What are we supposed to feel as a community when two young adults beat the living daylights out of a 25-year old in smallville Shenandoah, Pennsylvania.
WAIT A SECOND—correction, beat to death. Now stop for a second, have you as a reader ever killed anything? A mosquito? A rat? A bird? How about a small animal like a raccoon, an opossum, or a street dog? Have you done so with you bare hands? It takes quite a bit of inhumanity. Well, these two adults did so with their bare fists and kicks to a 25 year old. They were drunk, and did so for fun. “Screw the consequences, we’re young, right?” they must have thought. It happened one year ago, and only today was there a sentence giving each of them as little as 6 months in jail and exonerating them of the most sever charges against them. If this were anywhere else or anyone else for that matter, it would matter. But the two assailants were white. And the victim was an undocumented Hispanic, a young man named Luis Ramirez, relatively new to the small town. This hate crime did not occur in a vacuum; there was a lot of underlined tension between local residents and new Hispanic immigrants. But the town was built by German, Irish, Welsh, and Eastern European immigrants, so what gives? Why the hate? Why the inhumanity to beat another living human being to death, even if you are drunk? A community remains scared and scarred, with little healing.
Rudi E. Navarra
National Program Coordinator
Democracia U.S.A. / Democracia Ahora
Voter Empowerment │Leadership Training │Community Organizing