“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. (Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963US black civil rights leader & clergyman (1929 – 1968))
Yesterday, while checking in on my FaceBook page I saw a disturbing post from Naturalista Cosmetics, a Virginia-based natural hair care products founded in 2010. According to a FOX 5 news story, Naturalista Cosmetic’s FaceBook page was bombarded with racist rants, as well as, offensive videos and imaging. Here is the story (http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/news/virginia/northern-va-hair-care-business-receives-outpouring-of-support-after-hateful-facebook-posts-051111, last updated on 5/11):
By WILL THOMAS/myfoxdc
WASHINGTON – A Northern Virginia hair care business is reporting an outpouring of support after a FOX 5 story first aired Monday about racist rants, images and videos that started to overtake a Facebook page set up by Naturalista Cosmetics.
One of the owners, Padrica Norfleet, told FOX 5’s Will Thomas new hate-filled messages appear just as quickly as she deletes the old ones. The Facebook page is a forum for her customers to discuss hairstyles and offer each other product tips.
A video of a KKK cross burning was also posted on her page.
It is an active Fairfax County Police investigation and Norfleet said an FBI Special Agent called to get information. It is not automatically considered a hate crime case because current law would only apply enhanced hate crime penalties in conjunction with an assault and battery or vandalism. “Most laws are written for someone who gets beat up because of racial reasons or because of gender orientation reasons. They’re not written for problems on the internet because most laws were written before the age of the internet,” said A. Charles Dean, a Fairfax, Va.-based attorney with Gross & Romanick.
I am shaking my head but not at all surprised (though ashamed that there are people walking this Earth who would stoop to such low levels). As I’ve written about in prior blog posts, Black women are often dehumanized and attacked for not measuring up to societal beauty standards. I plan to do whatever I can to support Naturalista Cosmetics, as well as, make my voice heard about the law. Hate crimes should also be illegal on the Internet. We need to stand up as a community, not just Black people but ALL people who are concerned about justice.
I did an Internet search to find out where I would report such a hate crime and found it difficult to navigate the information that I found because many of the resources were local in nature. I am still seeking the federal reporting information; please chime in if you know how to report a hate crime. Thanks and let’s support each other.
Image found at: http://www.bristol.gov.uk/ccm/cms-service/stream/image/?image_id=36276170