When is a “hate crime” not a hate crime? When it’s committed against a person wearing a red MAGA ballcap.
The fact that Rosiane Santos is accused of grabbing the hat off of Bryton Turner’s head and shouting at him in a restaurant in Falmouth, Massachusetts doesn’t seem like a very big deal at first glance. Yes, it was rude and it technically qualifies as a misdemeanor assault, but considering how overheated our political divisions are these days, are you really shocked to hear about something like this happening? But the complicating factors here include the fact that Turner was in the process of videotaping himself while she did it. Of even greater interest is Santos’ status as an illegal alien. That’s when ICE got involved and the story gained some national traction. (CBS Boston)
The woman who was charged with confronting a man wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat inside a Falmouth Mexican restaurant is now in ICE custody. The department said she was in the country illegally.
Police said Rosiane Santos walked by Bryton Turner as he was eating dinner at Casa Vallarta and knocked the hat off his head. She then allegedly confronted him verbally.
Turner recorded video showing some of the confrontation.
Again, this isn’t exactly a crime spree of epic proportions we’re talking about. Given the number of illegal aliens who have been found committing violent crimes and drunken vehicular homicides in our country, hat snatching isn’t particularly notable. But as you’ll see in the CBS video below, this woman clearly isn’t the brightest bulb on the tree. She can obviously see that Turner is recording a video. If you know that you’re in the country illegally and are subject to detainment and deportation at any time, you should probably think twice before pulling a stunt like this.
As it turns out, Santos is back out on the loose at the moment. She was charged and released with an order to appear in immigration court for a deportation hearing. We’ll want to pin a bookmark on this story and revisit it later. But while we wait, place your bets on the answers to a few related questions.
1. How long will it take for the hearing to happen, particularly if she retains a good attorney who can file motions to delay the process? Will it even be this year?
2. When the day finally arrives, will Santos show up? If not, a bench warrant will be issued, but is this sort of criminal that law enforcement will put any priority on finding?
3. Will any Democrats or liberal groups adopt Santos as a pet project, set up a legal defense fund for her or claim she should be allowed to stay and exercise her free speech rights?
4. Since this attack was entirely driven by the victim’s perceived ideological beliefs and expressions of free speech, should it be considered a hate crime? Will the ACLU be jumping into the conversation to claim it should be prosecuted as such?
I have my own guesses to all of those questions but I don’t want to poison the pool in advance. Leave your predictions in the comments. And if that wasn’t enough MAGAphobia for you for one day, go read this story about an 81 year old man who was confronted for wearing a similar hat.