Synopses & Reviews
On July 4, 2000, three young Asian American men visiting the small town of Ocean Shores, Washington, were attacked by a group of skinheads in the parking lot of a Texaco station. Threats and slurs gave way to violence and, ultimately, a fatal stabbing. But this tragedy culminated with a twist. A young white man, flaunting a Confederate flag just moments before, was slain by one of his would-be victims. In the ensuing murder trial, a harsh lesson on what it really means to be an American unfolded, exposing the layers of distrust between minorities and whites in rural America and revealing the dirty little secret that haunts many small towns: hate crime.
In Death on the Fourth of July, veteran journalist David Neiwert explores the hard questions about hate crimes that few are willing to engage. He shares the stories behind the Ocean Shores case through first-hand interviews, and weaves them through an expert examination of the myths, legal issues, and history surrounding these controversial crimes. Death on the Fourth of July provides the most clear-headed and rational thinking on this loaded issue yet published, all within the context of one compelling real-life tragedy.
"...an insightful, troubling, and scrupulously researched inquiry into the history, psychology, and sociology of hate crimes in America"--The Seattle Times
"Neiwart has a deep passion for his subject, and writes about hate crime in a useful and accessible fashion."--David Guterson, author of Snow Falling on Cedars
"Neiwert artfully sifts the facts behind a tragic incident to reveal the complex dynamics surrounding hate crimes in America. The resulting book is a valuable contribution to understanding the damage done by these brutal crimes and a useful guide for anyone eager to know how communities should respond."
-- Daniel Levitas, author of The Terrorist Next Door: The Militia Movement and the Radical Right
About the Author
David A Neiwert is a journalist whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, Salon, and MSNBC.com. He is author of In God's Country: The Patriot Movement and the Pacific Northwest and lives in Seattle.
Table of Contents
The Knives * Fireworks in Red * Open Sores * White Faces * Growing up American *The Trial, Day One: Rashomon *
Hate, American Style * The Trial, Day Two: Rashomon Redux * The Hate Debate * The Trial, Day Three: Reason and Rage * The Mythology of Hate * The Trial, Day Four: In Fear * Wall of Silence * The Trial, Day Five: In Closing * The Great Divide * The Verdict * The American Landscape