Shelby: Crimes of hatred and prejudice are a sad fact of American history, and unfortunately they are still happening today. Keith Kocinski has a look at recent alleged crimes motivated by hate.
Keith: Four students at San Jose State University in California are facing charges of hazing an African-American student in their dorm. They are accused of putting a bike lock around the student’s neck and using racial slurs, like calling him three-fifths. This is a term used in the era of slavery in the United States when black slaves were only considered three-fifths of a person.
Shamari Bell: That upset me the most, simply because you understand what we went through as a people. Granted we are not – in 2013 – we are not being in whips and chains and like that now but we don’t need to be reliving it.
Keith: The students face a year in jail if convicted. This case goes beyond hazing. It is being considered a hate crime.
Stephanie Salas: I know that those things do still happen today, but it’s definitely disheartening.
Keith: Dozens of students marched across campus looking for action, not words.
Gary Daniels: This hate crime is a symptom of a systemic issue that’s going on at San Jose State.
Keith: A hate crime is an act that targets specific individuals. New numbers from the FBI show the biggest motive for hate crimes is race, at 48%, followed by sexual orientation, religion, national origin and disability. When something is labeled a hate crime, it often means a tougher punishment. The FBI says there were nearly 5,800 hate crimes reported last year.
Over in Lunenburg, Massachusetts, the football season came to an early end after players were accused of a hate crime. Students and parents crowded the Lunenburg school committee meeting Wednesday night to protest the cancellation of the high school’s annual Thanksgiving football game.
Evan Valliere: Not letting us play our last game makes the rest of the world, outside of Lunenburg, assume that we are guilty.
Keith: But someone is guilty of spray painting racist graffiti that includes the n-word on the home of 13-year-old player Isaac Phillips last week. The freshman football player has a white mother and black father. They were at the meeting as well.
Anthony Phillips: Make the team suffer. Maybe the coward will step forward.
Keith: Lunenburg school officials decided to shut down the rest of the football season after learning about another incident of Lunenburg players allegedly directing racial slurs at another high school’s players earlier this season. Local police and the FBI are investigating the graffiti.
Keith Kocinski, Channel One News.
Shelby: There are no official suspects in the Lunenburg case yet, but the accused university students have been suspended from school and could face a year in prison if convicted.