Obama victory sparks racist attack in Staten Island

On Nov. 4, Election Night, as spontaneous celebrations of Barack Obama‘s victory broke out all over New York City, Liberian immigrant Ali Kamara, 17, was brutally beaten by four white men armed with baseball bats who screamed “Obama” at him near his home in the Stapleton district of Staten Island. Kamara, a Muslim whose family arrived in 2000, was returning home at around 11 PM when the men jumped out of a car and assaulted him. He was left with a head injury which required staples. “Our hate crimes task force is investigating and treating this as a possible bias crime,” said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. (Daily News, Nov. 6; ABC Eyewitness News, Nov. 5)

“This incident should be of great concern to all Americans, not only because of the apparent bias motive, but because of its possible negative impact on equal participation in the political process,” said Aliya Latif, civil rights director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ New York chapter. CAIR is calling for an FBI probe of the incident. (Staten Island Advance, Nov. 6)

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