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Hate Crime Charges in FIU Beating Case Dropped

October 19, 2007

From the Miami Herald:

"The victim, freshman Stephen Barrett, 18, told prosecutors he never
felt the teenager who used a supposed racial slur targeted him because
he is black…That Asian-American teen, whose name was not released, uttered the word
”nigga” more as a hip-hop cultural slang than racial insult,
prosecutors believe, making it difficult to prove it was a hate crime…The teenager, known as Chino, yelled out at Barrett ”Nigga get off the
boat, nigga” and swung at Barrett, who swung back, Barrett told

Stephen Barrett is a victim.  Not just because he was attacked physically, but also because he has been under a mental crush all his life and never knew it. He’s mind has been barraged by his own people calling each other "nigga", to the point where the negative connotation escapes him.  To many of our children think like Stephen Barrett, and because of the mentality of our youth, and their ambivalence to the negative impact the use of the "N-word" and other terms we use to address our own people, we are now in danger of being marginalized by technicality. Look at the reason the prosecutor is dropping the hate-crime charges, "…”nigga” more as a hip-hop cultural slang than racial insult".  Unbelievable. 

Whats scary about this is that the real racists out there are going to use it as a defense, and if this goes untested they’ll have precedence!

We have to regain our sense of self.  How can we allow our children to associate themselves with the most heinous term ever uttered against us without a bat of an eye?  We parents, elders, members in the struggle must inject truth into our youth culture.  We must impress our will on the producers of hip-hop and any other forms of music that perpetuate the use of the "N-word", that call our women "hos" and "b’s" to change; and if they do not change the way they speak of us – we must stop helping them perpetrate our self-hate. We must stop buying the music.

We’ve got to make a change, before we’re pushed so far into the margin we can’t be heard.

For more on the case go here:

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