Because of the change in venue, Lonny
doesn't have to submit to the judgment of members of the small community
in central Idaho (Council) where he is held in such low esteem for "gittin'
the football team in trouble," as so eloquently put by the town
ruffian that then proceeded to break Lonny's ankle in a fistfight one cold
evening after the referees' association had placed the Council High School on
probation for "fan harassment."
The harassment? Well, after
Manley let go of Lonney's wife and disappeared into the red brick fieldhouse
to shower and change clothes, Lonny got a good look at the injury to his
wife's neck and went ballistic. He turned and shouted into the
building: "Tell that nigger to get out here, 'cuz I'm a gonna kick his
The red rash that
Manley held her
while trying to
take her camera.
taken by investigating officer.)
This door was open that
last October when Lonny
just outside and vented
stairwell down which Lonny Rae
his challenge. The locker room
Manley was at the time is through
the left opening
at the base of the stairs
and down the
hall, well out of sight.
There are other reasons why Lonny
couldn't get a fair trial in Council, where the incident took place.
When the referee was never charged with assault and battery (and still has
never been so charged by the authorities), yet Lonny was booked for a
violation of Idaho's Malicious Harassment statute (the hate crime law), the
media from nearby Boise went into an orgy, covering the "racist"
Lonny Rae both in print and on TV. Lonny never again got work in the
Even the local newspaper got in on
the act, eventually referring to Lonny's wife as "the antichrist."
Yes, that is the same newspaper that had assigned her to cover
the football game in the first place. And, yes that is the same
newspaper that let her go when advertisers threatened to pull their ads if she
remained on staff. Suggests a whole new meaning for the phrase,
"freedom of the press," doesn't it?
And Kim had annoyed members of the
local school board with her newspaper accounts of their shenanigans in
the past. The school board slapped a one-year suspension on
both Lonny and Kim when they learned of the referees' association action,
saying that neither could come on school grounds during the coming year.
This proved a loud justification for local condemnation of both Lonny and
Kim, since the high school football program is so important to Council a
perennial contender for state championship honors.
They claim it was just coincidental that Lonny got charged only
a day or so after the referees' association placed the football program on
probation. Feelings were running pretty high; high enough such that
Lonny and Kim got accosted by that local ruffian one night, as
recounted above. Lonny mixed it up with the fellow because the
object of his ire was actually Kim. Ironically, Lonny once again
took it on the chin (shin, actually) while defending her honor.
There is a strong suggestion that this prosecution of Lonny Rae is
politically motivated and in retribution for things having nothing to do
with what Lonny said that night last October.
Judge Steven Drescher rides the
circuit and hears cases in Council infrequently, so it was easy for
him to reconsider his earlier denial of a change of venue for Lonny's
"hate-crime" trial. Judge Drescher simply decided to bring it
home to Payette County, where he normally holds court. The date has
not been finalized, but is expected to be set between Thanksgiving and
However, the judge ruled against
Lonny's companion motion this past week for outright dismissal on a
number of counts, the centerpiece of which was a constitutional challenge
to Idaho's "hate crime" law on equal protection grounds. We
argued that the law, the language of which applies equally to all
citizens, is employed only against white people, thereby elevating
minorities to a special class, which denies white people equal protection under
the law. The judge disagreed. Apparently he hasn't heard about all
the other cases around the country, all of which involve some sort of genuine
injury inflicted - and all of which have white men as the defendant.
Remember the Seattle "Mardis
Gras" riots a few months ago? Remember the gangs of marauding
blacks who did so much damage and assaulted so many white people?
Remember the woman being held down and sexually assaulted by one such gang?
Remember the white guy who came to her aid and was killed for his trouble?
Know how many "hate crime" prosecutions resulted from that night's
orgy of crime? Exactly one. Guess what color the defendant
is.....yep - he's white.
My oldest daughter was actually
told in her Sandpoint High School Social Studies class a couple of years ago that
only white people can be guilty of hate crimes, since white people are the
ones who have oppressed minorities for so long. That's not the way the
laws read, but that sure is the way they are applied. Just ask Lonny
Though Lonny and his wife easily meet
the definition of indigent for purposes of qualifying for court-paid lawyers,
trial expenses and experts, Judge Drescher also denied Lonny's motion to be
advanced costs to hire the experts he needs. Lonny, his wife and their
two daughters lost their home after they both were put out of work over
this affair. Lonny has since found employment at a low-paying job in
northern Idaho, but is barely able to provide his family's modest basic needs.
This family has proudly refused to resort to public assistance.
Lonny needs to line up a psychiatrist
to testify that he was at the mercy of powerful emotions when he said what he
did, thus should not be held accountable - a sort of "temporary
insanity." We also need to retain the services of a sociologist who
will advise the jury that the word "nigger" has gone into the
vernacular to such a degree that its usage is commonplace virtually everyplace
except central Idaho, apparently.
However, thanks to the generosity of
several kind individuals, many of whom could ill afford to send anything at
all, we have so far collected a little over $3,000 to cover trial
expenses. Many thanks to those generous people, who have now made
it possible to cover the cost of professional trial exhibits, deposition
transcripts and at least some of my travel costs.
I am providing my services to Lonny
Rae pro bono (for free), because I see this case as being so vitally important
to all of us, particularly in the current climate of dwindling personal
liberty. This is one of the first cases I have seen that I would put
in the category of being a pure thought crime, a la George Orwell's
classic novel 1984. Sure he said it. So what?
The First Amendment should protect anybody who wishes to engage in such
admittedly dreadful behavior, and who should be free of the fear of doing hard
time for saying what's on his mind.
Donations may be made to the Rae
Defense Fund, PO Box 1255, Sagle, Idaho 83860. Credit card donations may
be made by logging on to www.PayPal.com
(joining is free) and sending funds to firstname.lastname@example.org
with "Rae Defense Fund" noted in the distribution directions.
I'll keep you posted on developments.
"I didn't say it would be easy. I just said it
would be the truth."
Copyright © Edgar J. Steele,
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