When I explain to white people the type of anxiety I’m constantly under, they often think I’m exaggerating or paranoid. They think it’s all in my head. Why would I ever think someone is out to harm me? Oh, I don’t know, maybe it’s because Latinx are the target of hate crimes more than another group. Or, maybe it’s because the Latinx community was targeted and killed in El Paso, or because a teenager was run down by a white woman just because she looked Mexican.
On Dec. 9, a deranged woman named Nicole Marie Poole Franklin was driving down a street, near a school, in Clive, Iowa (about 10 miles west of Des Moine) when she saw a 14-year-old girl who “looked Mexican.” The teenager was on her way to a school event when the 42-year-old drove onto the sidewalk and ran her over intentionally.
According to several news reports, the young woman suffered injuries all over her body and thankfully is recovering. Franklin was charged with attempted murder along with assault, theft, consumption, intoxication, and possession of illegal substances. Police say she may also be charged with a hate crime, which clearly was considering Franklin went on to tell police a number of offensive comments about Latinx.
“During the interview, Franklin not only admitted to being the driver of the car that struck this girl but also that she had done so intentionally. Franklin told investigators that she ran the girl over because she was, in her words, “a Mexican.” She went on to make a number of derogatory statements about Latinos to the investigators,” Michael G. Venema, Chief of Police in Clive, said in a statement. Franklin is currently held on a $1 million bond.
From this atrocity, it was somewhat comforting to see the community in Clive support the victim and denounce this hateful and racist crime.
“I want to say, in the strongest terms possible, that there is no place in our community (or any other) for this type of hatred and violence. We are committed to stand by and support this family and work diligently with them to seek justice,” Venema concluded.
Just last month, the FBI released a startling report that showed an increase in hate crimes overall, with Latinos being the number one targeted group.
According to the New York Times, “the FBI said 485 hate crimes against Latinos were reported in 2018, up from 430 in 2017. It said 270 crimes were reported against Muslims and Arab-Americans, the fewest since 2014.” Furthermore, they report, “Hate crimes against Latinos were at their highest level since 2010, when the unemployment rate and border crossings from Mexico were both peaking. Some advocates placed the blame for the recent rise on President Trump.” But this isn’t anything new.
It’s not just advocates saying that it’s Latinx people. It’s me. I had never felt this kind of anxiety before Trump was elected. So, please never question why the Latinx community feels stress, anxiety, and live in constant fear.