Shaima Alawadi is a mother of five. Though she is originally from Iraq, she has lived in the United States for many years—first moving to the large Iraqi and generally Arab-American community in Detroit, Michigan and more recently to El Cajon, California—the second largest Iraqi-American community in the United States.
Last Wednesday, her daughter, Fatima, found her on the floor of the dining room of their home, unconscious. It was clear that she had been severely beaten. Close to her body, a note was found that said, “Go back to your country—you are a terrorist.”
A few weeks prior to her death, she had received another threatening note—she had dismissed it as “child’s play.”
Still, despite receiving two threatening notes rooted in unapologetic bigotry and then being beaten to death, the media is still wondering whether or not this is a hate crime.
Newsflash: Last time I checked, if you are murdered for the color of your skin or your religious beliefs, it is a hate crime. If you are brown or black and wearing a hoodie or a hijab, you are the target of a hate crime.