In Dicta

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Rape Spurs Anti-Hispanic Backlash in Ohio

It is always sad when one bad apple in a community triggers anger against the entire group:

"It started with the spray-painted, misspelled "Rapest" on the house of a Hispanic man accused of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old white girl. Then the house went up in flames in a suspected arson.

Confrontations, name-calling and threats against Hispanics followed. Men roamed the streets wearing pillowcases with eye holes, and Ku Klux Klansmen in hoods and robes showed up to pass out pamphlets. There were rumors of assaults and beatings.

Now this small Ohio river city's booming Hispanic population is cowed, the streets in their neighborhoods nearly deserted.

Outside the office of the Living Water Ministry, which two months ago drew hundreds of people to its first Cinco de Mayo festival, there is still a smell of charred wood from the June 21 fire that gutted the house next door and caused damage to the outside of the ministry's office.

"Before, the street would be covered with people, people out all over the place," said Sasha Amen, community outreach coordinator for Living Water. "There's a lot of fear now. People are shutting themselves in their homes."

It is important to remember that race has nothing to do with crimes. The crime (alleged crime to be precise) of one community member should not be blamed or used to incite violence against any race, religion, ethnic group or any other sort of community, ever.

Via Yahoo! News.

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