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Gay-Bashing and Mexican Hate Notes Mar Labor Day

Alleged attack by Camp Pendleton Marines at a Belmont Heights gay bar and notes with "wetback" slurs on cars at the beach dampen Labor Day weekend for victims, including a Cal State Long Beach lecturer.

Members of the local gay and Latino communities are reeling from two unrelated events that unfolded Monday--the late-night gay-bashing of bar patrons at the Silver Fox by Marines, and hateful notes telling “wetbacks” to "go back to Baja” found on several cars at Cherry Beach Monday afternoon.

Hours after reportedly mentioning it was their first time at a gay bay, four marines ended their novel experience with the alleged physical assault of at least two other patrons, according to getoutlb.com.

The fight took place around closing time and left at least one of the victims in the hospital, while the fleeing attackers were arrested by arriving police; the four were identified as Marines who were held by police pending transfer to their military base, according to getoutlb.com.

Anyone with information about that incident is encouraged to contact John Barnes, manager of the Silver Fox, at 562-439-6343.

In a separate incident that took place less than three miles away, Mexicans were the target of haters who accused them of taking over the beach below Cherry Avenue, according to ocweekly.com.

“You Mexicans [underlined] took over Cherry Beach (No white people allowed). Now you invade our beach. Go back to Baja, wetbacks,” read one of the notes pictured at ocweekly.com.

As the article’s author, well known Ask a Mexican columnist and author Gustavo Arellano, pointed out wryly, the majority of Mexican-born Long Beach residents hail from Michoacán, not Baja California.

One of the notes made it to the car of California State University, Long Beach lecturer Griselda Suarez, who works in the Department of Chicano and Latino Studies. Suarez reported the incident to police but was “shrugged off” as freedom of speech, according to ocweekly.com. Long Beach Police Department could not be reached immediately about the report.

Said one note: “The Mexicans invaded this beach now--sad.” This hate fortunately did not cross over into violence as with the marines' alleged beatdown of two men at Silver Fox, well known to be a gay bar.

The actions of a nefarious few may come as a shock to others in the community who consider Belmont Shore, like greater Long Beach, to be largely supportive of those identifying as LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, queer) or of Latino descent.

However, last year's people rallied the local gay population to remain vigilantly careful and look out for one another. The reaction to those violent attacks was a November, 2011 forum at Bixby Park, hosted by Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal with assistance from Long Beach police department, and attended by more than 100 community members.

It is unknown whether the most recent gay-bashing incident on Labor Day will result in hate crime charges. 

Do you think there is a problem with racism or prejudice against the LGBTQ community in Belmont Shore? Let us know in the comments.

hf2hvit September 05, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Four marines go to a gay bar and then attack people...They must have some weird, messed-up sexual fantasies in their heads.
David & Rebecca Lara September 05, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Definitely not our few, proud, our Marines. What an embarassement to the Marines!
John B. Greet September 05, 2012 at 11:33 PM
I do not believe this is an embarrassment to any organization or any person other than those who behaved in this despicable manner. The Marine Corps in no way encourages or condones this sort of discriminatory behavior and I feel confident that -once due process in civilian criminal court has run its course- each of these will have a second, far more difficult process to face through the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ.)
Constantine Loganopolus September 06, 2012 at 01:45 AM
What code ?? Sworn to protect,,Americans ? W.T.F. They are an Embarrassment to the Marines !!
John B. Greet September 06, 2012 at 02:58 AM
"They are an Embarrassment to the Marines !!" Now *this* I can agree with and perhaps I misunderstood DRL's meaning due to the phrasing. I think the Corps would most certainly be embarrassed that these four were ever accepted among their ranks. It is certainly my hope that this will be rectified in due time.
lourdes palacios September 06, 2012 at 03:13 PM
I agree with the previous statement. The Marine Corps DOES NOT encourage discriminatory behavior. But those four individuals are an embarrasment to themselves and should be reprimanded.
John B. Greet September 06, 2012 at 05:23 PM
"'This is an isolated incident,' (Camp Pendleton spokesman Maj. Manuel) Delarosa said. 'Committing any hate crime is unacceptable behavior and is not tolerated in the Marine Corps.'" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/05/us-marines-arrested-california-gay-hate-crime-_n_1858718.html
Boon Mouche September 06, 2012 at 06:15 PM
I would say that it is more than likely that these young boys have sexual identity issues of their own. It would be interesting to see where they are in 10 years or so.
Marc Nottelling September 06, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Why is it a HATE crime? Could it be possible that the Marines were also gay and just happened to end up having a cat-fight with the other patrons. Just because they are Marines don't mean they are not gay. Its like the pot calling the kettle black or is that politically incorrect now too?
John B. Greet September 06, 2012 at 09:38 PM
"Why is it a HATE crime?" It may very well not be. That would have to be proven to the satisfaction of the Court. A previous Patch story also reported that "The Long Beach Police Department is handling this case and are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime." This generally means the police have at least some evidence that the incident may qualify for prosecution as a hate crime under California law. For additional information on how States (including California) and L.A. County handle Hate Crimes please read my column on the topic: http://belmontshore.patch.com/blog_posts/crimes-v-hate-crimes
Nancy Wride (Editor) September 08, 2012 at 03:34 AM
fyi, this just Google alerted in my email: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/09/08/alleged-gay-bashing-by-marines-mars-post-don-t-ask-don-t-tell-era.html

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