Sunday, September 30, 2007


“Peoples is peoples,” said a wise man. At first I had no idea what it meant or why he said it. This Italian-born resident of Manhattan, in his mid-fifties was trying to convey the message that “we are all the same”; a sweet message behind his garlicky breath. He runs a successful diner in Little Italy and is another example of the American Dream. American Dream, what’s that? Is it not the hope that we can take our differences in our cultures or ethnicities or religious beliefs and use them for our betterment? After all, aren’t our stories and our personalities that are the very fibers of what makes us special? A story: one of the most technically skilled American Chefs was put in a challenge with a young woman from Texas. After the competition was over and the Texan emerged the winner, the Chef was dying to know what he did wrong. The judges simply stated, “It was the passion and determination we found in her dish.” It didn’t matter how schooled he was, her desire to do what she loves became a tangible ingredient and the key to her victory. The idea that passion and drive can take you anywhere is not just the American dream; it’s the American way.

Nothing, NOTHING, makes anyone any better than anyone. Our education, job, income, race, gender; these things don’t define us as humans. After all, without them we are still living, breathing people with red blood coursing through blue veins. Our passions and our dreams, these things inspire us to do what we believe we are here to do. That is what separates us and what makes us different, in a good way.

It is incredibly sad when I read a story about a hate crime in my backyard. This is Lorain County, a multi-cultural, multi-race community. We range from the nations poorest people to multi-millionaires. Ohio has been a haven for minorities since the days of the Underground Railroad. Yet, I have been burdened to hear the news of 2 maliciously racist acts on 2 separate occasions. Now obviously we are living in an imperfect world, we cannot expect everyone to have the same ideals or standards and in all honesty, this world be a boring place if we all shared the same brain. But there is a difference between not loving someone the way God made them and hating someone for that very reason. These 2 stories remind me of how ignorant and uninspired some of our youth are. The age of technology keeps them bubbled up into their own little world without a prayer of being able to conduct themselves with dignity in any situation that makes them uncomfortable.

I don’t care who you are or what you believe, but in return I ask the same from you. You don’t have to like me or where I came from, but you do have to leave me alone. There is no room in this world for senseless, evil, racist malice. If you can’t get used to the fact that the skin tones of this world are not all shining of alabaster, then pick up your stakes and hike to Antarctica.

It will always be this way, but it doesn’t make it right. If Hitler had eradicated the world of Jews, would he have been satisfied? No, he probably would have started going through everyone else and picking out people by hair color, eye color, I.Q., social status, etc. Because evil is never without its lust for blood and destruction.

I pray the offenders here are brought to justice and that the victims would be strong and hopeful for better days. There are people in this community who care less about what you look like and more about who you desire to be.

“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people,
but for the appalling silence of the good people.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

Here’s to change, and hastily!


Anonymous Michael said...

You certainly made the right decision when you signed on Jason to write a weekly column. He has been funny and insightful and this week he has proven that when it calls for it he can treat a subject with respect and dignity. I will be honest when I read the stories this week I actually thought to myself, I sure hope Jason doesn’t make jokes about these stories. Today Jason has shown that he deserves his column. I hope Pete from Avon doesn’t just scroll by this one.

Jason said; “evil is never without its lust for blood and destruction”. He is right and the two kids who smeared their crap on that girl’s car and wrote those slurs are evil. Some might write here that they may have come from a broken home or might have been abused throughout their life. That might be true, I don’t know. Whatever it is or was, those kids are evil. The boys that beat the young man from Elyria High School are also evil. In their case I do not know what brought them to a point in their lives where beating a young man solely because of the color of his skin, I do know though that evil lives inside of them.

Do not ask me what I feel should be done with these young men, TMC would probably have to delete my answer. I will say that I feel pride in the students who rallied around the girl in Avon Lake and the young man from Elyria High School. This just proves that there are very good people in the world and unfortunately very evil people in the world as well.

Both the girl and the young man are in my prayers. When we went to church today our family prayed for God to give you strength to get through this horrible experience.

Michael Petruzzi

PS: Jason, I am taking the family to the Eaton Township Chicken BarBQ next Sunday just to see you in the dunking booth. You had better be there.

2:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW... Very well written. Good Job Jason.


10:10 AM  
Anonymous Tim said...

Once again Jason hits the nail on the head. I agree with Michael, what I think should happen to these guys in both cases probably can’t be printed on here. So I will just hope that the courts will pass down a stiff penalty. I will continue to pray for the victims as well.

Tim S

10:58 AM  
Anonymous kim said...

I agree, these kids need to be dealt with in the most severe way possible. People need to know that if you do idiotic stuff like this that you will pay a harsh penalty.

Kim K

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Sue said...

Ever since this story came out I have felt sadness and shame. I am a lifelong resident of Avon and to hear that a crime like this could hit so close to home is sickening. Then to hear about the attack on the Elyria student was another blow. What is happening to kids these days? I know that there were bad kids in the past and maybe things like this happened but now with so much media we just hear about it more, I don’t know. I suppose seeing how the other students rose up and did the absolute right thing made me feel better about kids. Then I read the story about the dedication at Elyria Catholic for their friend who was killed in Iraq. Their dedication to making that memorial happen speaks to how good of a person the soldier was and the character of his friends. So we see the good and bad.

I read this column two times and something struck me the second time through. Jason said, “Our passions and our dreams, these things inspire us to do what we believe we are here to do”. Maybe these kids do not have any passions or dreams in their life. Maybe that is why they turn to hate and violence. Jealous that others have it and they don’t. Both kids who were targeted seem to have passions and dreams in their life. I hope they continue with their dreams and with their passions in life.

Thanks Jason for a wonderful article. And so you know, I wouldn’t dunk you at the barbq. I love reading your articles on Sundays. I have stopped signing my name Sue from Avon because of the tiff between you and Pete from Avon. I hope he reads todays article, I think he will see that you do a great job if he does.


4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jason, wonderfully written and an awesome job!
I always try to use the old adage: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and this is a lesson that someone should have taught those who perpetrated these hateful acts.
No matter what kind of home they come from, there is no excuse for their behavior!
I just hope that the young lady and the young man understand that there are good people who abhor what has happened to them and that they can get past all of this and prosper in their daily life. Patsy

4:22 PM  
Anonymous megan said...

I dont think those attacks were right at all, we cant change people though and the way they think in feel about other people. No its not right because of your skin color. But what can we do this has been going on for how many years and more to come it will not end sorry i dont see peace on earth!! Also i dont see you guys saying anything about that white boy that got jumped and attacked by 3 black guys!!! So lets really look at that problem there. You hear about all these attacks basiced on color but you never hear about the white people getting attacked!!!!!!! I know we are white but damn we are not invisble, we only come known when are color does something like this!!!!
Theres my thought and comments about that

Megan from Lorain

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Randy say
We blame the kids as we should, but, how did they get to that point? Where were the parents, if we started to charge the parents of the kids with the same charges, would things change? Its how they are being raised, with no guides, no rules, who they are hanging around with. I see the parents of kids on the news, "he is a good boy/girl" If he is so good, how did they get to this point of beating someone, smearing shit on a car, steeling. But yet he/she is a good boy/girl. No, I say charge the parents, when they have to serve time with the kids they raised, maybe the tides will change

12:49 AM  
Anonymous Karl said...

We should all be saddened by these two senseless and stupid acts and the perpetrators should be given the maximum possible sentences for their acts. However, I must state that the use of the "n" word is not limited to causcasians. I would challenge anybody to go into the downtown Broad Street McDonald's when Elyria high school lets out. The various comments you will be able to hear include "hey, you just the n I'm looking for", "hey, it's my main n" and "you be the n." Also, fo variety, you will hear a boy greet a girl with "you're my main ho" or "just the ho I be wanting." If parents do not even reinforce some language standards, what do you expect from these uneducated POS?
It sort of makes the Detroit ceremony of burying the "n" word a big joke when you hear these kids using the word as a sign of respect or greeting to each other.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous John said...

He should have said, crime is crime. I "hate" the term "hate crime" most, if not all violent acts are committed out of hate. We keep running around telling everyone how bad racism is and that we are all the same, we are all humans, blah blah blah. Yet, the problem seems to get worse. Maybe we should practice what we preach. We keep segregating things and people. Now we are segregating crimes.Vandalism is bad, if you use the "N"-word it's worse? Unless of course you are black, then it's O.K? Beating another person is bad, if it is six black kids vs. one white kid and they call him a "cracker", it's worse? Maybe six black kids beating one black kid is not as bad? Maybe they can use the "N"-word "affectionately" between them while the beating takes place? Racial problems will not go away by keeping everyone and everything segregated. It won't go away if we pretend it does not exist. Racial problems may not EVER go away, but one thing is for sure.Until we truly understand and truly act like it does not matter the skin color of the ones involved, things will continue to get worse. Crime is crime.

11:44 AM  

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