I’m feeling overwhelmed with anger and sadness right now. I am Looking at three separate open tabs on la Mala’putadora with three separate recent acts of violence and hates against Latinos in the U.S. and two of these incidents happened right here in NYC, where we are told that these things aren’t supposed to happen, where immigrants are loved and the melting pot is a warm, friendly hot tub.
One case that just came to my attention is from last year and I’m angered and saddened that I’m only learning of it now but also not surprised. How many people don’t know about Manny Mayi Jr. and that is a 19 year old struggle for justice. What these lives and losses of life also tell us is the way that one hate intersects with all hates, like in the case of Jose Sucuzhanay and how these crimes are connected to immigration “reform”. While organizations argue about how much criminalization is acceptable in order to say “si se hizo” in terms of an CIR bill, people are assaulted and then victimized again by a nation that pays lip service to to the idea of “and justice for all”.
In the early morning of Saturday, July 18, 2009 at the corner of Caton Ave. and Ocean Ave. in Brooklyn, two men attacked Ricardo Muñiz and Carmelo León with a wooden stick and a belt while calling them anti-gay epithets. Ricardo does not speak English so he gave the cops at the 70th precinct a written
testimony of what happened. Despite the fact that the testimony states that the attackers targeted Muñiz and León because of their sexual orientation, the NYPD failed to classify the incident as hate crime and, instead, charged Muñiz and León with assault. Muñiz is an undocumented immigrant. Deportation proceedings have been initiated
against him as a result of these events.
Tomorrow morning, at 10:30, Jorgelina Aguirre, mother of Ricardo Muniz, will be at a press conference along with Make the Road New York, outside the Brooklyn Supreme Court, at 320 Jay Street. Those that can should go and support.
It also seems that the word “spic” is making a comeback as shown by two recent incidents in two different states.
From Gothamist (avoid the comments):
Three teenage boys in Queens were arrested for attacking another teenager last week, and prosecutors say the assault was racially motivated. 15-year-old Victor Echeverria was allegedly playing basketball after school at JHS 194 when the three boys came up to him and told him to leave. They then called him a “spic” and a friend who tried to help him a “terrorist” while kicking Echeverria in the stomach. Echeverria’s father told the Daily News, “We’re afraid to send him back to school because we don’t know what could happen.” The attackers have been charged with assault and menacing as hate crimes.
And from Florida:
Hector Negron, a 47-year-old man who owns Carlito Brigante Fashion Boutique in Kissimmee, said he went to Joanie’s Diner for breakfast on January 10 and was told by an unidentified waitress that he could not sit at a back table because it was reserved for white customers.
He said the woman told him that “no Puerto Ricans and spics [ original quote redacted the word] were allowed to sit at that table.” Negron said he complained to owner James Peeples, but the man kicked him out of the restaurant. He also reported the incident to the City of Kissimmee and the Kissimmee Police Department, but said a police officer told him that the table was “grandfathered in for whites.”
I tweeted that I was writing about this and one of my followers commented back that she was just called the “s” word the other day.
Just when I thought I didn’t have to explain that word to my daughters, it and the dehumanizing violence behind it reminds me and should remind us all of the work we all need to do.