May 18, 2009

Latino Hate Crime Murder of Luis Ramirez Deserves Justice

After they had beaten Luis Ramirez to death, the white teenagers who attacked Luis sent an ominous message to his friends:

"Tell your f**king Mexican friends to get the f**k out of Shenandoah or you’ll be f**king laying next to him."
Just over a week ago, two of Ramirez’s killers were acquitted of all serious charges by an all white jury, with the jury foreman making it clear that justice for Ramirez had no chance in the town of Shenandoah, PA:

"I believe strongly that some of the people on the jury were racist. I believe strongly that some of the people on the jury had their minds made up maybe before the first day of trial…And I believe the four boys that were involved the most are racist. I absolutely do…"
Thanks to the hard work of Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and others, the Department of Justice is now looking into Ramirez’ death. But that’s only part of what’s needed. Where are the leaders in the State of Pennsylvania? Why has the governor had nothing to say? His silence is shameful.

Until elected leaders speak up, we can expect more stories like Luis’ — not just in Shenandoah, but across the country. Pennsylvania Governor Rendell owes it to the people of his state and to Latinos everywhere to speak out and condemn what’s happened. I've joined in demanding that he does. Please click the link below to add your voice and ask your friends and family to do the same. It takes only a moment.

Ordinarily our blog highlights issues that impact directly on African Americans. However, the Black community has seen this type of injustice before. It wasn't right when it happened to nubians ... it's not right when it happens in the Latino or immigrant community.

If Luis Ramirez’s death were an isolated event it would be outrageous enough. Sadly, it’s part of a growing trend of racially motivated violence against Latinos, particularly in rural communities. According to the FBI, hate crimes against Latinos rose 35% between 2003 and 2006. And as author David Niewert writes, the target of hate crimes goes beyond their immediate victims: "The purpose is to terrorize the target community, to drive them out, eliminate them."

That kind of intimidation only works only if the people who are targeted remain silent, and if officials in positions of power remain unaccountable. That’s why villagers need to speak out and let folks across the country know we won’t tolerate hate and violence towards any community of color. It starts with demanding that the Governor of Pennsylvania make clear that anti-immigrant hate has no place in Pennsylvania. It’s time for him to show leadership now. Join our village in calling for Governor Rendell to speak out!


CCGroovy!!! said...


This is so very DISGUSTIONG, on so many levels, for so many reason.

APPLAUSE to U for posting this.

MacDaddy said...

Thanks for posting,Villager. This sounds like stuff they used to do to black people. I hope that some of our civil rights leaders join hands with Latino leaders and expose this for the vicious hate crime it is and pressure these white lawmen to get off their asses and do their jobs.

Villager said...

CCGroovy and MacDaddy - We have to keep the pressure on whenever we see evil at work. We can't count on the mainstream media. Our blogs have to share information that may not otherwise make it to our community. I thank you both for your encouragement.

I hope that Gov. Rendell will step up.