Normally I spend the entire week leading up to Tuesdays squirreling away stories to write about for TTPMOT. It isn't usually hard to find several things in the news or in my personal life to rant about. This week, though, there are two stories that I want to focus on. As a result, I'm probably missing a whole bunch of other stories worthy of mention, but that's the nature of the beast. Besides, I'm not CNN.
Off we go. I hope you are sitting down for this one.
A Hate Crime is a Hate Crime is a Hate Crime
On Sunday, a man with a long history of affiliation with white supremacy groups, a man who once ran a chapter of the KKK, a man who has a past filled with hatred and violence, took guns he bought through a straw man and his rage to a Jewish community center and a Jewish assisted living facility and opened fire.
He killed three people including a 14 year old boy. When taken into custody at a nearby elementary school, he yelled, "Heil Hitler!" from the backseat of the police car.
It took over 24 hours for the case to be declared a hate crime.
When the shooter is Muslim (or looks like they might be, whatever that means), the media tends to make that call immediately. Often, so do the authorities.
This man, Frasier Glenn Cross, is one of the most hate filled, toxic human beings to ever inhabit our Earth. A simple look at his history tells you as much. He is one of the most notorious white supremacists in the US, even going so far as to issue kill lists with varying point levels depending on the target.
He served time for plotting the assassination and robbery of Morris Dees, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center. His sentence was shortened because he testified against other white supremacists involved in the unsuccessful plot.
This man perpetrated hate crimes Sunday, without doubt.
Our society needs to stop laboring under the assumption that hate crimes are only perpetrated by religious, racial and ethnic minorities. White Christians can be even scarier, even more violent, even more hate filled. Cross is a prime example of it, and yet he wasn't considered a hate crime perpetrator or a domestic home grown terrorist by anyone in the mainstream media right away. The reason?
It does not matter, as some have claimed today, that all three of the victims killed were actually Christian. He targeted them because of their presence at Jewish facilities and presumed affiliation.
This man is no less a monster than any other terrorist. This man is no less a threat than a person who hijacks a plane or straps a bomb to their body and rides a bus or subway train. This man is even more dangerous, many would argue, because we've been conditioned to believe he is not dangerous. We've been told that the enemies are over there, in these categories, look like this, are motivated by that.
Nope. Terror is everywhere. Hate is everywhere. Evil is everywhere.
...and it can look exactly like your average 73 year old white man.
How Do 7 Babies Die and No One Notices?
This is one of the most disturbing stories I've read in a long time, and if you aren't sitting down yet, I would encourage you to do so. Also...this is horrendous, so if you can't handle the details of an unimaginable crime, please stop reading now.
On Saturday, Darren West was cleaning out the garage of the home he used to share with his wife and children. His wife who he had been estranged from for years, Megan Hunstman, had not lived in the home for several years either.
What they discovered has shocked the conscience of a nation and brought seasoned law enforcement officers and television reporters to tears.
In cardboard boxes stored in the garage, the bodies of seven dead newborn babies. The suspect? Their mother.
After she was arrested, there were many questions that arose almost immediately. How had no one noticed that she was pregnant, particularly that many times? The babies were all full term, yet no one knew that she had been pregnant. Neighbors have stated that her weight fluctuated and she often wore baggy clothing, but none of them knew she had been pregnant. No one knew of the births or deaths of the babies, no one but her.
She confessed to having given birth to at least seven babies and killing six of them. She claims that one was stillborn. The remaining babies were strangled or suffocated immediately after birth, wrapped in towels or t-shirts, placed in bags and stored in boxes in the garage.
The identity of the father or fathers of the babies is unknown, and DNA testing is being conducted to confirm that she is in fact that mother. Her estranged husband and older children claim not to have had any idea that she was ever pregnant during the time period of 1996-2006 when the babies were born and killed, though they were all living in the home at the time.
West has served time for the manufacture of methamphetamine. Their other children, including one born during the time frame of the murders but allowed to survive, appear well adjusted and normal.
There is no indication of what her motive was. Her mental status is being evaluated as well as whether she ever sought out abortions. Mothers who conceal their pregnancies and kill their newborns are usually teenagers afraid to tell their parents, not married women in their 30s who already have children, and the case has baffled everyone.
What could drive a woman to repeatedly become pregnant and murder her own children?
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