By David Neiwert
N July four, 2000, 3 younger Asian-American males from Seattle took a street journey to the inn city of Ocean shorelines, Washington. At a gasoline station mini-mart, they encoun-tered sev-eral white skinheads, who all started menacing them by way of shouting racial epithets. Trapped within the mini-mart, the five-foot-six, a hundred twenty five pound Minh Hong grabbed paring knives and crammed them into his jacket pocket. Returning to their vehicle, Hong's staff came across a two hundred pound, twenty-year-old skinhead named Christopher Kinison blockading their approach, keeping a Confeder-ate flag. the consequent melee left Kinison fatally stabbed, and 6 months later, Hong stood on trial for homicide. throughout the court cases, Hong used to be requested why he had fought so challenging. He answered, 'I simply knew i did not are looking to turn out like that man in Texas,' touching on James Byrd, the black guy dragged to his dying by means of white supremacists in Jasper, Texas, in 1998. David Neiwert makes use of Hong's case to discover the myths sur-round-ing hate crimes, delineating what's and isn't a 'hate crime,' and divulges the patchwork nature of federal and kingdom hate-crime legislation and their enforcement.
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Extra resources for Death on the Fourth of July: The Story of a Killing, a Trial, and Hate Crime in America
Finally, frustrated by the inaction of local law enforcement to take concrete steps against the local whites, the Asian American groups raised the stakes to another level. On October 2, they released to the press a letter they had jointly sent to the Seattle FBI seeking help from the agency in the case. The letter made front-page news in both the Seattle Times and the Post-Intelligencer and was a top story on several of the city’s TV newscasts that night. Leading the charge were the JACL and the Asian Bar Association, both of which questioned not only the inaction of Ocean Shores law enforcement before the incident, but the town’s seeming willingness to rally in sympathy of someone who had been involved in what clearly appeared to be a hate crime.
The question brought mixed responses. ” 36 / D E AT H O N T H E F O U RT H O F J U LY By the day’s end, they had managed to whittle the list down to a jury of twelve people, with two alternates in reserve. The ﬁnal list was a reasonable cross section of the community: an oyster-dredge operator, a retired funeral-home owner, a couple of homemakers, local businessmen. A genial, white-haired former Aberdeen High chemistry teacher, Gene Schermer, was chosen as the jury foreman. One of the ﬁve jurors to raise her hand indicating she was a minority was among them, as was one of the two alternates.
An Olympia group calling itself the local chapter of David Duke’s National Organization for European American Rights (NO FEAR) denounced the prosecution’s decision not to pursue charges against Hung Hong. “This is an outrage,” said David Jensen, the group’s leader, in a press release. “This man is walking the streets today and being treated like a victim because he is an Asian American and Kinison—supposedly—used a racial slur. ” Jensen spouted off to reporters as well: “I know what’s right and what’s wrong, and so far I have seen a violation of [Kinison’s] rights,” he told the Seattle PostIntelligencer, hinting that David Duke himself might come to Washington State to observe the trial.
Death on the Fourth of July: The Story of a Killing, a Trial, and Hate Crime in America by David Neiwert