Fear of Racism Present in Compton as Black History Month Begins

Despite hopes for progress, one local neighborhood fears racial tension may be getting worse

By Beverly White
|  Saturday, Feb 2, 2013  |  Updated 10:06 AM PDT
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Sparked by attacks of an African American family by Latino gang members in December, a group of Compton residents plan to rally against hate. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1, 2013.

Sparked by attacks of an African American family by Latino gang members in December, a group of Compton residents plan to rally against hate. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1, 2013.

Residents and activists are expected to rally against hate on Saturday in the wake of attacks against an African American family by Latino gang members in December.

The rally is being held because concern persists in Compton over a New Year’s Eve hate crime against an African American homeowner and her children.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials arrested two suspected gang members for allegedly beating a member of that family with a pipe. Witnesses say the men screamed racial slurs and then threw a bottle through a window.

The family is now in the witness protection program, and neighbors, like one man who calls himself only Steve, said it saddens him.

“It's unfortunate world we live in today and the strides we made, for one minority to attack another minority about where they want to live,” he said.

Ed Reed, another neighbor, told us it’s par for the course, saying the attackers “target anyone. Women, kids. It really doesn't have an age or bracket."

Compton's NAACP branch hopes to send a message Saturday with The Rally Against Hate, which neighbors call a good start.

“We want to make sure that it doesn't become a street race war,” said Paulette Simpson Gibson, the Compton NAACP President. “We need to make sure they understand it’s being dealt with by the law."

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