Doing much better now

Here's your America Kinda Sucks But Kinda Not Entirely story for the day: An awful bigot in Minnesota has pleaded guilty to attacking a Somali woman with a beer mug last year, severely cutting her face, because the Somali woman had committed the unpardonable offense of speaking Swahili in the US Patriot lady's presence. That's the America Sucks Sometimes part. The Not Entirely part is that people who were as horrified as you and we are by the attack contributed over $10,000 to help the victim, Asma Mohamed Jama, and even the assailant's own sister is disgusted by the crime: she came to court to support not her sister, but Ms. Jama. The whole sordid pile of awfulness is summed up by CNN:

Jodie Marie Burchard-Risch was accused of attacking Asma Jama, a Somali immigrant, at the Coon Rapids Applebee's in October 2015.

Asma Jama said as her family was seated at the restaurant, the adults were speaking in Swahili, a language the adults often use when children are around so the kids do not know what the adults are saying. As the group walked past Burchard-Risch's table, she said, "In America, we speak English."

Jama tried to ignore Burchard-Risch, but the woman became more agitated, screaming at her to go back to where she came from, and Jama stood up to try to talk to her and calm her down. That didn't work so well:

"She was yelling at me in my face, and I will admit I stood toe to toe with her. I wasn't screaming, I was talking to her calmly," Jama told CNN, recounting the incident.

That is when Burchard-Risch took a beer mug and threw it at Jama's face and then fled the restaurant, according to authorities.

In Minneapolis CBS affiliate WCCO's video on the story, Jama says she has recovered physically from the wounds, which required 17 stitches, but is now more fearful of being out in public:

"I used to a be a carefree person. I was never scared someone was going to attack me. I would go on walks alone. Drive alone. Not anymore. I have to have someone with me at all times. It doesn't matter where I am going, I still have anxiety," she said.

Burchard-Risch’s sister, Dawn Sahr, told WCCO, "I cannot condone what she did at all, it’s disgusting."

“I’m just thankful my parents aren’t alive to see what she’s done to her life. Maybe this is what she needs to wake up and realize that you cannot treat other human beings like this,” said Sahr.

She came to court today to see her sister plea to felony third degree assault and offer support to Jama.

Sahr says her entire family is sorry for the pain and suffering Jama has had to endure.

Jama also told CNN she wasn't so sure Burchard-Risch was sorry for attacking her:

"In my eyes, she didn't conduct herself in the manner of someone who was truly sorry for what she did," Jama said.

Jama said she has forgiven Burchard-Risch for what happened that day. "I forgive her. You have to forgive to move on with life. If you hold onto hatred it is going to destroy me more than it destroys her," she said.

Burchard-Risch admitted as part of her plea deal to a charge of third-degree assault that she had thrown the beer mug because Jama wasn't speaking English, in essence admitting the crime was grounded in bias. She will serve 180 days in jail and 5 years on probation, and will have to pay restitution to Jama. Any probation violation would send her to prison for three years.

A statement from Burchard-Risch's lawyer, Rodd Tschida, certainly didn't reinforce the impression Burchard-Risch was a model of contrition:

There are certainly different narratives that can and have been written on this case. Whether that be bias crimes, or the considerable dangers of our criminal justice system relying solely on eyewitness accounts of brief traumatic incidents, which is often exacerbated where there is high media coverage. Ms. Burchard-Risch prays that everyone can move forward and put this regrettable and avoidable incident behind them[.]

So, yeah, she's really sorry -- that she got caught and her hatred got her face and name on the teevee.

Ms. Jama, on the other hand, seems to have missed the whole point of the attack, which is that she is a scary foreigner who doesn't belong here. Instead, she seems to believe America is a place for forgiveness and acceptance:

Jama said she hopes that something positive can come out of everything that happened. "I pray she learns from this and she can open her heart and realize that at the end of the day, we are all the same. It doesn't matter where you are from."

Funny, that Muslim woman almost sounds like she's not actually plotting to undermine America with subversion and hatred. Could we please have more Americans like her and maybe deport un-American haters like Burchard-Risch? That would make America pretty darn great.


Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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