Important news for all you Trump fans out there: The American judiciary is still so thoroughly poisoned with Political Correctness that you can't even beat up foreign-looking people and expect to get off the hook because you were inspired by Donald Trump. Maybe after he gets to replace the current Supreme Court with the editorial staff of Breitbart, but not yet.

In a clear case of politically motivated persecution, a former Penn State student, Nicholas Tavella, 20, pleaded guilty Monday to charges of felony ethnic intimidation; misdemeanor terroristic threats; and summary harassment, as well as charges to being a drunk underage drinker and all-around asshole (we may be interpreting those last charges loosely). Last December, Tavella, who was still attending the university at the time,

followed another student on Penn State’s campus and asked the victim if he was going to rape a girl [...] Tavella taunted the victim and asked him why he was trying to get away.

“What are you, from the Middle East?” Tavella asked the student, according to court documents.

According to [a press release from the Centre County District Attorney’s Office], the victim said Tavella grabbed him by the throat and said, “Don’t make me put a bullet in your chest.”

Shortly after his December 5 arrest, Tavella told arresting Penn State police officer Cole McDaniel that he was

“racially profiling (the victim) because he looked suspicious.” McDaniel testified that Tavella also told him that he “probably grabbed him and probably said something racist.”

McDaniel testified before the court that when he asked Tavella why he was following the victim, he admitted that it was because “he appeared to be of Asian or Middle Eastern descent.”

Well that only makes sense, really. Or at least it made sense to Tavella's attorney, Wayne Bradburn, who offered a brilliant argument to demand the ethnic intimidation charges be dropped, since the hate crimes statute requires proof of "malicious intent." But what if the attack was inspired by patriotism (and maybe exacerbated by underage drinking)?

In Bradburn’s defense, he cited the “Paris attacks, which took place three days prior,” and that it may have been “his love of country,” and “Donald Trump rhetoric covered in the media that may have incited fear of suspicious individuals.”

Sadly, Tavella attacked the victim on December 5, two days before Trump issued his call for a "complete shutdown of Muslim immigration," so Bradburn couldn't credibly claim that Tavella was merely performing a private deportation action.

The forces of political correctness aligned to conspire against poor Tavella, who simply wanted to protect our women from those scary Middle Easterners or possibly Asians. Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said in December, “A physical attack motivated by skin color and/or perceived ethnicity is a simple hate crime and this will not be tolerated in our community.” The patriotic bigot (Tavella, not Trump) is scheduled for sentencing on November 18, so at least he can still help with Trump's Get Out The Vote efforts in Pennsylvania, if any.

Tavella isn't the only patriot who's been inspired by Donald Trump to try to take personal action against the dusky hordes who threaten America; in May, two Trump supporters were sentenced to 2 1/2 years of prison and three years of probation just because they beat the crap out of a homeless Hispanic man because they were very passionate in their love for America. And in April, five Wisconsin students were subject to unspecified disciplinary measures after chanting "Build the wall!" and other racist taunts at black and Latina soccer players at a high-school soccer match.

In a disturbing sign that political correctness is running amok and maybe causing White Genocide, the National Education Education warned this week that the "Trump Effect" has led to an increase in school bullying, although so far the evidence is largely anecdotal, like anecdotes of school bullying documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center. HuffPo notes that the "effect" hasn't been "scientifically proven," probably because no Human Subjects Committee would ever condone exposing an experimental population of school children to Trump rallies to test whether a higher percentage of them became bullies than a control group.

[HuffPo / Centre Daily Times / Centre Daily Times / HuffPo]

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Fellow Wonkers, this last week of horror has been wearing on us all, because here we are in a world where the "president" of the United States has ordered that migrant children be taken away from their parents at the border, and is simultaneously proud of it (for his base) and cravenly blaming it on Democrats because even he knows it's morally reprehensible. But what the hell can we do about it beyond calling our senators and representatives and posting sadness on Twitter, the latter of which is of dubious utility to anyone, and mostly depressing?

Resist the urge to disappear into a bottle. The kids and the families need you.

Slate has compiled a great list of places to start, which we will liberally summarize for you right now:

The thing these folks need most is LAWYERS. If you're an immigration lawyer, you're probably already swamped. But on the off chance you have time and expertise to spare, the American Immigration Lawyers Association is building a list of volunteers.

Yr Dok Zoom has given money to the fine folks at RAICES, a San Antonio-based group that has two major projects. They're getting lawyers for migrant families (and for the kids when possible) and raising money to pay migrant parents' bond so they can be out of jail and with their families. If you're in Texas, then click here to volunteer!

Also for folks who are in Texas:

The Texas Civil Rights Project is seeking "volunteers who speak Spanish, Mam, Q'eqchi' or K'iche' and have paralegal or legal assistant experience."

There's also CARA -- an umbrella organization for the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, the American Immigration Council, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Together, they provide legal services at immigration detention centers.

To help kids who are already in immigration detention, there's Kids in Need of Defense, which provides children with representation in immigration court and also lobbies for children's legal interests. Donate here.

If you're not quite sure where to give, ActBlue has bundled several immigrant rights groups into a single donation button -- see the list and donate here.

Remember, there's always the ACLU, which is fighting family separation with a federal class action lawsuit.

You want to march? Former top government ethics lawyer Walter Shaub, who gave up trying to tell the Trump administration what ethics even are, will be announcing the details of a national march (think DC and local affiliated marches) tonight on MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes." We'll make noise here, too.

Good people are coming together to put an end to this cruelty. EVERY Democrat in the Senate is now co-sponsoring Dianne Feinstein's bill to stop family separation.

And hell, we'll even give the last word to Jennifer Rubin, who seems to have reassessed some of her previous political views. She has a reminder for all of us:

Damn straight. Remember it every damn day between now and then.

It's your open thread. Don't boo -- organize. Time to RESIST.

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Don't take for granted that the institutions you love will always be there, like democracy, and Wonkette. Click to save at least one of them!


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There are perks to being the only Harvard professor willing to shill for the Bush League Mussolini. Everyone else has to haul ass to the Fox studio and sit for hair and makeup. Not Alan Dershowitz! He just parks his laptop in Pee Wee's playhouse and Skypes in that rant. Is he even wearing pants? We hope never to find out!

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