Sunday, February 05, 2006
Death Follows New Bedford Teen
Death Follows New Bedford Teen
By Nicole Nichols
Eighteen-year-old Jacob Robida is in custody but not before he took the life of a police officer and his companion and got himself shot twice in the head. Three people maimed, two dead, and one waiting at death’s door…why? That’s a question Jacob might not even be able to answer.
Jacob had been on the run since Thursday night when he entered a gay bar in New Bedford, Massachusetts pulled a hatchet and a gun and wounded three patrons. Police later found Nazi regalia and anti-Semitic writing on his bedroom wall.
Earlier today, Jacob was seen in Gassville, Arkansas. When officer Jim Sell approached Jacob’s vehicle, Robida shot him twice and sped away. About twenty-five miles away police laid spike strips across the highway just before he arrived but that didn’t stop him. Jacob continued forward on two rims into the town of Norfork where he lost control and ran into other vehicles that were parked. He immediately began firing at police officers with a 9mm. Before the officers shot him, Robida turned the gun on his 33 year-old female companion and killed her. Jacob was taken to a hospital in Springfield, Missouri where his condition appears to be grave.
Across the internet last night, neo-Nazi’s were speaking out against Robida’s actions and bemoaning the waste of such a fine young white man. A few were defending him, claiming that he might have entered the bar not knowing that it was a gay establishment and then was accosted. Of course, we all know that eighteen-year-old kids all go into bars armed with a machete, an axe, and a 9mm – just in case.
In all of this, no one really knows a lot about young Jacob other than he had some very racist leanings, and evidently a real dislike of homosexuals. His web presence on Myspace.com yields a little insight not only into his troubled mind but into the minds of his internet friends as well. In reading much of what is said there and the adoration that a few have for Jacob, one realizes that there is a very dark underbelly to what should be the happiest of ages.
As much as the racists would love to distance themselves from this, and as much as Bill White would like to portray Jacob as a “normal,” red-blooded, American white man, they must share in the responsibility for this tragedy and they must realize that there is nothing “normal” about any of this.
Hate and the ideology that promotes racism, bigotry, and rage against homosexuals is a violent emotion which is only exacerbated by the neo-Nazi rhetoric and mindset. I don’t care if Jacob was or wasn’t a member of any particular hate group or if he sympathized or identified with any of them. The fact that he even knew enough to put “14/88” and “Seig Hiel” on his website and adorn his room with swastikas and anti-Semitic writings, tells me that every, single person who is part of that movement shares in the shame of this young man’s deeds.
You can say he was disturbed. You can claim that he was insane. That still does not absolve the racist right. They know that there are disturbed people out there. They know the consequences of one of those “insane” people falling prey to their spew of racial, ethnic, and sexual hate. They know because it has been written in blood across this country by others just as disturbed as Jacob Robida. And every damned one of them shares the guilt in the injuries and deaths that occurred over the last three days. Whether they believe it or not, there is a saying that we all have to serve somebody – and when their day of reckoning is upon them they will be required to face the one that they served.
Our prayers are with the victims and their families tonight. We are mourning the losses and hoping that those responsible for so much pain will be brought to a swift and righteous justice.
Posted by Nikki at 2/05/2006 01:50:00 AM