MOSCOW, Dec. 13 — The e-mail that arrived Monday night in the inboxes of two organizations tracking hate crimes in Russia carried a disturbing message and an even more disturbing photo — that of a man’s severed head resting on a wooden chopping block.

The article in the Washington Post speaks for itself. One simple question we must ask ourselves:

As an online community of responsible Prince William County residents and American citizens, can we judge the Russian people for their views, and the violence to which it has led? Do we have more right, or less right, to comment than Americans who have not gone through what we lived through in 2007?

7 Thoughts to “In Russia, a Grisly Message Marks Rise in Hate Crimes”

  1. What happened to Salahetdin Azizov is so reminiscent of what happened to Luis Ramirez in Shenandoah.

    The assault itself was bad enough. But you sort of expect the crazy Greg Letiecq’s of the world to act on their impulses. The absolute worst part is how in both these cases, the police and authorities went out of their way to exercise malicious neglect in capturing the killers thereby becoming accessories after the fact.

    I remember that in the Ramirez case, when the police showed up, they immediately arrested and searched the mexican cousin who had shown up to help. And while the Police had an eyewitness who personally knew the assailants and where they lived, the police refused to arrest them for days and days, giving the killers plenty of time to come up with story and to destroy DNA evidence.

    Without the media spotlight and a justice department investigation, the Police of Shenandoah would have buried the murder of Ramirez as they have probably buried the murders other unnamed minorities throughout their history. Who knows how many other Ramirezes lie buried, unknown and forgotten, in the soil of Shenandoah and other similar towns throughout our nation. Who knows how many more will come to be similarly buried before we realize that the problem is systemic.

    When the Authorities themselves are the source of injustice, when you have no one left to turn to, what recourse is left to you?

  2. Mooh-howler, to answer the question you pose: we have more right and all the more responsibility to speak out when we see intolerance beget violence in other parts of the country, or the world.

    As for what is happening in Russia, I am aghast. In America the anti-immigrant violence is less frequent and less macabre, but morally speaking it is hard to place us on higher ground.

    After seeing what I saw last year in this county, I will admit that I now feel less capable of criticizing the “good” or average citizen, for instance the average citizen of Prince William County or the average citizen of Russia. I still wonder if there is anything I could have done in Prince William County to avoid what’s happened. I think perhaps not. It is, after all, “up to the leaders to determine the policy.”

    I now have a new understanding of democracy and its limitations.

  3. SecondAlamo

    Ok, I can understand that no one wants this to happen in this country, and I know some say we’ve already reached this level, but the one thing that would prevent this is to enforce laws against people who break the law in the first place regardless of their ethnicity or their social or economic standing. In PWC we experienced a huge influx of people who were breaking both federal and local law, and when the law was enforced certain people cried foul simply because these people were destitute, and when that didn’t work then the cry of racism was raised. This, when allowed to occur unrestrained, is what causes the level of frustration to the citizens to be so great that they demand action from the people that govern. If the people that govern don’t take action, then this is what could evolve. As much as you hate the Resolution I feel that it was the one thing that prevented the possibility of things spiraling out of control here in PWC.

  4. To answer your questions Moon-howler . . .

    1. Can we judge the Russian people for their views, and the violence to which it has led?

    Judge the Russian people? No. But as to violence, it is our human obligation — and I would even say a sacred human duty — to condemn all uses of violence as a means to communicate a viewpoint or a grievance. And to that, it is always proper to condemn attitudes of fear and hatred which are at the root of violence. But when doing so, our next step must be to stand witness to the better way of non-violence, and demonstrate it in our words, actions, and lives. And doing so with humility and compassion.

    2. Do we have more right, or less right, to comment than Americans who have not gone through what we lived through in 2007?

    Neither. Anyone with a conscience has the right — and the duty — to comment.

  5. Censored bybvbl

    I agree with Robb in that anyone with a conscience should speak out. It shouldn’t matter whether the haters deliver their vengence by way of a Pennsylvania football team or a’ la John the Baptist, it shouldn’t be tolerated and should be condemned. There is no excuse for it. Overcrowding is no excuse for murder. Illegal immigration is no excuse for murder. A shot-to-hell economy is no excuse for murder. An isolated murder by a member of an ethnic group is no excuse for vigilante justice. There are other solutions. A call for hysteria, violence, or the worst in human nature, while a common tactic for all nations and many “groups”, only brings out more of the worst behavior. Politicians are in the position to stand up for what is best and just and should be replaced if they’re too gutless or uninformed to find a civilized solution. Expect more of the worst behavior with the state of the world economy being a rationalization for it. Our history books are filled with examples of where that situation might lead us and it isn’t pretty.

  6. michael

    I think a very important study and answer to this problem is to examine why people “hate others”. and why pople do not hate others, by looking at history.

    1. People hate others when they have been harmed in some way, have been threatened in some way, have been exposed to hatred as a means to solve their fears, have been exposed to crime as a solution to gaining what they want for themselves and can get away with crime because the laws to prevent crime are not enforced.
    2. People love others when they see something of themselves in others, they are not harmed by others, they have not been threatened by others, they have been exposed to love as a means to solve their fears, have been exposed to law enforcement as a means to solve their fears and as a solution for gaining fairly and justly for what they want for themselves, and realize the cannot get away with crime because the laws to prevent crime and lawlessness are enforced.
    3. Historically when you remove differences due to gender, race, religion and ethnicity, crimes against genders, races, religions and ethnicities drop drastically.
    4. Historically when you encourage differences, and discourage similarites between genders, races, religions and ethnicities, crimes against genders, races, religions and ethnicities increase drastically and law enforcement covers up those crimes and does not enforce the law equally the same on everyone.
    5. When you are naive to believe that not enforcing law on anyone, because you feel sorry for the criminals or the lawbreakerss, then you encourage hatred, lawlessness and ignorance of the behaviors of humans, especially by supporting those humans who are just mean and lawlessness.
    6. If their were no mean people, people willing to break the law, or criminal people in the world, law would not be needed and law enforcement would not be needed and then you could ban all forms of law enforcement. Until a segment of the human population stops harming other segments of the human population, you will need law, law enforcement and citizens needs to protect themselves from ALL people who would harm them, including “illegal” immigrants who would harm them, by insisting law is enforced equally on all people the same, protecting all people from those who would do them harm the same.

    Law enforcement of the “legal” immigrant law against “illegal immigrants” is the most ethical and fastest way to stop ALL crimes associated with “illegal” immigration.

  7. NotGregLeteicq

    I vote for more responsibility to speak out. If I knew of another area that was considering doing what we did with the Immigration Resolution, I would go post on their blog and tell them all the lessons we have learned.

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