LatinaLista — The problem with hate crimes is that too often the victims are either too scared to talk about what happened to them, let alone report the incident, or don’t live to tell the story.
As Latina Lista reported in a past post, Current hate crime laws reflect an imbalance of justice for victims, one of the most recent victims of an abominable hate crime was a Ohio teenager named Robert Cantu.
Robert and his family had moved from Houston, Texas, where Latinos are the majority, to Mount Vernon, Ohio, where Latinos only comprise 2.5 percent in the entire state. It was in Ohio that Robert said another teen put a noose around his neck and dragged him in a parking lot.
His assailant only got 10 days in jail.
The site Voto Latino contacted Robert Cantu to get his story in his own words.
We wanted you to hear the story directly from Robert, so Voto Latino found Robert through our network of volunteers and asked him to share his story with us via Skype. We also wrote details of the conversation in an article below.
Mount Vernon is a small town of approximately 16,000 people, with little access to WiFi or webcams. We weren’t sure an interview would be possible, but we were able to locate a local resident, Claudia De Leon, to help film Robert’s story. Voto Latino thanks Claudia and Robert’s mother, Marci, for making the interview possible.
Despite his experience, Robert remains positive and says many people in his community are showing him support. Robert is a brave young man with a message:
“Take a stand for yourself, be proud of who you are.”