"Violence motivated by bigotry and hate has no place in America, and yet it remains all too prevalent in many of our communities. The Civil Rights Division stands ready to bring perpetrators of hate crimes to justice." Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for Department of Justice
Click here for more on the Ramirez murder and other hate killings of Latinos in the past year.
Suffolk has since seen an unending pogrom against Latinos, including assaults, beatings, destruction of property, stabbings, and the murder of Marcelo Lucero. Stroking the wave of hate has been Levy with a series of legislative proposals and directives intended to make life miserable for Latinos.
Keep in mind that Suffolk has a Latino pop of 200,000. And Levy himself has a half dozen Latino lieutenants and another dozen who serve as advisors.
In other words, who needs enemies?
The film Farmingville captured the ugly '03 marker in the pogrom. PBS is making the full documentary film available online for free through 11/18/09. Watch the film and read the SPLCenter report Climate of Fear detailing anti-Latino violence of the Levy era.
Think about what has been allowed to happen in Suffolk, NY, in America in the 21st Century and share your thoughts and ideas here or privately (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Climate of Fear (SPLCenter) http://bit.ly/Pogrom
Firebomb Destroys L.I. Couple's Dreams (NYTimes) http://bit.ly/firebomb
When it comes to Judge Sonia Sotomayor, some Republican leaders have been talking out of both sides of their mouth: playing nice in public while privately encouraging racist attacks from the likes of Rush Limbaugh.
ActBlue: Rush Limbaugh Doesn't Like This Ad -- Help Keep It On The Air!
That's why Presente Action is running radio ads calling out those members of Congress who refuse to condemn Rush's rhetoric.
Police now suspect that last month's killer was a leader of the Minutemen American Defense and representative of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), joined by two other Minutemen. The three anti-immigrant activists are accused of breaking down the door of the Flores family's home, ransacking their house, and gunning down 9-year-old Brisenia and her father in order to fund their "border watch" activities.
Up until now, the mainstream media has mostly ignored the story.
We cannot let Brisenia's story go untold - to remain silent in the face of this kind of extremism.
Click here to learn more about what happened and to share this horrific story with those close to you.
You've seen the Minutemen and FAIR on television - they're quoted as mainstream "immigration control advocates." Congressmen call on leaders from FAIR to testify before their committees as immigration experts. CNN even broadcasts FAIR's hate-speech on the Lou Dobbs show, blaming immigrants for everything from global warming to traffic congestion. All you have to do is watch these folks scream "illegal alien" to get their agenda: making immigrants seem less than human.
I've asked you to speak out against hate crimes before and will keep asking you to let Congress know what kind of America you want to live in. Today, however, I'm asking you to fight intolerance and extremism by shedding light on it. By telling the story of it. By not remaining silent.
Together, we can turn the tide on this culture of hatred and intolerance and stand up for the values that we all share.
"Eliminationism--including the rhetoric that precedes it and fuels it--expresses a kind of self-hatred," Neiwert claims. "In an American culture that advertises itself as predicated on inclusiveness, eliminationism runs precisely counter to those ideals. Eliminationists, at heart, hate the very idea of America."
The sub-textual paradox that the second half of the book balances against such anti-American ideation is ... that such tendencies have been part of America from the start. This latter portion of the book is at times nearly too much to bear as the history of white European domination and eradication of Native Americans is detailed, as well as the lynchings of African Americans, the backlash against Chinese immigrants and the round-up of Japanese Americans for internment bears witness. Indeed, as Neiwert points out, nearly identical language is unleashed today against Latino immigrants as there have been against different waves of "others" in our collectively shameful past; even such modern "heroes" as the Minutemen can trace their lineage back to the lynching mobs and vigilantism of the early 20th century.Link: Full Review
Tendencies toward fascism, both in our historical past and in our current political climate, can be triggered by what the author calls "the mobilizing passions." As a checklist, it's probably one of the most useful I've run across:
1. A sense of overwhelming crisis beyond the reach of any traditional solutions.
2. The primacy of the group, toward which one has duties superior to every right, both universal and personal, and the subordination of the individual to it.
3. The belief that the group one belongs to is victimized, which justifies any action without legal or moral limits against the group's enemies, both internal and external.
4. Dread of the group's decline under the corrosive effect of individualistic liberalism, class conflict, and alien influences.
5. The need for closer integration of a purer community, by consent if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary.
6. The need for authority by natural leaders (always male), culminating in a national chief who alone is capable of incarnating the group's destiny.
7. The superiority of the leader's instincts over abstract and universal reason.
8. The beauty of violence and the efficacy of will, when they are devoted to the group's success.
9. The right of the "chosen people" to dominate others without restraint from any human or divine law, "right" being decided solely by the group's prowess in a Darwinian struggle.
A few days ago two teens, accused in the fatal beating of Mexican immigrant Luis Ramirez in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania were acquitted of all serious charges by an all white jury. Shortly after Ramirez was brutally murdered, his grieving fiancée had a premonition about the outcome of justice in the case saying, "I know they're going to try to make him look like nothing, and try to justify what the kids did, even though there's no way they could justify this. I know I'm not gonna get the justice I deserve, 10-1 these kids are going to get probation or a slap on the hand. Because he's an illegal Mexican they don't care, right away he's less important."
"With the death of Luis Ramirez, immigration is no longer a question of economic and political struggle. It is now a struggle for the soul of America. One we must win."When I heard the verdict, I was taken back to a conversation from a couple of years ago when I stood aghast with all Americans as pictures rolled out from Abu Ghraib. I remember vividly talking with a friend of mine about it. He shook his head and said what we were all thinking, “Why did they do this?” It hit me hard, because I knew the answer. I shook my head with him and said quietly, “Because they could.”
When people mistreat others, when it happens systematically on a massive scale, like in Soviet Russia, or Pol Pot’s Cambodia, or Abu Ghraib, the questions are never how, but why. Why is it that people harm others like this? What is it that takes ordinary people and turns them to monsters?
Historians wrestle with it. Psychologists talk about national psychosis. Ordinary people construct millions of reasons. Always, we wrestle with why.
The answer never changes. It has been documented time and again. When we see others as less than human – killing them becomes less than a crime. When the attacked stop being seen as brothers, sons, fathers, mothers and sisters – torturing them becomes acceptable. When people are robbed of their humanity, turned into images, or beasts, they can be raped, robbed, enslaved.
When the other is not human, you can put prisoners on a box with electrodes taped to their hands. You can burn churches full of women and children. You can fill trains and lead them to gas chambers.
Again, our country must learn this lesson. The memory of Abu Ghraib is fresh in our mind, and James Byrd still mourned. Our history of anti-Semitism, anti-Irish, anti-Asian, anti-Black, anti-NOT ME still scars this country. We must examine these scars, if we are to learn from our darkest moments.
On July 14, Luis Ramirez was murdered. Not solely because he was Mexican, or undocumented, or even something so trite as being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Luis Ramirez was murdered because those who killed him could. And they could because, to them, he was not American, not human.
We as a country have to stop creating demons in our midst. We have to stop identifying one or another as less than human. The sentiment that killed Luis Ramirez was the same that killed James Byrd. “You don’t matter. You are less than human.”
The talk radio hosts and FOX news pundits who daily scream “illegal” are equally as guilty as the ones who threw the punches. Reporters who quote and therefore legitimize hate groups like FAIR have blood on their hands. When Lou Dobbs says that the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce favor the export of American capital and production to Mexico and Mexico's export of drugs and illegal aliens to the United States – he’s contributing to an intolerance that makes violence possible. With the constant bombardment of vitriol, the hate mongers create an atmosphere in which people are no longer workers, children or sisters – they are illegals, beaners or spics. In the words of Robert F. Kennedy, when we learn to “look at our bothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community, men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear – only a common desire to retreat from each other – only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force.”
We are one country, not fifty states. We are one people, not a thousand ethnicities. We worship one God. And we are all human. The rhetoric that permitted Luis Ramirez’s murder must stop. Our common destiny as human beings must prevail. With the death of Luis Ramirez, immigration is no longer a question of economic and political struggle. It is now a struggle for the soul of America. One we must win.
Be sure to sign MALDEF's petition to the Department of Justice demanding justice for the murder of Luis Ramirez.
Gabe Gonzalez is Director of the Campaign for Community Values at the Center for Community Change.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports that a federal judge in Manhattan approved the settlement.
The federal agency had accused B&H of paying the Manhattan and Brooklyn workers less than other workers, and denying them promotions and health benefits because they were Latino.
FYI: In Fiscal Year 2008, the EEOC received a record 10,601 national origin discrimination charge filings nationwide, an increase of 13% from the prior year and up 50% from about 7,000 charge filings a decade ago.
An all-white jury in Pennsylvania has acquitted two of the killers of Luis Ramirez, a Mexican immigrant murdered by a wolf pack of White thugs in the town of Shenandoah. MALDEF is asking for a federal inquiry.
Here's CNN's report on the verdict:
Here are link to news reports on the verdict:
Justice Not Served: Pennsylvania Hate Crime Assailants Found Not Guilty
Justice reviewing immigrant's beating death in Pa.
Teenagers Not Guilty in Fatal Beating
The Vera Institute of Justice found 322 people with citizenship claims in 13 immigration prisons in 2007, up from 129 the year before. At this rate of error, ICE could be jailing and deporting as many as 75,000 U.S. citizens, many of them children and most Latino.
As the brother of one poor soul who was picked up in California and dumped in a Mexican border city until he was rescued three months later:
"It doesn't matter whether you are a citizen or not. If you look Hispanic, they can question you. Deportation can happen to anybody."
Where's the equal protection guaranty for Latino citizens? Where in the U.S. Constitution does it say 'except for Latinos'?
Also, imagine for one instance the outcry if federal blackboots were stealing away Canadian American children, mothers and fathers, forcing them into concentration camps, denying access to counsel or due process, and then deporting them to a foreign land where they're left to beg in the streets for help?
No way that would happen today to Canadians in America. It also wouldn't happen to German Americans, Irish Americans, nor to most other Americans, so why is it allowed to happen to Latino Americans?
Why no public outcry? No government apologizes? No changes in policies? Only denials, pathetic excuses and more of the same.
Links: Citizens held as illegal immigrants
US Citizens sent to immigration jails
Stop the Deportations and Other Abuses
AP photo: American Pedro Guzman was wrongly imprisoned, denied his citizenship rights and then deported to Mexico.
Yep, Nada! Zippo!
Our reasons for inaction are, of course, pathetic. For example, one man's excuse was that the victim wasn't bleeding enough. Really! Another--a Latino--feared that the gang would target him. But even a group of young men chose to do shuffle away -- shoulders slumped in apparent shame.
Redeeming humanity were a few valiant individuals. Some called 911 as they watched from a distance. But a few took direct action. One was a solidly built African American man took immediate action to stop the violence by taking on the thugs. He told Quiñones he simply couldn't let happen to others what had once happened to him.
Another hero was a Latina who jumped out of her SUV, putting her small frame between the thugs and victim. A third was again a woman who sought to comfort the victim with a hug and a prayer.
Watching the bravery and compassion of the heroes was very touching -- they are very special people. But knowing most would do nothing to stop a racist gang attack on a Latino immigrant is very disturbing.
That's more than a 50% increase since 2000, when there were 602 groups.
As in recent years, hate groups were animated by the national immigration debate. But two new forces also drove them in 2008: the worsening recession, and Barack Obama's successful campaign to become the nation's first black president.
The Year in Hate: Number of Hate Groups Tops 900
The Impending Perfect Wingnut Hate Storm
Photo: Lupe Carreño
'Hispanics' says racist baiter extraordinaire Patrick Buchanan are the biggest threat to the survival of the United States of America. We're a bigger threat, he warns, than even those dastardly Muslims in the Iraq and Kabul.
Question: We know why FOX keeps a stable of racists pontificators, but what's MSNBC's deal? Why possible good does it do MSNBC and its parent company GE to provide this very sick and harmful man on pay and airtime?
I will say though that at least Buchanan is an 'honest' racist. Unlike his brothers-in-hate, Lou Dobbs, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Rushbo, Buchanan doesn't pretend that his deep anti-Latino animus is really just concern about "illegal" immigration.
But again, doesn't MSNBC have professional journalistic standards regarding who they put on the air? If not, I hear that David Dukes would love a slot.
Sidebar: Buchanan was a pr flack for disgraced President 'Tricky' Dick Nixon--a documented racist as well--who's administration is credited with originating the label Hispanic.
As Bill Santiago says about Hispanic, "It has that word 'panic in it". He adds, "It's more of a warning label than an ethnic category. It sounds too much like Titanic, Satanic, Mechanic!"
Estadounidenses of Latin American heritage, how about a more authentic descriptor? I prefer Latino -- although Americano is intriguing. No? ;)
"Racist rhetoric and dehumanizing images inspire violence," Levin told the Intelligence Report.
County Executive Steve Levy came under particularly concentrated fire after he said that if Lucero had been killed in adjacent Nassau County, "it would be a one-day story." Since taking office in 2004, Levy had, among other measures aimed at immigrants, signed a measure to bar undocumented workers from being hired by county contractors and county licensees, and he clashed often with Long Island pro-immigrant activists.
SPLCenter's Full Article
Phoenix television clip with de la Rocha interview
Nezua (The Unapologetic Mexican) introduces his latest project, The Media Consortium's Weekly Immigration Wire, an aggregation of the week's best news stories in progressive new media.
What's refreshing about the venture is that Nezua is authentic and believable -- and immigration--or the movement of people--one of the 21st Century's foremost challenges.
Today, some 3 million American children are vulnerable to to just horrors.
Adults won't do anything about this gross injustice, so it's up to the kids.
When in December immigration agents picked up Maricela Soza in Pompano Beach, her two children took up the fight to keep their family intact.Nice family values, America.
Cecia, 12, and Ronald Jr., 9, are among more than 600 youths from across the country poised to participate in a lawsuit that aims to stop the government from deporting parents of children who are U.S. citizens.
Cops piece together chilling details of tragedy (Jessica Fargen, Boston Herald)
- Luke knocks on the door at 103 Clinton St. at 12:20 p.m., armed with a 9 mm gun and a backpack containing a hammer, two pairs of handcuffs, a mouth gag and blindfold. He is allegedly intent on killing 20-year-old Selma Goncalves, his former neighbor.
- Selma’s older sister answers the door. Luke allegedly pulls the 9 mm from his sweatshirt pocket and forces his way inside. He handcuffs the woman and allegedly rapes her for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Selma returns home and bangs on the door.
- Luke gets dressed, grabs his gun and answers the door. He tries to pull Selma inside, but she resists and runs away.
- He allegedly shoots her several times in the back as she flees.
- Selma’s sister is kneeling on the floor, holding a large, stuffed white teddy bear. Luke allegedly fires several times and bullets rip through the teddy bear and into the woman’s chest.
- Selma runs outside and collapses.
- Luke retreats to his black van, parked outside, and reloads.
- He leans out the window and allegedly fires three to four shots at a “non-white” man who is tending to Selma before he speeds off.
- Luke sees a 72-year-old homeless man pushing a carriage on Clinton Street and pulls over. He walks up to the man and allegedly shoots him point-blank in the face as the man holds up his hand to protect himself. He allegedly shoots the man again in the back as he flees.
- Luke continues to drive down the street, allegedly looking for other non-whites to kill as a police chase ensues. He allegedly shoots at two police officers before crashing into several cars. He flees on foot.
- He tries to cock the gun as he runs before lying down on East Ashland Street and surrendering.
Photo series - BostonHerald
Video: Murder Scene 1 - 1/23/09
Video: Capture Scene - 1/23/09
Video of DA Timonthy Cruz' press conference 1/23/09
Video: Arraignment - 1/24/09
Brockton woman killed by gunman remembered for warmth, sense of humor
Cape Verdean mother of shooting victim to attend funeral
Slain man, 72, 'never bothered a soul'
Cops piece together chilling details of tragedy
‘I can still see her dancing’ says friend of Brockton victim
Suspect in Brockton slayings intent on carnage, police say
Prosecutor: Brockton suspect planned ‘mass murder’
Keith Luke Tried to Save the White Race
Accused Gunman Targeted 'Non-Whites,' Jews In Spree
Accused killer's father threatens cops, committed for treatment
City leaders decry hate crime at Brockton peace rally
Video: Brockton's Rabbi Joshua Cohen Speaks Out Against Hate
Recently, Pearson sat down with 9500Liberty to discuss his conversion. Here' the interview in two parts:
Part 1: The seduction of intolerance - "We don't like "illegal" immigrants. Most "illegals" are Hispanic. Therefore, we don't like Hispanics."
Part 2: "Racism is an issue with the anti-immigrant lobby...I finally got to see the human face of the issue I had been against...I came to the realization that this isn't about politics. This isn't even about immigration. It's about our common humanity."
Robb Pearson's Opening Speech
Hate Society Claims Morristown
Doctors at the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick say that Sanchez is lucky to be alive given his injuries. They are set to perform reconstructive surgery on Sanchez' face as soon as the swelling eases.
Five African American men between the ages of 17 and 19 young years of age were arrested for the hate crime.
Links: Otro brutal ataque racial
Operarán a víctima de ataque racial
At a recent press conference the Social Contract Press received a cake and balloons congratulating them on their new report which blames immigrants for infrastructure problems in the United States. The Social Contract Press is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and has strong ties to racist white nationalist organizations.
Related: Social Contract Press Lies to Voters
The investigation is in response to this complaint filed by the Manhattan-based LatinoJustice in the wake of the hate murder of Marcelo Lucero documenting a climate of hate and neglect towards Latino victims promoted and/or tolerated by Suffolk County officials.
Link: Feds probe handling of hate crimes
Assaults on Latinos Spur Inquiry
Justice Department probes Long Island hate crimes
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) managed to toss in yet another example of its warped perception of due process by denying immigrants the right to effective counsel. The Obama administration must reverse this un-American policy.For a politician who enjoyed significant support from Latinos as governor of Texas and early on as president, George W. Bush's administration has amassed the most anti-immigrant record of any president in recent memory. Shameful!
On Wednesday, Attorney General Michael Mukasey issued a decision stating that immigrants in removal proceedings do not have a legal right to counsel, or to effective representation.
Mt. Kisco is an affluent town one hour north of mid-town Manhattan in upper Westchester County, New York. While an estimated 25% of the population is Latino, none of the town's elected or appointed officials is Latino.
While we don't yet have any information on the thugs, what we do know is that Mt. Kisco area Latinos are in the crosshairs of racists. Read some of the comments at the end of the article to glimpse what Latino immigrants in Lower Hudson area are up against.
Mt. Kisco police are 'investigating'. Of course, they have thus far failed to find any of the criminals responsible for the brutal slayings of 6 Latino immigrants over the past few years. Protecting immigrants and bringing anti-Latino criminals to justice just does not seem to be a priority for Mt. Kisco Police.
Photo: Fernando Mateo of Hispanics Across America and Westchester DA Janet DiFiore at a vigil for slain Latino immigrant Rene Perez.
Bob Herbert adds up the damage caused by George the 43rd and wonders why Americans aren't out protesting. It's a critical question since the damage is so wide, so deep -- impacting just about everyone.
I agree with Herbert's list with one exception: he's left out the terrible damage George the 43rd has wrought to Latino and Muslim immigrants.
Using nativism to divide and distract from unpopular wars and economic policies is as low as you can go if you're a national leader -- and I believe George the 43rd went there (w/help from FOX & friends) while pretending otherwise.
The cabal that brought us swiftboating swiftboated immigrants of color and progress.