People who attack other people for their race, gender, or religion know what they’re doing the majority of the time (children, perhaps, might not fully grasp the gravity of their words). So, adults who are arrested for such vicious assaults oughtn’t be surprised when they are charged with hate crimes—nor should they think tears will evoke sympathy.
Such is the case, though, with a Portland, OR, man who was charged with second-degree intimidation after following a black Muslim couple in his car while hurling threats through the window. Frederick Nolan Sorrell, 49, wept crocodile tears while being interviewed by KGW Portland after his arraignment on July 10.
Sorrell is accused of tailing a Muslim couple for more than 20 blocks and repeatedly attempting to ram their car in May. According to The Oregon Committee of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Sorrell yelled at the woman: “Take off your fucking burka, this is America, go back to your fucking country.” CAIR said he also mimicked “pulling the trigger of a handgun.”
Despite pleading guilty to the crime, Sorrell appeared to feign innocence (while weeping) during and interview with KGW.
“I never tried to run into them. I was just going to work,” Sorell said. “I never tried to follow them. I never tried to make contact with them after the fact.”
Twenty blocks is a long time, but sure. Sorrell did acknowledge shouting at the couple, but again, attempted to deflect blame.
“I guess my fear and paranoia, I just yelled out,” he told KGW. “I don’t go on social media looking to hate on people. I guess my ignorance and my stupidity is why I opened my mouth, and I shouldn’t have and I claim full responsibility.”
Sorrell was banned from Facebook by the presiding judge for “writing discriminatory things” on the website.
Here’s the thing: Sorrell probably would continue to be afraid of Muslims and attack them if he hadn’t been caught. But he seemed to acknowledge that and actually made one good point during his pity party interview.
“All I know is fear based information,” he said after claiming his lack of education. Sorrell is right. All he knows is fear based information and the only way to change that is through human interaction, which he also admitted.
“I would love to sit down and have an open conversation with them and have an open mind and apologize,” he said. Maybe just start with that conversation instead of trying to ram someone with your car?
Head to KGW to watch Sorrell’s interview: