Tag Archives: hate crime

Silence is deafening

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald Trump’s silence in the aftermath of the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict has been deafening.

Yet I almost can hear what the former president might have told those sitting around him when he got the news along with the rest of the nation. I sense that he believes Chauvin got hosed by the jurors who convicted him of murdering George Floyd on that Minneapolis street a year ago.

You might wonder: Why is this guy (me) even discussing this? Because it was on Donald Trump’s watch for the past four years that this type of crime — with the cops exercising brute force against African-Americans — became so prevalent.

Therefore, it stands to reason to believe that Donald Trump would have something to say publicly about a criminal trial that captured the public’s attention in a way not seen since, oh, the one involving O.J. Simpson in 1995.

But he hasn’t said anything about the verdict.

Barack Obama has spoken out. So has President Biden, as has George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. They all have said essentially the same thing, that the verdict was correct.

Donald Trump’s term was punctuated by a sharp increase in hate crimes against various ethnic and racial groups. Big surprise, eh? Hardly. The man began his campaign for president in 2015 with a full frontal attack on Mexican immigrants who he said were “rapists, murderers” and drug dealers seeking to enter the United States illegally for the expressed purpose of committing crimes against Americans. It went straight into the crapper from that point.

He failed to address the issue of crimes against minorities. He looked the other way when hate against them erupted into violent crime. The result was the emboldening of Americans who knew that Trump had their back.

Trump is now gone. He likely never will return to the White House that he defiled during his time in office. Trump’s silence on the Derek Chauvin trial and on the death of an American under the knee of a rogue cop speaks loudly enough for me to understand the gravity of the mistake this nation made by electing this guy in the first place.

POTUS faces lose-lose encounter

Donald J. Trump is set to plunge into a place where he is likely to get bloodied — politically speaking. He intends to venture to El Paso, Texas, in the next day or so.

He will presumably speak to folks who were affected by the mass slaughter of 22 people at the Wal-Mart shopping center over the weekend.

The president is being told he isn’t welcome. Why? Because many Americans — including myself — blame Trump’s fiery, divisive rhetoric for spawning the shooter to massacre Latinos gathered at the store for some last-minute, back-to-school shopping.

Should he go? I believe he should. It’s a critical part of the job he agreed to do when he got elected president of the United States. Is this president good at lending comfort? Is he adept at saying just the right thing, in just the right tone, to just the right audience in its time of intense grief? No. He isn’t.

Will he step up and acknowledge the role his rhetoric has played in the tragedy that exploded in El Paso? I doubt it seriously.

I am left to wonder: Has there ever been a recent U.S. president who has felt the scorn of stricken communities the way this one is feeling it now in the wake of the El Paso tragedy?

Did Bill Clinton feel it when he went to Oklahoma City in 1995 after the bomber blew up the Murrah Federal Building? Did George W. Bush feel it when he ventured multiple times to the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina in 2005? Did such recrimination fall on Barack Obama when he went to Charleston, S.C., after the madman opened fire in that church, or when he went to Newtown, Conn., after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that killed all those precious children and their teachers? No, no and no!

This visit, and the trip he plans to take to Dayton, Ohio — another city stricken by gun violence during the same weekend— likely won’t go well.

All I can say is: Suck it up, Mr. President.

Corrupt intent in Smollett case? Just wondering

Let’s see what we have here in the case involving Jussie Smollett, the actor caught up in a growing controversy over a crime in which he was involved.

Smollett tells Chicago police that two white guys assaulted him, hurled homophobic and racial slurs at him, tied a noose around his neck and said he was in “Trump country”; they allegedly were wearing Make America Great Again hats.

The cops look into it, smell something fishy and then a grand jury issues a 16-count indictment alleging that Smollett — who is black and openly gay — paid two Nigerian brothers to orchestrate the attack; he paid them with a check, which authorities recovered. Smollett was charged with several felony counts of disorderly conduct and filing a false police report.

Then, mysteriously, prosecutors drop all 16 counts. They wipe the record clean. The files are sealed. Smollett is free and clear as if nothing happened.

Am I the only American who suspects some possible corrupt intent here? What in the world caused the prosecutors — who say they still believe Smollett did what they accused him of doing — to drop the whole thing?

Donald Trump says he plans to get the FBI and the Justice Department to look into this matter. That’s a good call. The folks in Cook County, Ill., need some answers to this bizarre turn of events. If the local authorities won’t provide it to them, then the feds have every reasonable right to look for answers and spill the beans to the public.

These kinds of attacks normally wouldn’t attract such attention. Except the victim/turned perp/turned victim again is a noted celebrity, a star on a major TV show.

It still smells fishy.

Fate delivers tragic blow to congregants … and the nation

I saw this list online and decided to post it here.

All the names tell a story. All the victims who died in the Tree of Life synagogue massacre this weekend leave behind those who loved them deeply and who cherished their relationship with God.

One of the names jumped out at me: Rose Mallinger.

Ms. Mallinger was 97 years of age when the gunman murdered her. I was struck as well by what I read about her. She attended temple without fail for many decades. She is being remembered by her friends and family members as a spry, lively, and lovely virtual centenarian.

Her daughter was among those wounded by the gunman. Ms. Mallinger’s daughter said her mother didn’t live like a 97-year-old.

Her fellow congregants called her “vivacious” and “vital.”

I am struck, too, by the fact that at 97 years of age, she was old enough to remember what happened in Europe to other Jews, who were rounded up and sent by the millions to concentration camps.

The Holocaust has to be considered the 20th century’s most horrific crime against humanity, one that took 6 million to 7 million lives. Why? Because the victims were Jewish and the Nazi tyrants who killed them considered them to be subhuman, not worthy of living, not worthy of rearing their families or of seeking a better life themselves and their loved ones.

The 11 victims of the hideous monster who killed them also have been denied their rights — as prescribed by their government — of “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

They have become martyrs. I am positive they wouldn’t want to be remembered for what happened to them while they worshiped. But they are. Forever.

My heart breaks for them all, but there’s something tragically poignant in knowing the age of a victim who died with memories of just how horrifying religious hatred can become.

And my heart breaks for our nation … where this horror originated.

Suspect’s ‘character’ being revealed

Dylann Roof is a vicious young man.

He’s accused of killing nine people in a Bible study at a Charleston, S.C. church. The victims were black; Roof is white. Now we hear that he’d planned for months to carry out an attack like what occurred at the church.

He is angry that African-Americans are seeking to “take over the world,” said his roommate.


What on God’s Earth do we think of this fellow?

Just as important, what on Earth does this individual’s deep-seated hatred symbolize in the world at large?

I won’t for a moment believe he speaks for many others. He does, though, allegedly speak to some terrible, dark instincts that do exist. That one man has acted on them must suggest that he is not totally alone.

I happen to be frightened at what the shooter exhibited in that house of worship.

Now we ask: How does this individual face justice? Do the feds try him for committing a hate crime or do we let the state of South Carolina prosecute Roof for murder?

Whether he committed a hate crime really doesn’t matter as much as some folks believe it does. The individual who did this horrible deed killed nine victims in a brutal attack. He will qualify for the death penalty if a jury — either state or federal — convicts him.

My hope at this moment is to pray for the men and women who died at the hands of one whose anger twisted out of control.

I’d say we should pray for the shooter as well … except that I can’t go there. Maybe one day. Just not now.


Hate crime brings emotion to full boil

A known Ku Klux Klan leader stands accused of killing three people in Overland Park, Kan.

The term “hate crime” has returned to the national discussion.


Frazier Glenn Cross is now 73 years of age. Police arrested him after a gunman shot a teenager and his grandfather to death at the Jewish Community Center. The gunman shot a woman later at a retirement community a few blocks away.

Police took Cross into custody and while he was being driven away, the suspect shouted “Heil Hitler!”

Let’s see. Do you think police have the gunman in custody?

I don’t want to prejudge this case, but Cross’s outburst suggests guilt far more than innocence.

One cruel aspect of this case is that none of the victims is Jewish, even though Cross is know to hold deep anti-Semitic views. That’s really beside the point.

Police and prosecutors have decided to file hate-crime charges against Cross. The crime to be prosecuted is going to receive attention that it might not get had it not been labeled a hate crime.

Well, it should receive the nation’s attention. The suspect who’s charged with this hideous act is an unrepentant hater. If he’s convicted of this hideous act, how can a court show mercy for someone like that?