To expand on one part of the Adele Wilde-Blavatsky and the Collective Response issue…
Wilde-Blavatsky said at the beginning of her article
Last month, an American-born Iraqi woman, Shaima Alawadi, was viciously murdered in the United States. According to reports, her daughter stated that a racist note was left outside the family home before the attack. Alawadi’s death came shortly after another allegedly racially-motivated murder, that of African-American man Trayvon Martin.
The Collective Response treated that account of the murder of Alawi as true. But is it? I wanted to explore that question yesterday but I didn’t have time, and overnight BenSix provided a helpful link in a comment.
The story sounded wrong to me from the outset – if it were a racist attack, why would it single out one particular woman inside a house? That’s not how racist attacks usually go – unless the one particular person is an activist or organizer or the like. Racist attacks on random people to “send a message” target people on the street or everyone in a house that is torched or fire-bombed. Going into a house to kill one person sounds like a very odd kind of racist attack.
And it turns out there are reasons to think that’s not what it was.
But records obtained by NBCSanDiego revealed that Alawadi was having problems with her husband and daughter. Investigators said Alawadi was planning to divorce her husband and move to Texas.
The warrants also show that the victim’s daughter Fatima was upset about the family’s plan to have her marry one of her cousins. Police found a text message on the teenage daughter’s cell phone, at the time she was being interviewed by detectives. The text read: “The detective will find out. Tell him ‘[can't] talk’.”
Records also show a possible suspect was near the house on the day of the crime. A neighbor gave police a description of a possible suspect spotted running from the crime scene.
The suspect is described as a “darker skinned boy in his late teens or early 20s … with a skinny build, carrying a donut shaped cardboard box.” He was seen at 10:30 a.m., about 45 minutes before Alawadi’s daughter called 911.
Records reveal that on Nov. 3 last year, Fatima and 21-year-old Rawnaq Yacub were contacted by police for possibly having sex in a parked car. Officers contacted Alawadii, who went to the incident location. Alwadi was driving her daughter away from the area when Fatima said “I love you mom,” then jumped out of the car while it was moving at 35 mph.
Fatima was transported to the hospital with multiple injuries, including a possible broken arm, according to police. The 17-year-old told paramedics and hospital staff that she was being forced to marry her cousin and did not want to do so, which is why she jumped out of the car. Fatima refused to talk to police at the hospital, according to the documents.
Since the March 21 incident, police have asked a judge for permission to search the car of Alawadi’s husband, Kassim Alhimidi.
So, possibly nothing like the Trayvon Martin case at all. Possibly not in any sense a racist attack.