In a news feature on the issue of crime against Hispanics, The Post and Courier shares the story of Marcelino Eugenio Garcia, who was shot multiple times and left for dead in a May 2006 robbery near his home in North Charleston. But that was just the beginning: In the month after being shot, he was the victim of two more attacks, those times on his home. He is just one of many Hispanics who have become the targets of violent crime in recent years. The Post and Courier reports:
North Charleston Police Chief Jon Zumalt said street robberies went up several years ago, as soon as large numbers of Hispanics began settling in the city. Criminals took to calling the new arrivals "walking ATMs," easy targets who carry cash and aren't likely to call police.
"That's a harsh way to phrase it," Zumalt said, "but that's the street talk."
Robberies against Hispanics nearly doubled from 2004 to 2007. Over the past couple of years, Hispanics accounted for almost half the city's robberies — five to 10 times more than other residents, given their share of the overall population.
In May 2007, The Post and Courier ran a story on the death of 39-year-old Angel Perez Garcia, who was killed outside his home in Fairmont Mobile Home Park. In that story, it was revealed that the Spanish-speaking residents refer to the park as, "Parqueadero la Muerte," or "the trailer park of death," because of attacks on Hispanics, who are often seen by criminals as easy targets.
A quick search of The Post and Courier's archives turns up several instances in the past year in which Hispanics were targeted:
- Holdup thwarted at mobile home park
- 3 men held on robbery charges
- Hispanic man dies in failed robbery
And in a February article on crime in North Charleston, The Post and Courier reported this statistic: "Crime decreased by 6.7 percent in the city in 2007, but violent crime, propelled by robberies of Hispanics carrying cash, more rapes and a rash of serial business robberies, rose by 6.6 percent, Police Chief Jon Zumalt said."
This is a problem, folks, and it's one that should be addressed as quickly and with as much effort as attacks against any other group of people, regardless of sex, race, religion, or anything else. One of the things that this country has always promised is freedom from oppression, and we have a moral responsibility to stand up to these sorts of wanton, mean attacks on both human beings and human rights.
If you know of any of these sorts of attacks happening in your neighborhood, call your nearest police department or sheriff's department office. It is the people in the community, working together and demanding an end to this sort of thing, that will help put a stop to it.