Residents of Sacramento, Calif., are trying to figure out who is behind a terrifying and threatening letter targeting minorities that was left on car windows. The letter, signed by a well-known white supremacist, calls for the kidnapping, robbing, torturing and execution of all Muslims and Latinos.
Residents of Sacramento received an unwanted gift under their car windshield wipers on May 3: This racist call to war.
Although the Sacramento police have stated that this “deplorable and despicable” language is protected speech, they are still investigating the matter and are looking for any law that might have been broken in the distribution of the hate-filled message.
According to the hateful letter, all “peaceful legal remedies” to end the “genocide of white people by both Islam and Mexico” have been exhausted.
“I’ve been living here six years, we have all kinds of crazy, but this is a different level of crazy,” Denise Calderon, a community activist, told The Sacramento Bee. “It makes me very angry because this was left overnight, so our kids saw this before going to school.”
^^ Every Muslim and Latino reaction when hearing of this letter. ? The Sacramento police are currently investigating the issue and are looking to locate the person responsible for the letters.
The letter was signed with the name of Greg Withrow, a white supremacist with a long history of doing crazy things to further his cause. In 2005, Withrow tried to crucify himself twice as a means to protest the Iraq War, and to demand that white supremacists be released from prison, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that tracks and hate groups. Still, as previously mentioned, the authorities don’t know who was responsible for the letters.
Dolores Huerta is one of the best-known and relentless labor organizers in the U.S. Her career fighting for workers’ rights spans decades and her work is nowhere near done. Today, the 89-year-old activist was detained while protesting the treatment of In-House Supportive System workers in Fresno County who have been negotiating a pay raise for years. Here’s what went down during the Board of Supervisors meeting at the Fresno County Hall of Records.
Dolores Huerta kept her chin up in defiance as she was escorted, in plastic handcuffs, from a Board of Supervisors meeting in Fresno County.
According to the Fresno Bee, Huerta was one of several protesters demanding that the Fresno Board of Supervisors approve a respectable raise for In-Home Supportive System (IHSS) employees.
The IHSS program “helps elderly, blind and disabled people to safely remain in their own homes when they are not able to fully care for themselves or handle routine household tasks,” reads the website. “IHSS encourages independence and self-reliance, when possible, and is an alternative to out-of-home care in institutions or nursing facilities.”
IHSS employees offer clients services like housekeeping, meal prep, laundry, bathing, and accompanying patients to medical appointments, to name a few.
Huerta and other protesters filled the Fresno County Hall of Records to voice their demands to those making the decisions.
According to the Fresno Bee, the IHSS workers currently make the minimum wage, which is set at $12 an hour. The labor union has been negotiating a pay raise for the workers for years and the Fresno Board of Supervisors was set to approve a 10-cent per hour raise. That is what sparked the protest demanding a proper wage increase.
According to the Fresno Bee, more than 17,000 people in Fresno County rely on caregivers and that number is expected to reach 106,000 by 2030.
People are absolutely celebrating the activist for her unapologetic stance for laborers.
Huerta co-founded the National Farmworkers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers, back in in 1962 and used her activist knowledge to fight for better working conditions for farmworkers in Delano, California. Since then, Huerta has been an example of activism and her fight for the most vulnerable in the employment community has continued.
Her reputation as a strong woman has become an irrefutable characteristic of the activist.
Señora Chingona, indeed. Huerta has been arrested several times as part of her activism. She has even used her voice and name to fight for what she thinks is right in politics. Her activism was on full display during the 2016 elections as people mobilized to fight for the Latino community.
The protesters at the Fresno Board of Supervisors meeting today were optimistic about their ability to exact change.
Protesters joyfully chanted, “We believe we can win” and “Hey, hey, ho, ho, poverty wages have got to go.” The protesters were effective in getting the attention of the board. The protest was disruptive enough that the meeting was recessed for 10 minutes just 30 seconds after they began chanting. The Fresno Bee called the protest ill-timed but the protesters knew they had the attention of those in charge.
“They are finalizing the budget in September. We want to make sure they put us in the budget for a wage increase,” organizer Ua Lugo told the Fresno Bee. “So today is very important.”
Despite numerous people being detained, the protesters continued in their fight.
“It should not come to this. It should not come to this,” protester Martha Valladarez told the Fresno Bee about caring for her daughter with Down Syndrome while officers placed plastic cuffs on her. “They have no idea the love that we have for our family members.”
Huerta was released shortly after being detained and she was greeted with a cheering crowd for her willingness to keep protesting.
What do you think about Dolores Huerta being detained for her protest in Fresno?
Officers P. Brosch and A. Smith arrested Donald Neely, a 43-year-old Black man, for alleged trespassing in Galveston, Texas. The officers then handcuffed Neely, tied a blue rope to his handcuffs, and used the rope as a leash as they forced him to be dog walked in his own neighborhood to the staging area for the Mounted Patrol Unit. Witnesses took photos of the incident and released them to the public, prompting an outcry over the dehumanization of the man.
The two officers involved in the incident will not face a criminal investigation, according to Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset.
“My officers did not have any malicious intent at the time of the arrest, but we have immediately changed the policy to prevent the use of this technique and will review all mounted training and procedures for more appropriate methods,” Police Chief Vernon Hale said in a statement.
According to CNN, the officers were following policy when it came to arresting by horseback officers. While a criminal investigation is not happening, there is an investigation being conducted on the county level. The investigation, however, is not into the incident, but rather an investigation in the police forces’ policies.
The visceral effect of the image is rooted in the use of this “technique” to capture and enslave Black people in the antebellum south.
In a Facebook post, Texas’ Galveston Police Department included this statement:
“Although this is a trained technique and best practice in some scenarios, I believe our officers showed poor judgment in this instance and could have waited for a transport unit at the location of the arrest. My officers did not have any malicious intent at the time of the arrest, but we have immediately changed the policy to prevent the use of this technique and will review all mounted training and procedures for more appropriate methods.”
Neely’s family attorney, Melissa Morris, says that Neely is mentally ill and homeless.
Morris told KPRC that Neely lived a normal life as the father of eight children until he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder ten years ago. His family had been looking for him for the last three or four years. When Neely’s sister saw his image go viral, she immediately drove to Galveston to find him.
The Galveston Police Chief Vernon L. Hale III has since released a statement, saying “First and foremost I must apologize to Mister Neely for this unnecessary embarrassment.” Hale has confirmed that this is a commonplace technique that “is considered a best practice in certain scenarios, such as during crowd control, the practice was not the correct use for this instance.” The police department has discontinued the use of the “technique.”
“The family is offended. The family is upset,” Morris told KPRC.
“I believe the way they handled him was disgusting,” Morris told the Texas station. “No puedo con esta mierda. Me mudo. Me vomito,” comments one Twitter user.
The police officers have received no consequences for their “poor judgment” at the time of this publication.
In 2014, Dontre Hamilton, a mentally ill Black man, was shot 14 times by police, though he was unarmed. Some people are calling on the police department to “fire them!” Another Twitter user feels the apology is “Not enough. Officers Brosch and Smith should be ID’d in full and then fired. If the #Galveston Police department treat a Black man like this for a misdemeanor, who knows what savage acts they would commit for a felony.”
Meanwhile, people are showing the treatment of the El Paso shooter who killed 22 people in comparison to a Black man arrested for trespassing.
President of the Galveston Coalition for Justice, Leon Phillips, told the Houston Chronicle, “All I know is that these are two white police officers on horseback with a Black man walking him down the street with a rope tied to the handcuffs, and that’s doesn’t make sense, period. And I do understand this —if it was a white man, I guarantee it wouldn’t have happened.”
For some, the photo is further proof of the injustices Black men and women face when dealing with law enforcement.
“Tell me again how racism is dead and that we Black folk just overreact to everything? Don’t worry I’ll wait,” tweets @luvwinsresist. Unfortunately, she didn’t have to wait long.
Nearly half the social media outrage to the photo comes from folks who claim the law is color blind.
They seem to be angry that anyone could suggest that race played a role in the way Neely was treated. Photos of other non-Black suspects under arrest by cops on horseback are being circulated. None of the photos we scoured found the use of a rope to function as a leash.
People of color are expending their energy on explaining racism to white folks all over the Internet this week.
After one Twitter user asked if anyone would care if they were Black cops dragging a Black man, Monica Charley chimed in to say, “Yes. I would care. I would care very much. The difference here is that the incident harkens to an earlier era during slavery when this actual act was commonplace for captured slaves. That is the reason for the extreme upset. I hope this clarifies things for you.”
The user responded using “they” language, and once again erasing the anger of Black folks as oversensitive.
Take care of yourselves out there, mi gente.
This week has been pesado in ways we couldn’t even imagine. Take care not to give away precious joules of energy to people who aren’t worthy. Our community has your back.