The White Stuff

Denver's wilding becomes a black and white issue for some.

When Denver TV stations broadcast footage of eleven black youths wreaking havoc on the 1900 block of Market Street in mid-June, the coverage drew the attention of white-supremacist organizations across the country. Almost every major white-power website on the Internet linked to articles on the wilding. Some posted video clips of the violence, with statements declaring them evidence that the long-predicted "Rahowa" (racial holy war) is finally upon us.

On June 27, two weeks after the wilding, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Denver office received a letter from Louis Calabro, a retired San Francisco Police Department lieutenant who is now president of the European/American Issues Forum, a self-declared "moderate and thoughtful Bay Area civil rights organization." The letter, addressed to Special Agent in Charge Phillip B.J. Reid, demanded that the eleven suspects be investigated for federal hate crimes. "What happened the night of June 14th has been happening in many places in America, and is being ignored for what they are: racially motivated black attacks on innocent white citizens," Calabro wrote. "A racial attack on one European American is an attack on all European-American whites."

Calabro has yet to received a response from Special Agent Reid. "I think he's probably laughing at me," Calabro says from his San Bruno, California, office. "I've filed a complaint about the Denver wilding with the U.S. Department of Justice. They're probably laughing at me, too."

But Calabro, who says he tracks black-on-white crime across the nation, doesn't consider this a laughing matter. "I had thirty years on the force in San Francisco," he explains. "I know who's victimizing who in this country, and it's not whites hurting blacks, I'll tell you that."

Denver's white community needs to stand up for itself, he says. "What do you think would have happened if a dozen white kids ran through LoDo dragging black people from their cars and beating them up, and punching black people on the sidewalks?" Calabro asks. "You think there would be a hate crimes investigation then? Yeah, I think so. And it shouldn't take an old, fat cop from San Francisco to point this out to the white people of Denver." Denver FBI spokeswoman Monique Kelso said Calabro's complaint has been investigated. "No evidence of racially motived attacks was found," she said.

 
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