Racial intimidation escalates in Arroyo Grande

March 6, 2012

A White Rabbit Radio, a site recommended on both of the flyers, picture.

By KAREN VELIE

While the suspects of an Arroyo Grande cross burning await their trial, the victims continue to be assaulted with racism now in the form of hate filled flyers.

On Friday, the African American teen who awoke last March to find an 11-foot cross burning outside her bedroom window pulled into the Shell service station on Grand Avenue with her mother. They then discovered two racist flyers placed over ads on top of the pump they where using.

“Replacing whites with non-whites is not justice,” one of the flyers says. “It is time to straiten this out.”

A gas station employee said that he has been taking down racist flyers, some “worse” than the two noticed on Friday, for months.

And while hate speech is protected under the First Amendment, placing flyers on private property over ads is not, Arroyo Grande Police Chief Steve Annibali said.

“We have seen those flyers around town,” Annibali said. “I’ve also seen them around SLO County.”

In December, a hate filled flyer identical to one of those found last week in Arroyo Grande was found in a bathroom in the Cal Poly Robert E. Kennedy Library.

“How long would it take anyone to realize I’m not talking about a RACE problem,” the flyer says. “I am talking about the final solution to the BLACK problem?[sic]”

Since the March 2011 cross burning, the Arroyo Grande family has been the victim of numerous acts of intimidation including an alleged gang member knocking on their door to discover if they still lived on Elm Street, racial flyers and spray painted racial graffiti.

In December, the alleged victim of the cross burning discovered someone had spray painted the name of a white supremacist gang and a cross on a wall across from her then Elm Street home using a pre-made template. The vandalism faced the site of the earlier cross burning.

The family, which has lived in the area for 10 years and recently moved into a new home, is not being named to protect their privacy.

In July, police arrested Orcutt resident Jason Kahn, 36, San Simeon transient Jeremiah Hernandez, 32, Arroyo Grande transient William Soto, 20, and San Simeon transient Sara Matheny, 24. All four are former Arroyo Grande residents.

Each of the suspects is charged with arson, cross burning, terrorism, conspiracy and hate crime enhancements while conspiring with others.

Kahn was also charged with witness intimidation.

There is some evidence that the suspects are connected to organized hate groups, police said.

Last week, San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Jacquelyn Duffy agreed to extend the start of the trial until April to allow time for the defense attorneys to get access to all 911 recordings, police reports and interviews. The defendants have all pleaded not guilty and remain in jail.


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Slowerfaster

Racism exists in 21st Century America, because today’s Republican party nurtures racists as in a seedbed. If it were not for racists, the Republican party would be a fead relic. it is ONLY the racists that keep the ‘ship-of-holes’ afloat.


doggin

The floating ship like J.E Ray the Democrat murderer racist was to MLK the Republican right? The republican party does not nurture racism, however based off your comment its proof the democratic party nurtures ignorance and idiots.


Slowerfaster

Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, Lester Maddox, James Eastland, Trent Lott, Rush Limbaugh, Helen Chenoweth, the Koch brothers, Steve King, Michele Bachmann, Richard Nixon,


How far you wanna go ? That’s TWELVE Republican racists to your supposed ONE, and your one was an itinerant drifter that was barely literate.

And as has been amply illustrated before here on CCN, it is a LIE that MLK Jr. was a Republican..


Lose the easily refuted strawman arguments, and just accept the FACT that today’s Republican party is RACIST based.


MaryMalone

I agree that the Republicans you named are/were a$$hats, but I disagree with your assertions about the GOP being racist-based.


At this point in time, the GOP is lost control of the party to the evangelical right and its handlers. That is why the GOP voters are getting stuck with such nutball candidates.


The way the Democratic politicians we elect continue to do the bidding of the Republican politicians, it won’t be long before Democrats are also controlled by the evangelical right.


The faith-based bull$hit started with GWBush, but Obama has actually expanded the role of the faith-based taxpayer-paid-for religious indoctrination in the guise of “social services.”


For every person who believes in the separation of church and state, that right there should be a litmus test as to whether they will vote for Obama in 2012. Yet I constantly run into Democrats who plan to sheeple on up to the voting booth and vote for Obama in 2012.


The Gimlet Eye

“itinerant drifter”?


Isn’t that pleonastic?


MaryMalone

Slowerfaster, I disagree with your opinion. Our species will always have racism because it is based in a basic survival mechanism we learned many of years ago: beware of those who are different because they may take the resources you need to survive and, in the process, kill you or capture you and make you part of their resources.


This xenophobic instinct has allowed us–all of those living on the planet today–to be here. It kept our line of ancestors from being naturally selected out in the Olduvai Gorge millions of years ago.


Every wave of new immigrants into a land–any land–is met with the same xenophobic response. This natural xenophobic response serves a purpose: it allows us to cautiously observe a new group of people to ascertain their intent before we trust them with our resources.


If the new wave of immigrants looks like us, then the xenophobic response is not as strong. This can be to our peril, as we saw with the wave of clandestine Nazi-leaning German immigrants in the 1930s. What started out as a small movement became larger because the Nazi, white-supremacist rhetoric inflamed the inbred xenophobic response of the Germans (and others) here.


We saw this functional xenophobia in one of our oldest civilizations, Persia, and for good reason. Once the advancements and wealth of the Persians was learned of by outside groups of humans, those outside groups almost immediately started trying to invade the Persian empire and take over their resources. Persia–now in the general region of Iraq and Iran–has been repeatedly invaded by subsequent groups of conquerers. We, as Americans, are the latest group.


This natural survival instinct of xenophobia becomes treacherous when the true monsters of our species learn to manipulate the masses by tapping into the natural cautious response of groups of humans to those who are different from them.


The Republican Party has learned to manipulate by xenophobia very well. However, there are no virgins at this political hoe-down, and the Democrats are not so pure.


I well remember the shout-outs to racists from Hillary and Bill Clinton, when Hillary’s race for the presidency went south. It was what made me stop being one of her supporters. I was shocked at how many of her supporters stayed, however. This indicates to me that Democrats are not so adverse to racism if it serves their purposes.


More treacherous is the new xenophobia politicians have used to divide us: the xenophobia associated with ideas and beliefs.


Both Democrats and Republicans pimp the right-to-chose for women belief.


The GOPers pimp the anti-Muslim fears.


The GOP, now controlled by the very large bloc of theocratic evangelists it has embraced, pimps that group’s fears of allowing other religious beliefs, and the ways of life they embrace, survive.


This is to the GOP’s peril because that bloc’s litmus test of choices for president has brought it to forcing the likes of Sarah Palin into the VP slot for John McCain in 2008. In this presidential election cycle, it is forcing the GOP to be threatened with ending up with candidates the general American population will not vote for: first born-again floozie-monger Newt Gingrich, who turned out to be too unstable on the trail, and so the GOP evangelicals have now seemed to settle on Rick Santorum.


Liberals/progressives/Democrats like to think we don’t have those xenophobic responses, but we do. We like to think we are part of the pure minds, and could all live as one, in a utopia free of xenophobia, if it weren’t for the racist GOPers.


This is not true, and will never be true. Not as long as we are human, and certainly not as long as we have politicians.


pasoparent5

“The GOPers pimp the anti-Muslim fears.” Um…I know a lot of Republicans and not ONE is “anti-Muslim.” Anti-terrorist, yes, but not anti-Muslim.


Mary, you’ve mistakenly lumped all Republicans into the same anti-Muslim, racist category. I’d expect better from you. :(


MaryMalone

If you look at the context of the quote, you will see it was in the context of the GOP politicians.


I know a lot of Republicans, and none will admit to being “anti-Muslim,” but many don’t like it when a Muslim religious meeting place and/or social club comes to town, and react negatively to images of Muslims doing the things that are part of their culture.


They certainly don’t try to promulgate anti-Muslim sentiment, but they are still very wary of Muslims. Despite the fact that there is much credible information indicating that only an infinitesimally small portion of Muslims are terrorists, for many Republican people, they still equate “terrorist” with “Muslim.”


Cindy

Excellent post Mary and apart from blaming the right or left political factions for exploiting the innate instincts of the populous, I think there is enough to blame to go around on both sides. Its about each individual rather than an entire political party in my opinion and I think there are equal opportunists on both sides.


Slowerfaster

False equivalency. Sure …one can hop on the Wayback machine and make a case from moldy paper, ……or find an exception that proves the rule.


The fact is that it has been ONE political party that has infused racism, and appeals to white racists in particular, as integral to their existence as a major political party.


That Mary repeats these false frames is no surprise.


New York Times columnist Bob Herbert reported this 1981 interview with Reagan advisor Lee Atwater, where Atwater described politics in the South, and how Republicans used racist sentiments for their political advantage:

“You start out in 1954 shouting ‘ N****r, n****r, n***r’. By 1968 you can’t say ‘n****r’ —that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like ‘forced busing’, ‘state’s rights’ and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all those things you’re talking about are total economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.

And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying ‘We want to cut this’ is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of alot more abstract than ‘N****r, n****r’ “.


Herbert wrote in the same column: ” The truth is that there was very little that was subconscious about the G.O.P.’s relentless appeal to racist whites. Tired of losing elections, it saw an opportunity to renew itself by opening its arms wide to white voters who could never forgive the Democratic Party for its support of civil rights and voting rights for blacks”.


MaryMalone

SLOWFASTER: “The fact is that it has been ONE political party that has infused racism, and appeals to white racists in particular, as integral to their existence as a major political party.”


The Democrats were capitalizing on racism LONG before the Republicans were. It is just that, when Kennedy started pushing for Civil Rights, it became politically expedient for Democrats to become Civil Rights supporters. I’m not saying there weren’t Democrats who had a True Civil Rights Awakening. I’m saying that the politicians who drive the public beliefs–except for a few, like JFK and RFK– moved for political expediency first. The Awakening came later.


It was this backing of Civil Rights that flipped the South to the Republicans. Before that, the South was Democrat-Land.


Slowerfaster

Mary …stop repeating the junk from the Republican playbook ! You fall right into their false frames …a fundamental and chronic ERROR as Prof. George Lakoff observes.


It was the Civil Rights plank contained in the 1948 Democratic platform that was the initial impulse. that was what led the Southern delegations to walk out, and then Strom Thurmond to head the Dixiecrat ticket.

Truman was elected, but the Korean War and Mccarthyite witch-hunting forestalled much progress on civil rights. Truman integrated the armed forces by presidential order.

Then, the Republicans took over in the 50’s and did NOTHING ( simply what they do ). It was the COURTS , most notably in Brown v. Board of education that led to school desegregation….something that Eisenhower had to uphold by calling out troops.

The Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 were only made possible by remorse after the JFK assassination, and a huge Democratic congressional majority won in the ’64 elections with enormous pressure by LBJ. LBJ knew that this would lose the ‘solid South’ for Democrats for who knew how long.

But that was almost 50 years ago. The ‘Solid RACIST South’ has been Republican for over two generations.


WiseGuy

Mary, your “theory” is flawed because it doesn’t take into account humankind’s ability to use their mind to overcome and transcend instinctual reactions. Those who do, are humans. Those who are not able to or simply don’t, are acting like animals.


Humans most certainly have the ability to rise above racism. When you suggest otherwise, you are contributing to the perpetuation of racist reactions.


MaryMalone

No, I am not. I am trying to point out the difference between a genetically-encoded survival trait in which newcomers are observed for awhile to ensure they are trusted before being embraced by the people already present…and racism.


You are trying to change my argument to suit your own, and it doesn’t work.


One CAN be both wary of newcomers (normal) and racist (heinous), but they don’t HAVE to be both.


Mistrust of newcomers who are different is an approach to the security of the previously existing group. Once the newcomers are found to be trusted, then the existing group moves on and incorporates them into the group.


A racist can’t move on. They get stuck on whatever the differences are, demonize the differences, and then transfer the demonization of the differences to the people themselves.


In our culture, currently politicians will use this ability to get people stuck on the differences, which morphs into bigotry, to conquer and divide.


Right-wing radio prompts people to reinforce racism and bigotry. But Democrat politicians prompt their people for different types of bigotry, such as bigotry against those who will not support the Democratic presidential candidate.


Democratic voters, like me, who voted and volunteered for Obama in 2008, but who no longer support him, are being thoroughly demonized by left-wing demagogues. They are marginalizing us for simply refusing to vote for someone we see as being a dangerous president and a continuation of GWBush’s administration.


There ain’t no virigns at this hoe-down, and both sides of the political spectrum pimp bigotry.


P.S. A short side-note. Very sad that Dennis Kucinich lost the Democratic Primary last night. He was running in a new redistricted district. This is a quote from last night:


The trick is whether you can triumph over victory as well as defeat,” Kucinich said. “I’ve tried to see both victory and defeat as impostors and not to be too moved by either of them, and know that each brings new opportunities and new possibilities.

–Democratic Representative Dennis Kucinich, following defeat in the 2012 Democratic Primary in a redistricted Congressional District.


Slowerfaster

Mary… I am a confirmed ‘Progressive’, that has the sad duty to inform you:

“It is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt ! “


SLOBIRD

God is racist when He selected the Hebrews to be “a people for his own possession, above all peoples on the face of the earth” (Deut. 7:6)


Slowerfaster obviously is racist when he selects his/party views over all others. It is sad when you do not even recognize bigotry and racism in yourself. So many people have forgotten what America is about and it is about Democrats, it’s about Democracy – a big difference!


zaphod

We are a republic, democratic process is how we achieve it some times the left hand performs the work while the right hand steadies it other times the right hand moves while the left holds


MaryMalone

I believe we are an oligarchy. There is no real difference between the results of the parties’ formal policies anymore.


In other words, the Democratic Party’s political platform reads one way, and the politicians we elect often do the exact opposite…which is basically whatever the GOP wants.


Sure, the Democrats put up a good show of resisting, but it’s like a “saloon girl” trying to play the virgin…the fight doesn’t last very long, and the saloon girl always gives in.


hotdog

“Replacing whites with non-whites is not justice,” one of the flyers says. “It is time to ””””’straiten””””this out.


Low life scum can’t even spell right. There is no room for racially charged hate messages, anywhere. Only the ‘fox blues’ idiots appreciate that.


In case any of the slime who spread this junk are reading this know that more than 99% of whites would beat you to pieces for your crummy attitudes. Get a life.


Jack L

Hard to spell correctly and think straight while on meth or crack.


MaryMalone

There are plenty of xenophobes, on both sides of the political spectrum, who would stick needles in their eyes before they would use meth or crack.


Do you think the loathing the left has for the group of people who believe that life starts when t he sperm first enters the egg, and those on the right who fear those on the left who believe a woman has the right to determine what happens with her body, are not xenophobic?


They are xenophobic…but the color of the skin is not the defining factor for these xenophobes. It is their BELIEFS that determine who should be controlled and who should not.


This new belief xenophobia, brought to you by the avarist and greed of politics, is far more dangerous, IMO, than the xenophobia that is racism.


pasoparent5

But Mary, the story’s about some racist skinheads in AG.


MaryMalone

I just wan to say that I live in AG and, until the spy-cams went up in the village, spent a fair amount of time in the village. I shop locally, we eat at local restaurants mainly. In short, both my husband and I are out and about in AG A LOT.


Neither of us have ever seen a racist poster or any other type of material.


I’m not at all saying they haven’t been put up; it is just that, despite the fact that we are out in the public places frequently in AG, neither of us have seen any racist material.


MaryMalone

I have to say, the image accompanying this article is goofy. What is it supposed to be?


Signed,

Confused in Arroyo Grande


MaryMalone

1. Unless the FBI has become involved again, I don’t have a lot of confidence in the AGPD being proactive and aggressive in getting this to stop. They have tried to turn it into the equivalent of toilet-papering a tree from the beginning, and even tried to force the mother to reveal sexual details going back ten years, a clear attempt to shift the blame to the mother and her daughter, the daughter being the target of the cross-burning.


2. I don’t back down from bullies. Period. I just don’t. I don’t necessarily go out of my way to confront them, but if I see a racist poster up I’m going to take a photo of it in place for evidence, then take it down, and then file a complaint with the apropriate LE agency. I’m not going to leave the poster in place.


That is the least confrontational way I can think of to leave a trail of evidence of the racist material I find in the community. It also puts the local LE agency on notice that at least one person is going to file a complaint every danged time they find a racist piece of propaganda or literature up in the community.


JackR

Is this really a surprise to anyone? Have you ever read the racist comments from Obama-haters on Fox News? All the politicians and political talk radio hosts do is attack others. Be it for what someone thinks, what religion they believe (or don’t believe) in, what nationality they are, or their skin color. I view all these attacks the same way..


Sorry Dave, but I won’r patronize any KVEC advertiser as long as Rush is on KVEC. I’m fed up with all the attacks and hate being spewed around.


MaryMalone

Jack, just a clarification: Not all people who oppose Obama are “obama-haters” who hang at Fox News.


JackR

When people post attacks against Obama that include racist comments, I’d call thyem obama-haters. I didn’t say that all people that post on Fox News are obama-haters.


MaryMalone

I still disagree. They are racists who happen to be targeting Obama at this point.


Before Obama, they targeted Martin Luther King, Jesse Jackson, and any other black person who had a chance of becoming a controlling power in the U.S.


I don’t even know if they really hate Obama. They hate what he stands for: a black person becoming a major controlling power in the U.S. They would react the same to any black person who became president.


danika

Agreed. I do not have any fondness for Mr. Obama’s policies or administration. My dislike of these have nothing to do with the color of his skin but to his bad decisions and misplacement of trust and authority he puts in those who represent him. I don’t hate him.


MaryMalone

Great way to put it, Danika. So eloquent!


I would have said “….because he’s a bait-and-switch, neocon a$$hole.”


danika

;)


bobfromsanluis

So what is something anyone can do who witnesses someone else placing an offending flier? Certainly you don’t want to be confrontational, but expressing your disapproval of the action would be a good thing, especially if there are others around when you do so. By expressing your disapproval, you make room for others to join you at that moment; others may feel the same as you do but feel intimidated to speak out by themselves. Can you imagine how a person trying to post crap like this would feel if he was spoke to by a single individual that was then joined by others in the area? The reason I suggest doing this with others around is the “strength in numbers” approach, and how a white supremacist would feel outnumbered if a group expressed their outrage at his actions and less likely to physically confront a group then they would a lone individual. The more they are told that their actions are not appreciated, the less they will likely to continue. Absence of protest can equal a tacit approval of the offending action. Please speak up if you feel safe doing so if you witness someone posting these racist flyers.


Stunned

Good advice bobfromsanluis….oh wait, you’re NOT a dentist? That actually would be a great way to get your teeth knocked out by these whack jobs. Make note of what you saw, who it was, vehicle description and plate # and shut the heck up. Let the police do their job.


The minute you give these crazy banger-types a second to memorize your face you’ll regret it. Again, let the police do their job. It’s not like you’ve witnessed the crime of the century!


I know you mean well Bob….I’d be so worried if I saw common citizens encouraged to approach skin heads or any of these gang banger types.


doggin

If the police could be everywhere all the time your comment might make sense about them doing their job. I seem to recall Mayor Pike of AG tell us there’s no such thing as a skinhead gang in AG anyhow and its just kids playin pranks so how bad could they be?. BTW, good to see your willing to stand up for whats right.


brook

Speak up? To some racist who you caught in the act of doing something illegal?

Granted they are inherently cowards – but they could very well react like a cornered animal.


Better would be to snap a picture with your phone, observe anything that might help lead law officials to find them – and if able, charge them. If the incident became public,

so much the better. Then we’d all know who we’re dealing with.


At the very least, I expect law enforcement to address the issue, make it clear that such behavior will not be tolerated in SLO county. I’m sure it’s something that regularly gets soft-pedaled in order to protect the “Happy” and not scare the tourists away. In a sane world the quality of life for residents should always take precedent over Tourism!


MaryMalone

They can’t act like a cornered animal if you don’t confront them in a way that does not leave them an avenue to escape.


Take photos, collect other evidence, then file a complaint with the police. You can wait until the racist bullies are gone if you feel you might be harmed if you did it when they were still on the scene.


If enough people file a complaint with the local LE every time they see a piece of racist literature or advertisement posted in the community, the LE will be placed in a position where they have to act to stop it. It doesn’t look too good for them to have received dozens of complaints–with evidence–and to have not done anything about it.


pasoparent5

stunned & brook are correct. Whiskey tango racist skinheads could care less if you express “disapproval of their actions”. In fact, they’d enjoy the attention. Regardless, meth-fueled tweakers shouldn’t be messed with. Call the cops.


slow

I am ashamed that this is happening in San Luis Obispo County.


doggin

Bet we’ll see some action now being the Shell station is owned by Katcho. One would think the pumps have surveillance cameras on them and video would show the perps hanging the flyers.


As the world turns

Arroyo Grande has a history of sexism and racism. Look at tribune articles from years past about lawsuits against the city.