Brisenia Flores: The Little Girl That You Haven’t Heard About

Brisenia Flores was a 9-year-old girl murdered in Arizona by anti-immigrant vigilantes, yet her death – unlike that of the 9-year old killed last week in Arizona – is getting almost no attention in the U.S. mainstream media.

According to reports by the UK press, Brisenia Flores was gunned down at point-blank range in her own home in Flores, Arizona, as her terrified mother Gina Gonzalez, who had also been hit, played dead on the floor.

Shawna Forde, the head of the Minutemen American Defence group, is on trial accused of two charges of first degree murder. Her trial is underway in Arizona now. Forde and her co-conspirator Bush — who reportedly has ties to the white supremacist Aryan Nation — broke into the home of 29-year-old Raul Flores, Brisenia’s dad, on May 30, 2009.  This was just six weeks after Forde’s issued a call for a political revolt. As related this week at Forde’s trial:

According to testimony, Bush shot Flores, then Gonzalez. Gonzalez was hit in the shoulder and leg and slumped to the floor. She testified that she played dead as she heard Bush pump more bullets into her husband as Brisenia woke up.

“Why did you shoot my dad?” the girl asked, sobbing, according to Gonzalez’s testimony. “Why did you shoot my mom?”

Gonzalez said she heard Bush slowly reload his gun and that he then ignored Brisenia’s pleas and fired.

It’s hard to comprehend such an act of violence, especially one involving a child.    Certainly, the links to anti-immigrant politics and rhetoric seem to be much clearer in this case than in the more recent shooting, but this story is receiving virtually no attention from mainstream media.  In part, this is the white racial frame at play, drawing our attention to white victims and obscuring from view the lives of people of color.

Russian Neo-Nazis Killed 71 in Racist Attacks in 2009

Racist neo-Nazis in Russia killed 71 people in 2009, according to reports from Sky News (h/t: Hope not Hate). A group known as “Slavic Union,” is intent on eliminating anyone who appears to be “non-Russian” from Russia, including through violent attacks. A leader of the group, Dmitry Dyomushkin, says that he is interested in cultivating a “respectable image” for himself and the group, claiming that 60% of Russian citizens support the groups’ goals. However, he asserts that “even with this majority we are not allowed to be part of the political process because the government has squeezed out opposition.The whole new generation of Russians are nationalists – our influence on young people is very strong.” This short video clip (3:16) about the group is chilling:

This news story also mentions that the neo-Nazi group has made digital videos of their attacks on immigrants and posted them online. Despite this bold move, no one has been arrested in this attack. This form of cyber racism, which seems to be characteristic of Russian neo-nazis, is one that I highlighted a couple of years ago on this blog. In 2007, CurrentTV featured a story called “From Russia with Hate,” about neo-nazis in Russia who are filming racist attacks on immigrants, then posting these digital videos online.

The rise of neo-Nazi violence in Russia, and the use of digital video to publicize their racist violence, is an alarming trend that warrants our attention.