THE CARROLL COX SHOW
According to the young man whose car was vandalized and had the "N" word painted on it (see the Honolulu Star Advertiser story, 2/25/12), the incident was not a hate crime. Furthermore, he is concerned that the President of the NAACP Hawaii Chapter is now using his problems to make the NAACP look good and make money.
On February 23, 2012, The Carroll Cox Show received the following letter from Mr. Alphonso Braggs, President of NAACP Hawaii:
Aloha NAACP Family and Friends
This past weekend we had two reported incidents of racial tagging of private vehicles in Honolulu. Some of you may have seen the picture of the vehicle parked near the school with the "N" word spray painted across the entire passenger side. Additionally, all four tires were slashed ensuring the vehicle could not be driven. Ironically a similar incident occurred in the same area last month.
Tonight, I met with the owner of the vehicles to discuss the case and offer support. I also met with the Honolulu Police Department to ensure that police reports had been filed on these hate crimes. I have been advised that Detectives have been assigned to investigate the cases. The vehicle parked near the school is covered and will be moved in the next few days.
I plan to follow-up with the owners of the development to address safety and security of the residents and their property. I will also follow-up with the authorities regarding getting these hate crimes investigated and over to the prosecutor's office for disposition.
Please be careful not to unintentionally promote this hateful behavior through sensationalism and extra publicity. Rather, let our focus be on support for the victim and a call for swift justice.
Mahalo for caring and taking a stand for justice and equality.
Yours in the struggle,
While the intent and purpose of the letter was not clear, its contents sparked our interest. We know that hatred does exist and occasionally rears its ugly head, shocking our senses in the most offensive way one can imagine. Having said that, Mr. Braggs' letter just didn't meet the test! we questioned why Mr. Braggs would alert us to a perceived problem and then admonish us to "be careful not to unintentionally promote this hateful behavior through sensationalism and extra publicity. Rather, let our focus be on support for the victim and a call for swift justice."
When we saw that the matter was covered in today's Honolulu Star Advertiser (2/25/12), right after we received Mr. Braggs email advisory, we were alarmed by the swiftness that Mr. Braggs' unfounded portrayal of the situation was escalated to being a racially motivated hate crime. Based on this, we decided to visit the area and find out for ourselves what the facts were.
Here is a synopsis of what we learned during our visit to the community where the "hate crime" allegedly occurred.
First, we spoke with residents who told us that they knew the incident was not a racially motivated hate crime as Mr. Braggs portrayed. They knew the alleged victim, Mr. Jerry Toney, was a kind and good-hearted person, and no one would do anything to hurt or offend him. They also knew that the spray painting was not a racially motivated act because of another incident they witnessed involving Mr. Toney. Approximately two months ago, after Mr. Toney parked one of his cars in his personal parking stall and a female passenger got out of the car, a second car pulled up to the rear of Toney's car. Then a male got out of the second car and engaged Toney in a fight while telling Toney he'd better leave the woman alone.
The fight was so violent they even damaged the car parked next to Toney's car. After the assailant left the area the owner of the damaged car had the woman summon the fleeing man back. The man returned to the area and provided his contact information. The owner of the damaged car claims the total cost to repair the damages was twenty five hundred dollars.
I also spoke with Mr. Jerry Toney who told me he met with Mr. Alfonso Braggs at his home. Toney said he told Mr. Braggs that he did not want to go to the newspaper because he did not believe it was a hate crime. He said he did not want any publicity because he could not conclude it was a hate crime or even a random act of vandalism because he did not know who the people were who did it. He said, because he did not know if the person was black, white, Mexican or Puerto Rican, he could not draw any conclusions that it was a hate crime.
Toney then told me when a similar incident occurred, where the "N" word was painted on another of his cars, his insurance took care of it, and that was the end of it. He told me the car sat around the area for several days and no one, including the school, made any mention of it or even raised it as an issue. Toney then expressed concern that Mr. Braggs embellished the current incident and exaggerated the nature of the story for the sake of his organization, \the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).
While I was with Mr. Toney he called Mr. Braggs and reminded Mr. Braggs that they had agreed there would not be any news stories or other publicity. He then asked Braggs, how did the newspaper know where the truck was located, and how did the newspaper contact Braggs? He again told Braggs that he did not know if the incident was racial vandalism. He even questioned Braggs representation that there were three other incidents. He was concerned that this would play out and turn into a racial incident when he felt it was not, and that Braggs was making it into something it wasn't. Toney told Braggs he had already filed police reports on both the earlier and the current incident and he had matters under control.
Toney did not see racial motivation, but the NAACP was still insisting on making it their cause. Braggs had said, "Let's focus on supporting the victim", but Toney said he did not need anything and his insurance would take care of it. Toney told Braggs he was not even going to be here so he did not care, and it did not matter to him.
We believe that, based on what was shared with us by the neighbors and Mr. Toney, Mr. Braggs has mishandled the situation, thinking he could manufacture and embellish an event to make it into a hate crime even though the victim said it was not. We believe Mr. Braggs owes an immediate apology to the people of this state, the Honolulu Police Department and to all of the supporters of the NAACP. We also ask that he offer his immediate resignation and publish an apology in the newspapers.
While this is the proverbial boy who cried wolf. I predict that the NAACP Hawaii Branch will be dogged by this breach of trust for years to come. I asked Mr. Braggs to contact me, but have not yet received a response. We will be providing greater details later.
For further information on this matter please feel free to contact Carroll Cox at 808-782-6627 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Warning, you may find the attached pictures offensive. You choose - hate crime or vandalism.
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