Racial tensions fester in Navajo Nation border townMonday, September 18, 2006
Three decades after racial violence rocked the border town of Farmington, New Mexico, Navajo leaders and citizens are wondering if it ever really left.
On June 4, three young white males from Farmington beat a 46-year-old Navajo man and yelled racial slurs at him. They have pleaded not guilty to the crimes. The prosecutor has filed a hate crimes motion.
Six days later, a Farmington police officer shot and killed a Navajo man in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Navajos are calling for a federal investigation, like the one United States Commission on Civil Rights conducted after the 1974 deaths of three Navajo men.
"We’ve come a long way since 1974, but sometimes it takes the feds to move things in the right direction," Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. told The New York Times. “Otherwise, it doesn’t get done.”
A march was held over the Labor Day weekend to remember victims of racial violence.
Get the Story:In Shadow of 70's Racism, Recent Violence Stirs Rage
(The New York Times 9/17)
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