“In presidential politicking, symbolism is a deliberate choice. And racial provocation is something with a deep and resonant history,” she said. “It is one thing to do that as a small-fry politician; it is another thing to do it as a front-runner for a major party’s presidential nomination. Being a presidential front-runner is a powerful thing. It can also be a dangerous thing if you want it to be.”Trump appeared on Thursday afternoon in Patchogue, New York, for a Suffolk County Republican Party fundraiser, at a venue not far from the train station where Marcelo Lucero, who emigrated to the US from Ecuador, was stabbed to death after being attacked by a group of seven teenagers. Jeffrey Conroy, who was 17 years old at the time of the attack, was later convicted of first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime and sentenced to 25 years in prison.
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While most of the nation was preoccupied with the election of President Barack Obama at the time of Lucero’s death, Maddow explained, “in New York the local story was Suffolk County and these racist attacks — these escalating racist attacks that had suddenly, but probably inevitably, turned fatal.
Lucero’s death led other Latinos in the area to confirm that the attack against him was only one in a series of them. Trump’s appearance in Patchogue on Wednesday, Maddow said, had local activists concerned that it would lead to a resurgence in violence against immigrant communities.
“Patchogue’s history of racist and fatal hate crimes against Latino immigrants is not necessarily a nationally-famous story,” she said. “But it is a New York-famous story. Donald Trump has not yet won the Republican nomination — he’s still trying to win the New York primary — but campaigning in Patchogue today on the street where Marcelo Lucero was murdered, it means something specific in New York.”