By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Ochoa has already scored a legal victory for Brooks by convincing presiding Judge Steven Bromberg to let her go free on $100,000 bail because she is a loving, responsible mother who couldn’t possibly be a racist because she’s now married to a man with a Hispanic surname. Ochoa claims in court transcripts that the defendants were the victims, that the Mexicans tried to drag his semi-conscious client out of the truck, and that one of Brooks’ associates had suffered a stab wound, although no such injury was reported by Huntington Beach police at the time of their arrest.
Bromberg delayed his decision on whether to force the district attorney’s office to reinstate the plea offers to the defendants. The next hearing on the case is scheduled for December in Westminster’s West Justice Center.
A week after the foursome’s arrest, a subdued Cox would say on 88 Degrees only that Hicks was “indisposed of until further notice—he ran into a little bit of trouble.”
On July 17, he offered a bit more information: “They’re getting railroaded. [They face an] uphill battle; we all wish [them] the best. It’s a case of self-defense.”
The assault wasn’t made public until August, when the Register reported that police were looking for Brooks and Powell. Friends of the white supremacists went on the Weekly’s blog and other newspapers to claim it was the South Side gang who had assaulted their friends, that the arrest of the four was a racial conspiracy against whites.
But after the Weekly’s unearthing of the 88 Degrees recordings, Cox told a different story. On Oct. 9’s 88 Degrees, Cox and new co-host Jeremy Moody devoted almost two hours to trashing the Weekly. Cox said the blog post was “full of slanderous bullshit” but never told listeners exactly what part was slanderous. He shrugged off Hicks’ previous boasts of racial violence as “idle gossip,” but Moody worried that Hicks’ statements were “incriminating” and that a judge and jury wouldn’t take kindly to the defendants after hearing Hicks’ recordings.
Nevertheless, Cox insisted this writer “really [hasn’t] pissed me off 1 percent,” even though he titled the episode, for archival purposes, “Gustavo the Gay Mexican.” Throughout the show, Cox called me a “bastard,” a “whining bitch,” a “prick,” a “faggot communist,” a “dirty beaner,” “queer,” a “piece-of-shit Mexican, a “faggot,” a “douchebag,” “gay,” a “homosexual Mexican,” a “piece of shit,” a “bitch,” a “fricking reporter for a newspaper that comes out once a week and it’s free,” “scum of the bottom of the barrel,” “nothing but a joke,” the “spic version of Jared from Subway,” a “loser,” a “worthless piece of garbage,” a “stupid Mexican,” a “Mexican homosexual beaner,” an “amateur journalist,” and a “border brother” who “dresses funny” and has “fucked-up teeth.”
And then, he got personal.
Cox threatened to “crush [Arellano] like a weak little grape” in a debate and said his friends should invite me to a barbecue but remembered “they can’t barbecue refried beans.”
“You pissed off one big-ass skinhead,” Moody laughed at one point.
“Now, it’s on,” Cox said, constantly mentioning he’s now “through the door” to start attacking me. “Now, I know who he is, where he works. I know everything about this dude. . . . We have his home address. We have everything we need to know about that dude.”
“He needs to be careful about what he says,” Jeremy added.
Despite Cox’s downplaying of Hicks’ violent urgings on 88 Degrees, Radio White removed all archives of the programs featuring Hicks from their website after the Oct. 9 broadcast. Cox has refused to speak with the Weekly unless we pay him $3,500.
* * *
The streets of Oak View are calm, almost serene on a bright fall morning. Mothers stroll their children down quiet streets; men wash trucks. Every so often, someone jaywalks across Slater to line up at Tacos El Chavito, a lonchera selling delicious 50-cent tacos and offering free pineapple juice.
About 20 men hang out next to the alley connecting Queens and Keelson and watch a group play poker. This is where the Nazis assaulted Jose. This is where the Slater Slums united to beat the Nazis out of town.
All of the men know about the incident, they say. None wants to talk about it.
“The only white people who come here want to buy drugs,” offers one man. “If you try to mix with them, the police will follow you.”
Another, who calls himself Carlos, says he lives in an apartment complex down Keelson and remembers sirens that night, but he didn’t think anything of it. “We hear those all the time, but it’s usually because of cholos,” he says.
Still, they can’t help but smile. They know of Huntington Beach’s reputation for skinheads—one claims he was called a “beaner” by a group at the Main Street Pier, while a younger guy talks about the harassment he faced at Huntington Beach High for his accented English. But racists coming to their neighborhood to assault one of their own? That thought provokes laughter.