Monday, July 31, 2006

Dixie Square- Symbolic of Disinvestment in the First Suburbia

I recently went to Dixie to see what is all about. And what I saw was unbelievable, but not surprised, for I live in an inner suburb in Ohio. Dixie Square is a symbolic of the disinvestment of poor, working, and middle class first suburbs that are home to many people of color. I think corporations and institutions deliberately encourage disinvestment in the communities mentioned.

Here are several links to this depressing mall in America. I'm sure that there are many

Wikipedia: Dixie Square Mall

Dixie Square: The Movie

What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Rich, Poor Live Poles Apart in L.A.

The gap between the rich and the poor is widening at an alarming rate. Soon, this country would resemble feudal Europe/antebellum with a very small elite and legions of the poor and struggling. This doesn't bode well for democracy and socio/racial equality.

Rich, Poor Live Poles Apart in L.A.

More on the Racial Hate Crime in S.C.

More on the Racial Hate Crime in S.C.

It does matter’
Sheriff’s Dept., NAACP talk through hate crimes
By Brian Jarvis

BRIAN JARVIS/Manning Times

Chief Investigator Tommy Burgess of the Clarendon County Sheriff’s Dept. answers questions regarding recent assaults on two African-American women. Nearly 100 concerned citizens showed up for the joint meeting of the Clarendon and Manning chapters of the NAACP Sunday at the Society Hill A.M.E. Church.
The Manning and Clarendon branches of the NAACP deviated from their normal program Sunday to hear representatives from the Clarendon County Sheriff’s Dept. discuss a pressing concern: the sexual assault of two African-American women in the last month and whether the culprits responsible committed a hate crime.

“We’re all aware of recent events,” said Bobby Fleming, president of the Manning branch of the NAACP, to a packed house at the Society Hill A.M.E. Church. “What shocked me was hearing the comments of what was said by one of (the suspects).”

Jeremy Sweat, 24, of Quail Trail Circle and Dustin Evans, 21, of Raccoon Road, both white males, were charged with two counts each of kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct and battery with attempt to kill a 45-year old Summerton woman and a 15-year old girl from Manning less than two weeks later. Both crimes were noted for their brutal and serial nature, and one suspect claimed affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan.

“There’s definitely racial issues that we’re looking at,” said Chief Investigator Tommy Burgess, who first began to classify the attacks as hate crimes after a round table discussion with the U.S. Marshall Service and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

Outlining the chronology of events leading up to the July 3 assault, Burgess noted the Sheriff’s Dept. had one of the suspects in custody within 12 hours due to tip-offs from neighbors and residents.

“You would not believe the outpouring we’ve had from this community, and that’s what we need,” he said.

Burgess also said that during an interview, Sweat claimed that he placed little value on the lives of the targets because they were black and poor. Due to their race, the suspect felt, law enforcement would say the crimes simply didn’t matter.

“Well, folks, it does matter,” Burgess insisted. “These guys are violent. They don’t deserve to be on the street.”

According to Burgess, the attacks fit the description of a hate crime defined by the U.S. Congress in 1992 as “motivated by hatred or prejudice based on race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.”

Since the crimes became public, at least four African-American women and one Asian woman reporting being approached by the two men, and Burgess encouraged others to come forward as well.

“Yes, there’s a stigma attached. We’re trying to overcome that. We want to assure victims of their safety and get them the counseling they need. We want to heal them,” Burgess said. “But with (the suspects) being in jail, it’s not over. That’s just the first step. We’ve got to prosecute them and put them in prison where they belong so they can’t harm anyone else. That’s where I need the public and the community to come forward on these issues. I need your help to keep them where they need to be.”

According to the Sheriff’s Dept., Clarendon County has not had a hate crime since the church burnings that took place in the mid-1990s.

“We take a very stiff role against hate groups in this county and will continue to do so,” Burgess said.
While South Carolina has no specific laws for hate crimes, the state ranked third in the nation by number of active hate groups, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, fueling debate that it may be time to put a hate crime law on the books. In California, for example, hate crimes can tack on an additional 20 years to a sentence.

But in the case of Sweat and Evans, a hate crime classification will likely occur anyway thanks to a nationalized reporting system. As it stands, the suspects face prison sentences of well over a hundred years each.

When Henry King asked how to prevent such incidents in the future, Burgess suggested parenting classes such as the ones offered at the Manning Early Childhood Center.

“There are lots of programs out there that don’t cost a thing but aren’t being taken advantage of,” said Burgess, who also stressed that parents shouldn’t push their responsibilities onto schools.

“We have to take our children back,” Burgess said. “I have two young boys. I’m worried to death what they’re facing. But we’ve got to be positive and teach them while they’re young. I think a child is worth our time.”

When questioned if the assaults could inspire dormant hate groups to commit similar attacks, Burgess said the Sheriff’s Dept. had no knowledge of active hate groups in the area but stays on the lookout thanks to reports updated daily from the South Carolina Information Exchange.

Still, Burgess urged the community to come forward if they hear something, and never to assume their information is not valuable to law enforcement.

“It’s not an ‘I’ game, it’s a team game. All of us work together as a team,” Burgess said. “Call us, we want to hear from you.”

Elder Jack Nelson, who performs legal redresses for the Clarendon County NAACP, complimented the Sheriff’s Dept. afterwards for giving a stellar presentation.

“It was done very professionally in a way that eased tensions,” Nelson said. “South Carolina should give itself a hand for the improvements that it’s making. People are starting to treat each other like people. We’re all in the same boat, and we’ve got to have love and respect for each other to make a better society.”

But perhaps the most impassioned speech came from Dot Josey, wife of Sheriff Keith Josey, both of whom were in attendance.

“It’s our responsibility to our families to go out and tell 10 people what we learned today. One incident should not tear down our relationships,” Josey said. “Every day, our relationships get better. It’s not like the area was 50 or 100 years ago. Our children play together in school, we go to church together, spend holidays together. I can go to your home and feel safe and you can come to my home and feel safe. We need to teach it in our homes; don’t leave it to schools or Sunday school teachers. It might be the key to keep women from being harmed or to keep young men from losing their lives.”

Afterwards, Fleming said that he thought the meeting went well, adding that the local chapters of the NAACP and the Sheriff’s Dept. have enjoyed a long history of working together.

“We left with information we didn’t have before,” he said.

Fleming concurred with the Sheriff’s Dept. that the crimes were isolated incidents of racism and didn’t see cause for further alarm.

“It’s always a concern, but not at the present time,” Fleming said.

Also in attendance Sunday were State Senator John Land, Manning Mayor Kevin Johnson and County Auditor Patricia Pringle. House Representative Cathy Harvin was unable to attend but sent a letter of support and Julius Adger, president of the Clarendon County chapter of the NAACP, was in Washington, D.C. attending a national convention.

If anyone doesn't see it, then where on earth have they been?

Where's the Outrage?

Where's The Outrage?

Where's the outrage from the public when Maxim magazine website shows Persia White with the offensive and hateful caption above:

Have we had enough offensive stereotyping of Black and multiracial Black women in the media around the world? Have we learned our lesson from the Duke rape case and the hate crime in S.C.? From the evidence I see, I say no because the media has a vested interest in the devaluation of Black women in America. Let me say that again, devaluation. These hateful images justify the worst atrocities against these women for centuries and continued today. This is why a lot of people have a hard time believing black victims of sexual harassment or rape. Ask Anita Hill, Desiree Washington, the two recent victims of the horrific hate crime in S.C. recently and many other women who are victims of such crimes, past and present.

Thanks should go out to Mixed Media Watch and Real Men Are Not for looking out for the best interests of all people around the world. To read the articles, click here and here, respectively.

Friday, July 21, 2006

More on the S.C. Racist Hate Crime

More bloggers are covering the racially motivated hate crime in S.C. Michelle Says So is covering the story along with many missing person, several of whom are people of color.

Keep up the good work, Michelle.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Latoyia Figueroa Memorial Service

Marking a year since Latoyia Figueroa died
By CHRISTINE OLLEY 215-854-5184

Amid a small, tight-knit group of family and friends in Southwest Philadelphia last night, Melvin Figueroa tearfully recounted what the last year has been like without his daughter, Latoyia.

"I went to the cemetery yesterday, and it took a lot out of me," he said, standing on South Ithan Street near Spruce. "It's been tough."

Tuesday marked a year since his daughter's death.

Latoyia Figueroa, 24, vanished last year after going to a prenatal checkup with Stephen Poaches, the father of her unborn child.

Her body was later found dumped in Chester County.

Poaches was charged with her murder and the murder of their unborn child after a tip led police to follow the suspect to where the body was found.

Police say he intended to move the body, but never got the chance.

The case became a symbol for lack of attention given to cases involving missing minority women.

Philadelphia Prisons Department spokesman Bob Eskin said Poaches is awaiting trial in an undisclosed location in another jurisdiction.

"We're just paying our respects to Latoyia today. As for Poaches, he's been convicted, and I am glad," said aunt Michelle Perez, who recalled her niece's "free spirit."

"I hope that he rots in hell for what he did to her, because he denied it to the very end," she said of Poaches.

Citing the recent violence in the city, Melvin Figueroa prayed for peace.

"With 215 people already dead this year, it's hard, but you have to help," he told the assembled group.

Councilman Juan Ramos, a cousin of the Figueroas, led a prayer, blessing the efforts of Latoyia's father in trying to find his oldest child, and also asking for peace.

"We have to remember how sad this day is," he said. "Latoyia lost her life and we can't forget."

Then, in a final send-off with pink balloons for Melvin's slain daughter and blue balloons for his recently slain nephew, Eddie Figueroa, the crowd released them into the air.

Ending the vigil, Figueroa said, "Be careful out there and be well. You can't just lock the doors anymore, because they aren't just taking hostages, they are taking bodies."

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Latoyia Figueroa

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of Latoyia Figueroa's disappearance and death in Philadelphia. Ms. Figueroa's killer has yet to stand trial. Why so long? Latoyia's family wants closure. The justice system in Philly is taking its sweet time with the case.

Oh, and one other thing, the news media still place more emphasis on missing white women, ignoring women of color who are currently missing. Example: the saga of missing high school graduate Natlee Holloway.

Here's a brief bio of Latoyia Figueroa at Latoyia Figueroa.

Here's an article provided to me by Timothy Stelly about the low value this society places on lives of people of color:

Natlee Holloway Case Has Racial Overtones Thanks, Mr. Stelly.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

More on James Dobson's Intolerant Views

Here are several links documenting Mr. James Dobson's views on Gays.

James on Gays: Click here
Click Here
James on IRs: Click here.
Click here.

James on Women: Click here.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Another article on the hate crime in S.C.

More on the hate crime from the State(Columbia, S.C.)

"Attacks prompt call for hate crimes law
The Anti-Defamation League says S.C. is one of only five states without such a law"
Click here.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Interesting and Important Response Regarding the Hate Crime in S.C.

At Alas, A Blog, there are many intelligent response to the news of a very horrific hate crime in S.C. It's very clear to me that mainstream media chose not to cover this one. Here's a posting by Gimmar:

ginmar Writes:

July 15th, 2006 at 8:29 am
I don’t think she’s remarkable. I think fifteen-year-old girls are a lot more intelligent and resourceful than the culture paints them as. As a matter of fact, when guys whine about how they get portrayed in the media, they have nothing to complain about when compared to how teenage girls get slammed as slutty, shallow, illiterate, vain, stupid, and vicious. They’re not granted any innocence or intelligence. That said, she was faced with a terrorist situation, and she came out alive. She deserves a frickin’ medal.

Here's another from Ann from Rachel's Tavern:

The severe psychological trauma she is suffering is devastating right now. She will need the constant support of her family, community and a skilled therapist in helping her overcome this tragic ordeal.

And it does not surprise me that one of the perps stated to the law authorities: “she (sic) was someone society wouldn’t care about, wouldn’t be missed”. With the long history of this society treating the rapes and murders of Black women and girls as less than worthy of human consideration, this so-called human’s words are just a Freudian slip of how devalued Black women’s lives still are in this country.

More from Alas, a Blog. I've just send Sailerfraud, an antiracist Asian American man who tracks hateful white supremacist groups the news about that horrific hate crime involving two white men raping and attempting to murder two black women in S.C.

It's time to be aware that black women are victims of hate crimes because of both race and gender instead of rationalizing such situations by blaming the victim and saying that she deserved it. Such racist views permeate American society and is destroying the lives of black women daily.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Hate Crime in S.C.

Why this isn't reported in the national news. There ought to be an outrage. Please click here

Here's the whole story:

Accused rapists have ties to KKK, investigators say

Jennifer Miskewicz on Clarendon Co. rape, stabbing as a hate crime
Jack Kuenzie interviews wife of one man accused in Manning rape, stabbing
Jack Kuenzie on investigation into Clarendon Co. rape, stabbing

(Manning) July 10, 2006 - Investigators now say the alleged sexual assault and stabbing of a teenage girl in Manning was a hate crime.

Jeremy Sweat and Dustin Evans are charged with raping and stabbing a 15-year-old girl one week ago.

Sweat and Evans are white. The alleged victim is black.

The sheriff says officers believe Sweat and Evans targeted her because of her race, and may have been targeting any African-American woman.

As a teenager, investigators say Jeremy Sweat liked the Ku Klux Klan.
Deputies showed News 10 a report from a camp for troubled teens in Louisiana, stating he "frequently makes references to his involvement in the KKK."

The 1997 report also said Sweat "threatens to kill specific staff members."

Since moving to Clarendon County a year ago, deputies believe Sweat's violent feelings grew.

"He doesn't make references to the KKK, but he does make references to the lack of value he places on the young woman's life. Basically he said, she's just a black whore-- no one's going to care about her," says Tommie Burgess.

Lieutenant Tommie Burgess says officers also believe Sweat and Evans raped a black woman from Summerton last month.

Both women said the men talked about killing them.

"The first victim ... They talked about throwing her to the alligators ... The second one, they discussed tying blocks to her legs and throwing her in the lake," Burgess says.

Investigators believe Sweat and Evans may have approached more black women. A group of girls told deputies the men came up to them at this Waffle House, and asked if they wanted to go to their house and drink beer. The girls said no.

As of Monday night, both men remained in jail after a judge denied bond.

Charges, background and timeline

21-year-old Dustin L. Evans was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping and assault and battery with intent to kill. He was taken into custody without incident at approximately 9:05 Thursday morning at his mother's home in Manning. He's now at the Clarendon County jail.

Evans' wife says he'd been gone for three days, but gave up, saying he couldn't run anymore. "All he could do was cry. Like he was just really scared. He let them handcuff him. He didn't try to fight."

24-year-old Jeremy Shay Sweat was arrested last Monday afternoon and faces the same charges.

Investigators say inside the mobile home, the victim was choked and had her neck cut with a knife before she was repeatedly raped by the two men.

They then forced her into a shower, told her to turn around and began stabbing her. The teenager fell into the bathtub and played dead.

She played dead and overheard the men talking about getting some trash bags and dumping her body in a lake. That's when her attackers left.

Then she ran away, climbing over the back fence to get help next door. Oather Webster tells what happened next, "I could hear somebody stumbling and banging on the wall as they were going down the porch."

The girl was soaked in blood and pounding on Webster's house, begging to be let in, "I had this blood-soaked figure come bolting in the house."

"She was starting to go into shock. I'm assuming from loss of blood. I mean the amount of blood that she had left on the walls and the spot where she had sat in my dining area, was tremendous."

A sheriff's spokesman says the victim is recovering from her wounds, and doing well. Authorities said Thursday she has been released from the hospital.

The case will be prosecuted by the 3rd Circuit Solicitor's Office. As always, officials stress all defendants are innocent until proven guilty.

That's important to Evans' wife Crystal. Two years ago, Dustin Evans was a proud new father of his first child with Crystal, who's now pregnant with the couple's second baby. "He was a gentle guy. I mean he'll appear to be kind of rough to people, but he's really gentle. I mean, because of the tattoos and his body build, I mean he appears to look rough, but he's just always been real gentle."

Investigators say they have also linked Sweat and Evans to the rape of a 45-year-old Summerton woman June 20th. She was also black.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Debate on IRs

Debates on IRs at various blogs:

There has been plenty of debates on various blogs regarding IRs, particularly black/nonblack ones, especially if the man is black and the woman in question is white.

On some blogs, quite a few bloggers say that there's still the devaluation of black women in american society that is at work when it comes to dating/marriage/mating.
Shannon on her blog takes the position regarding it. Click here. She feels that blacks should be committed to one another. Which I agree given our history. But, at the same time, I believe in free choice as well, again, because of our history. Blacks and Multiracials are denied freedom of choice throughout the history of this country. Still, there are racial/gender/class dynamics that need to be covered.

Reappropriate wrote in her post that celebrating Loving Day is problematic, giving the Eurocentric views of IRs on its website. Click here.

Even conservative evangelist James Dobson weigh in his views regarding
intermmarriage at Mojoey. Click here. There, he uses code words to express his latent disapproval of intermarriage, particularly if its interracial. His views represent the mainstream Americans and conservatives in particular. It's not fashionable to state one's disapproval in a blatant fashion. Now it's in code. Isn't any wonder that America is still a deeply divided society. Rachel formulate how today's racists use such views in code words. She has written an article on her blog regarding how today's white supremacists talk in code words to gain receptive mainstream audiences. Click here. A very important read.


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