By David Neiwert
N July four, 2000, 3 younger Asian-American males from Seattle took a street journey to the hotel city of Ocean shorelines, Washington. At a fuel 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 filled them into his jacket pocket. Returning to their motor vehicle, Hong's team chanced on a two hundred pound, twenty-year-old skinhead named Christopher Kinison blocking off their means, maintaining a Confeder-ate flag. the consequent melee left Kinison fatally stabbed, and 6 months later, Hong stood on trial for homicide. through the lawsuits, Hong used to be requested why he had fought so demanding. He responded, 'I simply knew i did not are looking to prove like that man in Texas,' concerning James Byrd, the black guy dragged to his dying via 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 info for Death on the Fourth of July: The Story of a Killing, a Trial, and Hate Crime in America
I looked over and saw Minh Hong and was again hit with the shock of recognition. I had become interested in the case because of my previous work involving white supremacists, hate groups, and hate crimes. I thought the case had the potential to reveal a lot about the nature of all of these, as well as giving me a chance to explore small-town life. So I had pitched the story to the editors at Salon and set about to cover the trial. I’d read the names in the paper, of course, but had never connected them with my young friends at the teriyaki shop.
Sean Izzarone of Aberdeen wrote The Daily World a letter that castigated its coverage for papering over the racial tensions in Grays Harbor, arguing that racism ran deep in the community: “If anyone is guilty, we, the citizens who allowed this event to transpire and continue to justify and defend the racist diatribe of Christopher Kinison in our efforts to shift the blame to ‘the other,’ are the guilty ones. “We should all be on trial for our complicity in allowing racism to thrive in our communities, not Minh Duc Hong.
A handful, however, said they had in fact formed opinions about the case and probably couldn’t hear the trial even-handedly. One man was insistent that Hong should have simply driven away. Others cited religious beliefs for refusing to par- WHITE FACES / 35 ticipate; one man said his background as a Jehovah’s Witness meant he could not sit in judgment of another person. Monte Hester, Minh Hong’s attorney, was more interested in the potential jurors’ racial views. ’” Most of them replied that they could.
Death on the Fourth of July: The Story of a Killing, a Trial, and Hate Crime in America by David Neiwert