While the mainstream media has been largely absent, Latina Lista has been busy covering the dramatic trial of the two men charged with the hate crime killing of immigrant Luis Ramirez in Shenandoah, Pa. It turns out the 2008 murder was, indeed, a hate crime.
A federal grand jury has convicted the two Pennsylvania men, in a verdict that many argue was long overdue.
On July 14, 2008, Ramirez was beaten to death by a group of teenagers who yelled racial epithets throughout the killing. A retired Philadelphia police officer said she heard one of the defendants yell to Mr. Ramirez’s friends, “Tell your [expletive] Mexican friends to get the [expletive] out of Shenandoah or you’ll be [expletive] laying next to him.” Defendants were reported to have yelled, “Go back to Mexico” as they beat him to death.
Despite the evidence, an all-white jury found two of the defendants “not guilty” of third-degree murder and ethnic intimidation last year, to cheers in the courtroom and the astonishment of the Latino community. The Federal government took up the case and finally justice was served.
Yet, two years after Ramirez’ gruesome murder, we continue to see egregious examples of race-baiting and immigrant bashing for political gain. This campaign season, a number of candidates are running race-baiting campaign ads that demonize immigrants. They use extreme, anti-immigrant rhetoric instead of offering real solutions to our immigration crisis. Republican Senate candidates David Vitter (R-LA) and Sharron Angle of Nevada are both running anti-immigrant ads that paint Latinos as dangerous criminals, freeloaders, and the enemies of “real” Americans.