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Today's lesson from Tony Snow

The White House press spokesbot and former Faux News talking head has done a great job of educating me on the state of racism in this country today…


Graphic: The fabulous Mike Tidmus for the Blend

Somehow, however, these news stories keep popping up — and I can’t quite figure out how to square them with the lessons I’m receiving from Dear Leader’s man behind the podium.

Police investigate cross burning in southern Kentucky.

A Hispanic family in south-central Kentucky are afraid to stay in their new home after finding a cross burning in their front yard and a sign that said “My country maybe, my neighborhood NO WAY!!!”

Nelson Espinoza, a native of El Salvador, said his family has stayed with relatives since they found the cross and the sign Sunday afternoon. He said he only bought the house in Rockfield two months ago. “They don’t want me here,” Espinoza said. “They say I can live in the United States, but I can’t live in their neighborhood. I can’t be a neighbor here.”

Men plead guilty in Idaho cross burning.

Two men accused of burning a cross on a black man’s front lawn pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge of malicious injury to property in a deal sought by the victim. Nicholas J. Schmitt, 18, and Michael R. Simmons, 21, also pleaded guilty to a separate misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace.

The two fashioned a cross out of two Tiki torches on July 15 while drinking at a party and burned them on the lawn of Seann Robinson’s home in Spirit Lake, Idaho. Such incidents are especially sensitive in this area just miles from Hayden Lake, once the home of the Aryan Nations group run by Richard Butler, who has since died.

”This brings back some really ugly periods of times in our history,” Simpson said during Friday’s court hearing. ”It brings back some ugly times in our community, our area.”

Palm Harbor, FL: Charred cross greets bank manager at work.

The charred remains of a 4-foot-high cross wrapped in cloth stood in a circle of blackened grass when Palm State Bank Vice President Robert Prentice arrived at work Monday morning.

…Frank A. Weaner, president and board chairman of the bank, called the sheriff’s office. He considered the cross-burning incident a “serious threat.” Weaner believes that the Ku Klux Klan is behind the burning. Since he began speaking out against their setting up a headquarters about a mile from the bank’s main office at 1000 U.S. 19, he has received several threats from the klan, he said. One note read, “The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan are watching you” and “You could receive a visit from the klan.”

Hastings, FL: Man Admits to Burning Cross.

A man from the First Coast is facing up to ten years in prison for burning a cross next to a home an African-American family had shown interest in buying. Neal Chapman Coombs, 50, pleaded guilty to a racially-motivated civil rights crime this week.

…A family of four inquired about a house for sale located at 9710 Crotty Avenue in Hastings back in January.

The parents were inside the house with the real estate agent. The couple’s 15-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter were on the porch with the real estate agent’s wife when they heard Coombs making derogatory comments toward them. They saw Coombs standing next to a six-foot wooden cross. The children told investigators Coombs squirted some flammable liquid on the cross and set it on fire, saying, “I don’t want to see you around here again.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding