Friday, May 15, 2009

This is what Hate looks like

SENT By: Martha

Just in case you didn’t see this – aunque yo se que tu estas 'al tanto de todo'! ~ Martha

No, I hadn't seen it until your email arrived, bu I really wish I was 'on top of everything' as you say, but the good news is that dear sisters and brothers like you who are in Cyber circles of activists, keep me informed and up to date on many issues.

Good work,

Thank you querida

From: James Rucker, []
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2009 11:42 AM
To: Martha
Subject: This is what hate looks like

Dear Martha,

A Black man is beaten to death by White teenagers after they assault him with racist slurs. The attackers tell the man's friends they'll be next if they and "their kind" don't leave town. Then, the attackers are cleared of all serious charges by an all-White jury.

We know this type of story all too well given the history of Black folks in this country. This time, the story is about a Latino man--Luis Ramirez--killed because he was a Mexican immigrant. Luis' murder is part of a growing trend of hate-based violence against Latinos, and most elected officials have been unwilling to even acknowledge it.

ColorOfChange exists to fight for the interests of African-Americans and amplify our political voice. But when we see this kind of hate directed at another group of people, we want to make sure our members have an opportunity stand up against it. Our friends at are calling on the governor of Pennsylvania to break his silence, now.

Please join them to create a level of public outcry that can't be ignored--and please invite your friends and family to do the same:

Thanks and Peace,

-- James, Gabriel, William, Dani and the rest of the team

Here is the email sent out to their members:

Luis Ramirez is dead for two reasons: he was Latino and an immigrant.

Luis Ramirez

The time for change and accountability is now.

Will you stand with us and demand Governor Rendell speak out?

Click here

Dear member,

After they had beaten Luis Ramirez to death, the white teenagers who attacked him sent an ominous message to Luis' friends:

Tell your f**king Mexican friends to get the f**k out of Shenandoah or you'll be f**king laying next to him.1

Just over a week ago, two of Ramirez's killers were acquitted of all serious charges by an all white jury2, with the jury foreman making it clear that justice for Ramirez had no chance in the small town of Shenandoah, PA:

I believe strongly that some of the people on the jury were racist. I believe strongly that some of the people on the jury had their minds made up maybe before the first day of trial...And I believe the four boys that were involved the most are racist. I absolutely do...3

Thanks to the hard work of MALDEF and others, the Department of Justice is now looking into Ramirez' death.4 But that's only part of what's needed. Where are the leaders in the State of Pennsylvania? Why has the governor had nothing to say? His silence is shameful.

Until our elected leaders speak up, we can expect more stories like Luis'--not just in Shenandoah, but across the country. Governor Rendell owes it to Pennsylvanians and Latinos everywhere to condemn and speak out on what's happened. Together we can demand that he does. Please click the link below to add your voice and ask your friends and family to do the same. It takes only a moment.

If Luis Ramirez's death were an isolated event it would be outrageous enough. Sadly, it's part of a growing trend of racially motivated violence against Latinos, particularly in rural communities. According to the FBI, hate crimes against Latinos rose 35% between 2003 and 2006.5 And as author David Niewert writes, the target of hate crimes goes beyond their immediate victims: "The purpose is to terrorize the target community, to drive them out, eliminate them."6

That kind of intimidation only works only if the people who are targeted remain silent, and officials in positions of power remain unaccountable. That's why we need to speak out and let folks across the country know we won't tolerate hate and violence towards our communities. It starts with demanding that the Governor of Pennsylvania make clear that anti-immigrant hate has no place in Pennsylvania. It's time for him to show leadership now.

Join us in calling for him to speak out:

Thank you and Adelante!
The Team


1. "Town struggles with fallout from immigrant's fatal beating," CNN, 7-31-2008

2. "Jury acquits teens of murder in Mexican immigrants' beating death," Associated Press, 5-2-2009

3. "Jury Foreman Calls Other Jurors Racist," WNEP, 5-2-2009

4. "Luiz Ramirez Hate Crime Petition," MALDEF, 5-5-2009

5. "The Year in Hate," Southern Poverty Law Center, Spring 2008

6. "A jury's hate-crime verdict in rural Pennsylvania reinforces the racial divide," Crooks and Liars, 5-3-2009

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nezua said...

Keep an eye on the Sanctuary. to stay in touch with events like this, we'd love to have you around.

Aurora said...

Thank you Nezua, I appreciate very much your stopping by and making a comment, I read your post The Luis Ramirez Murder: A Logical Step in the Process of Establishing a Subhuman Class, the Editorial Post at the Sanctury is a devastating blow at the US Justice System, despite the apparent changes, racism has continued throughout the centuries and today is still alive and well within the system.