Tensions Heighten as Swastika and “N” Word Found Spray Painted Under I-80 Underpass

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Community Meeting Held to Discuss Incident and Stand Strong Against the Hanging of the Noose at DHS

n-word-swastika-underpass

A diverse group of community members ranging from high school age on up, of all different races and ethnicities, gathered at the Davis High School library to discuss and better understand the noose incident.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven, a Davis resident, announced that on his morning run he had found under the bike and pedestrian underpass connecting UC Davis with South Davis, a Swastika and graffiti that said, “Nigger.”

“Hate is alive and well in Davis,” he told the audience late in the event.  He said he was running on Saturday, the day after the noose appeared on the DHS campus, and at the underpass, “I saw Swastikas and the word ‘Nigger’ in graffiti.”

Davis Police Lt. Paul Doroshov told the Vanguard following the meeting, that while it is difficult to determine the timing of the graffiti incident, the paint appears to be fresh – indicating that the act was performed in the last few days.

Jann Murray-Garcia, a pediatrician, who has taught a very popular course at the high school on race and social justice, organized the meeting.  She told the group we have learned as a community that if we try to ignore these incidents, they do not go away; rather, things escalate.

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She noted many local stories where turning one’s head and stating it doesn’t matter did not solve the problems, but instead caused them to return even  worse.  She argued that we must take a strong stand.

Most of these crimes are committed not by organized hate groups but rather by young, and seemingly normal, white males.  Many of them, she said, are not convinced of the legitimacy of their acts and she argued that, while in many cases criminal sanctions do not work, in terms of hate crimes and hate acts, sanctions actually have been shown to be far more effective.

Lt. Doroshov has been leading the investigation into this incident.  He noted that, regardless of the intent, under the California Penal Code Section 11411, “Any person… who hangs a noose, knowing it to be a symbol representing a threat to life, on the property of a primary school, junior high school, high school… for the purpose of terrorizing any person who attends or works at the school, park, or place of employment, or who is otherwise associated with the school, park, or place of employment, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year.”

He said that the police are operating on the presumption that this is a hate crime, and that they prefer to start at the higher end and work their way down.

Lt. Doroshov told the group that most crimes of this sort are solved through tips, and generally the public hears someone who is bragging about it and it gets reported that way.

The lieutenant noted that they have two goals.  First, to determine who committed the act, and second to determine the threat assessment in order to avoid this happening again.

Clearly, authorities are now concerned about this secondary incident and how it may or may not connect with the hanging of the noose at Davis High last Friday.

A number of members of the community spoke out.  Longtime residents Bill Calhoun, a retired high school teacher, and Reverend Tim Malone cited a history of hate incidents, even some incidents going back to 1978 involving the Klan in Davis.

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Students, particularly students of color, were especially concerned.  “It’s unacceptable, it’s inappropriate and I just feel disrespected,” said Amani Jones, the President of the Black Student Union.  “Being the BSU President, I’m very hurt by this.”

A recent graduate of Davis High said, “It’s really sad that something like this would happen in Davis because I’ve grown up here my whole entire life and Davis has been such a safe neighborhood and it’s just sad that something this bad would happen.”

She found it an odd coincidence that this would happen in the summertime, when it was less likely they would be caught by school officials.

“If they thought it was some kind of joke… it’s not funny at all,” she continued.  “They need to stop being rude and ignorant and think about other people.”

“It’s sad that now and in this day and age that stuff like this is still happening,” she concluded.

Sierra Brown, Vice President of BSU, said that she loves to learn, and believes that Davis is a great community.

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“But to think that someone would express their will like that kind of hurts me because as a community we’re supposed to love each other and love who we are and what we believe,” she said.  She too felt disrespected by the actions of the individual who hung the noose.

Mayor Joe Krovoza was one of a number of public officials in attendance.

“For the city this is not a fine moment,” he said.  “I just want to echo what Jann said, the response needs to be clear, immediate, we need to send the signal that it’s not okay.”

“This is a community issue, it’s not a school issue.  One segment of our community affects the whole community,” he continued.

He noted that they spend a lot of time making this a great community with all sorts of program, “then something like this happens that strikes at the very gut – we’re not inclusive, we’re not doing everything we can.”

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“I want to endorse the fact that the response has to define the community,” he added authoritatively.  “I think that the most powerful response is from the youth in this community, whoever did this, maybe I’m assuming it was a kid… but I really want to challenge the youth to say that if this was youth, to say that this is not okay, it is not cool, it does not give you social recognition.  You need to learn, you need to go to school, you need to take RSJ and you need to join the human family.”

Jacqui Moore, Principal at Davis High, noted overwhelming population of the Race and Social Justice Course taught by Jann Murray-Garcia as a hopeful step in the right direction.

She told the audience that in her previous job in Sacramento, “we worked very hard to look at what does a suspension actually accomplish, they do something wrong, they’re sent home from school, they do worse when they come back.”

“It’s punitive with no results,” she said.  “What we want is actual results.  One of the things we’ve started this year… is a restorative justice approach to all our students and, honestly, it’s been very successful.”

Chief Deputy DA Jonathan Raven noted that, under District Attorney Jeff Reisig, their office “takes hate crimes extremely seriously.”

“We’ve prosecuted some very serious hate crimes over the last few years,” he said.  “Some of them who have had experience with this statewide have told us that other DA’s offices don’t prosecute these terrible assaults and batteries as hate crimes – we certainly do.”

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Jann Murray-Garcia spent about ten minutes instructing the audience on what a hate crime is.

Under Penal Code 11411, a hate crime is “any unlawful action against the person or property of another committed substantially because of the victim’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation.”

The penal code makes it illegal to hang or display a noose, swastika or a burning cross in a public place.

She said bias-related crime is a better term.  “It is the perpetrator’s bias as a motivation for committing the crime that must be proven. The perpetrator can even be wrong about a victim’s group membership,” she said.

Unlike non-bias related crime, “Victims, even if unintentionally, are entire groups of people who share the same characteristic.”  Hate crimes leave victims and even the entire community chronically traumatized.

She also distinguished hate incident from hate crime.  She defined it as, “This is a non-criminal act, including words directed against another person, based on the person’s actual or perceived group membership. They include … epithets, distribution of hate material in a public place, posting of hate material that does not result in property damage, and the display of offensive material on one’s own property.”

However, she noted under the penal code, the hanging of the noose is by definition a hate crime.

Raven-Jon“Hate crimes are different crimes,” Deputy DA Jonathan Raven explained.  “Many people, even police officers, would say we have enhancements, we have aggravating factors, why not use these issues as aggravating factors.”

“The fact of the matter is that hate crimes are different,” he continued.  “They’re message crimes.  They’re meant to send a strong message to the community and put a full community of people in fear.  Because of that we have hate crimes.”

“The legislature was smart enough in this case to say when you’re dealing with nooses, when you’re dealing with Swastikas, when you’re dealing with Burning Crosses, these bring out such strong reactions because of our history that those are crimes in and of themselves,” he added.

Mr. Raven noted that when people tell him how do you know what this actually is, maybe it’s just a noose, a prank, a joke.

He said, “Well these people don’t realize what it means to people to see a noose or a Swastika or a Burning Cross.”

As we noted, most often the perpetrator of hate crimes is not an organized group of “life mission” offenders but rather young thrill seekers, who are local kids.

Ms. Murray-Garcia said, “Numerous studies have demonstrated that only a small percentage of hate crimes are committed by people with any connection to or background involving organized ‘hate groups’ … What these studies have found instead is that the majority of bias crimes are committed by seemingly normal, mostly law-abiding young people who often see nothing wrong with their behavior. Bias crime offenders are predominantly young white males, typically from working-class or middle class backgrounds. And though ties to hate groups are rare, the perpetrators are clearly inspired by these groups’ rhetoric, shouting their well known slogans, parroting their political rhetoric, and displaying such symbols of white supremacism as the swastika or the Confederate flag.”

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She argued that ignoring or not taking hate crimes seriously is a mistake.  She cited studies that show, “Youths graduate to more serious crimes, from property damage to physical injury.”

She cited a study by a researcher named Neiwert who found, “A slap on the wrist of a hate crime offender is a slap in the face to the community of victims.”

She also argued that we miss the clues that this might be the tip of the iceberg of the youth’s conduct and we pass up a teachable moment both for the community and its young people.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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73 thoughts on “Tensions Heighten as Swastika and “N” Word Found Spray Painted Under I-80 Underpass”

  1. medwoman

    [quote]She also argued that we miss the clues that this might be the tip of the iceberg of the youth’s conduct and we pass up a teachable moment both for the community and its young people.[/quote]

    I could not agree more with this statement and would add that this may also represent “the tip of the iceberg” with regard to the depth of bias existing within our community. I know from personal experience having been married to a very dark skinned individual from Turkey, that bias lies in the eyes of the perceiver. My ex husband was on many occasions racially misidentified and called a number of stereotypical and less than complimentary terms based on his appearance. Please do not tell me that racial bias does not exist here and now.

    For those whose posts seem to indicate that they feel that talking about or publicizing the noose incident is a bigger problem than the noose itself, I would like to respectfully, but very firmly disagree. It is the illegal and hateful act that is the problem, not discussing or condemning it. For those who do not believe this, please consider this scenario:
    If one of your children hits his sib but no injury is sustained, do you choose to ignore the behavior, or do you use it as a teaching moment for all your children ? Do you prefer to remain silent hoping the behavior will go away, or do you act promptly to deter future events and prevent escalation ?

    One thing I think we can be sure of is that the noose, or any other act of hate, does not occur in a vacuum.
    At some point in time, the perpetrator learned, probably from someone older that this act was either desirable or at least acceptable. I believe this to be a public issue and I strongly applaud the measured and completely
    reasonable efforts of our public officials to address this issue and treat it as for what it is, an act that deliberately attempted to disrupt the principles of mutual respect on which our community is based.

  2. hpierce

    [quote]and treat it as for what it is, [b]an act[/b] that [b]deliberately[/b] attempted [b]to disrupt the principles of mutual respect on which our community is based[/b]. [quote]I strongly suspect that the cognitive function of the individual(s) involved would not permit the level of intent that you would ascribe to them. I suspect that frustration, a ‘need’ to “strike out” at others in order to feel better, and/or emotional/mental illness are probably far more in play than the failure of the community to prevent the reprehensible behavior.

    As Billy Joel might say, “I am an innocent person”.

  3. 91 Octane

    If we have an attention whore, he is getting what he wants: one more reason to keep doing it. and we also know the vanguard is getting national media attention – the vanguard said so on the other blog. And all of these “teachable moments” people are also getting attention they seek especially Murray. a win win for all isn’t it?

  4. J.R.

    [quote] Bias crime offenders are predominantly young white males, typically from working-class or middle class backgrounds.[/quote]

    Jann Murray-Garcia has made a divisive remark that is hurtful to the community. We need to come together after these events, not divide and accuse.

  5. hpierce

    I may not agree with Jann Murray-Garcia, but Octane, you went “over the top”. Sounds like you have issues, unrelated to the ones under discussion. Sounds like you need help, as do the person(s) who displayed the noose.

  6. David M. Greenwald

    Octane: every expert that spoke last night disagrees with your approach – Police, Mayor, DA, researchers. So I’m left with the word of experts versus the word of anonymous internet poster that has now called Jann Murray Garcia a racist.

    Octane and JR: Actually that comment was based on research and evidence, it is a statistical profile not a normative statement.

  7. rusty49

    You’ve got to just love the hyperbole.
    “Tensions Heighten”
    “Hate is alive and well in Davis”
    Most likely it’s just one wayward perverse thrill seeking juvenile who’s looking for attention, or in this case possibly a copycat, who is doing this out of 62,000 residents. From the over-hyping one would think we had a mass murderer on the loose. Unfortunately now we’re going to get national attention and most likely are going to look like a hate filled racist little town but that is so far from the truth. Like I have stated and was right, Davis liberals are going to blow this way out of porportion.

  8. Rifkin

    [i]”Bias crime offenders are predominantly young white males, typically from working-class or middle class backgrounds.”[/i]

    According to FBI statistics ([url]http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2011/november/hatecrimes_111411[/url]), whites make up 58.6% of bias crime offenders. Compare that to the fact that whites make up 72.4% of the US population ([url]http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html[/url]). According to FBI statistics, blacks make up 18.4% of bias crime offenders. Compare that to the fact that blacks make up 12.6% of the US population.

    In other words, a white is 80.9% as likely as average to commit a bias crime; a black is 146.0% as likely as average to commit a bias crime.

    What is also notable is that by a long way, the person most likely to be the victim of a bias crime, controlling for population, is a Jew. Next most likely is a homosexual.

  9. David M. Greenwald

    Rusty: You’re obviously sitting in a different place than I am, but I feel the tensions both at the meeting last night and behind the scenes in some of the side debates and discussions.

    This isn’t just a liberal concern, you have the relatively conservative DA and the police department not only very concerned about this, but telling folks that it’s the move to ignore it.

  10. rusty49

    David, my prediction if this person isn’t outed shortly, is now we’re going to have “N” word and swastika graffiti all over the town from him/her and all the copycats. They have seen the rise they got out of the community and that will just feed into it. And everytime it shows up I’m sure the cameras will be there taking more snap shots feeding the frenzy.

  11. Edwin S

    Lack of intent doesn’t make it any less hurtful. I think that’s the key disconnect here: some posters feel that it’s not intended to be racist so much as attention grabbing.

    Even if it is just a copycat “attention whore,” as a minority it still hurts me. I realize that it’s meant to get a rise out of people. That doesn’t make it any less offensive than if you are accosted verbally on the street: whether the person “means it” or is just ‘putting on a show.’ But note, those symbols were intentionally used in order to do so – they weren’t chosen at random. It’s a sensitive topic.

    I wasn’t planning to reply (again) but I had noticed a comment on the previous article saying he wanted to hear from ‘actual minorities and not white liberals presuming impact’ (or something to that affect) of impact.

    Additionally, my SO (of a different ethnicity and background than I am) grandfather and his family spent years in Auschwitz. Years. Let me say that again: they were in Auschwitz for years before being freed/deported to one of the infamous Shanghai ghettos. It hurts them as well. Saying “it’s just a kid trying to get attention” doesn’t negate the feelings that brings up. It doesn’t prevent awful memories from springing up. I’m not worried about the “national attention” Davis is getting. I’m worried about the internal tarnish. That long time residents and locals get a bad feeling in their mouths about their OWN city. Forget the worries over attracting national attention: you’re ignoring your own neighbors. It’s almost as if one is saying “suck it up, let it slide, let’s not let everyone else know what’s going on. Wouldn’t want to look bad in front of the neighbors[other cities/states].” Even the grandfather thinks it’s probably ‘youthful ignorance’ but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting.

    Again, whatever the intent behind placing them, the symbols were intentionally used and chosen. And it affects members of the Davis community. And that’s wrong – period.

  12. wdf1

    91 O: [i]…shows just how racist she is.[/i]

    hpierce: [i]I may not agree with Jann Murray-Garcia, but Octane, you went “over the top”.[/i]

    I agree with hpierce. I have known Jann for several years. I may not personally share all of her sensitivities, but calling her racist is way off the mark, and shows that you may lack some thoughtfulness in what you’re trying to say. Jann herself is clear about what are her personal observations and reactions and what is a researched conclusion, but she is not motivated by hating or disrespecting anyone or any group.

  13. 91 Octane

    hpierce: I may not agree with Jann Murray-Garcia, but Octane, you went “over the top”.

    fair enough. I thought it over. I’ll take that one back.

  14. Steve Hayes

    Definition of “False Flag” from Wikipedia

    False flag operations are covert operations designed to deceive in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is: flying the flag of a country other than one’s own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations and can be used during peace-time.

  15. rusty49

    Edwin S, if you feel offended I respect your opinion. But comeon, this is most likely some misguided moronic juvenile that is seeking attention. Yes he probably is a racist, but we have a great open community here and don’t let one stupid individual get you down.

  16. David M. Greenwald

    I appreciate the more conciliatory tone today.

    Rusty, I think for a lot of people that I have spoken to, there are kind of two minds. First, for the older folk, it seems that it’s a reminder of the past and the possibility that these are not merely views of the past.

    For the younger people, it’s an eye-opener that perhaps this community isn’t quite as safe as they thought.

    Robb Davis yesterday made the comment that it wasn’t so long ago that government was a sponsor of these activities and to see the Mayor, Police, and DA’s office all make strong statements was not only necessary but reassuring to people that these attitudes are not the norm and that this is a community that will not tolerate hate.

  17. hpierce

    Perhaps medwoman (or others) could help with this… you find a lesion on the skin on the back of your arm. You could ignore it; you could panic, and cut your arm off; or you could investigate it, monitor it, and go to the doctor if you think it is getting worse or spreading.

    Let’s say that the lesion is a zit. If you ignore it, fine… it should resolve itself. If you cut off your arm, you’d probably lose a lot of blood, risk infection. Not good.

    Let’s say the lesion is a small cancer… it may be benign, and easy to remove, deal with. If you ignore it, it could be that it isn’t benign, and grow into something that is malignant, and either cost you your arm or even your life. This is the fear that prompted you to cut off your arm.

    Wouldn’t the most prudent thing be to investigate it, monitor it, get it evaluated by a medical professional to determine what the hell it is, and then see what steps are needed to resolve the issue?

  18. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]Jann Murray-Garcia, a pediatrician, who has taught a very popular course at the high school on race and social justice, organized the meeting. She told the group we have learned as a community that if we try to ignore these incidents, they do not go away; rather, things escalate.[/quote]

    Bringing extreme attention to this issue is not helping either, but making matters worse. My understanding is that some of the more conservative commenters who have expressed opinions on this blog are now on the receiving end of a racism backlash (been threatened) by those who believe we should trot this issue out again and again and talk about it ad nauseum. All this attention has resulted in 1) dividing the community; 2) more incidents of racial graffiti; 3) giving the miscreant that did this all the attention s/he was looking for; 4) now innocent citizens who expressed an opinion are being attacked. A mood of hysteria is being whipped up, and yet we know nothing about the motivation of the person who did this, other than this person is seeking attention.

    It would seem to me the wiser course of action is to have made a single simple statement as was done by city officials and law enforcement; don’t give the matter any more attention unless and until the person who did this is caught. If more racist graffiti shows up, report it and make sure it is promptly removed. But can anyone honestly say they are surprised in this town by racist graffiti? Really? Then you’ve had your eyes and ears closed… I reported racist graffiti by my house on this very blog, and all people did was criticize me for being a curmudgeon for complaining about the kids who loiter by my house.

  19. Downtown Resident

    Perhaps the young black and brown people of this town should try to convince the city council and the Davis Police Department to start harassing white senior citizens every time they dare to venture into public, to subject them to breathalyzer tests every time they are on the sidewalk, and to give them free trips up to Woodland and lifetime criminal records if they have so much as gargled mouthwash or taken Holy Communion within the last hour. Perhaps the young trouble-makers of this town should stop loitering and start busting up the cadillacs and the bmws and the volvos that line our streets and park in our bike planes, then start spray-painting images of walkers in circles with lines through them, then start randomly yelling threats, such as “Die Old Person – We Don’t Want You Here!” and throwing half-full Taco Bell sodas from speeding cars at seniors as they stroll though their neighborhoods. Then, perhaps, a simple TSA pat-down at the airport might not seem like such a huge deal in context, and the noose, the swastika, and the “n” word might not seem like an innocent prank that should just be swept under the rug.

  20. E Roberts Musser

    To Downtown Resident: You made my point for me… If someone so much as dares to offer an opinion contrary to the noisy racism bandwagon that many are jumping on, that person is vilely attacked – as in your post. This results in generating more hate and dividing the community. Secondly, we don’t know the motivations of who did this, but it is being investigated, as it should be. Thirdly, a clear message has been sent by city officals and law enforcement that hanging nooses are unacceptable in this town.

    To give you a specific example, when I was teaching 8th grade, as I approached my portable classroom, two students stood on the porch of the portable, yelling ugly racial obscenities at each other. One was an African-American female, the other a white male. The entire class was standing in a circle around these two, watching the “show”. As I approached, I quietly but firmly told the entire class to move into the portable. They all knew I was patently angry, didn’t say a word, and all filed in as meek as mice, including the two trouble-makers. (Just as a side note, both the trouble-makes were bad students, cut class all the time and/or didn’t do their work. Go figure.)

    When everyone was seated, I kept silent for about 30 seconds, visibly fuming. You could have heard a pin drop in the room. Then, very forcefully but calmly I emphatically stated, “I don’t want to ever see that sort of thing I just saw ever again, inside or outside my classroom. I don’t care whether you are black, white, purple, pink or green in color – you are all here to learn. Understood?” They all knew I was deadly serious, because it took a lot to get me angry. Then I calmly went on w my lesson. To make a long story short, I never had to say another word again – there was never another racial incident in or around my classroom. It just took a clear statement, and my leadership by example of treating all students equally…

    I stand by my statement that to give this any more attention is giving a thrill to those who did it, dividing the community, will result in more racial symbols cropping up, and won’t resolve a thing. I still think the best approach is to allow the police and school officials to do their investigation, then wait and see what the results are.

  21. David M. Greenwald

    “I stand by my statement that to give this too much attention will only feed the problem…”

    You have every right to stand by your statement, but in this case, I’m going to take the word and experience of people like Jann Murray Garcia, Paul Doroshov, and even Jonathan Raven over yours. I simply believe that they have more experience, and have read more research on the issue of hate crimes, than you do. That doesn’t mean that you do not have the right to your opinion, but it appears that the research is pretty clear on this point.

  22. rusty49

    ERM, would you care to expound on:

    “My understanding is that some of the more conservative commenters who have expressed opinions on this blog are now on the receiving end of a racism backlash (been threatened) by those who believe we should trot this issue out again and again and talk about it ad nauseum.”

    and

    “now innocent citizens who expressed an opinion are being attacked.”

    What has occurred?

  23. E Roberts Musser

    To rusty49: What I was told was in confidence, so I cannot give the concrete examples I was told about. However, I need go no further than some of the ugly responses on this blog…

  24. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]You have every right to stand by your statement, but in this case, I’m going to take the word and experience of people like Jann Murray Garcia, Paul Doroshov, and even Jonathan Raven over yours. I simply believe that they have more experience, and have read more research on the issue of hate crimes, than you do. That doesn’t mean that you do not have the right to your opinion, but it appears that the research is pretty clear on this point.[/quote]

    Research supports whipping up hysteria so that anyone w a contrary viewpoint to the noisy racism bandwagon is personally attacked? The dialogue generated thus far is dividing the community, not bringing it together…

  25. E Roberts Musser

    And I would add dgm, how helpful is it going to be to have our town name muddied in the national news? How is that going to assist anything? If we have a problem w racism, then let’s deal with it in an honest and forthright way. The first thing we should be doing is finding out the facts first, before jumping to any conclusions…

  26. civil discourse

    Rifkin wrote:

    “In other words, a white is 80.9% as likely as average to commit a bias crime; a black is 146.0% as likely as average to commit a bias crime.”

    What does this show, Rich? What exactly are you saying? What conclusion can be drawn from this?

  27. Rifkin

    [i]”In other words, a white is 80.9% as likely as average to commit a bias crime; a black is 146.0% as likely as average to commit a bias crime.”[/i]

    [b]What does this show, Rich? What exactly are you saying? What conclusion can be drawn from this? [/b]

    I think it gives context to the description by JM Garcia of who commits bias crimes, as quoted in the story:

    “Bias crime offenders are [b]predominantly young white males[/b], typically from working-class or middle class backgrounds.”

    Her statement is true. The majority of people who commit bias crimes are white and (though I did not see ages with races in the FBI numbers) young. But given that whites on the whole are much less likely as individuals to commit these sorts of offenses, I think JM Garcia’s portrayal is misleading.

    Her comment is analogous to someone saying this: “Blacks are the dirtiest players in professional basketball. For example, 75 percent of all personal fouls in the NBA are committed by black players; and 80 percent of all players ejected for punching, biting, spitting or other unsportsmanlike conduct in the NBA are black.”

    Why that NBA comment is misleading is because it fails to point out that 85 percent of all players in the NBA are black. Knowing that, you would find that a black player on average is less likely to commit a personal foul or get ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct.

    JM Garcia also is quoted as saying, “And though ties to hate groups are rare, the perpetrators are clearly inspired by these groups’ rhetoric, shouting their well known slogans, parroting their political rhetoric, and [b]displaying such symbols of white supremacism as the swastika or the Confederate flag[/b].”

    I don’t know if that is true, but I would guess that it is [i]for whites who commit bias crimes[/i]*. The problem is that it also is misleading, because with bias crimes, based on a proportion of the US population, non-whites, who have no association with ‘white supremacism’ or ‘the swastika’ or ‘the Confederate flag’ are still more likely to commit this sort of crime.

    *As it happens, I just recently saw a documentary about a reformed neo-Nazi called Erasing Hate. It makes it very clear that there is a vicious subset of white youths who commit serious crimes on the basis of their indoctrinated hatred of non-whites, Jews, gays and often other neo-Nazis who have a slightly different phiolosophy. If any of you saw this MSNBC doc, you will probably agree with me that it is a good advertisement for not getting your face tattooed.

  28. Alphonso

    I wonder why Davis, California has so many hateful incidents? Actually I do not wonder that at all – there are too many people in Davis who seem to look forward to these incidents simply so they can demonstrate their despair!

    “I’m going to take the word and experience of people like Jann Murray Garcia, Paul Doroshov, and even Jonathan Raven over yours. I simply believe that they have more experience”

    Anybody with any experience dealing with Doroshov and Raven know the above comment is simply incorrect – THEY ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM. Both have used hate (mostly false examples of hate) to promote themselves and they continue to do so! Those two will always overstate the problem regardless of the truth. Bring in new people, people who are genuinely interested In the well being of the community. Bring in Doroshov’s wife (assuming they are still married) but not Paul Doroshov.

    Personally I think the examples of “hate” being talked about are clearly bogus. Why would anyone who is truly hateful toward Jews display a reverse form of a swastika? Some people in Davis know they can get a lot of attention by doing this sort of thing. It is way too easy.

    Rather than spending a lot to time talking about it, focus on capturing the person responsible and then prosecute. To be clear make sure to prosecute regardless of who is responsible – even if it happens to be a “person of color”. Remember the UCSD noose incident – it captured a lot of attention but when it was determined somebody “of color” was responsible the entire matter was swept away.

    No question in my mind Davis is responsible for this problem – learn to deal with it because your community caused it!

  29. medwoman

    hpierce

    [quote]Wouldn’t the most prudent thing be to investigate it, monitor it, get it evaluated by a medical professional to determine what the hell it is, and then see what steps are needed to resolve the issue?[/quote]

    That would certainly be the most prudent of the courses of action that you presented. However, while the lesion is being evaluated, I see nothing wrong with researching the possibilities, discussing it with your friends and family and encouraging them to seek professional advice also if they have similar findings, going to support groups if you have enough anxiety over the issue to want to share and receive support from others, and even blogging about your experience, even before you have the final diagnosis. People process situations that cause them anxiety in different ways and I think all of these options, and probably many more are very reasonable.

  30. hpierce

    [quote]No question in my mind Davis is responsible for this problem – learn to deal with it because your community caused it! [/quote] At the risk of having this pulled by David or the moderator, BULL DAMN SHIT! It is obvious that your prejudices run so deep and so foul, I suspect you are a serious victim, or a certifiable psychotic (or, perhaps, both). 62,000 people responsible for this incident? We need to reinstate mental health hospitals.

    David and Don… I will accept being permanently banned from this site, but Alphonso should share that fate.

    Octane, I apologize for saying you went over the top… You weren’t even in the foothills, and Alphonso has leaped Mt Everest with about 300,00 feet to spare.

  31. hpierce

    Wish I had read your post, Medwoman, before I read Alfonso’s and replied to it. I think you and I are on similar, if not identical tracks. Thank you for your thoughtful response. I appreciate it. Suspect I’m headed to ‘coventry’ on this site. Hadn’t thought I could be provoked that much.

  32. medwoman

    Elaine

    [quote]all people did was criticize me for being a curmudgeon for complaining about the kids who loiter by my house.[/quote]

    Actually that is not quite accurate. I took your concern quite seriously and presented to you what I considered a practical possibility for addressing the issue. From a distance, you could get quite a good picture of the group while they were there and either present it to the police or post on a public forum. You expressed concern about your safety, however, I believe this could be done, even with a cheap camera or cell phone from a safe distance.

  33. medwoman

    Elaine

    In discussing this issue, neither side, conservatives, liberals or anywhere in between, has a monopoly on making assumptions and making statements from their own point of view.

    The following is the second post on the original article:

    [quote]Better to downplay this than give it more attention. More attention is clearly what was desired… [/quote]
    It sounds as though you had already made the decision that you knew the perpetrators motivation. What if it was not attention that was desired. What if it was a specific threat to a given individual after an altercation.
    Maybe it was done on a dare just to see if a stupid adolescent could get away with it with no thought of community reaction. Maybe the perpetrator was drunk or high and just not thinking about anything specific at all. My point here is that virtually everyone (myself included )has been weighing in with their perspective prior to knowing the facts. As you pointed out to me accurately on a different thread when I advised waiting until we had more information, it is a completely valid function of a post to express the opinion of the author whether or not they are in possession of all the facts. I think you were right about the principle then, and I think it applies equally here.

  34. hpierce

    Alphonso… perhaps I missed some nuances in your post (after re-reading it a couple of times). To the extent I did, I sincerely apologize for my response. However, I do not think that the entire community is “responsible” for the actions of an unknown number of individuals, and I do not believe the action is indicative of the community’s values. I still, fervently believe your comment that I quoted, is “over the top”, untrue, and unfair.

  35. Rifkin

    [i]”I wonder why Davis, California has so many hateful incidents? Actually I do not wonder that at all.”[/i]

    I wonder why Auburn, Alabama has so many people who wear shoes? Actually I do not wonder that at all. … I wonder why Fort Collins, Colorado has so many people who love lox on their bagels? Actually I do not wonder that at all. … I wonder why Portland, Maine has so many red trucks? Actually I do not wonder that at all.

    [i]”Why would anyone who is truly hateful toward Jews display a reverse form of a swastika?”[/i]

    Dyslexic Nazis?

    [b]Note to HPierce 7:04 PM:[/b] Alphonso’s last statement, which you deride with language not suitable for a family newspaper, was (pretty clearly to me) intended to be sarcastic, not literal.

  36. hpierce

    Yeah, Rich, took me awhile to get the overall message, but it (last sentence) still was, in my opinion, “over the top”. I have apologized for the rest.

  37. jimt

    Once again Kudos to Rifkin for helping to shine a light of balance on misleading statements by those on ends of spectrum (no-big-deal to armaggedon) of this issue.
    Hope the perp is caught! If its a juvenile (likely), a summer of community service (and perhaps a bit more) should use up the idle hours he is using now in finding ways to make destructive waves.

  38. rusty49

    Hpierce, Alphonso’s post was dead on. As far as his last sentence I think he’s saying that by blowing the incident way out of porportion Davis has caused the problem. Great post Alphonso.

  39. David M. Greenwald

    Rich:

    I would caution on the statistical analysis you did. The FBI stats you cite are problematic in at least two ways. First, you are only dealing with the known universe, but it appears only three quarters are known (you failed to qualify the stat that you cited). You appear to assume random distribution of the unknown assailants, but in fact, we do not know that they are randomly distributed.

    Second problem is endemic to the FBI stats – they lump all forms of hate crimes together regardless of target. So we know that 70% of the victims of hate crimes are black (an overrepresentation in the population which in and of itself renders the analysis far more tricky than you’d like), but we know that only perhaps half of all hate crimes are racially motivated. And when you get into anti-Jewish, anti-gay hate crimes, you are starting to get into a population more likely to be white. How does that impact the assailants? Not sure.

    With that said, I probably urge some caution to Jann Murray Garcia on her statement except for one thing – her statement did not go really to whether in a technical sense whites were actually underrepresented in the population, but rather who was the most likely culprit in this case.

  40. rusty49

    Unfortunately, stoking racism is a cottage industry to some. I half expect to soon see Al Sharpton having a cup of coffee at Starbucks in downtown Davis.

  41. Rifkin

    [b]Dave:[/b] [i]”I would caution on the statistical analysis you did. The FBI stats you cite are problematic in at least two ways. First, you are only dealing with the known universe, but it appears only three quarters are known.” [/i]

    Where did you get that “three quarters are known” statistic? Are you questioning this sentence which is in the report?

    FBI: “The hate crimes report is fairly reflective of the country—agencies that participated in the Uniform Crime Reporting Hate Crime Statistics Program effort in 2010 represented more than 285 million people, or [b]92.3 percent of the nation’s population[/b], and their jurisdictions covered 49 states and the District of Columbia.”

    Or are you saying that we only know about the cases where there is a conviction, and thus we don’t know about the other 25% where there is no conviction?

    If it is the latter, I would doubt that there are convictions in 75% of all actual bias crimes. That number strikes me as way too high, but I don’t know what your source is.

    One area where law enforcement rarely charges a bias crime is with gang warfare crimes when the conflict involves gangs of different races or ethnicities (as long as none are whites). Yet there is a lot of black-Latino warfare ([url]http://articles.latimes.com/2008/jul/25/local/me-hatecrime25[/url]) in cities with large black and large Latino populations.

    (Historical note: the “race” wars among black and Latino gangs of the last 10-15 years strike me as no different than the “ethnic” wars that took place in US cities from the 1870s to the 1930s when Irish gangs fought Italian gangs and Jewish gangs fought Greek gangs and Polish gangs battled Portuguese and so on.)

    Dave: [i]”Second problem is endemic to the FBI stats – they lump all forms of hate crimes together regardless of target. So we know that 70% of the victims of hate crimes are black.”[/i]

    You misread that statistic. The 70% figure for blacks is that 70% of race-bias victims are black, not 70% of bias crimes are black. (Note: the actual number is 69.8%.) Among all bias crimes, 48.4% stem from racial bias.

    If you multiply those two figures (.698 x .484), you get 33.78% of all bias crime victims are blacks in race bias cases.

    The UCR numbers: [quote] 48.4 percent stemmed from racial bias.
    19.1 percent were motivated by sexual-orientation bias.
    18.3 percent resulted from religious bias.
    13.5 percent were prompted by ethnicity/national origin bias.
    0.6 percent resulted from biases against disabilities.[/quote] For bias crimes based on the victim’s religion, the vast majority of victims are Jews: [quote] ■67.0 percent were victims of an offender’s anti-Jewish bias.
    ■12.7 percent were victims of an anti-Islamic bias.
    ■4.2 percent were victims of an anti-Catholic bias.
    ■3.0 percent were victims of an anti-Protestant bias.
    ■0.5 percent were victims of an anti-Atheist/Agnostic bias.
    ■9.1 percent were victims of a bias against other religions (anti-other religion).
    ■3.5 percent were victims of a bias against groups of individuals of varying religions (anti-multiple religions, group).[/quote] However, since only 18.9% of hate crimes are based on religious prejudice, 12.66% of all hate crime victims are Jews who are targeted for their religion/religious affiliation. And since Jews make up 2.1% of the US population, as targets of hate crimes, they are the most over-represented victims as a share of the US population.

  42. David M. Greenwald

    Rich:

    I saw 8000 incidents and 6000 known assailants.

    I didn’t misread the stat. The assailant stat was across all categories of hate crimes. The 70% black, refers only to racially based hate crimes.

    Clarifying those points…

  43. JustSaying

    “With that said, I probably urge some caution to Jann Murray Garcia on her statement except for one thing – her statement did not go really to whether in a technical sense whites were actually underrepresented in the population, but rather who was the most likely culprit in this case.”

    I don’t see this reflected in your own story. Please point out her language since it doesn’t jump out. Who does she say is the “most likely culprit in this case”?

    Could you also explain your “caution” about Rich’s statistics. Do you agree or disagree with his conclusions that she misleads with her statement about who predominantly commits such crimes? What are the known (75%) and unknown (25%) universes you note, and how does that discredit Rich’s point?

  44. David M. Greenwald

    JS:

    No I don’t think she misleads on who predominantly commits the crimes. the fact that a higher proportion of one race commits it doesn’t make the previous statement misleading. I think there are nuances in the data that need more sophisticated techniques than what is present here.

  45. JustSaying

    Who does she say is the “most likely culprit in this case”?

    What are the “nuances” in the data that concern you?

    Jann Murray-Garcia’s use of unspecified “numerous studies” to stereotype “the likely culprit” as a lower-class, young white male spouting white supremacist slogans requires your protection, yet Rich’s use of data calls out for you to caution readers with some vague, inexplicable questions about “known” and “unknown” universes?

    Please be more specific when you feel compelled to challenge such information. It’s hard to track what’s bothering you.

  46. David M. Greenwald

    There are at least two other problems with Rich’s analysis.

    First, his basketball example is actually an example of a spurious correlation as there is no real connection between the explanatory and dependent variables. Whereas the hate crime statistics have a true causal connection. So that’s not a good analogy.

    Secondly, Rich assumes that the critical comparison is between the rate of hate crimes and the general population. But at the same time, we know that African Americans have a far higher crime rate than their white counter parts. So perhaps that explains some of the other statistics unless you believe that hate crimes are completely different than other forms of crime.

  47. jimt

    I use statistics professionally, and Rifkins examples are much clearer and more accurate (from a statistical standpoint) than are Greenwalds explanations, which are somewhat muddled–back to the statistics textbooks David, if you want to clarify your explanations!

  48. medwoman

    Jimt and Rich

    Since I am not facile with statistics, I have a question for you. Is it not possible for both Rich and Murray-Garcia to be completely accurate in their assertions?. It seems to me that context matters. For example, if Murray-Garcias comment was intended to apply to the current type of bias based incident, namely an act clearly targeting African Americans, then her statement would likely be correct. Likewise, if her intent was to refer only to incidents occurring in Davis, she night or might not be correct since I doubt local statistics have been gathered. Since I was not present at this event, I do not have a sense for the context of her comment. It does seem clear however, that Rich made the assumption that she was generalizing to the national level which may or may not have been her intent.

  49. Mr.Toad

    “Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” a well-known quote from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis.

    Swift boating Jann Murray-Garcia, have you no shame?

  50. Mr.Toad

    I do find it fascinating that so many people are projecting their own personal biases on to the perps when we really don’t know who is responsible. If anything many of these remarks are reflective of the biases of the people making them. Yes we all have biases. Anyone who denies it is in denial.

    I think we all need to step back, take a breath and focus on what we all agree upon, that this is unacceptable behavior and we need to try to stop it. We also need to try to get some help for whoever is doing it before their behavior escalates to assault. Until we can find the perps we need to send a message that intolerance will not be tolerated!

    As for Rifkin’s analysis of the probability of who does these sort of things there is an obvious explanation; its called emulation of the oppressor. It can be observed in rap songs that use the N word, or, historically, the Jewish Police of the Warsaw Ghetto.

  51. Rifkin

    Dave: [i]I saw 8000 incidents and 6000 known assailants.”[/i]

    You misread that aspect of the report, also.

    The report says “there were 6,628 hate crime incidents reported to us by our law enforcement partners.” It later notes that, “Law enforcement reported 8,208 victims of hate crimes.” The discrepancy between the two is not the difference between “incidents” and “known assailants.” The difference is that in many cases there was more than one victim.

    [i]”I didn’t misread the stat. The assailant stat was across all categories of hate crimes. The 70% black, refers only to racially based hate crimes.”[/i]

    You wrote that 70% of bias crimes where blacks were the intended victim. Here is your quote:

    [i]” So we know that [b]70% of the victims of hate crimes[/b] are black.”[/i]

    I’m glad you now acknowledge my correction of your error. Maybe you will also find it in your heart to also apologize for your mistake about there being another 25% of incidents reported where the assailants were not known.

    You mistakenly still might have a point: the 6,628 hate crimes reported to the FBI are settled cases. And settled cases only represent a fraction of all likely crimes.

    My guess is that there are just as many that hate crimes that are never reported as hate crimes as those that make it onto the list. Say the victim of an assault was gay, but that was never reported to law enforcement or it was unclear if that was the reason for the attack.

    And there are questions about some racially motivated attacks as to whether they are hate crimes per se or more something else. The best example I can think of is the one I gave before: Say a Latino gang and a black gang in L.A. or Chicago or Brooklyn are having a territorial war. Say the Latino gangsters drive by the house of an innocent black family and fire shots into the house in order to intimidate black residents in general. And say the black gang retaliates by killing some random Latinos walking on a street in the disputed territory.

    Seems on the surface that these are race-based hate crimes. But they are also gang crimes. And most often, gang crimes are Latino on Latino or black on black or Asian on Asian or French on French. So should law enforcement classify the same criminal acts as two different things if it happens that the victims are of a different color or ethnicity?

  52. Rifkin

    Meds: [i]”I have a question for you. Is it not possible for both Rich and Murray-Garcia to be completely accurate in their assertions?”[/i]

    I think so. I acknowledged up front that what JM Garcia said was factually accurate. [quote] Rifkin: [i]”Her statement is true. The majority of people who commit bias crimes are white and (though I did not see ages with races in the FBI numbers) young.”[/i][/quote] My criticism is that her statement is not contextual: [quote]Rifkin: [i]”But given that whites on the whole are much less likely as individuals to commit these sorts of offenses, I think JM Garcia’s portrayal is misleading.” [/quote]Meds: [i]”It seems to me that context matters. For example, if Murray-Garcias comment was intended to apply to the current type of bias based incident, namely an act clearly targeting African Americans, then her statement would likely be correct.” [/i] [/i]

    Either way, her statement that “Bias crime offenders are predominantly young white males, typically from working-class or middle class backgrounds,” is correct.

    Here is the context that I believe the quote that David Greenwald provided lacked: [quote][i]”According to FBI statistics, whites make up 58.6% of bias crime offenders. Compare that to the fact that whites make up 72.4% of the US population.”[/i][/quote] Meds: [i]”It does seem clear however, that Rich made the assumption that she was generalizing to the national level which may or may not have been her intent.”[/i]

    The quote provided by the Vanguard says, “Bias crime offenders are predominantly young white males, typically from working-class or middle class backgrounds.” I agree her statement is true, and I make the assumption that she knows that based on FBI statistics, which are regularly reported.

  53. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]It sounds as though you had already made the decision that you knew the perpetrators motivation. [/quote]

    I have no idea what the motivation of the perpetrator is. I think we should wait until the person(s) is caught before jumping to any conclusions, which I have stated repeatedly. Much of the discussion on this blog has not had a positive effect on the community, but is instead dividing it. I don’t see this as a good thing…

  54. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]Alphonso… perhaps I missed some nuances in your post (after re-reading it a couple of times). To the extent I did, I sincerely apologize for my response. However, I do not think that the entire community is “responsible” for the actions of an unknown number of individuals, and I do not believe the action is indicative of the community’s values. I still, fervently believe your comment that I quoted, is “over the top”, untrue, and unfair.[/quote]

    I always find it interesting how two people reading the exact same thing can come to two completely different conclusions. In reading Alphonso’s comments, I took it to mean that because Davis tends to cultivate the noisy racism bandwagon by going into hysterical fits every time some supposed racist incident happens, it provides the attention-seeking atmosphere that racist perpetrators are looking for, making them more likely to commit such acts. Frankly, a silly noose hanging on a high school goal post is small potatoes compared to what happened to my neighbor in MD, who had a cross burned in his front lawn one night. But we didn’t get as hysterical about that as Davis is now, whipping itself up about the noose in a way that is dividing the community. The sensible thing to do is to gather round your neighbor and show personal support, the police investigate, and find the perpetrator. In the case of the noose, we have no idea what the motivation of the perpetrator was. And it does make a difference in what crime is charged and how the community should perceive it… too many are jumping to conclusions IMHO…

  55. biddlin

    ERM-Is this not the crime described in CA pc sec. 11411(a)?

    “(a) Any person who hangs a noose, knowing it to be a symbol
    representing a threat to life, on the private property of another,
    without authorization, for the purpose of terrorizing the owner or
    occupant of that private property or in reckless disregard of the
    risk of terrorizing the owner or occupant of that private property,
    or who hangs a noose, knowing it to be a symbol representing a threat
    to life, on the property of a primary school, junior high school,
    high school, college campus, public park, or place of employment, for
    the purpose of terrorizing any person who attends or works at the
    school, park, or place of employment, or who is otherwise associated
    with the school, park, or place of employment, shall be punished by
    imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by a fine
    not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both the fine and
    imprisonment for the first conviction or by imprisonment in a county
    jail not to exceed one year, or by a fine not to exceed fifteen
    thousand dollars ($15,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment for
    any subsequent conviction.”

  56. Yenkas

    End Apathy, interesting video about what the kids at DSHS did in the face of a similiar incident a few years back.
    [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQeE4PQIpto[/url]

  57. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]ERM-Is this not the crime described in CA pc sec. 11411(a)?

    “(a) Any person who hangs a noose, knowing it to be a symbol
    representing a threat to life, on the private property of another,
    without authorization, for the purpose of terrorizing the owner or
    occupant of that private property or in reckless disregard of the
    risk of terrorizing the owner or occupant of that private property,
    or who hangs a noose, knowing it to be a symbol representing a threat
    to life, on the property of a primary school, junior high school,
    high school, college campus, public park, or place of employment, for
    the purpose of terrorizing any person who attends or works at the
    school, park, or place of employment, or who is otherwise associated
    with the school, park, or place of employment, shall be punished by
    imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by a fine
    not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both the fine and
    imprisonment for the first conviction or by imprisonment in a county
    jail not to exceed one year, or by a fine not to exceed fifteen
    thousand dollars ($15,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment for
    any subsequent conviction.”[/quote]

    What is your point? Let’s let the police do their job and find the perpetrator of this crime; then determine what punishment befits the crime depending on the motivations for this act. But IMO to whip up hysteria about this is not helping anything… all it is doing it causing innocent people to be reviled/attacked who have done nothing more than advocate that we not overreact… essentially creating a mob mentality.

  58. Yenkas

    ERM, why do you feel like the community is whipping up hysteria over this incident? Or creating a mob mentality? I perceive the community’s response as more of a “not in our house or respect our house” type of thing rather than a mob per say looking for a supposed frankenstein’s monster. I have followed this incident the last couple of days and the only reactions that stand out to me are the people who seem apathetic to the incident and insist that it is the people of Davis that are making a big issue out of nothing. However, big or small this incident is I think it is a good thing for the community to notice it and put a spotlight on it right away. To me they are just putting a spark out before it turns into a wildfire, now could it be a little overreaction maybe but I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing they are just being cautious maybe because of past events in Davis’ history. Folks claim that a noose can stand for many things, but I feel that many folks see a noose and automatically associate it with America’s history of the symbol that it stood for. It’s kind of like how no one walks around with a toothbrush moustache, and symbols of nazism as fashion are frowned upon in general. Even when I was serving with the USMC I remember STA folks having to hide or cover tattoo’s of SS because of it’s association with schutzstaffel. It didn’t help that the tattoo’s were fashioned in the same way as it’s nazi predecessors.

  59. medwoman

    Yenkas

    Thanks so much for sharing the clip of the Davis students ” End Apathy” protest.
    I see this as an excellent example of how acting promptly to denounce racist actions had the effect of pulling a community together rather than dividing it.
    I do not agree that racism should ever be left unchallenged be the incident large or small. I would argue that for most of us in this community, the noose is a racist symbol and that to pretend otherwise is at best naive, apathetic or at worst uncaring.

    Elaine

    I must admit that I am a little confused at the disparity in your responses. A while back you were expressing a great deal of outrage about graffiti which you find highly offensive. And yet now, when there is the presence of what again, most of us would find a very objectionable symbol, you are asking for the community to remain quiet about it. or in your words not “whipping up hysteria”. I do not see any hysteria here but rather a conversation about the most appropriate response. Can you explain to the me the difference you see in these two circumstances and why you were so verbal about the graffiti but desire less conversation about the noose ?

  60. Yenkas

    Thanks Medwoman,

    For those that think the people of Davis are overreacting [url]http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2012/02/marine-amos-apologizes-for-scout-sniper-nazi-ss-logo-021012/[/url] perhaps the Commandant General is overreacting? It would seem that like the USMC the people of Davis understand what symbols mean and can do to a community or organization. Let’s just say no matter what the motive or intention the perpetrators possibly were ignorant of the symbolism of a noose or swastika, or racial epithets. Maybe the perps didn’t know or understand the struggle behind a noose or swastika and how Americans from all races fought under one flag to combat and reverse the tyranny behind the nazi swastika or the terrorism that accompanies things like a noose. So not only is this incident divisive and disrespectful to all people in our community it is also a slap in the face to all of those that have served and taken an oath to defend this nation’s constitution. God forbid whoever did this that may have had a grandparent that served in WWII or lineage going back to the Civil War or taken an oath to serve and protect a community. I think there is a difference from being hysterical to just feeling disrespected and not being quiet about it.

  61. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]ERM, why do you feel like the community is whipping up hysteria over this incident? Or creating a mob mentality?[/quote]

    Commenters on this blog have been threatened – can’t make it any clearer than that… nor can I be any more specific…

    [quote]Elaine

    I must admit that I am a little confused at the disparity in your responses. A while back you were expressing a great deal of outrage about graffiti which you find highly offensive. And yet now, when there is the presence of what again, most of us would find a very objectionable symbol, you are asking for the community to remain quiet about it. or in your words not “whipping up hysteria”. I do not see any hysteria here but rather a conversation about the most appropriate response. Can you explain to the me the difference you see in these two circumstances and why you were so verbal about the graffiti but desire less conversation about the noose ?[/quote]

    Different context. In my case, I was arguing for passing an ordinance that would allow the police to do a better job IMO at stopping this sort of nonsense…

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