Death on the Fourth of July: The Story of a Killing, a Trial, and Hate Crime in America

Orcinus proprieter Dave Neiwert’s new book is out:

Dave summarizes his book in this post on the book release:

The book on its surface is about an unusual homicide case that happened in Ocean Shores, Washington, four years ago. Three young Asian men were confronted late at night by a group of young white men shouting racist slogans and epithets, the ringleader of whom eventually assaulted them. But one of the young men fought back, and the young white instigator — a kid named Chris Kinison — wound up being stabbed to death.

I became involved in the story in the months that followed because of what the case revealed about the nature of hate crimes. As far as anyone could tell, neither Chris Kinison nor his friends had any organizational or other connection to skinhead or hate groups — though in the process of assaulting not just the three Asians but a series of other minorities in town throughout the weekend, Kinison and his friends had affected the look, the rhetoric and even the symbology of white supremacists, in the form of a large Confederate flag.

This reflects one of the realities that butts up against the many myths about hate crimes, namely, that only a small percentage of such crimes are committed by real “skinheads” or white supremacists. The average hate criminal is a young white man with no previous criminal record and no organizational “hate group” ties or history. And yet in the vast majority of these crimes, “hate group” rhetoric and symbols are used.

Dave spends a lot of time studying and blogging about right wing extremists and, like his blog, I’m sure the book is a great read. Order now.