A pair of white Florida men have been arrested after shooting at and shouting racial slurs at two biracial children — and claimed that they did so because they thought the kids were on meth.
Orlando’s WFTV reported that James Reidnauer and Brent van Besien were arrested in the city of Leesburg on hate crime charges after shooting at the 16 and 12-year-old brother and sister on March 17.
According to the report, the men confronted the children on a trail owned by a nearby church as they were walking to a convenience store to buy candy.
“Deputies said Reidnauer and van Besien fired at least two shots — one near the girl’s foot and one in the air — before shouting slurs at the biracial children,” WFTV reported, adding that both were uninjured and able to run home.
According to police, the men said they shot at the children because they thought they were, the Orlando Sentinel reported, “meth heads.”
In an interview with local news, Michelle Sabb, the kids’ mother, said she was grateful they made it home unscathed.
“I mean, Trayvon [Martin] — he didn’t make it home,” Sabb said. “What if my son wouldn’t have made it home?”
This Lake County Mom says her two biracial kids, were confronted by two armed suspects. She says the suspects yelled racial slurs and even fired shots. pic.twitter.com/VfpOQQDYmo
— Myrt Price (@MPriceWFTV) March 27, 2019
In 2016, Lake County’s Daily Commercial newspaper reported that van Besien was arrested on domestic violence and armed robbery charges.
A 2017 Lake County booking photo of van Besien shows him with multiple tattoos, including one that appears to be an “Iron Cross,” a German military symbol that according to the Anti-Defamation League later became associated with Nazi Germany.
“After World War II, the medal was discontinued but neo-Nazis and other white supremacists subsequently adopted it as a hate symbol and it has been a commonly-used hate symbol ever since,” the ADL noted.
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Campaigning From the Oval: Trump Brags About ‘What I’ve Done for the African-American’
“We have fantastic relationships with the African-American community, certainly you’re going to see that in 2020,” Trump, in permanent campaign mode, says.
President Donald Trump on Monday was actively campaigning while sitting in the Oval Office during a visit with a foreign head of government. While not illegal, campaigning from within the White House is considered inappropriate, and previous presidents, like George W. Bush, have been pilloried for doing so.
During a lengthy (more than 40 minutes) and wide-ranging televised presser with the Prime Minister of Pakistan, President Trump casually began talking about the 2020 campaign, and bragging about all he’s “done for the African-American.”
After attacking the four Democratic congresswomen who are also women of color he’s targeted for over a week now, Trump insisted “there’s no racial tension.”
“Look, I had my best numbers recently and it’s because of the economy and what I’ve done for the African-American. The African-Americans are doing better than they ever have in our country. We’re creating numbers. Look at the poverty numbers. Look at the unemployment numbers – the best they’ve ever had,” Trump said. “We have fantastic relationships with the African-American community, certainly you’re going to see that in 2020,” the President said from the Oval Office, in active campaign mode.
The President’s phrasing was reminiscent of him bragging about “my African American,” when pointing out a Black supporter at a 2016 campaign rally.
Trump’s relationship with the African American community is far different than the one he portrays. He currently is enmeshed in a battle of his own making, after his racist attacks on four progressive Democrats.
A Pew Research study in April found 56% think President Trump “has made race relations worse,” and “two-thirds say it’s become more common for people to express racist views since Trump became president.”
TRUMP: “There’s no racial tension. Look, I had my best numbers recently & it’s because of the economy & what I’ve done for the African-American. The African-Americans are doing better than they ever have in our country. We’re creating numbers.” pic.twitter.com/k47G7seQvP
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 22, 2019
Trump’s Racist and Nativist Attacks Made Him More Popular – Among Republicans
Proof the Republican Party Is the Party of Racists
President Donald Trump’s attacks – day after day – on four progressive Congresswomen who are also women of color, brought his approval rating down overall, but no doubt he’s pleased, because they were a hit with his base.
A Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll, The Daily Beast reports, finds support for the President increased among GOP voters in the immediate aftermath of his Twitter attacks on the women. Trump says they hate America, should “go back” to their original countries, and later, he aded that they hate Israel.
Trump’s net approval among Republicans jumped 5 points on the racist and nativist attacks.
His approval rating now stands at just 41% overall and his disapproval stands at 55%. For most presidents running for re-election that would be a career death sentence but for Trump, it’s strategy.
A USA Today poll, meanwhile, shows 57% of Republicans support Trump’s racist attacks.
Contrary to the view of conservatives, that USA Today poll found 59% of those polled over called Trump’s tweets against the Congresswomen “un-American.”
‘I’m Not Racist’: City Councilman Tells Constituent He Doesn’t Believe In Her Family’s Interracial Marriage
“I’m not racist,” City Councilman Jim Cleveland says. “But I do not believe in interracial marriage. And that’s the end of that story.”
A small Georgia town became big news on Monday when news broke its mayor had refused to consider the application of a Black candidate as city administrator, despite her admitting he was qualified. Her reason: “Because he is Black.”
Outrage continued as a city councilman defended the mayor.
“I’m a Christian and my Christian beliefs are you don’t do interracial marriage. That’s the way I was brought up and that’s the way I believe,” Hoschton City Councilman Jim Cleveland proudly admitted. He also said it makes his “blood boil” when he sees Black and white people together.
Monday evening Hoschton’s city council convened, led by the embattled mayor, in a brief meeting that was open to the public. The racism of two of the town’s top leaders was on the agenda and was not discussed.
Residents called for Mayor Theresa Kenerly and City Councilman Jim Cleveland to resign, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
“You do not represent our community and I didn’t move here for that,” said Shantwan Austin, who the AJC described as “a black man who moved to Hoschton with his family two years ago.”
Residents followed Councilman Cleveland out to the parking lot, calling on him to resign as he walked to his truck.
“You are evil,” one woman told the Councilman.
“You’re a disgrace!” a man yelled at Cleveland.
“You shoud put your hood on, so we can all recognize you,” one woman yelled at Cleveland as he walked away.
Another woman approached Cleveland and respectfully asked him to look at a photo of her daughter and son-in-law.
“I don’t believe in that,” Councilman Cleveland told her.
“You don’t have to,” the woman told him.
“I don’t disrespect it, I promise you I don’t – I’m not racist,” Cleveland told the woman, interrupting her. “But I do not believe in interracial marriage. And that’s the end of that story.”
“You are racist!” another woman could be heard in the video.
Hoschton, GA Councilman Jim Cleveland defending his unprompted comments on interracial marriage after a town hall (via Sharon Diane on Facebook): @CNN @andersoncooper @ajc @stacyabrams pic.twitter.com/5bddw4n6gb
— savannah (@shortvanburen) May 7, 2019
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