Thursday, March 2, 2017

Teary Now, But Too Late

If you hear about the couple who got lengthy prison sentences for waving a Confederate flag at a black kid's birthday party, be sure to read the whole story of what they did.

It was in summer 2015, less than a month after Dylann Roof had shot nine black church-goers in Charleston, S.C. These two people, Kayla Norton and Jose Torres, were part of a group of 15 people who drove around Douglasville, Ga., in their pickup trucks flying the battle flag of Northern Virginia (commonly, but incorrectly, known as the Confederate flag).

First they harassed black drivers and customers at several stores. When they found the birthday party, which was on private land belonging to the child's grandmother, they drove their trucks across the property and got out to yell death threats and racial slurs (guess which one) at the party guests. They threatened to kill the children.

Torres had a shotgun, which he pointed at the party-goers. Given that Georgia is a stand-your-ground state and he was on private property, he's lucky he didn't get shot himself.

He got 20 years, while Norton got 15. They will be banished from the county after their release.

Both of them cried when they were convicted. Norton apologized to her victims. Which is interesting, since in the trial the defense argued that "a party attendee triggered the incident by hurling an object at one of the trucks." Cellphone video from the scene showed otherwise.

I don't know for a fact what Torres's ethnicity is, but his name would indicate there's at least some Latino heritage, which would make this an interesting example of what I predict will be common in the coming decades: white-appearing Latinos exchanging their heritage for white privilege, and maybe being the biggest bigots of all as they try to prove their white credibility. (Two of the young men who were part of the Scarsella shooting case in North Minneapolis were Latino or Asian, for instance.)

I hope they work on racial reconciliation while they're in prison, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

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