25-year-old Luis Ramirez, a young man from Guanajuato, Mexico, was killed July 14 by a group of white teens in Shenandoah, PA. CNN has a write up of the events and the aftermath. I do not mean any disrespect towards Mr. Ramirez or his family, but I want to shift focus for a moment.
I cannot believe how the article at CNN.com, by Emanuella Grinberg, is written.
I just refreshed the page to see if someone had checked the rampant bias/idiocy/unbelievableness. No. the second line of the article reads:
Blows had struck the 25-year-old illegal Mexican immigrant with such force that they left a clotted, bruised impression of Jesus Christ on the skin of his chest from the religious medal he wore.Way to be passive, Ms. Grinberg. Blows didn't just strike of their own accord. Someone, some people, beat this young man.
And he was just that, a young man, a human being. Why does his citizenship status matter?
The story highlights at the top of the page included:
4 teens, all good students and athletes, charged with hate crimeThat the accused were athletic and smart does not any way mitigate the severity of these charges or their actions or the fact that Luis Ramirez is dead.
Ramirez's status as an undocumented immigrant is brought up again a couple of paragraphs later. And then there is this gem, presented without comment from Ms. Grinberg
Defense attorneys for two of the teens say Ramirez responded to the name-calling with his own insults, which escalated the confrontation into a fight that got out of hand.The man had the gall to respond and thus caused his own death?
Then we have the typical, "This had nothing to do with race," argument.
Residents question whether the attack was racially motivated or just an alcohol-fueled confrontation among kids.Mm-hmm. They question despite the fact that the smart athletic teens told the girl, whom Ramirez was accompanying:
Get your Mexican boyfriend out of here.Despite the fact that these same angels used racial slurs.
Despite the fact that a witness heard them yell:
You effin bitch, tell your effin Mexican friends get the eff out of Shenandoah or you're gonna be laying effin next to him.Despite the fact that some residents acknowledge that
[V]iolence has been brewing between the races for some time.I'm not sure what, exactly, would erase any questions.
Further evidence that the attack wasn't racially motivated? These kids grew up in a historically diverse area!
While Schuylkill County is 96 percent white, Shenandoah has taken pride in its ethnic diversity. European immigrants came to work anthracite mines in the late 19th century. Pizza joints, German bakeries and Polish grocers on Main Street serve as reminders of that time.Wherein diversity means... gradations of whiteness, I guess?
The article then lays out exactly how the attorneys plan to continue their victim-blaming and tarnishing of Luis Ramirez's name.
Frederick Fanelli, who represents [Brandon] Piekarsky [one of the accused]... told CNN he plans to investigate whether Ramirez has a criminal background. He also questions why the engaged father of three was walking on the street with the girl, and the nature of their relationship. Ramirez's fiancee says he was walking her younger sister home.Yes, because 1) If he was a criminal, why then the attack is somehow justifiable and 2) in any interracial argument, people must logically hurl racial epithets at each other.
A lawyer for [Colin] Walsh said he is equally skeptical about the ethnic intimidation charge. "They called each other names. The victim was calling them obscenities, vulgar names, and they said things back to him that would hurt him," Roger Laguna said. "It just means it was a foul-mouthed argument, not ethnic intimidation."
Angelic-ness arises again shortly thereafter:
"You would be proud to have any of these kids in your classroom, and any of them as your children," said Fanelli, Piekarsky's lawyer. "To this point in their lives, they have done everything right."Postponed marriage, postponed college. That damned illegal immigrant went out and got himself killed and disrupted everyone's perfect lives! There's even a link to Colin Walsh's father talking about his family's nightmare. I don't doubt that this is devastating for the Walsh family, but if we shift focus to Mr. Ramirez's loved ones...
Besides his academic achievement, Piekarsky worked part-time at Sears and made the varsity football team as a sophomore. He is a National Honors student.
His mother postponed her wedding to a Shenandoah police officer because of the incident.
Donchak was the team's quarterback last year and graduated in May. He planned to attend Bloomsburg University in the fall. He is out on bail.
I don't meant to be unnecessarily flippant. I am too angry about this. Shame on MS. Grinberg and CNN for not questioning the erroneous assumption that
white children, who live in the same racially coded and stratified society as children of color, do not construct notions of race and hierarchy, cannot knowingly use symbols and language of racismShame on them for not challenging the idea that Luis Ramirez's life was somehow worth less, that he deserved less than humane treatment, because of his immigration status.