"Bloomington, Indiana: United and Ready to Respond to Hate" is part of the Not In Our Town program, Class Actions, that premieres nationwide on PBS stations in February 2012. When a string of anti-Semitic acts rocked the college town of Bloomington, Ind. just before Hanukkah in 2010, the town knew how to respond. Bloomington’s quick and supportive response from the city’s university, police, city, and community leaders comes from experience. The community group Bloomington United was first brought together by the mayor when former Indiana University student and white supremacist Ben Smith started spreading white supremacist and anti-Semitic flyers around town. Several months later, Korean doctoral student Won-Joon Yoon was fatally shot on his way to Bloomington’s Korean Methodist Church, the last killing during Smith’s two-state shooting spree.
"An attack against one person in our community is an attack against all of us." It's a common feeling among Not In Our Town leaders and it was also the message from San Jose City Councilwoman Rose Herrera, speaking at a press conference yesterday.
Photo source: Concord, NH Police Department. While racist graffiti scribbled on the homes of three Concord families was meant to hurt and intimidate the refugee population of New Hampshire’s capital city, residents united immediately in an ongoing effort to show that everyone is welcome and safe in their community. The hate messages were discovered on Sept. 18 and targeted refugee families who are originally from Africa. The incident has been labeled a hate crime by police and is being investigated by the New Hampshire attorney general’s office, according to the Boston Globe.
It is said that there is power in numbers, but when an increasing number of injustices were committed in Hayden Lake, Idaho, it was a small group of concerned citizens that stunted the growth of an American Nazi movement. Three decades later, the story of the campaign for human rights that brought down the Aryan Nations--a once powerful organizing force that incorporated a white supremacist ideology with a frightening mix of anti-Semitism, racism, and Christianity--is now told in a one-hour documentary, The Color of Conscience. (To watch the full-length documentary, click here.) Director Jay Krajic (left) and producer Marcia Franklin pose with two of the founding members of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human relations,
The apparent racially-motivated killing of a black man in Jackson, Mississippi on June 26 has gained national attention after CNN recently released surveillance video of white teens beating and then running over the man with their pick-up truck. While the footage is shocking, it didn’t surprise all who watched it. Pastor Brian Richardson of Castlewoods Baptist Church in Brandon, Mississippi said that beginning in 2008 his son was bullied by Deryl Dedmon, the same teenager reported to have run over and killed James Craig Anderson, a 49-year old auto worker. Richardson said that after his son was tormented, he alerted the school district and police to his concern that Dedmon could end up taking a life.
A slow and beautiful melody streams from Robert Bruey’s acoustic guitar as he steps up to the microphone. He clears his throat, and addresses the mourning crowd surrounding him. “I wrote this song after I heard about this [...] historical inaccuracy,” said the Long Island musician in a somber tone. “Marcelo didn’t run.” Clear and full of warmth, Bruey’s earthy voice transcends the silence at the vigil held on this biting cold November afternoon. Robert Bruey performs "Perdoname Hermano" at vigil on November 7, 2010, two years after Marcelo Lucero's death.
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and San Francisco Assistant District Attorney Victor Hwang speak to hate crime victims and the larger community.
Marcelo Lucero's killer, Jeffrey Conroy, was convicted of manslaughter as a hate crime today in Suffolk County, NY. In these videos, Joselo Lucero describes what it has felt like for him and his family to live through the hearings and trials of the defendants charged with the hate-based killing of his brother. Since the tragic killing of Marcelo Lucero, Not In Our Town has been following the community of Patchogue, NY as it deals with issues of race, immigration, hate and intolerance. The upcoming feature documentary, Not In Our Town III, chronicles the efforts of Patchogue's diverse residents and leaders as they grapple with the aftereffects of the murder and begin to take action to make their community safe for everyone.
NEW VIDEO: "JOSELO'S JOURNEY, PART 1" What if you had to listen to the details of your brother's murder, over and over again? That's what Joselo Lucero is going through, as he sits in the Long Island courtrooms where 19-year-old Jeffrey Conroy is now standing trial for the murder of Joselo's brother, Marcelo. Marcelo Lucero, an immigrant from Ecuador, was attacked and stabbed to death in the small town of Patchogue, N.Y. in a hate crime assault in November 2008. Seven local teenagers were charged in the attack. Today one of the assailants, testifying against Conroy, the only teen charged with murder, said the seven teens often went "beaner hopping," which he described to the court as “it’s when you go out and look for Hispanics to beat up.” The community of Patchogue and Latino leaders are working to address the safety concerns of immigrants in the aftermath of the crime.
March 1, 2010 Report Hate Violence and Community Responses This week: Davis, CA; Montgomery, AL; Austin, TX; West Hanks, NS; San Antonio, TX; San Francisco, CA; Natchitoches, LA; Buffalo, NY