Update: Marvin Norwood's carpool buddy says he's not the kind of guy you want to provoke.
Up until last Thursday, everyone -- including witnesses to the Bryan Stow beating, LAPD officials and California's conservative peanut gallery -- thought March's territorial Dodger Stadium assault was orchestrated by two tattooed Latino men.
"This is a latino problem," wrote a Los Angeles Times commenter. "Drunk, thug, gangster rap raised, uneducated, banger stereotypical shaved head 'what you looking at' young male latinos." On the LA Weekly report, someone said: "Just comes to show how the typical Latino/Hispanic mind thinks."
(And those were on the nicer end of the spectrum.)
Giovanni Ramirez, arrested for the crime in May but exonerated last Thursday, fit that stereotype perfectly. But only one of the LAPD's two new suspects is Latino; the other, Marvin Norwood, was described by his roommate and cousin as a 6-foot-4-inch, 250-pound white man.
A go-to mob mentality of blame the Mexicans! was to be expected from faceless Internet commenters, who have jumped to such conclusions for far more ridiculous things (like, uh, Coachella tickets selling out), but AM-radio flamethrowers John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou took the dialogue mainstream when they called the beating a hate crime on air, because 41-year-old Stow is white.
John and Ken blamed the growing "gang culture" within the L.A. Dodgers' fan base on, in the words of OC Weekly's Gustavo Arellano, "the amnesty movement, Mexican drug cartels, illegal immigration, the Reconquista, single mothers, and Special Order 40, saying Mexicans want to take back California, and 'if they have to kill us along the way, they will.'"
Added Ken, voice dripping in disgust: "This all came from south of the border and infiltrated Los Angeles."
The scummy dialogue hit a low when various San Franciscans took to Craigslist to declare April 11 "Beat a Dodger Day." Among the rally cries:
"Find the ones that look like gang members and beat them to death. They are not hard to spot. pants hanging down to their ankles, wearing shoes that no mexican can afford, tatoos all over their bodies, i am sure you guys will use your best judgement!"
"FUCK YEAH!!! KILL ONE OF THOSE FILTHY ANIMAL MEXIROACHES!!! WHITE POWER!!"
"Giants fan should seek out justice when the Dodger fans invade AT@T next week,...there will be plenty illegal alien Mexicans there in Dodger gear,..do the right thing,..beat one to death..."
But the racist frenzy would never have scraped such bottom if it had not been based upon original witness assumptions that both attackers were Latino. The LAPD reported it as fact...
The suspects are described as two male Hispanics between 18 to 25 years-old, wearing dodger clothing.
... and the predisposed anti-Mexi crowd took over from there. Even the composite sketch of Norwood (below, presumably on the right), if it indeed is a portrait of him, looks like it could be his somewhat scrawnier Latino twin.
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Sure, Norwood is as Cholo as a white guy gets -- but even if he runs with Latino thugs like his accused accomplice, and (allegedly) beats his Latina baby mama, he's still a white guy. (Just like another at-fault Dodger cracker we can think of.) That fact unravels any theory that the extreme act of home-team violence was a product of too many tatted brown folk claiming "Dodgers."
So yeah, John and Ken: Take your monogrammed KKK pitchforks and shove 'em.