A mosque in Clovis was vandalized with graffiti this weekend, purportedly by “A real christian.” “Happy Birthday Jesus Christ from a real christian” was written in spray paint on The Golden Mosque in Clovis, NM. It is the only mosque in the eastern New Mexico city. Blue spray paint with “Trump” was sprayed twice near the door. According to The Eastern New Mexico News, Dr. Mahamadu Fuseini, a cardiologist by trade, oversees the mosque, which is inactive for most of the week.
A Nazi symbol displayed in the window of an Albuquerque home has neighbors upset. KRQE-TV reported that a swastika flag was displayed at a westside house. The house is near Unser and Ladera and one neighbor, who said they were part of a bi-racial family, said it disturbed her. “My grandkids live with me. I don’t want them walking by and seeing that, or having to be afraid to walk down the street,” Dawn Candelaria told the TV station.
After lashing out on Facebook at “leftists” for “getting exactly what they asked for” just a day after a rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia turned violent, Doña Ana County Republican Party chairman Roman Jimenez has resigned. Jimenez posted his thoughts on the county party’s Facebook page. Almost immediately, people across the state called for Jimenez to resign or for the county party to remove him from his position. Criticism came from Democrats and Republicans alike, including the state Republican Party chairman. On Tuesday afternoon, Victor Contreras announced he would take over the Doña Ana County chair position until the county central committee meets to find a permanent replacement.
The white supremacist forces arrayed in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend — the largest gathering of its sort in at least a generation — represented a new incarnation of the white supremacy movement. Old-guard groups like the Ku Klux Klan, the Aryan Nations and the Nazi skinheads, which had long stood at the center of racist politics in America, were largely absent. Instead, the ranks of the young men who drove to Charlottesville with clubs, shields, pepper spray and guns included many college-educated people who have left the political mainstream in favor of extremist ideologies over the past few years. A large number have adopted a very clean cut, frat-boyish look designed to appeal to the average white guy in a way that KKK robes or skinhead regalia never could. Interviews show that at least some of these leaders have spent time in the U.S. armed forces.
Sunday night in Albuquerque’s Old Town Plaza, the high staccato murmur of a toddler walking circles around the plaza hardly broke the silence of the approximately 200 people sitting in the grass and on the low walls around elm and cottonwood trees. People gathered to spend an hour in silence, in response to the weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia during a white supremacist rally. Occasionally, a dog yapped or a motorcyclist gunned his motor. Some people closed their eyes, while others looked toward the sky or watched the two people meditating silently in the plaza’s gazebo. There were sniffles and coughs and the muted clink of glasses being cleared from the patio at a restaurant on the edge of the plaza.
After a white supremacist rally in Virginia, during which a woman was killed and over a dozen people injured, a Republican Party county chairman lashed out at “leftists” and George Soros. A now-deleted statement on the Facebook page of the Doña Ana Republican Party attributed to chairman Roman Jimenez blamed “leftist protesters” for violence and said “they’re getting exactly what they asked for.”
Republican Party of New Mexico chairman Ryan Cangiolosi said on Twitter he “fully repudiates Jimenez’s statement, which does not reflect the views of the RPNM or the Repub Party of Doña Ana County.” Here is the full statement from Jimenez:
These violent, leftist protesters are the brainless robots that are created by evil Soros money. The white ones have been taught to hate their color, the women are taught to hate men, black and minorities want to kill whites and police. They then have the audacity to call conservatives racist.
The Bernalillo County Commission reiterated its commitment to being an immigrant-friendly community. On Tuesday night, commissioners voted 4-1 against a provision that would have rolled back that status. County Commissioner Wayne Johnson, a Republican who is running for Albuquerque mayor, introduced a proposal to bring the county in alignment with the federal government’s current policy on detaining people who are in the country illegally. “There is nothing in this resolution that directs or even implies that the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department should be enforcing federal immigration law,” Johnson said. “Everything in this resolution puts the burden on the Department of Homeland Security and on Immigration and Customs. It allows access to detainees, identified by the DHS, and it allows notification when those identified detainees will be released 48 hours prior and then it would allow, in the very specific condition, for us to hold someone for 48 hours if the Department of Homeland Security agrees to indemnify the county against liability.”
Johnson’s proposal would have rescinded a resolution passed by the commission earlier this year that declared the city immigrant-friendly.
More than half of the people who said they were the victim of a hate crime in recent years did not report the incidents to police. When victims did report to the police, their assailants were arrested in just 10 percent of the cases. The incidents reported as hate crimes were almost always violent (90 percent) and often seriously so, with nearly 30 percent involving reports of sexual assault, aggravated assault and/or robbery. Those are some of the striking findings of a special federal Bureau of Justice Statistics report released Thursday, based on national crime victimization surveys conducted for the years 2011 to 2015. The report came as the Department of Justice convened a hate crimes conference in Washington, D.C. Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke at the start of the conference and repeated his pledge to combat hate crimes aggressively.
At least two Iraqi refugees in New Mexico could be deported following a recent repatriation agreement between the U.S. and Iraq. But the American Civil Liberties Union is attempting to prevent that from happening. The New Mexico chapter recently weighed in after the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Michigan detained nearly 100 Iraqi nationals. A federal judge in Michigan earlier this month temporarily blocked deportation of Iraqi nationals, whom the ACLU has argued would face danger if deported back to their country of origin. Monday night that same judge extended the stay against deportation to all Iraqi-born people affected across the country, including at least two in New Mexico.
Smatterings of conversations in English, Arabic, Caldean and Dari punctuate the calls of Steller’s jays and Bewick’s wrens on a trail in the Sandia Mountain Wilderness. Six kids, ranging in age from seven to 16, hike up the Crest Trail with three young women from the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and Catholic Charities’ Refugee Mentoring Program. The childrens’ families have relocated to Albuquerque after being forced to leave their home countries, and the kids are here as part of the Refugee Wilderness Explorers Summer Camp. Rather than introducing themselves by their country of origin, the children name the languages they speak: Arabic, Caldean, Urdu and Dari are the predominant languages, and some of the kids also know Spanish or French in addition to English. Sixteen-year-old Ghulam-Ali speaks five languages, and he takes a takes a crack at reading the field guide entry for “banana yucca.” The pokey plant grows on rocky slopes, blooming in June and July.