Rev. Sharpton to Discuss Possible Hate Crimes in Austin Bombings on Radio

Mar 13, 2018




New York, NY (March 13, 2018)  – Rev. Al Sharpton and National Action Network (NAN) will monitor the explosions in Austin, Texas, in the wake of separate incidents targeting victims of color. 


While the investigation will hopefully determine the motive of these attacks in the near future, there are ongoing safety concerns and members of the community are seeking answers as to what transpired. One of the victims of the attacks was the grandson of a former pastor at a historically Black church, according to media reports.


Rev. Al Sharpton will conduct his nationally syndicated radio show “Keepin it Real” today from WURD FM radio and he will discuss Austin.


1-4 p.m. EST


About National Action Network (NAN)

National Action Network is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality or gender.


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The Washington Post:


The two victims killed in the explosions are relatives of prominent members of Austin’s African American community. The first, 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House, was the stepson of Freddie Dixon, a former pastor at a historic black church in Austin.


“This is a real mystery, and how all of this mystery comes together, I have no idea,” said Dixon.

He said he did not know of anyone who had a grudge against his stepson, who worked in construction, was married and had an 8-year-old daughter. But Dixon said he himself is good friends with Norman Mason, the grandfather of the teenager who was killed Monday. The teen has not been formally identified.


Mason is a dentist in East Austin who has for decades mentored African American student-athletes at the University of Texas at Austin. His wife, LaVonne Mason, is co-founder of the Austin Area Urban League.


LaVonne Mason confirmed her grandson was the 17-year-old victim who was killed in the explosion Monday morning. She declined to say anything further, citing an ongoing investigation.

“The investigation is going to take two to three days,” Mason said. “We are not at liberty to talk or discuss anything.”


Austin police believe a bomb explosion that killed a 17-year-old boy and left one woman injured March 12 is linked to another package bomb explosion that occurred March 2, killing one man. (Reuters)

Dixon said he wondered whether if the families’ connection might have motivated the crimes.

“Are you trying to say something to prominent African American families?” Dixon asked. “I don’t know who they’ve been targeting, but for sure, they went and got one of my best friends’ grandson. Somebody knew the connection.”

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