Shawna Forde: Please Leave My Country!

Sasha Brown-Worsham

In 2009, Shawna Forde, an anti-illegal immigration vigilante in Arizona, broke into a home and orchestrated the shooting of an entire family. In the end, a 9-year-old girl and her father were dead. Yesterday, Forde was convicted for her part in the crimes.

Forde was a member of the Minutemen, a group which, according The Huffington Post, "patrols the southern border vigilante-style to detect illegal entry into the country." This is ironic because most of us would prefer to have illegal immigrants crossing the border than people like Shawna Forde patrolling them.

Seriously, who made her the law? Oh yeah, that's right. No one did. She took it upon herself to "patrol the borders," to do a "drug raid," and to kill a child.

Quick memo to Shawna Forde: please leave my country. The fact that my tax dollars will house her for any period of time makes me ill.

The shootings were never classified as a hate crime and were largely ignored by the mainstream media until a few weeks ago when the trial started. According to The Huffington Post:

Latino groups argue the murders reflect growing anti-immigrant sentiment within the United States. The details are chilling: Forde and two others entered the Flores home, allegedly looking for a million-dollar drug stash that never materialized, and shot both of Brisenia Flores' parents before turning the gun on the child. As her mother played dead, Brisenia Flores said, "Please don't shoot me," before being shot twice in the head.

Many people have taken issue with the fact that the mother played dead while her daughter was shot, but I wonder what choice she had. These people would have just killed all of them. We can all talk a big game about what we might have done in her place, but we don't really know until we are there, on the floor, shot. Any of us could have been in that situation.

It's impossible to argue that illegal immigration is a good thing. It isn't a "good thing," per se. But it's also not an executable offense. Additionally, it should be easier for people to become citizens of this country. Most importantly, it isn't up to individual, racist citizens to decide who stays and who goes and then execute based on their delusions of grandeur.

A little girl is dead in Arizona. It's a story we all followed last month intently with great sadness. Do we care less because Brisenia wasn't the same race? How is this any less disgusting?

It isn't. And Shawna Forde deserves far, far worse than prison.

What do you think of Shawna Forde?


Image via C. G. P. Grey/Flickr

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