Mar 14, 2016

Hate and Murder

They Thought They Were Free,
The Germans, 1933-45
(University of Chicago Press.
by Milton Mayer
"Someone perceived as a Latino will soon be murdered; you can count on it," (Mal Contends, June 2014).

Not surprising to read the latest mass murder and hate crime occurred in Milwaukee where segregation and hate fuel the Republican Party of Wisconsin and Scott Walker.

Ashley Luthern reports in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (March 10) a white man, Dan J. Popp, "methodically shot and killed three of his neighbors at point-blank range" on March 6 on a Sunday afternoon.

It was a hate crime. The victims are Jesus R. Manso-Perez, 40; Phia Vue, 36; and Mai K. Vue, 32. The three victims are Puerto Rican and Hmong.

A candlelight vigil in support of the victims was held yesterday in Milwaukee, noted Tammie Xiong, Executive Director of the Milwaukee Hmong American Women's Association. "Hate speech leads to hate crimes," read a sign held at the vigil.

The Journal-Sentinel's Luthern notes in her chilling report, citing the criminal complaint against Popp filed late last week:

Popp then asked where they, [Jesus R. Manso-Perez and his son], were from and the father and son replied Puerto Rico.

The son later told police that Popp replied: 'Oh, that's why you don't speak English. You're Puerto Rican.'

Manso-Perez and his son continued to the basement where they got the washing machine started. As they climbed the stairs back to their apartment, Popp stood over them on a landing. He was armed with a rifle.

The son told police Popp pointed the gun at his father — saying, 'You guys got to go' — and pulled the trigger.

Manso-Perez was shot in the head.

As his son turned to run toward the front door, he glanced up and saw Popp point the gun at him. He heard a second shot, which he told police he believed was meant for him. ...

Thia Vue, his wife, Mai Vue, and their four children lived in another unit in the apartment complex. The couple had been out of town most of the weekend, leaving a 25-year-old relative to baby-sit the children.

Soon after they returned home on Sunday, there was a knock on the door.

It was Popp. The 25-year-old relative answered the door and Popp asked her if someone was knocking. She told him no and he left.

A short time later, the family heard several gunshots coming from the apartment hallway. It was not clear in court records if the sound they heard was Popp shooting Manso-Perez or firing randomly in the hallway.

Hearing the gunshots, Phia and Mai Vue, their four children and the adult relative hid in a bedroom together. They heard pounding on their apartment door and Mai gave the relative a cellphone to call police.

Popp kicked down the front door, made his way into the bedroom and pointed the rifle at Phia, ordering him to leave.

Phia followed Popp, and his family inside the bedroom heard two or three gunshots. Officers found Phia dead in the bathroom. He had a gunshot wound to the head.

Popp returned to the bedroom and began to drag Mai and her two young daughters out of the apartment while the older relative and other children followed. Some were able to run outside.

"Hate crimes are nothing new. You have a family that has four kids without a mom and dad. As a community we are rallying around the family, and working with relatives to provide support," said Ms. Xiong. "This is nothing new. Sad to say we are not surprised."

Adds Xiong, "It's really important to acknowledge the hurt the the Hmong community faces here in Milwaukee. We really hope justice will be served for the families of this crime. We need as human beings to respect each other. To even have this conversation in 2016 is shameful."

Xiong describes the Hmong community as "close-knit."

The four Hmong Vue children reportedly range in age from approximately six-years-old to 13. Manso-Perez' surviving son is 18.

Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo wrote a piece on Saturday entitled "Someone Will Die".

As hate is preached at the highest levels of American political culture, you should really consider reading Marshall's piece. Fascism is in the air.

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