The brick, thrown through a 4-year-old boy’s bedroom window, read “Keep Westside White. Keep Westside Strong.”
The homeowner, Barbara Frische, who is black, said she has lived in the home for 10 years.
“It’s the first time anything like this has ever happened to me,” she said.
Police have not classified this incident as a hate crime, said Austin Police Sgt. Richard Stresing, because hate crimes target an individual specifically because of an identifying characteristic, like race. Police say the incident has been classified as criminal mischief and deadly conduct.
Honestly, every time I think we’ve made progress in Texas on race relations, something like this comes along to prove me wrong. How can the police not see this as a hate crime? You have a message advocating racial segregation tossed through the window of a black family who had the temerity to move into a historically all-white area of the city.
This is why African Americans have such a hard time believing that hate-crime laws will be fairly enforced and aren’t just some kind of legal fiction intended to single them out for punishment and to stigmatize them as a group. This is especially true when you consider that many people in the law and academia hold to the belief that racism and therefore hate crimes are attributes solely of African American culture. When you have such an intellectual framework, how can African Americans trust that hate-crime laws will be enforced fairly?
Clearly, America still has a lot of work to do.
[Update: It’s pointed out to me that I may have made a typo or two when I copied the quote from the original article. I’ll fix it later but in the meantime make sure to read the original before commenting.]