Tag Archives: Dylann Roof

Let’s not allow the racial brush fires to become a racial conflagration

Four young black adults, aged 18 to 24, shown in the police booking photos above, have been charged with hate crimes in the kidnapping and torture of an 18-year-old mentally disabled white man in Chicago. Images of their victim, which they incredibly intelligently live-streamed via Facebook, are below. As visceral as such images in the media can be, let’s not let the stupid, cruel actions of the few make the rest of us also act in ways that are stupid and cruel.

The victim was made to drink from a toilet bowl and had a gag placed over his mouth

White supremacists must be thrilled to hear the news of four black young adults who have been arrested and charged with hate crimes in their kidnapping and hours-long torture of an 18-year-old mentally disabled white man, voicing their hatred of white people and of Donald Trump while they tortured him.

Reports The Associated Press today:

Chicago — Four black people were charged with hate crimes [today] in connection with a video broadcast live on Facebook that showed a mentally disabled white man being beaten and taunted, threatened with a knife and forced to drink from a toilet.

The assault went on for hours, until Chicago police found the disoriented victim walking along a street, authorities said.

The suspects, who were jailed, can be heard on the video using profanities against white people and President-elect Donald Trump.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said investigators initially concluded that the 18-year-old man was singled out because he has “special needs,” not because he was white. But authorities later said the charges resulted from both the suspects’ use of racial slurs and their references to the victim’s disability.

It’s also possible that the suspects were trying to extort something from the victim’s family, police said. The man’s parents reported their son missing Monday and told authorities they later received text messages from people who claimed to be holding him captive.

The victim was a classmate of one of the attackers and initially went with that person voluntarily, police said.

“He’s traumatized by the incident, and it’s very tough to communicate with him at this point,” police Cmdr. Kevin Duffin said.

Excerpts of the video posted by Chicago media outlets show the victim with his mouth taped shut and slumped in a corner of a room. At least two assailants are seen cutting off his sweatshirt, and others taunt him off camera. The video shows a wound on the top of the man’s head. One person pushes the man’s head with his or her foot.

A red band also appears to be around the victim’s hands. He was tied up for four to five hours, authorities said.

The victim does not appear to make any attempt to defend himself or to escape his attackers. He is a suburban Chicago resident described by Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson as having “mental health challenges.”

“There was never a question whether or not this incident qualified as being investigated as a hate crime,” Johnson said. But “we need to base the investigation on facts and not emotion.”

The case heighted political tensions on social media, with some conservatives suggesting it was linked to the Black Lives Matter movement. Police said there was no indication of any connection.

The incident began Dec. 31, when the victim and one of the suspects, 18-year-old Jordan Hill, met at a suburban McDonald’s to begin what both the victim and his parents believed would be a sleepover, police said.

Instead, Hill drove the victim around in a stolen van for a couple of days, ending up at a home in Chicago, where two of the other suspects lived, detective Cmdr. Kevin Duffin said.

The victim told police what began as playful fighting escalated, and he was bound, beaten and taunted with racial slurs and disparaging comments about his mental capacity.

A downstairs neighbor who heard noises threatened to call police. When two of the suspects left and kicked down the neighbor’s door, the victim escaped. A police officer later spotted the obviously disoriented man wandering down a street.

The man was bloodied and wearing a tank top that was inside-out and backward. He had on jean shorts and sandals, despite freezing weather, officer Michael Donnelly said.

Most hate crimes are connected to the victim’s race, but hate-crime charges can be sought in Illinois if a victim’s mental disability sparked an attack, though it is rare.

In addition to hate crimes, the four were charged with kidnapping, aggravated battery and aggravated unlawful restraint. Three were also charged with burglary. It was unclear whether any of the suspects had attorneys. They were to appear in court Friday. …

Cook County prosecutors identified the suspects as Brittany Covington and Tesfaye Cooper, both of Chicago, and Hill, of suburban Carpentersville. All are 18. A fourth suspect was identified as 24-year-old Tanishia Covington, also of Chicago. …

Before any white people get all indignant and high and mighty over this unfortunate case, we must remind ourselves that also in the news is the ongoing trial of 22-year-old white supremacist Dylann Storm Roof, who shot and killed nine black church members in cold blood in Charleston, South Carolina, in June 2015.

Just as Roof is not representative of all white people, the four young black people who appropriately have been charged with hate crimes against the mentally disabled young white man (yes, black-on-white crime can be a hate crime, even though there are plenty of assholes and idiots who would claim otherwise) are not representative of all black people.

A minority of the members of all races are capable of inhumanity to other human beings, ranging from verbal abuse to torture to murder.

It’s ridiculous for the right or the left or for any member of any race to use incidents of race-related crimes to indict all or most of the members of an entire race.

These ugly race-related crimes come crashing into our national consciousness via the media, and the media should report them, but we shouldn’t take the incidents out of context, assert that they represent a larger pattern that they don’t represent, or try to selfishly use the incidents to reinforce our own pre-existing, narrow racial-political worldviews and agendas — or, worst, try to use the incidents as an excuse to commit our own crimes against other human beings, feeling “justified” in doing so.

As far as the mindset of the four young black people who kidnapped and tortured the young white man is concerned, I’m not sure whether they truly have a deep-seated hatred of white people or whether they just thought that it was cool to kidnap and torture a whitey, apparently especially in the aftermath of the “election” of Trump as president.

In any event, because they used racial epithets, the hate-crime charges against them appear to be quite appropriate. You don’t get to use hate speech while committing a crime against someone and then later claim that you didn’t really mean it. You said it; there is evidence that you said it. That’s enough to establish your state of mind. Words having meaning. Let’s not pretend that they don’t.

And, of course, just as Roof was cowardly enough to shoot to death nine defenseless, unarmed people, these four attackers apparently were too cowardly to pick on anyone other than a mentally disabled person, whom they outnumbered.

What I hope doesn’t happen is that some white supremacists “retaliate” against some random black person or persons, incorrectly feeling that the entire white race was just kidnapped and tortured by the entire black race, and that it doesn’t devolve into a fucking all-out race war.

In the current poisonous, Trump-filled atmosphere, that could happen, and while it would cause plenty more pain and suffering, it would solve exactly nothing.

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Donald Trump must never be president

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In a shamelessly grotesque display of white nationalism and fear mongering, at the end of his “speech” on immigration in Phoenix on Wednesday, Der Fuhrer Donald Trump paraded white people whose relatives had been killed by “illegals.” This ignores the fact that the vast majority of American citizens who are killed by others are killed by fellow citizens, not by non-citizens. Trump, having no qualifications whatsoever for the highest public office of the land, sociopathically happily will use racial division and scapegoating for his own political gain, no matter how much it harms real people — which makes him quite dangerous.

Yesterday I found the stomach to watch Der Fuhrer Donald Trump’s “speech” on immigration in Phoenix, Arizona, on Wednesday.

It was one of those unpleasant things that you don’t want to do but that you should; fascist demagogue Trump’s public utterances now are as important as fascist demagogue Adolf Hitler’s early public utterances were. (Indeed, just substitute “Jew” for “illegal” in Trump’s public proclamations and you pretty much have Hitler’s political rhetoric: This nation would be great again if only it weren’t for the Jews! illegals!)

Phoenix, of course, was fertile nationalist, fascist, white supremacist ground for El Trumpo, which is why he held his little KKK rally there on Wednesday.

Let’s talk about the backasswards red state of Arizona, which surely would have been a slave state had it not been made a state decades after the Civil War.

While 6.3 percent of those in my home state of California in 2012 were deemed to be undocumented immigrants — the second-highest percentage for any state in the nation (behind No. 1 Nevada at 7.6 percent and tied with Texas also at 6.3 percent) — by comparison 4.6 percent of Arizonans in 2012 were deemed to be undocumented immigrants (the national average 2012 was deemed to be 3.5 percent). Yet to hear the backasswards, Trump-lovin’ Arizonans tell it, illegal immigration is their (and the nation’s) No. 1 problem!

This is not at all the common public sentiment here in California, where we have more “illegals” than does Arizona, both percentage-wise and in actual numbers.

No, the problem isn’t the “illegals.” The problem is right-wing hatred and white supremacism and a fear of diversity rather than an embrace of diversity and an understanding that diversity makes us stronger, not weaker — it’s homogeneity that threatens a nation, not heterogeneity, because homogeneity is just inbreeding writ large.

You see an embrace of diversity and heterogeneity here in California, which is why California is a blue state instead of a backasswards, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging red state like Arizona.

I feel as safe here in California’s capital as I would almost anywhere else in the nation, but to hear Der Fuhrer Trump tell it, to simply leave your home is to be at grave risk for being murdered by an “illegal.” If Trump’s fear-mongering rhetoric were true, then why am I not a lot more terrified than I am? After all, I live in the state with more “illegals” than any other state!

At the end of his “speech” on immigration on Wednesday, Trump fittingly had a bunch of all or mostly white people come on stage and talk about their loved ones who were killed by “illegals.”

Which is, of course, statistically bullshit.

Given that there are millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States, yes, of course, a tiny percentage of them are going to commit serious crimes, including murder. But far more American citizens are killed by (and otherwise violently victimized by) fellow citizens than they are by non-citizens; should we deport all American citizens? If you are an American citizen residing in the United States, you are, after all, much more likely to be murdered or otherwise killed by a fellow citizen than by a non-citizen.

Trump’s “speech” on immigration in Phoenix on Wednesday was a hate fest; it was an orgy of white supremacism.

Donald Fucking Trump has had more than a fucking year to come up with something other than fascistically blaming all of the nation’s problems on the “illegals” (most of them from Mexico) and advocating that we build a “Game of Thrones”-like Great Wall on the southern border to keep out the brown-skinned wildlings who supposedly threaten our very (white) way of life.

Trump has had plenty of time to develop some semblance of an actual presidential campaign, but he still has nothing other than rank white supremacism.

Trump on Wednesday night in Phoenix shamelessly and disingenuously yet again brought up the unfortunate shooting death of 32-year-old American citizen Kathryn Steinle by an undocumented immigrant from Mexico in early July 2015 in San Francisco, because the shooting conveniently happened so soon after he opened his presidential campaign by demonizing “illegals.”

Steinle’s death was to be retroactive “proof” that El Trumpo was right about those “dangerous” “illegals,” you see*; she didn’t die in vain! She died for the Trump campaign!

Thing is, the authorities suspect that the “illegal,” a homeless man, shot Steinle (with a loaded handgun that he had found) by accident, not on purpose (the man’s case has not been adjudicated yet), and at least one member of Steinle’s family, Steinle’s brother, has had a real problem with Trump using Steinle’s death for his own personal and political gain. (“If you’re going to use somebody’s name and you’re going to sensationalize the death of a beautiful young lady, maybe you should call and talk to the family first and see what their views are,” Steinle’s brother said.)

Trump’s hate- and lie-filled anti-immigrant rhetoric, of course, is only meant as a diversion from the fact that he is utterly unqualified to be president of the United States of America. He never has been elected to any public office yet seeks the nation’s highest elected office. No ego there! Donald Trump only ever has been a flim-flam man, a walking, talking fraud and fraudster.

Trump doesn’t want the masses to focus on him and on his stunning lack of qualifications; he wants to distract and terrify the ignorant, racist masses with the bogeymen that he has created.

And Trump wildly overstates the bogeymen’s numbers, of course.

From 2009 to 2012, the numbers of undocumented immigrants (about 11.2 million of them) in the United States didn’t grow at all — in fact, the number of them peaked at 12.2 million in 2007, before the George W. Bush-induced recession, and their numbers have fallen because of the second George Bush recession — and ironically, their numbers in the border states of California, New Mexico and yes, Arizona, dropped from 2009 to 2012. (That fact didn’t stop Arizona’s racist, hateful SB 1070 in 2010. Facts, you see, never stop the fascists. [SB 1070 was an incredibly mean-spirited anti-brown-skinned-undocumented-immigrant law that for the most part has been stricken down as unconstitutional by the federal courts.])

Blaming a certain group of people for the nation’s problems isn’t going to solve the nation’s problems any more than Nazi Germany’s blaming the Jews for its problems solved Germany’s problems.

And, of course, the fascists, the nationalists, the white supremacists are bullies, so they’re not going to pick on someone with power — someone with numbers and with political power. No, they’re going to go after a relatively much weaker minority. That’s how Nazis and neo-Nazis operate, because they’re weak, stupid fucking cowards.

Ironically, I rather doubt that Der Fuhrer Trump actually personally hates Latinos. (Of course “illegals” overwhelmingly refers to brown-skinned individuals from south of the border.) Latinos (“illegal” and “legal”) are just an awfully politically convenient punching bag (or should I say piñata?). Demonizing undocumented immigrants from Latin America (and, I believe, by extension, all immigrants from Latin America) is Trump’s way to try to get into the White House. (Hey, it’s just politics! It’s nothing personal! We’re good — right?)

The thing is, Der Fuhrer Donald Trump’s hate-filled, racist rhetoric harms actual human beings. Not only “illegals” are targeted, but all Latinos (and even those who aren’t even actually Latino but who might to some appear to be Latino) are to be targeted by Trump’s white-supremacist and white-nationalist flying monkeys, and that’s unfuckingacceptable.

It’s as acceptable as was Hitler’s and his henchmen’s targeting of Jews (and other relatively powerless minority groups).

History has demonstrated amply that the demonization of an entire group of people by a nation’s political leaders easily can lead not just to persecution, but even to genocide against that group of people.

Donald Trump must never be president of the United States of America.

If he does make it that far and his political rhetoric turns into the Nazi-like actual persecution of a certain group or certain groups of people (he has demonized Muslims, too, but primarily has targeted Latinos), then it would be time for something like, as the right wing likes to put it, a Second-Amendment remedy.

It’s a remedy — an extreme one, yes, of course, but an extremely necessary one — that should have been employed with Hitler; it would have saved millions of innocent lives.

We true Americans patriots must never allow the United States of America to become Nazi Germany 2.0.

We can allow that to happen only over our dead bodies.

I far prefer ballots to bullets, but as the right wing never rules out the use of bullets, neither can we on the left afford to do so.

P.S. As a white American-born U.S. citizen who has lived in California and, unfortunately, also in Arizona my entire life, I can testify that a solid majority of the Latinos whom I’ve known and with whom I have interacted have been decent, hard-working people.

I’m not at all a fan of Catholicism (or any other organized religion), that’s true, but overall Latinos have brought the United States far more benefit than harm. Their presence and their injection of their culture, which includes their strong work ethic, into the national culture of the United States of America makes the U.S.A. stronger, not weaker.

I, for one, won’t sit idly by while a President Trump fascistically persecutes Latinos because I’m not Latino.

P.P.S. I don’t feel like regurgitating all of the details of Trump’s despicable “speech” in Phoenix on Wednesday; it was bad enough to watch it all the way through once. You should watch it yourself. If you’re sane, you’ll note many incredibly pathetic moments. It’s great insight into the “man’s” “character.”

You’ll note, I think, that the vast majority of his fascist shtick very apparently isn’t even anything that he strongly believes himself, but that he knows works well with his audience of white nationalists and fascists.

I will note that among Trump’s many wonderful ideas regarding immigration is requiring an ideological test of prospective immigrants to be let into the nation, as though (1) such a test weren’t a violation of human rights (your political ideology must match that of a typical Repugnican Tea Party fascist to be able to come into the United States!) and (2) as though such a test, if actually implemented, couldn’t be defeated.

*As a writer for even the right-wing Wall Street Journal commented:

High-profile incidents, like the [July 2015] arrest of a Mexican national in the horrific shooting death of a young woman in San Francisco, can give the impression that immigrants are more likely to commit violent crimes [than are natives]. But the alleged killer [of Kathryn Steinle] is no more representative of Mexican immigrants than Dylann [Storm] Roof [the winner who gunned down nine black Americans in their church in cold blood in Charleston, South Carolina, in June 2015] is representative of white people.

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