This past June, 49-year-old James Craig Anderson, who worked at a manufacturing company, was brutally beaten and run over by a group of white teenagers from a nearby suburb. Basically, because they wanted to “mess with a n*****”.
Did everyone just check their calenders for a moment there? Yeah, I said it and I wanted to say it so you could understand the severity of the issue at hand. Last time I checked, it was 2011. Almost fifty years after the civil rights movement and our horrific history of racially motivated murders is disguised ambiguously as “lynching”. Why call them “lynchings” when they are MURDERS?
These criminals were not police officers who were caught in the heat of a moment and had a shootout like the event which just recently sparked the chaotic London Riots. It was not a crime of passion or someone these boys knew. This was a man who was leaving his job to go home to his family when two vehicles full of teens pulled up to assault him.
They attacked Anderson, screamed racial slurs, beat him, and ran him over, leaving him to die on a filthy dirty street. What’s worse is that they did it for sport, for fun! What they didn’t know was that they were being recorded by a surveillance camera. I couldn’t wrap my head around how little value a human life is to these criminals. What I’d like to know is, how was this not racially motivated?
People will assume that because America voted in a biracial/mixed President that we have somehow magically erased xenophobia. Clap your hands people, did you hear that? We are no longer racist. Once, again we pull across that sheet of silver lining hoping to hide behind it and create an affront now known as “Post-Racial U.S.”
If you want to see true hate just read the comments that come after any article about the London Riots or our President. Even articles about immigration. Read the hate and see if your stomach is still strong.
I have read comments from anonymous people, hiding behind their computer, who write that “black people are monkeys” and “Hispanics are cockroaches”, “baby-making”, “welfare-taking”, “lazy” bunch of…yeah you can fill in the rest. I didn’t want to step up on my soapbox but someone has to.
Why is the coverage of this horrific travesty being pushed under the rug? And it’s not the first time…what about the young Arizonian child Brisenia Flores who was brutally murdered by a member of a supposed rogue minute man organization? Or the Hispanic Marine Jose Guerena killed in his home with his wife and child present by the Swat Team in a botched drug raid? A simple blurb on the screen, a passing in history, a “Well, they’re only “those people”.
James Byrd, Jr was another black man who was walking along a dark Texas road when three white supremacists came along. He was dragged to death down a 3 mile stretch of road. This was in 1999, and twelve years ago this same thing occured.
A Hispanic man was attacked in Denver Colorado by two teens who yelled racial profanities while simultanously asking “Why are you taking our jobs?” Police were called and intervened.
Another Latino witnessed a robbery but the Seattle Police thought otherwise, and assumed he was a suspect. One officer assaulted him and hurled racial slurs.
We have not progressed as much as people may think. The blatant racism of the sixties has only become internalized by people who know they can’t just say what they want, even though some still do. The impending economic slump, which coincides with slow job growth, has created a stagnated pool of distrust and hate that is demonizing minorities.
Am I fearful? Yes, even today, I silently wished I had been white instead of brown. To be able to walk into a store where I am not judged and watched, to have people not be surprised that I am educated because they assume I am just one of “those” Hispanics. To not hear comments from individuals who have told me, “I don’t speak Mexican”.
Well world, I don’t speak stupid. There are those who are ignorant because they have not learned about something and then there are those who do not care to learn.
The people hidden behind the anonymity that the internet provides show their true colors, fangs and claws. A sign of the mentalities of many Americans and an indication of what we’re up against. Our labeling system is our own worst enemy as it allows us to draw out the boundaries of inequality. Justice, an interesting concept, but one that is definitely not in favor of victims of color.
The media has gone mute suddenly with the hopes of what, I ask? How many more have to die, get abused, be attacked, be told “to go back where they come from” until we wake up?
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