It just shows the institutional racism when Judge Daniel Moreno, at the CeCe McDonald sentencing, disregards the deceased White racist’s actions and aggression that night at the Schooner Bar, and lectures and tries his best to shame and guilt McDonald. Before the media and the justice system canonize Dean Schmitz, let’s be clear — only a fool would believe this man is not a racist when he has a swastika tattoo and is yelling the n-word at CeCe and her friends.
They continue to not hold Schmitz accountable for his actions and put everything on McDonald. Judge Moreno tells McDonald, “Despite the hateful words that instigated the fight that night, Schmitz was a man who was loved by his family and friends, and now is dead because of you.”
No! Sorry, he’s dead because of his hateful words and aggression, not “despite” them. His family may have loved him — so what! That doesn’t give him the right to treat CeCe and her friends the way he did.
Every perpetrator of a hate crime has someone who loves them. It means nothing. It is used to shame the victim, to shame McDonald.
Would this judge tell a female rape victim who killed the rapist, “Despite the hateful sexual violence that instigated the struggle you had with this man that night, he was loved by family and friends, and is now dead because of you”? Classic blaming the victim is what’s happening to McDonald, and it’s is because she is a Black transgender woman.
A witness at the bar that night said Schmitz was shuffling his feet like a boxer as he was getting ready to attack McDonald. Now, if he was behaving this way toward a female police officer, there would be no debating that she had the right to use her weapon as a large man attempted to inflict bodily harm to her.
In the June 5 Star Tribune, McDonald is quoted as saying, “The pressures of being transgendered — namely, fear of rejection and of hostile reactions from others — resulted in spite and hatefulness.” There was no need for her to divulge this, since she did nothing wrong.
We all have issues that affect how we will respond when we are under attack. But as CeCe was walking to Cub Foods, her stuff, her issues, her spite and hatefulness were in check. She was not acting out. She was behaving like an adult.
But Schimtz — it is his issues of rage, spite and hatefulness that are relevant, because he was acting out on them. This all happened because of his issues, not hers.
CeCe’s hatefulness that night was justified. Why isn’t Schmitz’s hatefulness on trial?
Frank Erickson lives in Minneapolis.