Thursday, October 30, 2008

Anti-Latino Hate Crimes Rise for Fourth Year in a Row

By Mark Potok on October 29, 2008

Hate crimes targeting Latinos increased again in 2007, capping a 40% rise in the four years since 2003, according to FBI statistics released earlier this week.

As anti-immigrant propaganda has increased on both the margins and in the mainstream of society — where pundits and politicians have routinely vilified undocumented Latino immigrants with a series of defamatory falsehoods — hate violence has risen against perceived “illegal aliens.” Each year since 2003, the number of FBI-reported anti-Latino hate crime incidents has risen (see table, below), even as a swelling nativist movement has become larger and more vitriolic.

Anti-Hispanic Hate Crimes

The FBI statistics, which are simply compilations of state statistics as mandated by federal law, are notoriously sketchy. Because of a variety of problems in the voluntary reporting system, including the failure of many victims to report crimes to police, the FBI figures have long been suspected of being far lower than the actual level of such crimes. And that turns out to be true. The FBI has reported national hate crime totals of between about 6,000 and about 10,000 since it began publishing the numbers in 1992, depending on the year (the new report counts 7,264 incidents in 2007). But a definitive 2005 study by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (PDF), based on detailed and highly accurate National Crime Victimization Surveys, found that the real annual level of hate crime in America averaged some 191,000 incidents — in other words, about 20 to 30 times higher than the numbers annually reported by the FBI.

Although the numbers of FBI-reported anti-Latino hate crime attacks are small — from 426 incidents in 2003 to 595 incidents in 2007 — the trend they suggest is almost certainly a real one. California, which does a better job of reporting hate crimes than most states, has also seen a major uptick in anti-Latino violence, and the growth of hate groups has been most dramatic in Southern border states like California, Arizona and Texas, the front lines of the immigration controversy.

At the same time as anti-Latino violence has risen, the Southern Poverty Law Center has reported a major increase in hate groups — from 602 in 2000 to 888 in 2007, a 48% percent jump — and said that the growth has been almost entirely driven by the immigration debate. White supremacist groups that normally target African Americans and Jews have focused heavily for the last several years on the “threat” of Latino immigrants, exploiting the issue successfully in order to recruit more and more members, especially in the border states. That has only begun to change recently, as hate groups increasingly turn their attention to the subprime crisis (which they blame on minorities) and the likely prospect of a black president.

There are other problems in the FBI hate crime statistics, as is reflected in the new report for 2007. Mississippi, for instance, reported zero hate crimes last year, while Alaska reported one and Georgia had three. If there are more than 190,000 hate crimes nationally each year, it is obviously utterly implausible that the number of hate crimes in those states could be so low. A part of the problem has been the reluctance of some police departments and states to report hate crimes (one reason may be fear of bad publicity), along with reporting errors by various local and state officials. The 2005 Department of Justice study also pointed to another huge problem, finding that fully 56% of hate crime victimizations were never reported to police at all. That problem is exacerbated in the undocumented community, whose members are typically afraid to report crimes to police for fear of being deported.

The FBI’s latest report also found, as it has in most years, that schools and colleges were the third largest venue for hate crimes (with 11.3% of the total reported on campuses) after “in or near residences or homes” (30.5%) and “on highways, roads, alleys, or streets” (18.9%). Although many think of campuses as being bastions of open-mindedness, in fact they suffer the same pathologies as the rest of society. They also hold concentrations of young people, who are more crime-prone that other segments of the population.

The definitive 2005 government study also highlighted several other key facts about hate crimes, including that per capita rates of victimization “varied little by race or ethnicity: about 0.9 per 1,000 whites, 0.7 per 1,000 blacks, and 0.9 per 1,000 Hispanics.” Perhaps more importantly, the study concluded that hate crimes were vastly more violent than others — almost 84% of hate crimes included violence ranging from rape to assault, while only 23% of non-hate crimes did.


Monday, October 27, 2008

ATF: Plot by skinheads to kill Obama is foiled

Two Neo-Nazis held in Tennessee; allegedly also planned to kill dozens

This undated photo obtained from a MySpace webpage shows Daniel Cowart, 20 of Bells, Tenn. holding a weapon. Federal agents have broken up a plot to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. and shoot or decapitate 102 black people in a Tennessee murder spree, the ATF said Monday Oct. 27, 2008. In court records unsealed Monday, federal agents said they disrupted plans to rob a gun store and target a predominantly African-American high school by two neo-Nazi skinheads. The men, Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tenn., and Paul Schlesselman 18, of West Helena, Ark., are being held without bond.

WASHINGTON - Law enforcement agents have broken up a plot by two neo-Nazi skinheads to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and shoot or decapitate 88 black people, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Monday.

In court records unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court in Jackson, Tenn., federal agents said they disrupted plans to rob a gun store and target a predominantly African-American high school in a murder spree that was to begin in Tennessee. Agents said the skinheads did not identify the school by name.

Jim Cavanaugh, special agent in charge of ATF's Nashville field office, said the two men planned to kill 88 African Americans, including 14 by beheading. The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.

The men also sought to go on a national killing spree after the Tennessee murders, with Obama as its final target, Cavanaugh told The Associated Press.

"They said that would be their last, final act — that they would attempt to kill Sen. Obama," Cavanaugh said. "They didn't believe they would be able to do it, but that they would get killed trying."

No immediate comment
An Obama spokeswoman traveling with the senator in Pennsylvania had no immediate comment.

The men, Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tenn., and Paul Schlesselman 18, of Helena-West Helena, Ark., are being held without bond. Agents seized a rifle, a sawed-off shotgun and three pistols from the men when they were arrested. Authorities alleged the two men were preparing to break into a gun shop to steal more.

The two men were arrested Oct. 22 by the Crockett County, Tenn., Sheriff's Office. "Once we arrested the defendants and suspected they had violated federal law, we immediately contacted federal authorities," said Crockett County Sheriff Troy Klyce.

Cowart and Schlesselman are charged with possessing an unregistered firearm, conspiring to steal firearms from a federally licensed gun dealer, and threatening a candidate for president.

The investigation is continuing, and more charges are possible, Cavanaugh said.

The court records say Cowart and Schlesselman also bought nylon rope and ski masks to use in a robbery or home invasion to fund their spree, during which they allegedly planned to go from state to state and kill people.

Ram vehicle into Obama?
For the Obama plot, the legal documents show, Cowart and Schlesselman "planned to drive their vehicle as fast as they could toward Obama shooting at him from the windows."

"Both individuals stated they would dress in all white tuxedos and wear top hats during the assassination attempt," the court complaint states. "Both individuals further stated they knew they would and were willing to die during this attempt."

Cavanaugh said there's no evidence — so far — that others were willing to assist Cowart and Schlesselman with the plot.

He said authorities took the threats very seriously.

"They seemed determined to do it," Cavanaugh said. "Even if they were just to try it, it would be a trail of tears around the South."

The court documents say the two men met about a month ago on the Internet and found common ground in their shared "white power" and "skinhead" philosophy.

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Read more news from across the U.S.

14, 88 are skinhead symbols
The numbers 14 and 88 are symbols in skinhead culture, referring to a 14-word phrase attributed to an imprisoned white supremacist: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children" and to the eighth letter of the alphabet, H. Two "8"s or "H"s stand for "Heil Hitler."

Helena-West Helena, on the Mississippi River in east Arkansas' Delta, is in one of the nation's poorest regions, trailing even parts of Appalachia in its standard of living. Police Chief Fred Fielder said he had never heard of Schlesselman.

However, the reported threat of attacking a school filled with black students worried Fielder. Helena-West Helena, with a population of 12,200, is 66 percent black. "Predominantly black school, take your pick," he said.

© 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Two men convicted in hate crime beating

Man was attacked after stating he was half-Salvadoran.


Two self-proclaimed white supremacists were convicted today of beating a man unconscious after he mentioned his ethnicity, officials said.

Nicholas Tyler Gibbs, 20, of Anaheim, and Ryan Joseph Swanson, 19, of Huntington Beach, were both sentenced to six years in state prison for their involvement in a hate attack against 24-year-old Ryan Honeycutt, according to the District Attorney's Office.

The two men pleaded guilty on felony counts of aggravated assault, unlawful taking of a vehicle and a misdemeanor count of battery with serious bodily injury. They were also charged with a sentencing enhancing for committing a hate crime together and causing great bodily injury.

On May 26, Honeycutt was having drinks at a bar in Seal Beach with a woman prosecutors identified as Amanda L. When they left, they found Honeycutt had a dead battery, and the woman called Swanson and Gibbs for help.

Gibbs and Swanson jump-started the car in the parking lot, and then all four went back to the woman's Seal Beach home after buying beer.

During a conversation, Honeycutt mentioned that he was half-Salvadoran, according to prosecutors. Swanson allegedly said, "You mean you're (expletive) El Salvadorian? You're basically a dirty (expletive) Mexican."

Swanson and Gibbs, who both have white supremacist tattoos, told Honeycutt that they were white supremacists. When Honeycutt began to leave, Swanson and Gibbs attacked him outside – punching him in the head, knocking him unconscious and stomping on him after he had fallen to the ground, prosecutors say.

Honeycutt suffered a broken collarbone, a concussion and cuts to his face. Swanson and Gibbs stole Honeycutt's car, keys, wallet and cell phone. After regaining consciousness, Honeycutt returned to the woman's house. She drove him home, where he called for help. His car was found three days later in a Long Beach parking lot.

Contact the writer: 714-445-6604 or


Judge Calls Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Jail Conditions Unconstitutional

Sheriff Arpaio Ordered To Provide Adequate Medical And Mental Health Care And To Ensure Humane Facilities

CONTACT: (212) 549-2666;

PHOENIX - A U.S. district court judge today ruled that the grossly inadequate conditions at the Maricopa County Jail, overseen by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, are unconstitutional and jeopardize the health and safety of prisoners.

In a sweeping rebuff of an attempt by Arpaio to terminate a federal consent decree mandating that he maintain conditions at the Maricopa County Jail that meet constitutional minimums, Judge Neil Wake ordered that jail officials ensure that all detainees receive necessary medical and mental health care, that they be given uninterrupted access to all medicines prescribed by correctional medical staff, that they be given access to toilets, sinks, toilet paper and soap and that they be served food that meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of Agriculture's dietary guidelines.

"Sheriff Arpaio's horrendous treatment of detainees, especially those with severe medical and mental health problems, has caused terrible suffering for years," said Margaret Winter, Associate Director of the American Civil Liberties Union's National Prison Project. "Judge Wake's decision should serve as a reminder that even a man who brags about being the toughest sheriff in America has to abide by the Constitution."

The ruling comes on the heels of a decision last month by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care to terminate the accreditation of all of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office jails for failing to maintain compliance with national standards and for providing false information to the Commission.

The ACLU went to court last August to argue that deteriorating conditions within each of the jail's five facilities that house pre-trial detainees - people who have been arrested but not yet tried or convicted - necessitate federal court oversight to ensure that Arpaio and other county officials maintain safe and humane conditions and provide the thousands of pre-trial detainees held there basic levels of medical and mental health care.

Arpaio has been attempting for nearly seven years to get out from under the consent decree that governs conditions under which pre-trial detainees are housed and which resulted from nearly two decades of litigation that centered on the jail's horrific conditions. Under a provision of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the consent decree has been unenforceable since Arpaio filed a motion to have it terminated in September 2001.

According to today's ruling, county officials will be forced to maintain records of their compliance with Wake's orders and provide those records on a quarterly basis to the ACLU.

"Sheriff Arpaio's actions have gone unchecked for too long and this ruling is a significant step toward much needed accountability," said Daniel Pochoda, attorney with the ACLU of Arizona. "It is time that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and all of the residents of Maricopa County take action to end his abusive practices."

Pre-trial detainees at Maricopa County Jail are regularly given moldy bread, rotten fruit and other contaminated food. Detainees with serious medical, mental health and dental needs receive inadequate care, and they are routinely denied beds or bunks at intake, forcing them to sleep on the floor. Additionally, severe overcrowding in three of the jail's facilities has created extremely dangerous environments by significantly increasing the potential for violence among inmates.

In one recent and particularly galling example, jail officials chose to punish rather than treat the bizarre behavior of a young and severely psychotic African immigrant. Jail officials put him in disciplinary segregation and chose to house him with other inmates, resulting in his being so severely beaten by his cell mates that he had to be taken to the emergency room.

In another case, a young man with cystic fibrosis was routinely denied breathing treatments and other medical treatment despite his repeated requests, resulting in his breathing capacity eroding by nearly 30 percent during the time of his detention.

Attorneys in the case include Winter and Hanh Nguyen of the ACLU, Pochoda of the ACLU of Arizona and Debbie Hill of the Phoenix law firm Osborn and Maledon.

Additional information about the ACLU's National Prison Project can be found online at:

Additional information about the ACLU of Arizona can be found online at:


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Brian Williams: McCain Campaign Spread 'B' Hoax To Reporters

by Jed L
Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 10:50:03 AM PDT

So we already know the McCain campaign played some sort of a role in helping get the 'B' hoax off the ground in the first place.

Now, thanks to Brian Williams, we know that once it was off the ground, McCain-land continued spreading the hoax to reporters, fueling the attention it got by publicizing phone calls from both McCain and Palin to the so-called victim.

On Thursday, FOX News Executive VP John Moody wrote:

If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain’s quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting.

The tone of FOX's coverage over the next 10 days will tell us whether or not Mr. Moody actually meant what he said. But no matter what he or his network ends up doing, the words he spoke were the truth.


McCain Campaign Volunteer Admits Alleged Attack Was a Hoax

A woman who lied about being attacked because of the McCain bumper sticker on her car will face charges of filing a false report.

Ashley Todd, a 20-year-old volunteer for the McCain campaign, admitted she lied in reporting a politically motivated attack that did not occur, according to police. (College Republicans)

PITTSBURGH -- Police now have the answer to the most important question behind a 20-year-old McCain campaign volunteer's claim that she was attacked by a robber who carved a "B" into her cheek when he saw a McCain bumper sticker on her car.

It was a hoax.

Ashley Todd, 20, of College Station, Tex., confessed to lying, Pittsburgh police said Friday, and she will be charged with filing a false report, a misdemeanor.

But questions remain about why Todd lied, and even she doesn't seem to know how she received the markings on her face.

"She told lie after lie, and the situation compounded to where we are right now," Lt. Kevin Kraus, head of major crimes for the Pittsburgh police, said Friday.

She remained at police headquarters on Friday afternoon, because police "have concern for her well-being," Kraus said. He said officials are trying to determine whether she needs psychiatric evaluation.

"She hasn't really shown any obvious remorse," Kraus said. "She's certainly surprised that it snowballed to where it is today."

Todd, who is white, had told police that on Wednesday night a black man robbed her of $60 at an ATM in Bloomfield, Pa.

She said the robber then noticed the McCain bumper sticker on her car, punched her in the back of her head, knocked her down and beat her, saying "you are going to be a Barack supporter." He pinned her down and scratched the "B" on the right side of her face before fleeing, according to her original story.

On Friday, officials said they had found several "inconsistencies" in Todd's statements. She was brought back to police headquarters, where she finally confessed that she had made the entire story up.

"After a while, she just simply stated that she wanted to tell the truth," said Maurita Bryant, assistant chief for investigations.

Todd confessed to police that she was driving alone, looked in the mirror, saw her black eye and the "B" on her face, and didn't know how they got there.

She assumed she could have done it herself, she said, and then she made up the story about the attacker.

"She saw the 'B' on her face, and she immediately thought about Barack," Bryant said.

Kraus said the "B" was what first led him to suspect Todd's story. He said he was struck by how neatly the letter was etched on her face.

Police had been working on the case since it broke Thursday, Bryant said, and "it's been a huge waste of time and man hours."

Police said Todd did not have a lawyer, and that her none of her family were in Pittsburgh.

Earlier in the day, Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richard said bank surveillance footage did not show Todd at the Citizens Bank ATM where she claimed the assault took place. Richard told FOX News that Todd had been staying with a male friend who lives down the street from the ATM.

A woman named Liz who answered the door at the residence where Todd arrived after her purported attack told that her roommate is friends with Todd, and he told Liz not to discuss any details about the incident. A Ford Taurus with a Texas license plate and a McCain-Palin sticker was parked outside.

Richard said Todd later added to her tale, saying she was groped by the robber and lost consciousness during the assault. Neither of those details was in the original report.

Richard said that after a second interview, Todd was not as definitive about the assault or the motives behind it, nor could she say for certain whether the robber took $60 from her, as she initially reported and still maintained was missing.

Todd took a polygraph test late Thursday or early Friday after police heard the inconsistencies, Richard said.

'There were major changes in her story" before and after the polygraph test, Richard said. As for the wound on her cheek, "it's very shallow, it's more of a scratch."

Before Todd's admission, Richard had said the police department was taking the report "very seriously" and considered Todd a "victim" while the investigation was ongoing.

The area at Liberty Avenue and Pearl Street where Todd had said the attack took place is heavily traveled in the daytime, full of traffic, pedestrians, restaurants and stores. On Friday, Pittsburgh detectives canvassed the area looking for witnesses.

Doug Graham, a neighbor of the residence where Todd's friend lives, told it's unlikely an assault at the bank would go unnoticed.

"There ain't no way nobody saw that," said Graham, whose home -- where he has lived for a decade -- sports a Barack Obama sign. "It's always hopping up there. Something fishy, I knew the first second I saw [her story]. Something fishy."

Ethan Eilon, executive director of the College Republicans National Committee, told FOX News that Todd was volunteering as a field representative through his organization and that she had taken a year off from her studies at Blinn College to work on the campaign.

Todd received a call from the Republican presidential nominee on Thursday night. Barack Obama's local campaign team also issued well-wishes and said it hoped her assailant would be caught and brought to justice.

FOX News' Judson Berger and Carl Cameron and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

McCain Accidentally Agrees: Western Pennsylvania Is Racist

Sen. John McCain offered, on Tuesday, what may go down as one of the more awkward moments of this campaign cycle, in which -- speaking in Western Pennsylvania -- he declared he 'couldn't agree more' with the sentiment that some of the people from that region were openly racist.

"You know, I think you may have noticed that Senator Obama's supporters have been saying some pretty nasty things about Western Pennsylvania lately," McCain told the audience in the town of Moon Township. "And you know, I couldn't agree with them more."

Oops. It was, in many ways, a reflection of how tired these candidates have become as this nearly two-year-long campaign hits its final strides. And, to be fair, the crowd eventually got the point; booing at the reference to John Murtha, who said last week that some of his Western Pennsylvania constituents were racist. But there was a stunned silence after the gaffe.

For political humorists it is gold, made even more potent by McCain's botched attempt at a recovery. "I couldn't disagree with you," he declared (referencing what, no one knows). "I couldn't agree with you more than the fact that Western Pennsylvania is the most patriotic, most god-loving, most, most patriotic part of America, and this is a great part of the country."

The line was reminiscent of Sarah Palin touting the pro-America parts of the country. And actually could be just as politically dicey than the inadvertent labeling of Western Pennsylvanians as racists.

Either way, the video is worth a watch... or three.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tires slashed during Obama rally

By Corey G. Johnson
Staff writer

Someone slashed the tires of at least 30 vehicles parked outside the Crown Coliseum on Sunday during a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, authorities said.

Sheriff’s deputies are investigating. The tires were cut while people were inside the Crown Coliseum listening to speeches, said Maj. E. Wright of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

Many of the damaged vehicles were parked on Wilkes Road. Representatives from Obama and Sen. John McCain’s campaigns said they were unaware of the acts.

Susan Lagana, the North Carolina communications director for Obama, said it was extremely disappointing and unfortunate that “people would have to experience something like that.”

Mario Diaz, communications director for McCain, did not respond to a call late Sunday.

Sarah Revis, who lives on Wilkes Road, said the slashed tires left several women, including a single mother and a toddler, stranded and upset. At least four tow trucks were sent to move the vehicles from the Crown, Revis said.

“This is an embarrassment to this city and to me as a citizen,” Revis said. “I’ve seen women out here crying and men cussing. This is a crying shame.”

Lynne Steenstra said she thought that the slashings were scare tactics designed to keep her and others from supporting Obama.

Even though it cost her roughly $120 to get her Dodge Caravan towed and fixed, Steenstra said the act would not intimidate her from voting.

“It hasn’t deterred us one bit,” Steenstra said. “It has only encouraged us more. I just hope whoever did this pays the price.”

Staff writer Corey G. Johnson can be reached at or 323-4848, ext. 487.


NC Early Voters Heckled by McCain Supporters, Tires Slashed

Early voters in North Carolina, most of whom were black, were heckled and mocked by McCain supporters as they cast their ballots Sunday. According to Washington Times reporter Christina Bellatoni primarily white McCain supporters shouted "terrorist" and complained that "Sundays are for church not voting"

Sen. Barack Obama has set up a massive organization across the country, and especially in North Carolina...An organizer at the rally rattled off the addresses of early vote sites nearby that would be open after the event.

Photographer Joe Eddins and I headed over to the closest one and found a steady line of voters hoping to cast ballots early. Most seemed to be Obama supporters and several had come from the rally. Nearly all the voters were black.

Also at the polling site was a group of loud and angry protesters who shouted and mocked the voters as they walked in. Nearly all were white.

And in Fayettville, NC someone slashed the tires of at least 30 vehicles parked outside the Crown Coliseum on Sunday during a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, authorities said.

Sheriff’s deputies are investigating. The tires were cut while people were inside the Crown Coliseum listening to speeches, said Maj. E. Wright of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office. The slashings left women and children stranded as they waited for tow trucks but even though it cost her roughly $120 to get her Dodge Caravan towed and fixed, Obama supporter Lynne Steenstra said :

It hasn’t deterred us one bit. It has only encouraged us more. I just hope whoever did this pays the price.


Muslim For McCain Not Allowed To Talk To CNN

Daniel Zubairi, a Muslim McCain grassroots organizer who told racist rally attendees in Woodbridge, Virginia that the campaign didn't "endorse that behavior," was for some reason not allowed to talk to CNN about the incident.

Anchor Rick Sanchez said Zubairi was "ready and willing" to talk, but "the McCain camp won't let him do so."

Watch Zubairi confronting intolerant McCain fans at the rally:


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Racist Obama billboard causes outrage

A billboard in West Plains showing a caricature of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama wearing a turban and using his middle name -- Hussein -- in quotes has sparked outrage and accusations of racism.

The sign, located south of West Plains on U.S. 63 across from the Dairy Queen, says: "Barack 'Hussein' Obama equals more abortions, same sex marriages, taxes, gun regulations."

Outrage over the sign triggered West Plains resident Becky Estes to write a letter in Monday's edition of the Daily Quill newspaper saying "such a tasteless display merely reinforces the wide-spread belief that Ozarkers are ignorant country bumpkins."

"People don't like it. They're embarrassed by that sign, ashamed by that sign, horrified by that sign and outraged by that sign," Estes told the News-Leader on Thursday.

Estes' letter sparked responses from locals and out-of-state former residents in Wednesday's newspaper. The person who created the sign remains anonymous.

"I can find nothing wrong with this sign/cartoon, which is truthful by Obama's own statements," wrote James E. (Jay) Gentry Jr. of Mountain Grove. "If this is upsetting to Ms. Estes, then she should do some hard thinking about what is forthcoming if he is elected."

Raymond Fine, 74, of West Plains, said the sign is a form of free speech.

"If they can burn a flag, then they can put a sign up like that," Fine told the News-Leader.

Lesa Hall, a Democratic voter from West Plains, said it's not the message she takes issue with -- it's the use of Obama's middle name and the hand-drawn picture of him wearing a white turban.

"My offense was the stereotype and the racism that I felt that the billboard presented," said Hall, a teacher at the Junction Hill Middle School.

A spokeswoman for Obama's Missouri campaign, which has an office in West Plains, dismissed the sign as a distraction.

"Missouri voters aren't going to fall for these kinds of distractions," said spokeswoman Jean Weinberg. "The stakes are too high in this election."

Obama has said he supports a women's right to choose whether to abort an unwanted pregnancy, but opposes same-sex marriage. He does support civil unions to give equal legal rights and privileges to those couples, including access to a partner's health care benefits, property and adoption rights.

Obama's tax proposals call for a tax hike on the richest 5 percent, but tax cuts for all other workers.

On the subject of gun control, the Illinois senator has voted against conceal carry weapons laws, voted to ban certain types of guns used for hunting and supported increasing federal taxes on ammunition, according to his congressional and state senate voting records.

Throughout the presidential campaign, Obama has fought Internet rumors that he's Muslim. Hussein, an Arabic name commonly associated with the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, is Obama's middle name. His Kenyan father was Muslim, but Obama grew up in a Christian family.

Howell County Democrats are upset about the sign.

"Not only is it lying, but it's also in poor taste," said Jim Vokac, president of the Howell County Democrats Club. "It certainly is free speech, but it's poor taste. It does reflect poorly on the area."


McCain Defends Obama and gets Booed at Xenophobic Rally

From: HeartofdraknIsAlive

Hatred and Ignorance is burning into the McCain campaign. McCain rallies have become a mixture of Limbaugh, Hannity and O'Reilly ideals and values meaning that is has become racist, xenophobic and comprised only of lies and smears. They have become hate fests and are looking more and more like clan rallies.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Teen jailed after 'racial attack'

The Calgary Sun

CALGARY -- The suspect in an allegedly race-motivated attack on a Japanese tourist was denied bail yesterday.

Youth court Judge Richard O'Gorman said surveillance video in which an apparent member of the white supremacist group Aryan Guard sprints after the woman was enough to convince him to detain the accused.

"To me the video was quite compelling," said O'Gorman of footage in which a male smashes a beer bottle on the ground before chasing after the victim in a downtown Calgary alley.

The 25-year-old victim was repeatedly kicked in the attack, which was not caught on tape.

Crown prosecutor Karuna Ramakrishnan had sought the teen's detention for what she says is a hate crime.

Ramakrishnan noted the accused's friend, who gave a statement to police, said members of the Aryan Guard target ethnic victims.

"He does indicate that members of the group ... go around beating up minorities and that is certainly the motivation the Crown is alleging," Ramakrishnan said of the friend, who was present during the assault.

Defence lawyer Jim Conway, who asked that his client be released on strict conditions, said the accused's beliefs should not be a factor in deciding bail.

"The young person's character is not at issue," Conway said of his 17-year-old client.

"There's some concern about the young person's beliefs ... but that is not a relevant factor," he said.

"The allegation of facts make no reference to any suggestion there was any motivation behind this incident."

The teen was arrested Sept. 3 in connection with a July 26 attack of a woman who had just left an 8 Ave. S.W. nightclub.

Her assailant had jump-kicked her in the head from behind and then kicked her some more while she was on the ground, leaving her bruised.

The accused is charged with assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon -- steel-toed combat boots were allegedly used in the attack.

At the commencement of the bail hearing last month, lead investigator Const. Ed Perkins testified he arrested the accused wearing steel-toed and soled heavy boots with red laces.

Perkins said Aryan Guard members wear white laces, but don red ones if they've drawn blood or shown a willingness to do so for the cause.

The case returns to court next week.


Man Shot 3 Times Claims He Was Gunned Down Over Pro-Obama Shirt

A British man who was shot three times on a London street claims the gunman was enraged over his Barack Obama T-shirt, the Daily Mail reported Tuesday.

Dube Egwuatu told the Mail he was purchasing a cell phone when a stranger started shouting racial slurs over his shirt featuring the presidential candidate’s face and the word “Believe.”

Egwuatu zipped up his jacket and headed for his car, but as he turned it on, the gunman opened the passenger side door and shot him three times, hitting him in the face, hand and shoulder.

Egwuatu managed to drive off while bleeding and call for help. A piece of metal was removed from his jaw from the attacker’s gas-powered ball-bearing pistol, the Mail reported.

“He was telling me that he was going to kill me,” Egwuatu told the Mail. “I couldn't believe it was happening — and just because I was wearing an Obama T-shirt. He was trying to make me walk somewhere quieter, saying: ‘I've got something for you,’ and ‘I'm going to kill you.’”

Local police are still looking for the gunman.


Sunday, October 05, 2008

New City man charged with attacking 3 people, screaming racial slurs

NEW CITY - A 22-year-old man has been charged with attacking three younger males while screaming racial slurs at them on South Little Tor Road, Clarkstown police said yesterday.

Police said they weren't sure what precipitated the attack Tuesday afternoon. Sgt. Harry Baumann said Richard Giga, accused in the attack, had been drinking and just had an argument with his mother.

Baumann said Giga also had fought with his former girlfriend, having burned her belongings in the family's outdoor fireplace.

Giga had left the house and was walking when he encountered the three males, police said.

"He didn't know them, as far as we know, and we don't know of any provocation," Baumann said. The attacker "just went off the wall," he said.

The three Nanuet residents - ages 15, 17 and 20 - were walking on South Little Tor Road near Pasta Cuccina at 3 p.m. when the attack occurred, Baumann said.

Giga is accused of first slamming his body into the 20-year-old, then punching the 15-year-old in the head while screaming anti-Hispanic slurs, Baumann said.

He is further accused of forcing all three against a rock wall and demanding their cell phones and personal belongings while still spewing slurs, Baumann said. As the incident escalated, the 17-year-old called police on his cell phone, Baumann said.

Giga is accused of then going after the teen, putting him in a headlock, grabbing the cell phone and breaking it into two pieces, Baumann said. Police found the broken phone in bushes nearby.

The 17-year-old was taken to Nyack Hospital for evaluation, police said. The left side of his head was swollen and discolored, Baumann said. His injuries were not considered serious.

Giga of Birch Lane, New City, was charged with one count of second-degree robbery, two counts of third-degree robbery and two counts of second-degree assault, all felonies; three counts of unlawful imprisonment and one count of third-degree criminal mischief, both misdemeanors; and second-degree harassment, a violation.

Giga was being held yesterday in the county jail with bail set at $25,000, pending a hearing Monday in Clarkstown Town Court.

The incident could go before a county grand jury.

Reach Steve Lieberman at or 845-578-2443.


Report: Student Attack May Have Been Racial

ATTLEBORO (WBZ) ― A middle school student was the victim of what appears to be a racial attack while riding the school bus home Friday afternoon, according to a newspaper report.

The Sun Chronicle reported that a seventh grade boy from the Wamsutta Middle School in Attleboro was allegedly held down, kicked and punched by a group of students when he wouldn't move from the back of the bus. The attackers were also uttering racial slurs to the boy, according to the paper.

The father of the young boy sent an e-mail to the school, saying their son was attacked because of the color of his skin, the paper reports.

School Business Manager Marc Furtado told the paper that they are taking the incident seriously "This is something that's not OK under any circumstances," he said.

Furtado told the paper that the incident started when the group of students told the seventh grader to leave the back of the bus, and when he refused, the group sat on him.

Furtado also told the Chronicle that one of the attackers later admitted to using a racial slur.

According to a police report obtained by the paper, the student was the victim of another attack that did not involve a school bus.

The students involved in the bus fight have had their bus privileges taken away.


Oakland landlady to pay $31,000 in bias case

(10-02) 12:38 PDT OAKLAND -- An Oakland landlady who allegedly berated an African American tenant with racial slurs and told him that "you're not going to turn this place into a ghetto" must pay the man and his wife $31,000 in damages, a state civil rights agency has ruled.

The remarks - which the landlady has denied making - amounted to racial discrimination in housing, the Fair Employment and Housing Commission said in a ruling last week.

The tenant, Dante Lemons, said he was sitting on the front porch of the Maryland Apartments at 3301 Telegraph Ave. in the spring or early summer of 2005, listening to the radio, when apartment co-owner Marlene O'Neill told him no loitering was allowed. When Lemons pointed out that he lived there, he said, O'Neill, who is white, replied that he shouldn't be outside and was turning the place into a ghetto.

Lemons said he had brushed off the incident at his wife's suggestion. However, O'Neill said the same thing when she saw him on the front steps another time, swore at him and unplugged his radio, Lemons said.

When he saw the landlady arguing with another black tenant in November 2005 and refused her order to return to his apartment, Lemons said, O'Neill asked, "What's wrong with you people?" and used a racial slur.

Lemons and his wife, Chanel Williams, who also complained of abuse by O'Neill, moved out with their young son in December 2005, saying they felt harassed.

O'Neill, who represented herself before the state commission, testified that she had ordered Lemons off the porch but denied calling him names or mistreating him. The commission said, however, that two other tenants with no involvement in the dispute had confirmed Lemons' account.

The damages covered the couple's increased rent at their next apartment, $22,500 for emotional distress and a $5,000 penalty.

O'Neill, who now lives in Florida, repeated her denial of the allegations in an interview this week and said she may appeal the ruling in Superior Court.

"I'd been nothing but nice to this young couple," she said. "He (Lemons) called the race card."

E-mail Bob Egelko at

This article appeared on page B - 4 of the San Francisco Chronicle


Teacher Suspended For Racial Slur Directed At Obama

By TimALoftis

A Florida teacher was suspended after students said he used a racial epithet directed at presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Seventh-grade social studies teacher Greg Howard of Marianna Middle School was given a written reprimand on Wednesday for "racially inappropriate comments" he made in his classroom on Sept. 26, according to a Jackson County School Board news release.

Howard reportedly wrote the word CHANGE as an acronym on the board and wrote an expletive with the letter "N." The phrase he wrote has been reported as "Can You Help A (expletive) Get Elected" and "Come Help A (expletive) Get Elected." School district officials did not return calls seeking comment Thursday, and Howard could not be reached.


Threats bring 45 days in jail

Raleigh man's e-mail targeted Washington rights groups

Kristin Collins, Staff Writer
RALEIGH - A Raleigh man who made graphic threats against national Hispanic and Islamic advocacy organizations will serve 45 days in federal prison.

Christopher Michael Szaz, 42, also must perform 100 hours of community service with an Islamic or Hispanic group, receive treatment for alcohol addiction and remain under supervision for a year, according to the sentence imposed Wednesday by U.S. Magistrate Judge James E. Gates.

Szaz pleaded guilty Tuesday to two misdemeanor charges of sending threatening e-mail to the National Council of La Raza and the Council of American-Islamic Relations, both based in Washington.

Prosecutors said he sent two e-mail messages on June 8, 2007, threatening to bomb the CAIR office and an e-mail message to La Raza on July 27, 2007, threatening to kill employees.

Janet Murgu'a, president of La Raza, said the e-mail her group received included promises to "splay" their bodies and used derogatory terms to refer to Latinos.

Murgu'a said Wednesday that she hoped Szaz's prosecution would send a message to an increasingly hostile faction of people who oppose illegal immigration.

"I think they sit down at their keyboards and they think they can write anything to anyone," Murgu'a said. "The First Amendment does not protect death threats."

Szaz, a self-employed web designer, testified this week that he had a drinking problem and sent the messages while extremely intoxicated.

Szaz, who lives with his elderly mother, asked for house arrest so he could continue to care for her. The judge declined to forgo jail time, but gave him far less than the maximum one year and allowed him to report to prison on Oct. 20 so he could participate in early voting in the presidential election. or 919-829-4881


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

RI store owner apologizes for asking for ID cards

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The owner of a plumbing supply store has signed an apology for asking Spanish-speaking customers for their Social Security numbers.

David Richardson allegedly asked to see Jose Genao's Social Security card in March after listening to Genoa and a friend speak Spanish inside Richardson's store. Genao said Richardson complained that the majority of people who speak Spanish in Rhode Island are illegal immigrants.

Both customers are U.S. citizens. Besides apologizing, Richardson paid $500 to several charities after the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights and the Providence Human Relations Commission found probable cause that he broke city and state law.

Richardson said he apologized to get the case "over and done with" and doesn't agree with the legal findings.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Source: WPRI