Because Muslim, that’s why.
Just recently, Chicago prosecutors have filed charges against 37-year old John Alleto for an attack against a Muslim cab driver that took place in February.
According to witnesses and filed reports, Alleto approached the driver and asked him if he was a Muslim, to which the driver responded yes. This resulted in Alleto physically assaulting the driver in front of witnesses who were objecting to his discriminatory behavior. (Shoutout to those witnesses who were objecting; you guys are much better people than the people who film things for the social media LOLz and likes.)
After exiting his victim’s car, Aletto complained to the cabbie’s passenger that the cab driver was Muslim, prompting an altercation that began verbally. The passenger defended the victim, calling Aletto a “racist,” and from there, the situation escalated into Aletto’s second physical confrontation in as many minutes. Police characterized Aletto’s as someone who “appeared highly intoxicated.”
Prosecutors upgraded charges against Aletto from misdemeanor battery to a felony hate crime after discovering his hate related remarks. Thank God for his hate related remarks! Otherwise, people could just randomly dish out beatings to hard-working cabbies without the fear of catching a felony.
Although his defense attorneys argue this isolated incident does not personify him, his pointed aggression against a Muslim, especially in today’s current anti-Muslim climate, seemed convincing enough for prosecutors to move forward. Currently, he is free on a $25,000 bail.
Alletto’s attorney blamed the attack on mental illness, citing the fact that Alletto has bipolar disorder. He contends that Alletto mixed his medication with alcohol in a moment of “ill-advised foolishness.” (Of course–the good ol’ “mentally ill white dude” attacker apologist narrative. Cliche, or nah?)
It should be noted that there are plenty of people who have bipolar disorder, but they don’t go around attacking people.
Renner Larson, a spokesperson of CAIR-Chicago stated that Chicago’s Muslim community has been on edge in the past several months due to the “mainstreaming of anti-Muslim rhetoric.”
Stay safe, my friends. There are some really angry people out there, and the political rhetoric by certain Presidential candidates do not seem to making things any better.
Written by Yohanna Berhe
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