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Cross Burnings — Symbols of Hate — Know No Boundaries

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Cross burnings which once symbolized the pervasive racism in parts of the South decades ago, is apparently not a thing of the past, and apparently knows no boundaries.

The Justice Department on Wednesday announced that Michael Francis Bealonis,19, of Robinson, Pa. pleaded guilty in federal court in Pittsburgh to burning a 6-foot cross in November 2009 in the backyard of someone in his neighborhood.

Bealonis pleaded guilty to burning the cross at the home of a family that had three minor children, one of whom was an adopted African American.

“This teen used an unmistakable symbol of bigotry and hate to threaten a family with violence simply because the race of a child,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.” These incidents have no place in our country, and they are a reminder of the civil rights challenges we still face today.”

Sentencing is set for May 25.

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