Saturday, September 04, 2004

Regular readers of INTHEHAT probably already know about the racially motivated homicide of Kenneth Wilson. It happened in Highland Park in April of 1999. The shooters all claimed Avenues, 43 to be specific. I first mentioned the Wilson killing in a February '03 post even though it's been in the files for longer than that. I sat on the story until '03 for a couple of reasons. For one, I was putting that killing together with the killing of Christopher Bowser and Robert Hightower. All three black victims were targeted because of their race. They had absolutely no gang affiliation whatsoever. They were civilians. As it turned out, I dug up quite a few more racially motivated murders and assaults against other blacks in other parts of LA County. And there are at least three more I'm aware of that might go that way if and when the investigations bear fruit. These victims, like Wilson, were also civilians with no gang affiliation. All of the verified assaults and murders were committed by neighborhoods with strong ties to the Brothers.

I also sat on it because I was trying to bring the work of INTHEHAT to a different audience. I wanted to get the Wilson, Bowser and Hightower murders into the print media. Those killings, unlike the dragging death of James Byrd in Texas, never got a single mention in the Los Angeles big media. This situation struck me as odd. The Byrd murder was an isolated act carried out by individuals out of personal racial hatred. Once the evil people who killed Byrd were in jail, the threat to other blacks in that town was basically over.

The Wilson et al murders, on the other hand, were committed as part of a larger ongoing criminal enterprise. The fact is, the Brothers have issued orders to keep blacks out of neighborhoods they control. And we're not talking just black gangsters. We're talking black citizens who are doing nothing more nefarious than breathing while black. By any standard you care to use, this declared war on blacks by the Eme fulfills every definition of ethnic cleansing. There's no other term for it. Unlike the Byrd killing, when the people guilty of killing Wilson, Bowser and Hightower are put away, there will be others, many others to carry on the work. Other blacks will be harassed, intimidated, assaulted and probably killed.

What amazed me, was the total lack of interest in this story by the big media. The LA Times, LA Weekly, Citybeat, Daily News, Los Angeles Magazine, Sacramento News and Review, The Atlantic, New York Times, you name it, they all turned down my proposal to do a story bout these killings. Frankly, I didn't get it. But then there are a lot of things I don't get about the media. So the story stayed in the files until someone, somewhere might show some interest in it. That was two years ago. I posted the Wilson incident and pursued other stories for INTHEHAT.

Occasionally, new information would emerge on the Wilson case. Last year I learned, for instance, that the US Attorney in LA was putting together a Federal hate crime case against Wilson's killers. That was interesting to me because of the complicated and unbelievable back story that culminated in the Federal prosecution. I won't go into that because it took me months of effort and interviews to put the whole sequence of events in place. And I'm not giving it away for free anymore. Frankly, I'm tired of having stories poached. I won't name the dude, but a local TV guy has poached at least two stories that I broke on INTHEHAT. So, no more soup for you.

Unfortunately, that means you readers aren't getting all the "deep" stuff. I'm willing to share information with other writers and journalists, but I'll draw the line at getting robbed by lazy assholes who are paid to dig up this stuff but prefer to boost it without payment or even attribution. I got more respect for a homeboy who pulls a cuete and tells you to give it up than this dude. At least it's a stand-up robbery and you know you're getting boosted. But on with the Wilson case.

Five years after the fact, the LA Times finally got around to mentioning the Wilson homicide. It was in the August 20, 2004 issue. I guess the Times was forced to acknowledge Wilson's killing because that was the day after the US Attorney's office unsealed the indictment against the shooters and accomplices. And as the paper of record in LA, they can't ignore a Federal indictment involving racial hate crimes that happened just a few miles from Spring Street. The most interesting thing about the Times piece was all the stuff that Times readers were not told. Sometime in the future, I'll share it with all of you. It's a tale that's stranger than fiction. A week later, the Times ran another brief item regarding the Wilson case. This one announcing a $20,000 reward by the FBI for information about one of Wilson's alleged shooters, Merced "Shadow" Cambero. He's been on the loose since the chilly morning of Wilson's execution on Avenue 52. We'll wait and see how the LA media will cover the Federal trial, if at all, and how much of it gets told correctly. It will be amusing.

Few need to be told this, but the media in this country needs a major cojones transplant. The next time you pick up your favorite paper or tune in to TV or radio news, be aware that the media have gatekeepers. There's a person at a desk that will decide what you see and what you hear. And if this person doesn't think you need to know, in the days before the internet, you'd never know. In terms of this little part of the world that I know a little something about, I can tell you straight up that you are being under-served and under-informed. And as far as the average LA citizen is concerned, the Wilson, Bowser and Hightower killings never happened until the big media says they happened. Practice safe news reading. Use www.