Victimology and the Study of Race as a Means to an End

“Victimology and the Study of Race as a Means to an End

by Jennifer Lawson Zepeda

In this day of crime and punishment and black awareness of it, from the Trayvon Martin case, I can’t help but notice the solicitousness of the police in Los Angeles County when addressing black “victims”; and the wholesale neglect of victims of Latino descent.  And yes, I’m talking about the Kendric McDade case in Pasadena.

Is Justice Colorblind?

Absolutely not!  Anyone who observed the Trayvon Martin case and George Zimmerman should have asked how he was first categorized as “white” when he has an obviously “Latino” appearance — a definition (that although isn’t a race), is consistently used by police to describe perpetrators of Latino descent.

Indeed, Zimmerman is one of those South American blends (like me) — with a Peruvian mother and a white father.  With the name Zimmerman, I suppose some people could consider that a white name.  But, unlike me, Zimmerman had a clearly Latino appearance and yet, he was labeled first as white.

So, why would this happen?  The answer lies in the media and their efforts to fuel a long burning ember of racial animosity between Latinos and African Americas to make a story even more interesting.

By labeling this man white, it stirred up some good old fashioned images of the deep south and white racism; and that is exactly what black leaders needed to create the pandemonium to help the Martin family seek justice.   It didn’t help that Zimmerman made his own case against himself by offering up racial slurs during his interview with the police.  Clearly, this man was a racist.

When they concluded Zimmerman was Latino, they could add a new form of hate to that.  The blacks who have jumped on the immigration bandwagon, yelling “Go back to Mexico,”  to all Latinos who they hold responsible for their job loss, also came out to join against Zimmerman.

As a Latino, Zimmerman became more hideous, more evil, more insidious to many blacks for having murdered an innocent young black teenager; because, of the racial tensions between the two cultures.  That he was indeed a racist justified that hatred.  After all, here was one more Latino with what African Americans saw as a stereotypical attitude against blacks.

Even though Zimmerman isn’t an immigrant, he became the target of two issues with blacks:  uppity Latinos with racial intolerance for blacks, and black resentment over Latinos who many blacks see as taking their jobs.

As the debate over illegal immigration in the U.S. escalates, the scenario playing out among day laborers reflects a growing uneasiness among some blacks nationwide.

Many worry that the flood of illegal-immigrant workers crossing the border from Mexico is muscling low-skilled workers, many of them black, out of jobs in a number of industries — from the service sector to construction.

The showdowns are taking place on the streets of cities like Los Angeles, where African Americans have joined demonstrations against illegal immigration.

Some have teamed up with the Minuteman Project, a border-watch group that reports illegal crossings from Mexico into the United States, and whose members some have called vigilantes and racists.

(Source:  Some blacks say Latino immigrants taking their jobs)

Latino-black animosity isn’t a new phenomenon in race relations.  In many communities where blacks and Latinos live side by side they view one another with great suspicion.  There is a basic mistrust between many in the two very different cultures.

For years, Latino leaders have pointed the finger of blame at blacks when Latinos are robbed, beaten and even murdered. Blacks, in turn, have blamed Latinos for taking jobs, for colonizing neighborhoods, for gang violence.

In fact, even though hate-crime laws were originally created to combat crimes by whites against minority groups, the majority of L.A. County’s hate crimes against blacks in 2006 were suspected to have been committed by Latinos, and vice versa, according to the county Commission on Human Relations.

(Source: The black-Latino blame game)

Kendric McDade Murder

Pasadena Police have another Trayvon Martinesque killing on their hands.  A young black men, named Kendric McDade.  A teen who ran from the police after a report by a victim who has conveniently been labeled by both the black and white communities as an “illegal immigrant” — an easy way to dismiss a man’s word, value or worth in the U.S. today — reported that a black teenager had robbed him of his backpack and computer.

Click to Sign Oscar Carillo's Petition

In short, Oscar Carrillo made a 911 call to report a robbery.  He had been robbed of his backpack containing his computer and  he reported the perpetrator was a “black man with a gun.”

In their investigation, the police noticed Kendrec Mcdade running, and a chase pursued.  Why a young man would run from the police if he were innocent, instead of answering questions, hasn’t been addressed.  But, his efforts to run from the police ended up getting him shot.  Supposedly because of the report that the perpetrator was armed and McDade reached for his waistband to hike up his pants.

Since Oscar Carillo gave a false report that the perpetrator had a gun, to ensure the police would respond sooner, he was arrested on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter for reporting the crime falsely.  The Pasadena Police Department did this as a way to offset the fact that a cop killed a black youth.  Indeed, Oscar Carillo knew for a fact that the man who robbed him did not have a gun.  But, he was not the person that ultimately shot Kendric McDade.

The result of this was that Mr. Carillo was held in detention for a brief time for giving a false report and then, released.  But during this detention, it was discovered that Oscar Carillo was in the country illegally.  And this has fueled an many resentments against Latinos  — who blacks have formed an anti-immigration stance on anyway.

So now, the victim has been held from deportation until the police figure things out.

Blaming the Latino 

None of this is new to Los Angeles.  The blame game between African Americans and Latinos has existed for sometime here.  It even goes as far back as 2007, when black activists marched into city hall to discuss gang violence between the two races; stating that Antonio Villaraigosa had failed to prevent violence by Latino gang members against blacks in South Los Angeles.

“You have one race of people exterminating another race of people,” said one African American woman.

I’m guessing that African American gangs also shooting Latinos wasn’t considered racial extermination by this ‘unbiased’ woman.  The fact that gang violence was considered a one-way issue by this group isn’t completely amazing.  This has been a mindset in many African American communities for decades, ever since Latino families have been moving into predominantly African American enclaves.

On the same day, elsewhere in the city, Latino parents stormed out of a meeting of a Los Angeles Unified School District advisory council. The council had been fighting for months about whether to hold its meetings in Spanish or English — a dispute that got so abusive that district officials felt the need to bring in dispute-resolution experts and mental health counselors. On this particular Friday, the Latino parents walked out after a group of black parents voted to censure the panel’s Latino chairman.

 These two events are certainly not isolated incidents, but they are the most recent examples of the long-running tensions between blacks and Latinos in Los Angeles.

(Source: The black-Latino blame game)

Race not an Issue

I keep hearing people say that race is not an issue in these cases.

I’m calling bullshit on this one!  Race is not only THE issue, it is the reason Police  Lieutenant. Phlunte Riddle chose to address this crime with the Pasadena Community, when other murders never merit this much attention.

It is also the reason the Hutchinson Report aired a Townhall of the Air on Pacifica Network KPFK Radio 90.7 FM, entitled, “Is Kendric McDade Another Trayvon Martin?” The on-air town hall featured invited guests: Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez, Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, Pasadena NAACP officials.  If this wasn’t about race, then why did this happen?

One thing that stands out with me is the fact that the Latino victim, who was robbed of his backpack and computer, has been vilified to satisfy the surge of black anger against Latinos, as the result of two innocent black kids who have been killed.

While we are hearing a great deal about about the dangers young unarmed black men face when they are unfairly perceived as dangerous; there hasn’t been a peep about the dangers young Latinos face each day as they are perceived as Mexicans who should ‘Go home!

Or the attitude of many blacks who feel they have the right to scream that out to any Latino that displeases them.  We haven’t heard of retaliation crimes such as the one in Lancaster.

Palmdale Detectives have identified seven attackers associated with an assault that occurred near Cactus Middle School on March 14, 2012.

The 15-year-old Hispanic victim in this assault was walking home from school near the 3200 Block of East Avenue R-8, when a group of up to ten male Black juveniles approached him and challenged him to a fight.

The suspects surrounded the victim and began punching him while several other juveniles watched.

The victim continued to defend himself from the group of suspects until he fell to the ground. The suspects continued to assault him by punching and kicking him in the face and head. The victim was finally able to get his feet and escape the onslaught of the attackers.

After arriving home, the victim was treated at a local hospital for multiple kicks to his head resulting in swelling and shoe impressions left in his skin. The victim is also undergoing surgery to repair several of his teeth which were kicked out during the attack.

(Source: CAPTURED: Attackers who beat up 15-year-old boy walking home from school)

Note the date of the attack — March 30, 2012, seven days after Trayvon Martin was murdered (March 23rd, 2012) and sentiment was  high against Latinos.

Go Back to Mexico! 

It’s something most of us Latinos and our family members hear on a weekly basis these days, from blacks.

Riding the bus to my medical appointment, a young Latino slides past a heavy set black woman and she grows irritated.  She shoots those words out as if this is socially acceptable, “Go back to Mexico!”  She doesn’t even know if the man is Salvadoran, Mexican, Peruvian or even an immigrant.  But the words ring out just like the words used to ring out against blacks. Her casual acceptance that this is okay, that she doesn’t care who this offends mimics the racial superiority of whites from years past.  It’s the ‘whites only’ attitude now used by many blacks towards Latinos they feel they have to compete with.

So the racial tensions grow.  How many innocent minority victims do we need to stop this?

I’m not condoning Zimmerman for murdering that innocent young man.  Zimmerman’s actions should have led to his arrest, just as the actions of the blacks who beat the Latino in Lancaster led to their arrest.

That there is disparity in whom is arrested and charged, is an issue every minority should be addressing, not just the blacks.  But on the same hand, this ‘Go back to Mexico’ mentality needs to stop.  If you want people to understand your plight, then you need to understand the plight of others.  I’m a bit fed up with hearing blacks feel as comfortable as the KKK in telling any Latino who displeases them, to Go back to Mexico!

Tell me that, and I’ll tell you to go back to Africa, so you can see how it feels!  That’s how it works.  Don’t like it?

Stop it!


To read more from Jennifer on this subject and others, visit her blog @

10 Comments on “Victimology and the Study of Race as a Means to an End”

  1. There’s a reason that the state keeps fanning the flames of old “race”-based conflicts – the longer the common people are eyeing each other with suspicion, the more chains the ruling classes can slip around their appendages when their not looking…

  2. Jennifer,

    You are correct in your conclusion that “some” persons attracted to the efforts of the MInuteman Project are racists (and fascists). I have met some of them and do my best to steer clear of them and to discourage their involvement with the minuteman movement.

    Although my organization bills itself as a “‘multiethnic’immigration law enforcement advocacy group,” that does not prevent some rogue groups from creating their own similar organizations under the guise of “doing their patriotic duty.”

    I have been very audible in calling out so-called immigration law enforcement groups as the fanatical racists and fascists that, in my opinion, they appear to be. Irrational extremist groups like William Gheen’s ALIPAC, the San Diego Minutemen (SDMM), the SoCal Patriots Coalition, and the California Coalition for Immigration Reform (CCIR), the KKK and Nazis come to mind.

    But, in all fairness, these non-European white groups are offset by extremist groups like the Black Panthers, the National Council of La Raza and the Brown Berets, the Jewish Defense League, and the Asian Gangs and American Indian Movement, to name just a few.

    Because of racial and ideological supremacists, from every walk of life, we will never be able to do away with anti-discrimination laws. Sadly, fanatical and vile racial supremacy is here to stay, in my opinion. Fortunately, so are anti-discrimination laws…something necessary to protect all of us in the aggregate, and each of us as individuals, from those of us who essentially have an incurable resolve to gain dominion over all other souls who are different in race, color, creed, sexual orientation, or thought, etc.

    As long as we are a nation of laws we will always be a nation of justice for all.

    Sincerely Yours,
    Jim Gilchrist, President, The Minuteman Project

  3. Correction to above comment:

    But, in all fairness, these European-white groups are offset by extremist groups like the Black Panthers, the National Council of La Raza and the Brown Berets, the Jewish Defense League, and the Asian Gangs and American Indian Movement, to name just a few.

  4. Excellent post Jennifer. As an ‘outsider’ I find many of the events in the US quite bizarre. I do however fully agree with Azazel. Here in the UK the majority of newspapers and some other media empires are owned by those who like to call themselves the ‘elite’. Without doubt they – in particular the tabloid press – are ‘opinion shapers’ who by merely showing a banner headline can and do change the opinion of the working classes. Again, whilst the working classes are fighting among themselves be it about colour, immigration, health and safety decisions, European Court of Human Rights, they on their marble thrones are ‘safe’. I have watched it grow over the years and the common man cannot see it happening. At the moment over here we are having a large – and very expensive – enquiry going on into media tactics and phone and message hacking. The main culprits are the owners of the same papers that the majority of common people buy daily and lap up all the salacious gossip that is printed.
    The ‘elite’s’ attitude and aims appear to be ‘As long as ‘they’ are fighting among themselves ‘they’ are not attacking us’………..Mike…

  5. Jim Gilchrist,

    I’m well aware of you, as I presume you are still aware of me. As you probably know from around the year 2007, I had numerous death threats from many of the organizations you named. Specifically from William Gheen’s ALIPAC, Jeff Schwilke’s friends at the San Diego Minutemen (SDMM), and an organization in (I believe) South Carolina. Jeff Schwilke’s pal, DAWG??, was supposed to have a bullet ready for me if I ever visited my husband at the time, who was applying for asylum from CCA in San Diego. If you stayed on top of our internet discussions, you will recall that I gave him the exact date, time and path I would be visiting my husband and oddly enough, Dawg never showed up…so I’m guessing it was all internet chatter. And you probably know that I also befriended his ex girlfriend, Christie.

    I confess that I have never had an open interaction with you; although I know who you are. I will not presume your agenda, although I’ve been told it is different than you represent. I have made mine public for some time.

    We will have to politely disagree about the NCLR or National Council of La Raza being an extremist group. IMO, they aren’t extremist enough. For one thing, I have personally asked them why they don’t represent Oscar Carillo, as a victim, and they have ignored me. They have a stance of not wanting to divide blacks and Latinos, which is probably wise; however, I do believe they should be more active representing Latinos in these cases.

    In fairness, this shouldn’t be an issue of blacks against Latinos, especially since the Latin culture if a mixture of races. It should be about addressing the idea of one community of people making this a race issue. I do not view race as an excuse to exploit ANY human being, of any immigrant descent. But it is happening in Los Angeles and the NCLR should be addressing this. I would come to the defense of immigrants from a European or Somalian background as well, if they were being targeted by a racist minority community, as is being done to some Latin immigrants today.

    I hope that your organization will be supportive of Oscar Carillo, not from a racial or cultural standpoint, but from the standpoint that he has a human right not to be robbed by ANYONE.

    Thank you,
    Jennifer Lawson Zepeda

  6. @ Jen,

    ” If you stayed on top of our internet discussions, you will recall that I gave him the exact date, time and path I would be visiting my husband and oddly enough, Dawg never showed up…so I’m guessing it was all internet chatter.”

    This is a bad move – sure nothing came of it this time, but to devulge information like this to random people is dangerous! There’s a reason I post under a psuedonym and am intentionally vague about just where it is I happen to live (beyond the mention of a few environmental conditions, I’ve said nothing about my present location): compromising op. sec. is a surefire way to get yourself killed in the long run.

    For your own safety, I strongly suggest you do nothing like this ever again…

  7. Azazel, I agree with you. But at the time, posting under a pseudonym was dangerous for me; because ICE was trying to hide what they were doing to my husband and it was MUCH safer to divulge my complete story and suffer the consequences. The truth was, I was confident that at the time I was also being followed a bit, because they were investigating the man I was trying to get asylum for. In short, there were unmarked vehicles often parked outside of my house. Enough so, that when one of the Las Vegas Minutemen who called himself USAToday was sending his cronies to watch me, they backed off.

    I think what you are explaining does make sense if you are not being set up by Homeland Security. But in our case, and in many cases like ours, it is safer to be open and honest about who and what you are. I can tell you, that had I not been, it is likely I wouldn’t be writing these things today. I’m confident that Jim Gilchrist can tell you some of the stories about the rogue Minutemen of San Diego and some of the things they did to others.

    As for now, I have no problem with people knowing I live in Los Angeles. I’m moving soon; but I won’t divulge where, when I do. Common sense!

  8. Apparantly you think you were doing the “right” thing here, so I doubt anything I say can convince you otherwise…

    Just be careful out there, ok? A huge part of the reason I moved out to the countryside was the sparse population (making the unmarked vehicles you alude to easy to spot – not to mention the possiblity of other “security measures” I won’t devulge here that wouldn’t be practical in the city) – so when you do finally make the move to wherever, please strongly consider an isolated location where you have a few “connections” to keep the police state and other lunatics at bay.

  9. Azazel, thank you for your advice and concern. As I said, I chose to keep myself in public because it was safer. There are unique times when this happens. Especially, when Homeland Security is telling you not to talk about your case to ANYONE and not keeping their promises to keep you safe…even exposing you and your loved ones to more danger. And when they accuse you of “agency shopping” when you talk to another government agency about the way they are covering up what their organization is doing to you.

    I agree that in most cases, it is much safer to hide your identity online. Simply, if you knew the facts of my case in particular, it’s likely you would agree with many that I was safer in handling my case this way at the time.

    But I acknowledge your point. Also, it is likely that if you ever post online, you are able to be found. With the numerous cell towers and service provider URLs, there is very little you can hide from the government today. I no longer have much to fear. I’m in VERY capable hands. LOL

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