"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Two Racist Attacks in the U.S.

When is a hate crime not a hate crime?

In Ohio, a white family was attacked after they had celebrated Independence Day by dozens of black youths, screaming 'this is our world' and 'this is a black world'.

Astoundingly, it seems that the police don't qualify this crime as in anyway racist - despite the fact that someone ended up in hospital:

Akron police say they aren't ready to call it a hate crime or a gang initiation.

But to Marty Marshall, his wife and two kids, it seems pretty clear.

It came after a family night of celebrating America and freedom with a fireworks show at Firestone Stadium. Marshall, his family and two friends were gathered outside a friend's home in South Akron.

Out of nowhere, the six were attacked by dozens of teenage boys, who shouted ''This is our world'' and ''This is a black world'' as they confronted Marshall and his family.

The Marshalls, who are white, say the crowd of teens who attacked them and two friends June 27 on Girard Street numbered close to 50. The teens were all black.

''This was almost like being a terrorist act,'' Marshall said. ''And we allow this to go on in our neighborhoods?''

They said it started when one teen, without any words or warning, blindsided and assaulted Marshall's friend as he stood outside with the others.

When Marshall, 39, jumped in, he found himself being attacked by the growing group of teens.

His daughter, Rachel, 15, who weighs about 90 pounds, tried to come to his rescue. The teens pushed her to the ground.

His wife, Yvonne, pushed their son, Donald, 14, into bushes to keep him protected.

''My thing is,'' Marshall said, ''I didn't want this, but I was in fear for my wife, my kids and my friends. I felt I had to stay out there to protect them, because those guys were just jumping, swinging fists and everything.

''I'm lucky. They didn't break my ribs or bruise my ribs. I thank God, they concentrated on my thick head because I do have one. They were trying to take my head off my spine, basically.''

After several minutes of punches and kicks, the attack ended and the group ran off. The Marshalls' two adult male friends were not seriously hurt.

''I don't think I thought at that moment when I tried to jump in,'' Rachel Marshall said. ''But when I was laying on the ground, I was just scared.''

Marshall was the most seriously injured. He suffered a concussion and multiple bruises to his head and eye. He said he spent five nights in the critical care unit at Akron General Medical Center.

The construction worker said he now fears for his family's safety, and the thousands of dollars in medical bills he faces without insurance.

''I knew I was going to get beat, but not as bad as I did,'' Marshall said. ''But I did it to protect my family. I didn't have a choice. There was no need for this. We should be all getting along. But to me, it seems to be racist.''

Akron police are investigating. Right now, the case is not being classified as a racial hate crime. There were no other reports of victims assaulted by the group that night.

The department's gang unit is involved in the investigation, police said.

''We don't know if it's a known gang, or just a group of kids,'' police Lt. Rick Edwards said.

The Marshalls say they fear retaliation at home or when they go outside. They are considering arming themselves, but they're concerned about the possible problems that come with guns.

For now, they are hoping police can bring them suspects. They believe they can identify several of the attackers.

''This makes you think about your freedom,'' Marshall said. ''In all reality, where is your freedom when you have this going on?'

On Sunday, a 30 year old Long Island railway worker was attacked by a large gang of black youths, and is in a critical condition after being repeatedly kicked and punched in the head an body.

In this instance, police were willing to concede that a 'possible' hate crime had been committed:

A white Valley Stream man remained in critical condition Monday after police said he was beaten by a group of young African-American assailants in what authorities are investigating as a possible hate crime.

The 30-year-old victim, a Long Island Rail Road worker, was not identified by police, who said the attack was unprovoked.

The victim was repeatedly punched and kicked in the face, head and body at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday by a group of about 12 to 15 male and female assailants, said Nassau police Det. Sgt. Anthony Repalone. The man had gone outside to move his car off the street during a July Fourth party when he was attacked, Repalone said.

He sustained a concussion and fractured eye socket, Repalone said. "There is no motive at this time," Repalone said Monday.

Investigators are looking to see whether the assault was motivated by race, he said.

"A witness heard someone in the crowd make a comment that the police will follow up to determine whether or not this attack was racially motivated," Repalone said. "It's too early at this time to make that determination."

Repalone would not describe what was said that could lead police to determine that the man was beaten because of his race.

Monday, a woman, who did not want to be identified but said the victim was her brother, said he has multiple fractures in his face and jaw.

She said a fight in the group of teenagers had started before her brother went to move his car.

"They were having a conflict," she said. "I assume maybe they thought he was getting involved."

The mother's 911 call was picked up by New York City emergency services and redirected to Nassau County, Repalone said. The call was disconnected and the Nassau operator called back, Repalone said, but was unable to reach anyone.

The man did not seek medical treatment, and his family did not call police again until more than 13 hours after the attack, Repalone said. Police said the man and his family may have underestimated the extent of his injuries. He was eventually taken to South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, where police said he remained in critical but stable condition Monday.

He parked his car in the driveway and that's when the teenagers approached him, police said.

I have no idea if either of these cases made the national media in the States, but I probably don't need to tell you that we didn't see so much as a glimpse of them on the BBC.

On the other hand, the Daily Mail did see fit to report on this crime from a small Canadian town, in which a black man was attacked by three racist thugs. Terrible, surely, but at least there weren't 'dozens' of them.

As our American cousins say - go figure.

Hat tip: View from the Right.


Anonymous said...

Your facts are wrong. The account in Akron is being investigated by the FBI as a hate crime. The local police don't have the authority to label it a hate crime. And all signs point to the story being a complete hoax anyway. It's better to get your news from an actual media outlet than a right wing rant site.

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...

Anon 14:06:

Is the news service Ohio.com a 'Right-wing rant site'? I was under the impression it was a local news site.

If you had looked, you would see that everything I post is individually sourced.

A few points; the article said that the local police 'weren't ready' to call it a hate crime, not that they couldn't - so maybe email the newspaper if sloppy fact-checking concerns you so much, they presumably have a far wider audience than me and should know a lot more about how these things work in the U.S.

Secondly, I don't know what points you to the first story being a hoax or what would drive a man to put himself in hospital for five days with a concussion, but even without the first story the second story and the comparison to the attack in Canada is clear, and a double standard.

Was the second story reported nationally? It certainly didn't make it here.

If the first story was a hoax, however, then why did the local police bump it up to the FBI? Why did witnesses come forward to say the attack occurred and was unprovoked?


Dr.D said...

A story posted at 6:14 on 10 July by a Beacon Journal staff writer repeats all that the Earl has given us, plus the additional information that the FBI is involved and that the race hustler Al Sharpton has gotten into the act.

With Sharpton involved, it will be in the national news sooner or later, you can bet on that.

By the way, the Ohio.com site is apparently affiliated with the Akron Beacon Journal newspaper. So unless the whole newpaper is a right wing rant, which would be truly rare in America today (where can I subscribe?), I doubt the anonymous charge is substantiated.

Anonymous said...

I think the Earl need not be told hes wrong his stance is pretty dead on. I think he does a great justice for us, while we sleep over all the problems. I keep thinking of Colonel Klink, "I see nothing." LOL