More Davis in Denial

This is the most detailed article on Clayton Garzon’s second bail hearing I read: http://www.dailydemocrat.com/news/ci_22884880/davis-hate-crime-suspects-bail-raised-520-000

Reading it, I got to thinking not only of the horrible crime against Mikey Partida, but of a recurring theme I experience in Davis — the apathy of the majority with respect to hateful incidents against minority groups.

Clayton Garzon’s attorney, Linda Parisi, argues that the court should be lenient because Clayton Garzon has “voluntarilty on his own” joined a program to combat alcohol abuse. I do question how non-coerced this was. Despite Linda Parisi’s use of redundancy in addressing how Clayton Garzon did this on his own accord (“voluntarily” and “on his own”), I wonder if it was instead suggested by a family member or Linda Parisi herself.

Worse yet, Linda Parisi, again argues that homophobic slurs being yelled at someone while they are being beaten to a pulp are “not necessarily an expression of hate” and instead a “casual use of slang terms”. It’s really sad how much Davis residents shrug off derogatory language as no big deal, especially when it is one of their own. I will be very disheartened if this line of attack is bought by a local jury.

I’ve seen this behavior before from Davis residents with regards to racist and anti-semitic remarks and graffiti. Every time someone spray paints a new swastika, people like Elaine Roberts Musser and Alan Miller are on the Davis Vanguard arguing that it’s not a big deal, it’s just for attention, it’s just a little prank and how it shouldn’t be published because all it does it make the town look bad. Personally, I feel better when someone from the town says that this behavior is not okay — because the overwhelming message I get is that Davis residents either don’t care or agree with the hate.

The way Davis residents respond kind of reminds me of Steubensville, Ohio. We have a city in huge denial that there is a problem. When Emily Ighnat posted the full name of the victim from the much publicized trial, along with slurs, libel and a physical threat, she got blow back from the non-Steubensville community. Her mother jumped to her defense, describing her as a good kid, much like the language I see used to describe Davis residents who perpetuate hate. There was the littany of excuses — how Emily Ighnat supposedly did not know what rape was (but at the same time was supposedly taking college classes because she’s a ‘good kid’). The mother claims Emily Ighnat’s deleting of her own social media accounts was some sort of step in the right direction, rather than just protection for Emily Ighnat. See the contraditions here: http://bustedbitchesandinternetstalkers.com/2013/03/17/breaking-jane-doe-steubenville-now-receiving-threats-via-social-media

Graffiti and threats aren’t as bad as beatings and rapes, but I do worry that the message being sent is the former is okay. As with Trent Mays and Malik Richardson, I am already seeing commenters online more worried about Clayton Garzon and how things are ‘unfair’ for him, rather than concerned about the terrible terrible acts that were committed.

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