This happened last week in Utah. A guy, a white guy, named Alan Dale Covington, said he didn’t like Mexican people. He said he didn’t like them BECAUSE they were Mexican. And then he said, “I’m going to kill someone.”
At that point, he took the 5-foot metal pole he was holding and swung it, ferociously, at two men. Their names are Jose & Luis Lopez. They are father and son. Fifty and 18. He hit them, and then he hit them some more, with that metal pole.
The son, the 18-year-old was struck in the head. He was later transported to a hospital where he remains in serious conditioned. The father suffered less damage than his son.
So here is this guy. This Alan Dale Covington, white American. And somehow, somewhere along the line, he established the notion that is it OK to haul off and brutally beat someone, because they are Mexican. To attempt to kill them.
At some point in Covington’s path, he’s been accused of four felony accounts of aggravated assault, as well as several weapons and drug charges. This comes from the Salt Lake County jail records. And of course now, he “allegedly” beat these two Latino men with a 5-foot metal pole outside the Lopez family’s tire shop last week. The father, who immigrated to Utah from Mexico, has owned a tire business for four years.
Covington also shouted “I hate Mexicans” and “I’m here to kill a Mexican” before asking if they were part of the “Mexican mafia.”
But this white-guy American has not been charged with a hate crime because only misdemeanor assaults can be enhanced as hate crimes in Utah. Not only that, there hasn’t been anyone convicted of a hate crime for the 20 years the statute has been in place.
As I hope you can see, there are all sorts of things which are terribly wrong with this story. Terribly.
Jose Lopez received eight stitches in his arm. His back severely bruised due to the assault. His son Luis underwent a three hour surgery to place a titanium plate in his head. According to his family, “It goes from the right side of his face, to his nose, to be able to attach the bones and keep his eyeball in place.”
I don’t even know where to begin, other than to say that we all belong here in this space and time. We all have the same exact right to be here on Planet Earth. It is our birth right. All of us, born as Earthlings.
And of course, there are rules and limitations concerning where and how we can go. There is a difference between illegal, and legal immigration. But, if we follow the rules, we have the absolute right to there. To be here.
These crimes. Against humanity. They largely go unnoticed because they are happening in small places, to small people. But the campaign behind it is wide-spread. We have our President, goading people on to “stop these ‘horrible’ people from coming into our country.”
So, people pick up metal poles, and guns, and get into cars. And they bludgeon, and shoot, and they motor them down. And they think it is okay because they are somehow defending their White America.
The thing that upsets me the most, is that I don’t know what I can do to stop it.
“When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.”
― Fred Rogers
“But I have come to learn there is no peace while others suffer.”
― Lily Blake, Snow White & the Huntsman
“Believe what you believe and it will be,
believe what others believe and they will consume you!”
― Stanley Victor Paskavich