One Year Later: Justice for John Hernandez

One Year Later: Justice for John Hernandez
The Southwest Political Report
By: Irene Sanchez

June 5, 2018

It has been a little over a year since John Hernandez was killed by Terry Thompson and Harris County Sheriff Shauna Thompson in a parking lot outside a Dennys in Texas. Hernandez of Mexican decent was killed in front of his family. Violence against Mexicans is nothing new in the Southwest. Texas in particular has a long legacy of violence that begins with the Texas Rangers forming as a vigilante group with the sole purpose of hunting down Mexicans post 1848-The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

The case for Shauna Thompson was set to go to trial on June 1, 2018 and has now been pushed to September 2018. Shauna’s husband Terry Thompson’s trial was set to go on May 18, 2018 and has been pushed to June 8, 2018.  In April, the Thompsons requested that the case be moved due to the fact that media attention may make people biased against them. They were denied that change of venue according to Houston Public Media.

The Lone Star State has deep legacies of murder as we have previously reported, but to reiterate, John was killed in front of his own family for supposedly peeing outside at a Denny’s. In reality, John was killed by the Thompson’s in the spirit of still existing Wild Wild West mentality that certain people have with taking the law into one’s own hands. Particulary in this State of Texas is of grave concern in these times. These events and many more like it since the year has passed is a reminder of how we say here at The Southwest Political Report, “The Mexican American War Never Ended”.

Brutality and cold blooded murder of Mexicans born on either side of the border is nothing new to the State of Texas. Sam Houston was a Mexican killer. Stephen Austin was a Mexican killer. George M. Dallas Vice President to the James Polk was a Mexican killer.

The killing of Mexicans was normalized and formalized with the founding of the Texas Rangers. There are few states that seamlessly combine as many of this country’s murderous strains and still living brutal histories than that of the Lone Star Republic. It wasn’t until 2016 that the State of Texas recognized the brutal murders of hundreds if not thousands of Mexicans during the period post the Mexican Revoulution according to The Texas Standard article that highlighted this period of state-sanction violence. In this article two people are highlighted who have a project that documents this history titled Refusing to Forget . This project now consists of multiple academics who have documented this time period between 1910-1920 as a period described as:

“Far from being surreptitious, the violence was welcomed, celebrated, and even instigated at the highest levels of society and government. As thousands fled to Mexico and decapitated bodies floated down the Rio Grande, one Texas paper spoke of “a serious surplus population that needs eliminating.” Prominent politicians proposed putting all those of Mexican descent into “concentration camps” – and killing any who refused. For a decade, people would come across skeletons in the south Texas brush, marked with execution-style bullet holes in the backs of their skulls”.

According to Refusing to Forget, lynching of Mexicans by the Texas Rangers was commonplace and the dead bodies of Mexicans would be openly left on display for months. One particular Ranger, Ranger Ransom was responsible for brutal killings including ones where he casually shot Mexicans while riding horses. Ranger Ransom also had a “habit” of running Mexicans off their land and out of their homes.

This is domestic terrorism and it continues today and we can not allow it to anymore.

Fast forward to 2017, where John Hernandez has been killed and in this age of social media we all witnessed it. It is a dead body on open display. It is domestic terrorism that is a continuation of state-sanctioned violence that the Texas Rangers who are now reported to be involved with the investigation are apart of a long legacy of brutality and violence against Mexican people. As the family members and friends of John Hernandez gathered this past week on May 28, 2018 to hold a vigil on the one year anniversary of his death and also demand #justiceforjohnhernandez one has to wonder when will this legacy of violence be the thing that dies instead of our people.

For more information and to keep up with the latest, check back here at the Southwest Political Report and also see the Justice for John Hernandez facebook page. 

Photo: Justice for John Hernandez facebook page

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