Part of my family hails from Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania — specifically Pottsville, the county seat.
For the first time in my life, I’m ashamed of that. You see, a trial just finished there.
Luis Ramirez, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, was kicked to death while unconscious following a street brawl in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania late last July.
The all-white jury called it simple assault. That’s all. The defendants, popular local high school football players, were cleared of all murder, aggravated assault, attempting to solicit a cover-up, and ethnic intimidation charges.
One year ago, following the murder, the lawyer of one of the kids who testified in the just-finished trial, said:
“I think any time there’s a fight and any time you have one ethnic group fighting another, there’s going to be racial slurs,” he said. “I’ve seen that since I was a kid on a playground 20 years ago, but they never called it ethnic intimidation until very recently.”
“One ethnic group fighting another” seems to me to not only epitomize ethnic intimidation, but also to indicate that ethnic intimidation has been completely out of hand for a very long time. Neither that lawyer nor the jury apparently thought so, though. Nor did they believe that kicking to death an unconscious man lying on the ground constitutes murder.
Ramirez’s fiancee had this idea about the whole situation last year:
Crystal Dillman, his 24-year-old fiancee, who is white and grew up in Shenandoah, said Friday that Ramirez was walking her sister to a friend’s house the night of the attack.
“He was just trying to be a good person, making sure she got (there) safe,” said Dillman, adding she was relieved the charges include ethnic intimidation.
She says Ramirez was often called derogatory names, including “dirty Mexican,” and told to return to his homeland. Similar insults have been hurled at their children, ages 2 and 11 months, she said.
“I plan on moving out of this town as fast as I can. Not because I’m scared. I just don’t want to see my children have to deal with what their father dealt with,” Dillman said.
Unfortunately, who will be left to stand up to the pathetic, murderous, All-American jerks who remain?
Tags: ethnic intimidation, hate crimes, illegal immigrants, immigrants, intimidation, justice, Luis Ramirez, Mexican immigrants, murder, Pennsylvania, Pottsville, Schuylkill County, Shenandoah, trial, xenophobia