See, earlier: “Black Lives Matter”—Unless It’s Just Another Car Crash Lynching, April 13, 2015
Unlike a lot of normal white people, I wasn't "today years old" when I heard about "Juneteenth." It was the title of a Ralph Ellison book in 1999, and reviews at the time explained what it was: the day when slaves were officially announced to be free in Texas in 1865.
We mentioned it in 2007 when there was a lot of violence, including what I call a "car crash lynching," in which a mob of blacks gather around the driver in an auto accident and beat him to death, or in some cases half to death.
In the case of David Rivas Morales, it was "to death."
Steve Sailer did a post about Juneteenth called Not Related. Do You Hear Me? Not Related!
Police and organizers of Juneteenth events in two cities are insisting that attacks against drivers – one of which left an Austin, Texas, man dead – have nothing to do with the crowds attending the celebrations.
On Tuesday, 40-year-old Austin resident David Rivas Morales was beaten to death in an attack near a Juneteenth celebration after the driver of the car he was riding in struck and injured a little girl.
In Milwaukee, police responded in riot gear to disperse the crowd at that city's celebration on Tuesday after a man was pulled from a car and beaten and an officer was injured trying to break up a fight.
"It doesn't seem to be a hate crime. It really seems to be a spontaneous act resulting from that collision with that child," said Austin Police Department Commander Harold Piatt. "We don't know if there were any words exchanged between the driver and the men to start with that escalated this to the assault."
"You just had a group of individuals that decided that they wanted to do something entirely different," said McArthur Weddle, president of Milwaukee's Juneteenth Day. "It's just sad that you have a few fools that got out of hand."
Video from a local news chopper, however, showed dozens of people immediately moving from the event to an attack on a car that left a 33-year-old man beaten.
To decode this lengthy article, which doesn't mention the words "black" or "African-American," you need to know that "Juneteenth" is a black pride celebration of June 19th, 1865 when the victorious Union Army declared Emancipation in Texas.
Police reported stabbings, shootings and beatings – including the fatal mob beating of a Hispanic man – at festivals commemorating the black holiday in Milwaukee, Wis.; Austin, Texas; Syracuse, N.Y.; and other cities.
Charged as an adult—with manslaughter, not murder—was "budding boxer" Kurtiss Colvin below. He was alleged to have struck the fatal blow, but Morales, the victim, was being mobbed by several people.
Police have said as many as five men attacked Morales when a crowd gathered after a car bumped a 2-year-old boy. Morales, a passenger in the vehicle, had come to the defense of the driver after members of the crowd assaulted him. The toddler was not seriously hurt.
Colvin's arrest Tuesday was the first of several to come, police predicted.
Austin officials have downplayed any official connection between Morales' beating death and a nearby Juneteenth celebration sponsored by the city to celebrate the day Texas slaves learned they'd been freed.
But, when police responded to a 911 call from the housing project where Morales lived and suffered deadly blows to his head, they found a "large crowd surrounding the victim who was lying on the pavement," according to an arrest-warrant affidavit filed Thursday at the Travis County Courthouse.
Residents at the Booker T. Washington Terraces housing project told the Houston Chronicle last month that the parking lot and nearby streets were jammed with cars and people who apparently were returning from the nearby festival.
A group ranging from five to 20 people was involved "at various times" in assaults on the driver, Victor Medel, as well as the fatal assault on Morales, the arrest-warrant affidavit said.
Several witnesses identified Colvin as the man they saw punch Morales with a left hook to the face, apparently so hard it knocked him to the pavement, perhaps unconscious.
Three men who said Colvin was in a car with them at the scene of the crime told investigators they were among many who witnessed Colvin's assault.
One of them, Charles Bernard Davis, said a female approached their car, told them about the toddler being struck and reported that the driver, Medel, was trying to flee.
Austin police make first arrest in the Juneteenth death of Hispanic house painter
By POLLY ROSS HUGHES, Houston Chronicle, July 6, 2007
Kurtiss Colvin wasn't convicted of manslaughter, but assault. A 16-year old named Samuel Byrd was convicted of manslaughter in juvenile court. (I've noted that any new "anti-lynching" law will hit blacks harder than whites, if enforced.) Of course, Byrd and Colvin are presumably out again. So remember, drive carefully on Juneteenth...or stay home.