A project of the Center for Community Change

Hate Crimes & Hate Groups

Not in Our Town: Fighting Hate (new media style)

This week, a teenager is on trial in Long Island for the murder of Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorian immigrant who was targeted by a group of teenage boys who went looking for Latinos to assault  in November, 2008.

I wrote a lot about the Marcelo Lucero murder that year. It came only a few months after another murder in Shenandoah, PA where Luis Ramirez was beaten to death by a group of local high school boys. (Yes, there is a pattern here).

As we hope for some justice in the murder of Marcelo Lucero, a new online community is being launched to help fight hate in communities across the country.

Not in Our Town (NIOT) is a project of the Working Group, which “tells stories for and about people who make change, and connects them to others who can expand their influence.”

With a focus on race, diversity and the battle against intolerance, NIOT.org is a tool for people fighting prejudice and hate-based violence targeting people for their race, ethnicity, faith or sexual orientation.

The new site will:

“…allow communities and individuals around the country to connect, share ideas and model best practices for building safe, inclusive communities.

You should check out their page with information on how to get connected and start making a difference. While you’re at it, stop by and leave messages of support for Joselo Lucero while he sits through his own brother’s murder trial in search of justice.

Tagged , ,

Leprosy Lou says Adios

Dobbs liar

Tonight, Lou Dobbs hosted his last show ever on CNN. Yes, our dear friend Lou has officially resigned from the nation’s ‘most trusted name in news’ to bring his special blend of xenophobia and hate-mongering elsewhere.

This is incredible news and due in no small part to the efforts of the Drop Dobbs and Basta Dobbs campaigns who have put increasingly more pressure on CNN to fire Lou.

Check out his goodbye speech in the clip below. I love when he says that

“issues are now defined in the public arena by partisanship and ideology rather than by rigorous empirical thought and forthright analysis and discussion.”

I wonder if by forthright analysis he means spreading lies about the waves of immigrants infecting Americans with leprosy without a single shred of factual evidence to back it up.

But, I digress. Here’s Lou:

This marks a big victory in the fight against hate and anti-immigrant fervor in our country, but its only one small step in the right direction. Lou will, inevitably, find another pulpit from which to spout his dangerous rhetoric, and we will continue to counter with the truth and justice on our side.

But for now, mark one for the good guys.

As Eric Burns, president of Media Matters said:

“This is a happy day for all those who care about this nation of immigrants and believe in the power of media to elevate the political discourse.”

For a round-up of coverage check out Jackie Mahendra’s post over at the America’s Voice blog.

Tagged , , ,

Remembering Marcelo Lucero

One year ago, seven teenage boys in Suffolk County, Long Island, NY were trying to find a way to spend their Saturday night. Sounds like a typical American teenage night of boredom, but it would end in senseless hate, violence and death. The seven boys set out to do some “beaner jumping”. Yes, you read that right. These boys set out with the intention of finding a Latino to beat.

They found Marcelo Lucero, a 37 year old Ecuadorian immigrant who had been living in the United States for 16 years. They beat and stabbed him to death.

I remember writing about this a year ago. I was fairly new to the pro-migrant blogosphere and was still reeling from the murder of Luis Ramirez in Shenandoah, PA.

Its hard to fully wrap my head around this idea. These boys were searching for a person of Hispanic heritage – ANY person of hispanic heritage. Where does this intense hatred come from?

Though after writing that initial post I soon learned about Steve Levy, the Suffolk county executive who had consistently been pushing a hardline anti-immigrant agenda in the area, and I started connecting the dots.

Then in September, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a report that found immigrants in Suffolk County had been living in a constant climate of fear for their safety and their lives.

Mamita Mala at VivirLatino really makes the connection in her post remembering Marcelo Lucero:

I do not draw a line separated the violence unleashed on our communities based on whether it is committed by private individuals or individuals action on behalf of the local, state or federal government. One allows and promotes the other. The continuing criminalization of immigrant communities dehumanizes and sends a message to private citizens that immigrants/Latinos/Mexicans are all criminal anyway, not worthy of protection under the law or justice.

And today, while we remember Marcelo Lucero, we must also continue to fight the dehumanization and criminalization that Mamita Mala points to in the above lines.

In a timely development of this story, yesterday one of Marcelo Lucero’s attackers plead guilty in court:

Nicholas Hausch, 18, pleaded guilty to four counts to settle a nine-count indictment, including conspiracy, gang assault, assault as a hate crime and attempted assault as a hate crime in the Nov. 8, 2008, killing of Marcelo Lucero.

Hausch will testify against the six other boys facing jail time for the brutal murder. Hopefully justice will be served, but what will that justice mean for Marcelo Lucero’s family? For the Suffolk county community? For Latinos facing hate and xenophobia daily? For the character of our country as a whole?

A court of law will not make this right.

I will close this post with something I wrote a year ago – where I quoted a moving NY Times editorial about Marcelo Lucero’s murder.

Deadly violence represents the worst fear that immigrants deal with every day, but it is not the only one. It must be every leader’s task to move beyond easy outrage and take on the difficult job of understanding and defending a community so vulnerable to sudden outbreaks of hostility and terror.

Not only every leader should take on this task, but every American. Period.

On Saturday, there will be a candlelight vigil in memory of Marcelo Lucero in Patchogue, NY. I hope those of you who live in New York can attend – I wish I could be there in person.

Please visit the Long Island Wins website to sign the petition real immigration solutions to avoid more tragedies like the one in Patchogue.

Tagged , , , , ,
Page 1 of 1212345...10...Last »
Nike Free Run+ 3 Christmas Deals Nike Air Max Thea Print Christmas Deals Nike Free Viritous Christmas Deals Nike Air Max Thea Christmas Deals Nike Air Jordan 8 Christmas Deals