By Cheryl Brown
Last weekend the electronic news reported a Klan Rally at Lake Perris. The week before last, a 14 year old White girl was arrested and denied bail in a racial incident in Yucca Valley.
Last week, there was a report of Swastikas in Joshua Tree and 29 Palms. And the District Attorneys office has countered with an anti- hate campaign. But an unidentified person who answered the telephone at a local law enforcement agency said, "they havent been very active. Weve had a few people making noise."
"They dont want to think any of this is related," said another unidentified person.
Linda Root, Deputy District Attorney in Yucca Valley said, "As a procescutor I don't see an increase in hate crime, but as a resident I do see an increase in activity. I do have concerns that there is an increase in wantabees. There is a good target for that," said Root.
Gary Garrett says that he filed a police report on the matter in February. "I have lived and had my own business in Joshua Tree for the past 14 years, said the single father raising two successful teenagers. My son was hit by a hit and run driver and knocked from his bike. Then I received a phone call at 12:00 a.m. from a man who identified himself as a member of the Aryan Nation and he told me that I need to get out of here. I made a police report and I blocked his number through the phone company," said Garrett.
"The Valley has a lot of discrimination and they (Klan) are passing out brochures at the Wal-Mart up here. It is spilling over into the schools. One Klansman was going one on one with a Black student at the high school my children tell me. A dozen Blacks surrounded him before he backed down. It is not going on everyday but it is periodically happening," said Garrett. Many people are scared and do not want their names used for fear of retaliation.
In an incident some African Americans now believe was an initiation into a hate group, a 14 year old White female was arrested for interference with civil rights after she allegedly attacked a Black student at Yucca Valley High School on November 6. According to the local newspaper, after the police investigated the fight it was determined that the incident was racially motivated. She was sent to juvenile hall in San Bernardino and is being held without bail.
The Black students mother told the Hi-Desert Star, the two girls used to be best friends, but lately the suspect had changed. Unidentified sources say it is because of a new Aryan boyfriend. "Now Im scared for my daughters life," said the girls mother. She said she wasnt the only one. There are other parents who are afraid to put their kids in school because of the KKK thing in Joshua Tree," reported the Hi Desert Star article. According to the article there is a group of students who have the goal of rooting out all non-White students.
There are reports of the Klan recruiting and passing out flyers at Wal-Mart. The newspaper printed letters to the editor both pro and con. One person said about the Klan forming there, "would people be as upset if an NAACP group formed? NAACP promotes Black only colleges and scholarships. People who have experienced the Klan close up, in areas where the Klan is more open, will tell you their acts have violated the rights of others.
The District Attorneys anti hate unit is working to stem the tide and to pass out information that will inform people that hate can be a crime. "I have a few thousand flyers that I hope will alert parents about hate crime. They are published by "We Tip". To stem the tied of hate incidents, the posters will be passed out by the Cub Scouts. My cubbies will be passing out the information," said LeAnn Robinson, one of the Scout Den Mothers.
"We are working on a crime prevention patch and we are going to hang posters to stop hate crimes," said Robinson.
At press time Black Voice was awaiting calls from the San Bernardino Sheriffs Department and Morongo School District.
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