Summary and Info
n July 4, 2000, three young Asian-American men from Seattle took a road trip to the resort town of Ocean Shores, Washington. At a gas station mini-mart, they encoun-tered sev-eral white skinheads, who started menacing them by shouting racial epithets. Trapped in the mini-mart, the five-foot-six, 125 pound Minh Hong grabbed two paring knives and stuffed them into his jacket pocket. Returning to their car, Hong's group found a 200 pound, twenty-year-old skinhead named Christopher Kinison blocking their way, holding a Confeder-ate flag. The ensuing melee left Kinison fatally stabbed, and six months later, Hong stood on trial for murder. During the proceedings, Hong was asked why he had fought so hard. He replied, 'I just knew I didn't want to end up like that guy in Texas,' referring to James Byrd, the black man dragged to his death by white supremacists in Jasper, Texas, in 1998. David Neiwert uses Hong's case to explore the myths sur-round-ing hate crimes, delineating what is and is not a 'hate crime,' and reveals the patchwork nature of federal and state hate-crime laws and their enforcement.
More About the Author
David Neiwert is a Seattle-based freelance journalist and blogger. He received the National Press Club Award for Distinguished Online Journalism in 2000 for a domestic terrorism series he produced for MSNBC.com.
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