Hate Crimes in Riverwest
"They just said, ' Oh, white girl bleeds a lot!' ", according to Shaina Perry, a young white woman who was attacked by a gang of black youths at Kilbourn Reservoir Park after fireworks Saturday night, July 2. Perry was among several white victims who were injured by a mob of African-Americans,who beat them while making racial taunts. (1)
Yet, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (MJS) editorial on July 7 asserted that ".... we'd agree with (Police Chief Edward ) Flynn, who said crime is colorblind." (2) The evidence, from articles published in the same newspaper, indicated that these crimes were not "colorblind" at all----they were clearly motivated by hatred of white people.
Unlike Flynn, Mayor Tom Barrett and MJS editorial writers, the Wisconsin legislature has ruled that some crimes are not colorblind. In 1987 the legislature adopted a "Hate Crimes" bill (at the request of the Milwaukee Jewish Council for Community Relations) that had been drafted by the B'nai Brith Anti-Defamation League. The law (3) provides enhanced penalties for anyone who "intentionally selects (the victim of a crime) because of ...race.religion, color..." This law was upheld by the US Supreme Court in 1993 in the case of Wisconsin vs Mitchell. (4) The Riverwest crimes would appear to fit the terms of this law perfectly.
I hope and pray that the thugs who committed these outrageous offenses are caught and prosecuted. If they are, I want them charged under the Hate Crimes Law, so that they will be kept away from decent people for a very long time.
To ignore the racial aspect of the Riverwest attacks is not just colorblind----it is totally blind.
Gerald S Glazer
(1) MJS, July 6, 2011, page 1A
(2) MJS, July 7, 2011, page 10A.
(3) Wis. Statutes 939.645(1)(b).
(4) 508 US 476 (1993)