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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Iowa Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Hate Crime Charges After Running Over Latino and Black Children With Her Car

Things That Matter

Iowa Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Hate Crime Charges After Running Over Latino and Black Children With Her Car

Photo: Polk County Jail via Associated Press

On Wednesday, an Iowa woman pled guilty to federal hate crime charges. The woman, 43-year-old Nicole Poole Franklin, intentionally hit a 12-year-old Black boy and a 14-year-old Latina with her car in 2019. The charges include two counts of violating the U.S Hate Crime Act, as Poole Franklin intended to kill the victims because of their ethnicity.

Nicole Poole Franklin admitted to authorities that she targeted the girl because she thought she looked “Mexican”. She thought the boy was an Islamic terrorist.

As part of her defense, Poole Franklin is claiming that she suffers from schizophrenia and PTSD. Since her arrest, she admitted to police officers that she smoked meth before going on her hate-filled rampage.

The incident, which happened in December of 2019, struck fear into the hearts of communities of color in Des Moines, Iowa, where the hate crimes took place. “Anytime things happen to any minority, people are concerned about what happened,” said Joe Gonzalez, the executive director of Latino Resources Inc. in Iowa. “It was a horrific thing and people were concerned — especially people of color.”

When Nicole Poole Franklin ran over the children, she injured the boy’s leg. The girl, Natalia Miranda, was knocked unconscious and hospitalized for two days.

Natalia Miranda was walking to junior high school on December 9, 2019, when Poole Franklin ran her down on the side walk. Miranda was unconscious for 40 minutes before she woke up and walked to school, where she alerted the authorities.

Natalia Miranda says she remembers the car speeding towards her, but she doesn’t remember being hit. “I was in the hospital and I tried moving, and I couldn’t get out of my bed,” the 14-year-old told KCCI. “Sitting up was the worst pain I’ve ever felt.”

As of now, prosecutors are recommending that Nicole Poole Franklin serve 27 years behind bars.

Poole Franklin is also looking at two charges of attempted murder–both of which could carry up to 25 years each. Prosecutors are recommending that she serves all of the jailtime–state and federal–at the same time.

Here’s to hoping that the justice system does what is right and puts Nicole Poole Franklin behind bars for a long time–if only to save the lives of innocent children of color whose only crime is walking down the street.

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A 70-Year-Old Mexican-American Woman Was Attacked Because Her Assailant Thought She Was Asian

Things That Matter

A 70-Year-Old Mexican-American Woman Was Attacked Because Her Assailant Thought She Was Asian

Photo via @the_asian_dawn/Instagram

In another incident that highlights the anti-Asian sentiment that is on the rise in recent months, a 70-year-old California woman was attacked in Eagle Rock, earlier this month. According to news reports, a young woman attacked her while she was exiting the bus to pick up groceries.

The elderly woman, who goes by Becky, is Mexican-American. But her attacker yelled an anti-Asian slur at her before physically assaulting her.

According to AAPI news site Asian Dawn, Becky’s attacker was a 23-year-old woman who was also riding the bus with her. The woman did nothing to provoke the attack. The young woman ended up dragging the older woman from the back of the bus to the front of the bus. Becky ended up in the hospital with a broken nose, a concussion, two severely swollen eyes, and chunks of her hair torn from her head.

According to Becky’s son, who only goes by Pete, while the family are Mexican-American, people often mistake their family for being of Asian descent. According to Pete, no one intervened to stop the young woman from attacking his mother.

“Nobody would help. Not even the bus driver,” the woman’s son told The Eastsider.

Finally, the young woman stopped her attack after a fellow passenger called 911. The police were able to apprehend the young woman after issuing a bulletin for her arrest.

According to Pete, his mother has a long road of recovery ahead of her. Already suffering from lupus and arthritis, her mother is having trouble walking. Her leg is badly bruised from the assault.

The fact that the victim was Mexican-American serves to illustrate how ignorant and hateful these racist attacks are. There is no rhyme or reason to hate.

Many are linking the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the virus originated in Wuhan, China. The violent racists that have been attacking people who appear to be of Asian descent believe that Asian-Americans are somehow personally responsible for the pandemic.

If you to support the #StopAsianHate cause, donate to organizations like gofundme.com/AAPI or the Asian American Legal defense fund here.

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