Things That Matter

Video Of A Racist White Woman Violently Attacking A Black Hotel Worker Has Gone Viral And It’s Shocking

A worker at City Club Hotel in New York City, says a customer went on a racist tirade, eventually physically assaulting her. Linda Shell, who was at the front desk, asked to see Michell Rajacic’s ID after she began angrily demanding a room key according to a lawsuit filed with the Manhattan Supreme Court. 

Video footage seemed to confirm Shell’s allegations. The video shows Rajacic calling Shell, “n—-r,” “dirty f–king raunchy skank,” “dirty f–king hood rat,” “f–king ghetto ass,” among other horrible names. Rajacic spat on, then assaulted Shell, according to the lawsuit. 

Rajacic hit Shell in the face with a cell phone, the lawsuit alleges.

“I have my f—–g ID you f—–g piece of sh-t,” Rajacic yells slamming what looks like a credit card on the desk. 

When Shell tells her a visa card is not a valid form of ID and refuses to give her a key until she shows her one, Rajacic gets more belligerent. 

“I know, it’s just my f—–g name and it’s on the f—–g room,” Rajacic shouts in the video. “I know your f—–g ghetto ass may not know. I’m paying you for your f—–g job … actually my boyfriend’s f–king family pays you.”

After Rajacic called Shell a ton of racial slurs and claimed her boyfriend paid Shell’s salary, Rajacic began to get physical.

“After, she kept spitting. I was getting more upset because that is the lowest thing you can do to someone. I said, ‘OK, ma’am, it’s time for you to go,’” Shell told the New York Post.

Shell began to escort the disgruntled customer towards the front desk, that’s when things further escalated. 

“I grabbed her arm and started leading her to the front desk. She then broke her cellphone across my face,” Shell said.

Shell is a transplant from Savannah, Georgia. The 36-year-old was shocked that something like this would happen up North, being from the Deep South she had hoped she was leaving all of that behind. 

“When it comes to anything racial, you have a better chance of it happening down south than up north. I never in my life thought I would have to experience that up here. That’s why I moved here,” Shell said.

Shell is suing Rajacic for unspecified damages. The case is sealed and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office would not comment. Fortunately, Shell has already one this battle in criminal court, which may help her case in civil court.

“Defendant spit on Plaintiff and then assaulted, battered, and attacked the Plaintiff, and used physical force without cause or justification and without Plaintiff’s consent,” the lawsuit claims.

City Club Hotel appears to be siding with Rajacic for some reason.

“While Ms. Shell demonstrated noble restraint in the face of such bigotry, what she was forced to endure should not, and will not, be tolerated,” Shell’s lawyer, John Tait told the New York Post. “We will fight to ensure that Ms. Rajacic is held to account for her actions.”

When the incident happened, police arrested Rajacic and she was eventually convicted of third-degree assault. However, when Rajacic got out of jail City Club Hotel gave her a free room. Shell was so horrified, she quit her job. 

“I told them I could no longer work there, because my safety is no longer important to them,” Shell said.

Joshua Barbee, the City Club Hotel general manager, told the New York Post he had no idea about the incident. 

“This is the first we are learning of this litigation,” Barbee told the New York Post. “The claims being made regarding the hotel are completely incorrect. With that said, since this is pending litigation, we will have no further comment.”

Hate crimes continue to soar in the era of Trump.

The FBI reported that violent hate crimes have begun to soar, accounting for 61 percent of all hate crimes, during the Trump era. In 2018, hate crimes increased specifically for Latinx and LGBT members, however, black people are the most frequently attacked group. 

“We’re seeing a leaner and meaner type of hate crime going on,” Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University San Bernardino, told NPR. “Homicides were up and crimes against persons were up and that’s an important thing to look at.”

Shell appears to be another victim of emboldened racism in the Trump administration’s era of “us against them,” rhetoric. The only silver lining to the continued trauma of people of color is the ubiquitousness of cameras that often vindicate the typically disbelieved — with various results in regard to real justice. 

Maya Berry, executive director of the Arab American Institute said of the upward trend in hate crimes, “The Trump administration has advanced policies, and the president has trafficked in rhetoric, targeting the same communities that have also experienced a surge of hate violence.”

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A Florida Doctor Is Being Charged with a Hate Crime After Assaulting a Latino Man at a Supermarket

Things That Matter

A Florida Doctor Is Being Charged with a Hate Crime After Assaulting a Latino Man at a Supermarket

Photos via MIAMI-DADE CORRECTIONS, Getty Images

It’s an unfortunate reality that Latinos face immense amounts of racism in America. Case in point: a Florida doctor is facing hate crime charges after assaulting a Latino man at a supermarket.

According to police, a 58-year-old woman followed a Latino man out to the parking lot, keyed his car, smashed his phone, and punched him–all the while hurling racially-charged insults at him.

The altercation happened on Jan. 20th at a Publix supermarket in Hialeah, Florida–a town with a large Latino population. It all started when the victim, an unnamed Latino man, asked Dr. Jennifer Susan Wright to maintain social distancing in Spanish. After she ignored him, the man repeated the question in English.

It was at this point that Dr. Wright, who is an anesthesiologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center, became incensed and began muttering curse words under her breath. After the man left the grocery store, Dr. Wright followed him out to the parking lot.

She began to verbally berate him, calling him a “spic” and telling him “we should have gotten rid of you when we could.”

According to the police report, she also said: “This is not going to be Biden’s America, this is my America.” The woman then took her keys out an began to “stab the victim’s vehicle with her keys” while telling him to “go back to his country”.

The man took out his phone to call 911 and the woman allegedly punched him, causing him to drop his phone. When he bent over to pick his phone up, she allegedly kicked him and tried to stomp on his phone.

The woman fled before the police came, but she was arrested on Feb 12th at her home in Miami Springs.

The woman was initially charged with tampering with a victim, criminal mischief and battery with prejudice. The “hate crime” charge was later added, elevating the crime to a felony.

According to reports, Wright posted her $1000 bail and is now awaiting trial. Mount Sinai Medical Center released a statement saying that Dr. Wright is “no longer responsible for patient care” after assaulting a Latino man.

According to the Miami Herald, neighbors know Dr. Jennifer Wright as an ardent Trump supporter. Her social media pages are riddled with far-right, Pro-Trump memes and photos of her posing in a MAGA hat. She even uploaded a post that read: “It’s Okay To Be White.”

We can all agree that it’s “okay” to be white. It’s okay to be any race. We cannot, however, all agree that it’s okay to be a violent, racist bigot. We hope the victim has recovered and we hope Jennifer Wright will face justice.

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Arizona Congresswoman Says That Hispanics Are ‘Good Workers’ But Shouldn’t Get Vaccines Before ‘American Citizens’

Things That Matter

Arizona Congresswoman Says That Hispanics Are ‘Good Workers’ But Shouldn’t Get Vaccines Before ‘American Citizens’

Photo via Getty Images

Coronavirus infection rates are falling drastically, but a new debate rages on: how to quickly, effectively, and ethically distribute vaccines to as many people as possible.

Last week, Arizona Congresswoman Debbie Lesko stated that Hispanic people–despite being “good workers”–shouldn’t get vaccinated before “American citizens”.

“I worked with people that are Hispanic,” Rep. Lesko said “I mean they’re very good workers…We’re compassionate people, but for goodness sakes, we have to take care of American citizens, or people that are here legally, first.”

She continued: “I’m just not going to be able to explain to my senior citizens that we’re giving away the vaccines to people that (are) here illegally. I just think that’s totally wrong.”

“My Democratic colleagues are putting illegal immigrants over them,” Lesko said during the hearing. “If I read it right, all this amendment says is put Americans first. Put Americans first, and once they’re all vaccinated, then you can go to the illegal immigrants.”

The statement was made during a House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing where representatives were debating an amendment to a COVID-19 relief bill.

The Republican amendment suggested prioritizing American citizens over non-citizens when it comes to getting vaccinated first. Democrats argued that purposefully excluding non-citizens from getting vaccinated would keep the virus from being properly contained.

“The vaccine has no clue about where you come from, whether you have papers, whether you’re considered a citizen or legal or not,” said Democratic Congresswoman from Illinois, Jan Schakowsky. “It makes no sense. This is dangerous.”

Arizona State Senator Martin Quezada told NBC News that Lesko’s statement “reeks of racism.”

“There are a lot of people of color in her district and for her to be disconnected and really that offensive about how she sees us, as nothing more than good workers and not entitled to equitable vaccine distribution,” he said.

When asked about her remarks, Rep. Lesko defend them to political outlet The Hill: “Taken in context, my remarks clearly were aimed at ensuring that seniors receive taxpayer-funded vaccines before illegal immigrants,” she said. “During debate on the amendment, after being interrupted several times, I said something that could be misinterpreted, but it certainly was not my intent.”

But it seems that it this point, Lesko is trying to do damage control. Just today, she tweeted out a picture of the local “Hispanic Advisory Board”, accompanied by a caption written completely in Spanish.

“Estoy orgullosa por el lanzamiento de nuestra Junta Asesora Hispana, la primera reunión fue anoche,” the tweet read. “Esta se enfocará en las maneras en que podemos servir mejor a los miembros de nuestra comunidad Hispana en Arizona!” (“I am proud of the launch of our Hispanic Advisory Board, the first meeting was last night. It will focus on ways we can better serve members of our Hispanic community in Arizona!“)

Serving a state that is 30% Hispanic, it seems like Lesko may now be regretting her previous comments…

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