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Rally

Rally organizers and attendees stand Friday in front of the garage door that was vandalized with racist graffiti and now bears a mural with an anti-hate message.

About 100 people rallied Friday to denounce hate crime in La Crosse.

La Crosse Interfaith Shoulder to Shoulder Network, La Crosse Area Showing Up for Racial Justice and University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Campus Climate hosted the event, One Community One Family — Hate Has No Business Here, at the Bullet Cab company.

Mayor Tim Kabat, Assistant Police Chief Rob Abraham, the La Crosse Fire Department, other members of the city of La Crosse Police Department and other organizations attended the rally, along with the owner of the company, Mian “Mike” Ahmad, who is a Muslim, and general manager Linda Devenport.

WaleElegbedeExecPicture.jpg

Elegbede

La Crosse interim police chief Rob Abraham

Abraham

“This racist and Islamaphobic incident did occur. We have to accept that because doing anything less would be minimizing the pain and seriousness of the incident,” said Wale Elegbede, one of the founding members of the La Crosse Interfaith Shoulder to Shoulder Network, after racist graffiti was spray-painted on the business’s garage along State Road.

“I don’t think we can put it into words just how terrible and despicable that act was,” Kabat said during the rally.

Abraham told the crowd his family came from modern-day Syria and settled in La Crosse. “Back in the early 1900s, they faced some of those similar things, and there is no place for those type of words, those type of slurs, those type of hate-filled messages in our community,” Abraham said.

The organizations’ spokespeople stood in front of the newly painted garage.

The top banner of the finished mural says, “One Community, One Family, Hate Has No Place Here.”

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Finished mural

Cathryn Dagendesh and Adam Faeth, La Crosse artists, created this mural in reaction to racist graffiti left on a garage door at Bullet Cab.

Rally-goer Sofia Naqvi is the woman who alerted Devenport to the racist graffiti.

Naqvi, 26, is an American Muslim who moved to La Crosse about a year ago and said, “I thought I had reached my racism quota for the week or the month.” The Monday after the graffiti incident, she was directly subjected to racism while standing in line at the post office, Naqvi said.

Sofia Naqvi

Naqvi

Two white men told her “you’re the type of people we want thrown out,” said Naqvi, because her parents weren’t born here and that meant she wasn’t an American.

Naqvi said she felt threatened, and the people around her laughed.

“No one looked at me. No one made eye contact with me. People just watched me cry,” Naqvi said.

Naqvi reported the incident to the police, but a criminal complaint was not filed because she wasn’t in any physical danger and wasn’t subjected to a racist slur, Naqvi said.

During this week’s Tribcast episode, Naqvi and Elegbede talked about racism. Elegbede said Naqvi was indeed subjected to racism but that there’s only so much the police can do. This type of policing falls on the community — to say or do something.

Abraham reminded people to contact police if they have any information about the “coward” responsible for the racist graffiti.

The La Crosse Interfaith Shoulder to Shoulder Network created a GoFundMe Page to support Bullet Cab, which surpassed its $1,000 goal, and gave Ahmad the money during the rally.

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(52) comments

johnnybragatti

dmoney honey and Punkin" Duncan, the official Bev Whaling and Pam Taylor,of Western Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest, with certifiable :"words to the wise", or in this case....the unwise " Racism has consequences. It may have been cool, since the election of Donald J Trump., the self -proclaimed :racist in chief.
It won"e be quite as cool next year.
Times are changing .

DMoney

This year or next, it will never be cool calling someone you don't know racist.

Redwall

In respect of Ms Naqvi's incident in the Post Office, what she describes in her own words in the Tribune Podcast is ridiculous.

First of all, I believe there are cameras in the post office so anything untoward would have been captured on video.

Secondly, going by her own description she was eavesdropping on a private conversation between two guys, who were discussing immigration to pass the time while in line. Naqvi is apparently unaware there is a broad national debate on this subject ongoing. This debate is due to wide disagreement about how to address the immigration issue. Naqvi by her own description because she didnt like one of both of their opinions, took it upon herself to initiate an argument with two total strangers and concludes by calling them racist.

This is simply bizarre behavior. A chill pill may be recommended.

Have a nice day, seriously. Despite all the complaining and acrimony, we are all lucky as hell to live here.

johnnybragatti

Spots on Physics !!! and the hope is already engaged. Trump-Humpers will not replace us. !!! Trump for Prison 2020 !!!

Tommy Duncan

The progressives who post comments here must be very proud to have johnnybragatti among their ranks. He brings a special insight and depth to your side of the argument. As a conservative I certainly hope he keeps posting on behalf of progressive issues.

DMoney

Agreed. Him and Cassandra are our biggest recruiters for the right.

Cassandra2

This from the fact-free D-bag who cowers under rocks every time he's called out with facts. What a pathetic loser.

DMoney

And another couple independents swing right..

Cassandra2

Just can't handle facts, can you, D-bag? Your petty sexism and racism are hardly a great recruiting tool. Just witness the MAJORITY of Democratic votes cast nationwide in the last election. Your time is nearly through and you've championed the destruction of a once reasonable political party. Sad thing is, you're to blinded by rage to see it.

DMoney

Yawwwwn.

johnnybragatti

Trump called for violence at every one of his Nazi type rallies, through out the United States. Of course having a copy of :"Mein Kampf"on his nightstand, don"t make him a Nazi. Most all Repubics,especially in the State of Wisconsin, are closer to Facists.
Ever heard of Robin Vos?
He went White-Water for a reason.

Tommy Duncan

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." -- Mark Twain

Cassandra2

This forum proves that LaCrosse has a serious problem with racists. How very sad. And it's really cowardly that these folks will say things in this forum that they would be too chickenshit to say with their real names attached. Time to rip off the hoods!

Tommy Duncan

"...too chickenshit to say with their real names attached." ----> So says "Cassandra2". ----> But thank you for reinforcing my comments about calling names. Rather than entering into a discussion and making your case, you choose instead to cast insults and call those who disagree with you "racist".

johnnybragatti

Says the Tommy Punkin, who has no problemo calling a spade a spade?
Too funny ....way,way,way too funny.He ,Like most Trump-Humpers, never made it very far, in life and that is why he/they are SO angry and despise anyone, anywhere ,anyhow.
He should have been making pillows, with the cat in Minnesota,
Producing "yo-yos", must have LTD opportunities?

Tommy Duncan

"Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured." -- Mark Twain

Cassandra2

Are you claiming that's not my real name? And are you claiming that the racist trolls on here, frothing with their racist dog whistles, aren't really racist at all?

Tommy Duncan

Cassandra2, you were calling out people to unmask themselves by revealing their real (full) names. Giving out your first name is not unmasking yourself, which makes you a hypocrite. You want others to fully unmask themselves while you hide anonymously behind "Cassandra2". Is that hard for you to understand? ----> And for the record, the people you call "racists" are largely reasonable and rational people who simply disagree with you. Since you seem to be incapable of meaningful dialog you resort to calling people names. Calling names seems to be all you have to offer.

Cassandra2

Racism is neither reasonable nor rational, "Tommy".

mamasboy

Cassandra2, you were obviously born stupid, are stupid, and will remain stupid for the rest of your days. You are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stupid. You should be banned from giving another one of your mindless opinions here or anyplace else. Please just go away!!!!

DMoney

Everyone who's not a liberal extremist is a vile, racist thug, according to Cassandra. See, in her world, it's ok to be a bigot towards some groups, just not HER groups.

Cassandra2

Please show me, D-bag, where I ever made such a claim.

DMoney

Everyone regularly posting here has seen them, and everyone sees you openly lying about your past comments now. Remember the MAGA hat column????

Cassandra2

Proof, dear D-bag. Provide citations to back up your lies. You can't do it, because you don't deal in facts or reality.

DMoney

"Yes, if you wear the hat and if you stand with the racists and homophobes and anti-woman crowd then you are racist, homophobic and anti-woman. If you do not take a stand against these evil notions and are just acquiescing, then you are just as bad as those who commit the violence. Silence in the face of evil is complicity." --Cassandra2

DMoney

That's you declaring that anyone wearing a MAGA hat is evil, and anyone else who is not wearing the hat but defending it is equally evil. In other words, all people on the right. You've got issues, lady. Maybe one day you'll get help. Frankly, I don't care either way.

DMoney

And I wouldn't give someone like you my real name for anything. Someone as hateful and enraged could do crazy things. I'd gladly have a beer with some of the liberals on here. I disagree with their views, but respect their passion and intelligence. Not you though

Cassandra2

Yeah, you'd love to hang out with Chippy and the Hoaxer. LOL!

DMoney

I'd love to hang out with just about anybody. Always interesting experiences to learn. Just not you.

Cassandra2

Because you can't handle being bested by a woman, eh D-bag? Poor, poor, pathetic little twit.

DMoney

Nah, I'm bested by my wife on the daily. I consider most women superior to most men. But, just not you.

Tim Russell

Yes this is awful but I am pretty sure Mike was the guy caught selling gas with water in it.

joebadaxxe

Thanks, Tim. I didn't hear about the watered down gasoline. But Mike, the Saddam Hussein look-a-like in the front row. has cheated numerous people in La Crosse and nearby-employees, vendors, businesses, etc. A snake and I wouldn't be surprised if he did it himself.

johnnybragatti

Since the Orange Caracass in the White House, has cultivated :"hatred." to the ultimo Max, these incidents, will be repeated again and again and again and again and again
Trump has seen to it, that his base are Brown Shirts and Klansmen., in disguise.
Hitler had the same gig.

Tommy Duncan

So Johnny, you call Trump a name and call his supporters Nazi Brown Shirts and Klansmen simply because they disagree with you. Who is the hater here, Johnny? Self awareness is not one of your strengths.

new2Lax

I guess this being the first incident of racial prejudice, it almost certainly is because of Trump. But in the same sentence you mention the Klan which was created by Democrats over 150 years ago. So it just seems to me you better go back and study up just a bit. I guess the Hitler comment is where the Alexandria Ocasio Cortez Socialism comes in, as I recall , these Brown Shirts were comprised of Socialists. How did that work out. Just a recent reminder of the Klans activity in Virginia, I was under the impression these folks were Democrats, was I wrong, another case of fake news. Waiting for the “Empire” actors claim to fall apart. Lefties just can’t seem to pull off anything lately. One would have thought they would have learned a bit from the Dan Rather incident.

PhysicsIsFun

Yes racists in the south were Democrats pre Civil Rights Act. Now they are Republicans after LBJ passed civil rights legislation in the 60s. See the Southern Strategy. Brown Shirts were the Nazi Party's original paramilitary organization, and yes the Nazi Party was short for National Socialist Party. The National Socialist Party (Nazi Party) was not a liberal Democratic Party. It was the complete opposite, a far right, fascist, racist, nationalist, and militaristic political movement. You have your history all wrong. Try again. You really do not know what you are writing about. Go back in your hole.

Tommy Duncan

Of course, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro and the rest were fascist, racist, nationalist, and militaristic Socialists who were responsible for killing upwards of 100 million of their own civilians, thus making Hitler look like a piker. Looking for overt bigots? Check out the Democrat representing Minnesota Congressional District 5 or the recently elected Minnesota Atty General. ----> The real point here is to stop calling people names in discussions. Name calling is too often used to hide the author's ignorance and lack of a substantive argument. There's a slippery slope from calling someone "Hitler" to the graffiti painted on the garage door.

PhysicsIsFun

Tommy, I never said that there have not been communists (not socialists) who were terrible despots. I was replying to the comment made by New2lax who tried to conflate racist KKK/Dixiecrat figures in pre-civil rights days to today's Democrats and National Socialist/Nazis to Democratic Socialists in the USA today. He is wrong to make the comparison. I agree that dictators of the left or the right who murder their people are horrendous. The key is often the person and their heartless ambition and not necessarily their ideology. See Venezuela.

PhysicsIsFun

Just to be clear Tommy I am not the one who brought up Hitler. That was your fellow conservative New2Lax. I was merely pointing out the ridiculousness of his contention. It seems to be a strategy of conservatives to attack the Democratic Party as somehow socialist and aligned with the National Socialists/Nazis of WW2 infamy. It was not Democrats who chanted "Jews will not replace us" in Charlottesville. It was conservative Trump supporters. It is an old ploy to talk about how the racist southern Dixiecrat of the 60s were Democrats not Republicans. That argument worked 50 years ago, but it is now the Republican Party which has won the southern racist vote. See Nixon's southern strategy.

new2Lax

Socialists are never right wing, they are Socialists. Please look up what Socialism is and stands for, that’s what Democrats are trying to morph into here, that’s really not a big secret is it. Of course I’m correct, the right wing Is short for capitalism, ask AOC.

capedcrusader

new2Lax, why don't you compare the differences between "liberal" and "conservative" and then explain to us what Rush Limbaugh has tried to morph the meanings into. You and Czeczok claim to be for capitalism until an Amazon (who practice just that) comes along. Check out the taxes they paid on their profit for 2017. You Trump radicals have become quite comfortable in your Orwellian world.

johnnybragatti

You will get over it dude,
afterall it seems a peculiar thing to lie about, when one thinks about it.
You CAN make this up....but one rarely does.

mamasboy

I posted a comment twice about the credibility of Ms. Naqvi's Post Office story. It was taken down both times. It should have been left for others to comment on. They could have had a chance to pick my opinion apart. Progressives just aren't into free speech. My comment wasn't hateful. In my mind her story was questionable. I would have questioned the story if it came from someone with blonde hair and blue eyes.

capedcrusader

If it was taken down you said something that violated the discussion rules posted by the Trib. What did you say? Try again without blaming the "progressives" or anyone else for what YOU said.

johnnybragatti

Excellent, correct,exact , spot on and perfecto !
Slamadamma!!!,like few posts I"ve ever read !!!

mamasboy

Her Post Office story sounds completely fabricated. Someone would have recorded this and/or probably intervened. We would have seen video of this on CNN and investigated as a hate crime!

mamasboy

Her Post Office story sounds completely fabricated. If she was dealing with something like that, someone would have recorded it, and a few would probably have intervened. Possibly a little "fake news". I could be wrong but, I don't think so.

Cassandra2

Never was a troll more aptly named than mamasboy.

Tommy Duncan

Do you really think comments like the one above advance your cause or make people more likely to agree with you? Comments like the ones you have posted on this article are part of the reason America is so divided these days. Spewing anger at those you disagree with drives them away from you and diminishes you as a person. Don't be a hater. Open your mind to the thoughts of others.

Cassandra2

Just stating a fact, "Tommy."

capedcrusader

I say that all the time to radical rightwingers. Never seems to sink in to them. Czeczok is a perfect example. Claims to hate haters but turns into one as soon as someone betters him in a discussion.

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