On May 30th 9 year old Brisenia Flores’s home was broken into she was shot to death along with her Father, 3 members of a minute-man style border watch group have been charged with the crime including Shawna Forde the former “border director” for the minutemen and representative of anti-immigrant think tank FAIR. Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik stated that they planned to rob the family to raise money for their organization and did not want to leave witnesses. They dressed as law enforcement and broke into the family's home and shot Brisenia and her father to death. They even searched for Brisenia’s sister who thankfully was not home at the time. Brisenia’s mother survived the attack and managed to return fire.
No one can be too surprised about this murder from a vigilante hate group. A quick glance through any immigration themed news article’s comments section will reveal calls to round up immigrants, sometimes calls to shoot and kill them and always the drone of the singular argument of the anti-immigrant movement, “But they’re illegal, they have no rights” (Read they are not human). The facts matter little to this group, and every immigrant is assumed to be “illegal”. Few things in this world sound as insincere as the Minutemen's attempts to distance themselves from their former darling.
Reading about this horrible murder and looking at the picture of sweet faced Brisenia; I cannot fathom the pain that her mother feels. Her little girl was killed for being Mexican ironically they live in an Arizona Border town only 10 miles from Mexico. I cannot help but be reminded of the four little girls killed in an Alabama church in 1963, also by white supremacists. The anti-immigrant movement is blasting us back to the age of lynching.
Within the past month, Brisenia Flores and her father Raul were killed; Stephen Tyrone Johns a security guard at the Holocaust museum was shot to death by a white supremacist and abortion doctor George Tiller was killed while he worshipped at church by a member of an anti-abortion group.
Yet mainstream media rarely ever makes the connection to terrorism when reporting these stories if they report them at all. When they do make the terrorism connection they add the modifier “domestic” or “home grown” terrorist as though that makes it somehow less serious. It seems that we have forgotten that prior to 9/11; the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil was the bombing of the Murah building in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh, a gulf war veteran angry with U.S. government with ties to white supremacist groups.
Many things are infuriating about the cowardly murder of this child .There’s the fact that Brisenia’s murder was shamefully un- reported by mainstream media. If it wasn’t for immigrant rights bloggers few people would have heard of Brisenia. Then there are the commenters on those few news stories who defend the minutemen, some even going so far as to say that Brisenia deserved to be shot because she was “an anchor baby”. Finally it is infuriating that in the face of all of these overt terrorist acts mostly by white nationalists, the FBI finds it necessary to create pretend terrorists like they did in Newburgh New York last April by sending an informant to entrap 4 hapless men into a make believe plot to bomb synagogues with promises of money and drugs. I suppose poor people of color will always be the low hanging fruit for law enforcement. Why work harder than you have to?
Everywhere are the signs that the U.S. is far from being cured from it’s cancerous racism and xenophobia. Will we wake up to it this time before it’s too late or will it be like 9/11 all over again with the excuse that there was a memo, but nobody read it.
Eric Holder, you do have your work cut out for you. What will you do to insure justice for Brisenia? What will you do to make sure that it doesn’t happen again? What will we all do to make sure it doesen't happen again?