MAN ARRESTED AFTER ASSAULTING HEBREW SPEAKING MEN FOR THINKING THEY WERE SPEAKING “SPANISH”
A Wisconsin man is under arrest after allegedly punching two men he thought were speaking Spanish. The two men were actually speaking Hebrew, although either way he is being charged with a hate crime.
Dylan Grall walked up to the two men around 2 a.m. in Janesville, Wisconsin after hearing them speaking to each other in Hebrew. He allegedly swore at the two and demanded that they speak English. When the two men didn’t, Grall punched both of the men in the face. One was knocked to the ground, while the other suffered a black eye.
Grall denies hitting the men but does admit that he told them to speak English. He told police that he thought the two were speaking Spanish. A witness at the scene refutes Grall’s denial, saying the man punched the two.
Grall was arrested on two charges of battery with a hate crime enhancer.
This is the latest in a troubling number of hate crimes being committed on people who have been incorrectly stereotyped. Obviously, a hate crime perpetuated on any person is both unacceptable and abhorrent, but the fact that the offenders are so ignorant as to not even know which group it is they are attacking is especially tragic.
Unfortunately, it’s also a incident that happens fairly frequently. In late 2012, for example, Erika Menendez was arrested for pushing a man she believed to be either a Muslim or Hindu (a religion in which she mistakenly blamed as being connected to 9/11) to his death:
In a statement, Mr. Brown quoted Ms. Menendez, “in sum and substance,” as having told the police: “I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers I’ve been beating them up.” Ms. Menendez conflated the Muslim and Hindu faiths in her comments to the police and in her target for attack, officials said.
President Obama has recently said that immigration reform is a new priority for the administration. This has led to dormant tempers flaring as people gear up for another lengthy debate over how best to deal with the issue. While it’s impossible to say what Grall’s motive was for accosting people for simply speaking Spanish, Hispanophobia is a very real phenomenon.
While it’s still too soon to see what data for this year says, in 2008 during another debate over immigration, the Southern Poverty Law Center – which tracks hate crimes, showed that anti-immigrant rhetoric can be tied to increase hate crimes:
The number of hate groups in the country rose last year to 888, up from 844 in 2006 and 602 in 2000.
The report “The Year in Hate” said the increase was fueled by anti-immigration rhetoric. Among the groups listed by SPLC as an organization based on hate is the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a well-known advocacy group whose leaders have testified before Congress about ending illegal immigration and restricting legal immigration.
“We’ve seen a remarkable growth in hate groups in the last six or seven years and it seems anecdotally clear that the growth is driven by the immigration debate in this county,” said Mark Potok, the director of the center’s Intelligence Project. “Virtually all the old line hate groups have turned their attention almost entirely to illegal immigration.”
i read this article this morning, and it made me sick to my core! the “american” fundamental nationalists who believe in the idea that the united states is god’s country and only select ppls should be able to reside here, those select ppls being white and rich, tear down the only good quality this nation has-diversity.
living in the southern region of the us, i get to hear anti-immigration speech all the time. it is an everyday occurrence. i go to the walmart and see the very white cashier roll her eyes at the very brown mexican man speaking to his friend in spanish, and i shutter. you can almost see her the slurs written on her face while she speaks louder and louder to them, as if this is going to help the language barrier bc being a spanish speaking person is simply a matter of not being able to hear the english speaking person correctly. when the mexican man has left the line and is almost out of ear shot the white woman will look up and see a white face, someone of her own kind, and say “if they are going to come and take our jobs, they could at least speak english!!!” really i am the wrong person to have this conversation with! before european colonialist invaded this country there were hundreds of nations living on this land, each speaking their own language, none of which was english or in the latin family at all!
so whitey came over here and took control bc that is what we do. we conquer the “uncivilized savages” giving their godless lives something to live for or we kill them. ok so now we are a few centuries down the line and we have this big statue that has an engraved plaque saying:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
(written by emma lazarus in 1883)
we boast being founded by those unable or unwilling to live under the rulership of kings and dictators. we are a nation of immigrants. a diverse multicultural oasis in the world. yup that is what we promise.
these days we build fences to keep ppl out of our country, well, brown ppl out of our country. “they take our jobs bc they will work for half of what we will work for!” that is the battlecry of the rightwing nationalists.
in the article the thing that hit home the hardest was the fact that this fella was ok w punching ppl for speaking spanish, and yet a bit more uncomfortable with punching them for speaking hebrew. what the hell does it matter? what does the language they were speaking have anything to do with their validity of humanity? give me a break!
this is not an isolated incident. ppl run around attacking “minorities” all the time. arizona passed law to make it legal to racially profile brown ppl, pulling them over and demanding to see their paperwork proving they are here legally. we have ppl being attacked for being too muslim or too jewish or too hispanic or too black. we have a hate group for everyday of the week. most of this comes from the ppl of european decent and i hate to point out the obvious but….we are the intruders. the whole concept of “go back to where you came from” applies to us first!
i have known native americans that were attacked for not being american. i have seen muslims spit on while praying. i have heard those paid with our tax dollars to represent us call any and all ppl of hispanic decent “illegals”. i have seen ppl scream at a korean man in his own shop for speaking to his mother in korean. for being a nation created by immigrants we sure do treat ppl poorly for being possible immigrants. how in the hell does this make any sense whatsoever? we need to stop this senselessness and grasp the beauty of diversity that is surrounding us!