Things That Matter

A White Man In Vermont Was Arrested For Exposing Himself To A Latino Family While Telling Them To ‘Go Back’

As our surprise continues to lessen to hear reports of hate crimes like this, our nausea just seems to rise. The forecast for hate crimes isn’t showing any signs of relief anytime soon. Recent FBI data shows an increase in hate crimes by 22 percent in the last few years–a sharp turn from the years-long decrease in hate crimes. In 2017, Vermont saw nearly three times as many hate crimes report than it did in 2013. Only Wyoming and Georgia beat Bernie Sander’s home state in the number of hate crimes.

The most recent incident is traumatizing on several levels. Stuart Rollins, a 58-year-old man from Barre, Vermont allegedly stood outside a Latino family’s home, pulled down his pants and exposed his genitals to them and their 3-year-old child while shouting, “Go back to your country!”

Sturat Rallins, 58, has pleaded not guilty to a felony count and several misdemeanor counts.

Credit: @MrsVTInternat15 / Twitter

He pleaded “not guilty” in Washington County Superior Criminal Court to a felony count of lewd and lascivious conduct, several misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct, mischief and criminal threatening. Two of those misdemeanor counts include hate crime enhancements. 

Barre City Police released a summarized report that said they initially responded to a reported fight on Hillside Avenue in Barre at 2:48 p.m. Monday. They arrived at the scene to take witness reports but were called back at 4:11 p.m. when Rollins allegedly pulled down his pants and exposed himself to a Latino family and their 3-year-old child.

Witnesses said he was yelling “Go back to Mexico,” as he flashed the family.

Credit: @notcomey / Twitter

The police weren’t able to locate Rollins until the next morning but took down some interesting witness statements. That day, Rollins had also been reportedly standing in the middle of the road, laughing and telling a woman and her mother-in-law- in their flower garden that he forgot something. Then, he dropped his pants and flashed them all. The woman told police that he was “saying things about Mexicans,” as he walked away back to his home. 

Rollins also allegedly called a woman a “f***ing Spanish b*tch” as he threatened to set her and her house on fire. He was released on bail.

Credit: @H0t31y0rb4 / Twitter

Rollins did admit to police that he knocked down the family’s mailbox because he alleges that a man in the family had assaulted him. Washington County State’s Attorney Rory Thibault asked for a $5,000 secured appearance bond with a $500 deposit be imposed for bail. Rollins was released on conditions that he follows a curfew and stays away from witnesses in his case–all of whom are his direct neighbors.

If convicted of all charges, Rollins would go to prison for 10 years.

Credit: @BeRightWithGod / Twitter

Meanwhile, some people are defending Rollins’ hate speech as protected by the first amendment. According to @BeRightWithGod, Rollins’ telling the family to “go back to Mexico” and calling a woman a “f***ing Spanish bitch” while threatening to set her on fire is just free speech. This Twitter user is wrong. It is perfectly legal to fire an employee for telling a co-worker to “go back to your country” on the grounds of discrimination.

Some are pointing to Trump’s own rhetoric for the rise in hate crimes. Others think this police-reported incident is “propaganda.”

Credit: @eleuther0mania_ / Twitter

We can confirm that the details of this incident are directly from police reports and local news coverage. While there have been no direct links between Rollins’ choice of words and Trump’s very similar rhetoric, the rise in hate crimes against Latinos has skyrocketed since Trump’s 2016 campaign. 

Others are calling on headlines to reflect the racial identity of the alleged assailant, just as they would if he was black or brown.

Credit: @PAVH48 / Twitter

Newsweek‘s headline read, “Barre man accused of harassing Hispanic family faces hate crime charges.” In a growing demand that the media address the common denominator of hate crimes being primarily white men, some are calling the outlets out on Twitter. A white man allegedly sexually violated the sense of safety for an entire Latino family among others and did so while spewing anti-Latino slurs. This is America.

READ: A Black Woman And Her Fiancé Sadly Had Their Proposal Interrupted By Racists Who Refused To Check White Customers

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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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Here’s How You Can Help Daunte Wright’s Family After He Was Killed By Police

Things That Matter

Here’s How You Can Help Daunte Wright’s Family After He Was Killed By Police

Police have taken another Black man’s life, this time it’s 20-year-old Daunte Wright. Protests have broken out in cities across the country as the nation reacts to the killing of yet another young Black man.

But as the nation reacts to the murder, Wright’s family – his mother and child – need all the support they can get right now and thankfully there are many ways that we can all be better allies while helping support the family that Wright leaves behind.

Daunte Wright is the third high-profile police murder in Minneapolis.

Daunte Wright was driving to his older brother’s house with his girlfriend on Sunday afternoon, when police pulled him over for expired tags. Police said they found an existing warrant for Wright’s arrest and attempted to handcuff him.

Bodycam footage revealed Officer Kim Potter shot Wright when she claimed to be reaching for her taser. He died on the scene, just 10 miles from where former police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for the death of George Floyd.

According to CNN, Daunte’s death is at least the third high-profile death of a Black man at the hands of police in Minnesota in the last five years. And Daunte Wright’s death comes less than a year after the police killing of George Floyd, which sparked protests around the world.

Daunte Wright leaves behind a family still struggling with such an immense loss.

Daunte’s mother, Katie Wright, spoke out about the fear he experienced before his death. Daunte called her after the police pulled him over, at the suggestion of his older brother. “I know my son was scared. He’s afraid of the police, and I just seen and heard the fear in his voice. But I don’t know why, and it should have never escalated the way it did,” Katie told Good Morning America on April 13.

According to Katie, Daunte believed he was getting pulled over for his hanging air fresheners, then she heard “scuffling” and an officer told him to hang up the phone. “I tried to call back three, four times and the girl that was with him answered the phone and she said that they shot him and he was lying in the driver’s seat unresponsive.”

If you’d like to help support Daunte’s family and demand justice, below are a few resources and action items:

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