By David Neiwert

N July four, 2000, 3 younger Asian-American males from Seattle took a street journey to the lodge city of Ocean seashores, Washington. At a gasoline station mini-mart, they encoun-tered sev-eral white skinheads, who begun menacing them by means of shouting racial epithets. Trapped within the mini-mart, the five-foot-six, one hundred twenty five pound Minh Hong grabbed paring knives and crammed them into his jacket pocket. Returning to their automobile, Hong's team stumbled on a 2 hundred pound, twenty-year-old skinhead named Christopher Kinison blocking off their method, conserving a Confeder-ate flag. the consequent melee left Kinison fatally stabbed, and 6 months later, Hong stood on trial for homicide. in the course of the court cases, Hong was once requested why he had fought so challenging. He responded, 'I simply knew i did not are looking to prove like that man in Texas,' touching on James Byrd, the black guy dragged to his loss of life through white supremacists in Jasper, Texas, in 1998. David Neiwert makes use of Hong's case to discover the myths sur-round-ing hate crimes, delineating what's and isn't a 'hate crime,' and divulges the patchwork nature of federal and country hate-crime legislation and their enforcement.

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Additional resources for Death on the Fourth of July: The Story of a Killing, a Trial, and Hate Crime in America

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But as details of OPEN SORES / 29 events that weekend began to emerge—especially the previous attack on the Filipino family and suspected attacks on other minorities by Kinison and his friends—it became increasingly clear to these organizations that something was wrong in Ocean Shores. Finally, frustrated by the inaction of local law enforcement to take concrete steps against the local whites, the Asian American groups raised the stakes to another level. On October 2, they released to the press a letter they had jointly sent to the Seattle FBI seeking help from the agency in the case.

Justice Department whose specialty had been helping communities set up task forces to resolve just this kind of racial conflict. He’d had previous experience dealing with the disruption wrought upon communities by white-supremacist groups in the inland Northwest, and stressed that pretending the problem doesn’t exist won’t make it go away. However, Hughes correctly noted, the majority of hate crimes are not committed by people with organizational ties but rather by “thrill seekers” who act on their own and may not even identify themselves as racist.

Like most of small-town America, it feels safe, at least to people who live there. Because it is built on a sandspit, nearly all of the infrastructure in Ocean Shores has a temporary feeling to it, as though a good tsunami could come along and rearrange everything overnight, if not wash it all away. Compacted sand is generally a decent building surface, but it is prone to shifting in an earthquake, of which western Washington gets its share. It also tends to settle, which means that doorframes can get out of whack.

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