Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights 2020

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Media Plays a Role in Hate Crimes

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

In the early 1990s, I worked on staff at Farmington Daily Times in northwest New Mexico. Farmington is a city where hate crimes by whites have been documented for at least 40 years. At that time, a group of white teenagers attacked a group of Navajo youths in the back of pickup truck with baseball bats, breaking their bones, outside a convenience store.
It was unprovoked and a hate crime. I wrote an article about the attack and the Farmington Daily Times editor knowingly changed the facts, making the victims appear somehow responsible for the beatings.
When I demanded that the truth be told, I was terminated.
I reported this to the US Civil Rights Commission which was documenting the hate crimes in Farmington at the time. Eventually the Farmington Daily Times was sold, and today it has a new staff. But I wonder now how many times this has happened, that editors or reporters have knowingly changed the facts in hate crimes. At that time, one of the coverups was to protect the white teenage son of a Farmington judge who was committing hate crimes.
Now, in Farmington, a mentally challegened Navajo man has been branded with swastikas by whites.
It is a city with a long history of torture and hate crimes by white teenagers and white adults.
The brutal torture murders of three Navajos in this bordertown in the 1970s was documented in the book, "The Broken Circle," by Rodney Barker. The torture and murders by whites did not stop. The murders continued. White Farmington law enforcement officers also murdered Navajos using excessive force.
In South Dakota, north of Rapid City, a young Oglala Lakota, 22-year-old Christopher Capps, has been shot repeatedly at close range by Pennington County Sheriff Deputy David Olson.
The Native Sun has published an account of this young man's death, with an eye witness stating that Christopher was running to the officer for help.
Will the Rapid City Journal do justice to this man's life?
Will there be a real investigation of the shooting death of this Oglala youth?
The good ole boy system of law enforcement in Pennington County and South Dakota has proven to be one of white supremacy, racial profiling, police brutality and manufactured evidence.
It can not be trusted.

Hate Crime: Navajo branded with swastikas:
South Dakota Deputy murders Lakota youth reaching for cellphone

No comments:

About Censored News

Censored News is published by Brenda Norrell. Since 2006, Censored News has received more than 20 million pageviews. As a collective of writers, photographers and broadcasters, we publish news of Indigenous Peoples and human rights. Contact publisher Brenda Norrell:

Donate to Censored News

Please donate to Censored News for travel and equipment for our live coverage. Thank you, Brenda.