The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Metro Council member Eric Crafton rolled out his English Only law by invoking the fall of the Roman Empire, which he said was “overrun with illegal immigrants…who at first worked as servants but then came so fast they did not learn the Latin language or the Roman form of government.”
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The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the most important anti-immigration group in America, recently issued an angry press release denouncing those who suggest that demonizing nativist rhetoric leads to hate violence. FAIR said that this “outrageous behavior” was part of “a calculated strategy” aimed at “silenc[ing] legitimate immigration policy debate” and added that those who suggest such a link between rhetoric and hate crime “provide no proof whatsoever.” FAIR and its leader, Dan Stein, were particularly incensed that Latino rights organizations had “cynically” suggested that the recent murder of Marcelo Lucero on Long Island, N.Y., by white teenagers who had gone hunting for “Mexicans,” was related to the demonization of Latino immigrants that had been particularly heavy there.
FAIR accused the National Council of La Raza, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), and unnamed other organizations of “manipulat[ing] the data” on hate crimes. But the fact is that it is FAIR that dishonestly manipulated data as part of a bid to minimize anti-Latino hate violence.
FAIR says that anti-Hispanic hate crime incidents went up by just 3.3% between 2006 and 2007, and it is right. But it completely ignores the fact — which is what La Raza, MALDEF and the Southern Poverty Law Center (publisher of this blog) have been pointing out — that that figure is only the latest rise of many. In fact, the very same FBI hate crime statistics cited by FAIR to make its case show that anti-Latino hate crimes have risen a total of 40% between 2003 and 2007 (see chart below). While the FBI statistics are not conclusive, they indicate a trend that parallels the rise in anti-immigration groups and their often-vicious anti-Latino rhetoric. As Jack Levin, the Brudnick professor of sociology and criminology at Northeastern University and a national expert on hate crime, told Hatewatch: “It’s not just the most recent numbers. It’s the trend over a number of years that lends credibility to the notion that we’re seeing a very real and possibly dramatic rise in anti-Latino hate incidents.”
FAIR also suggests, based on the number of incidents reported by the FBI, that the prevalence of anti-Latino hate crimes is very low — 1.3 attacks per 100,000 Latinos. It ignores the important, 2005 Justice Department study (pdf) that concluded that the real level of hate-motivated attacks on Latinos (this at a time before the anti-immigration movement and its rhetoric had really exploded) was vastly higher — 90 per 100,000 Latinos. The study, considered by criminologists to be far more accurate that the annual hate crime statistics, found that huge numbers of hate crimes are not reported to police or don’t find their way into the FBI’s statistics for various other reasons. The underreporting problem is even more severe among undocumented immigrants, who rarely report crimes to police because they are afraid they will be deported. ( continue to full post… )
Derek Black isn’t feeling the love from the Palm Beach County, Fla., Republican Party. On Wednesday night, the party’s chairman — or “Jewish supremacist chairman” in the words of Derek’s dad, white nationalist webmaster Don Black — refused to seat the younger Black on the executive committee he won election to in August because Black, 19, failed to sign a GOP loyalty oath by the required deadline. And besides that, said party chairman Sid Dinerstein, Black is unwelcome because he’s a white supremacist. Black said he may sue, but his friend, former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard and Louisiana state representative David Duke made that sound like an iffy proposition on his website.
“Whether Derek Black pursues legal action is contingent upon the family finances,” Duke’s website states. “If he truly wants to make an issue of this and lacks finances, I hope he considers setting up a legal fund and reaching out to the white nationalist community for help. This is a battle worth joining.”
Black is the 19-year-old son of Don Black, a former Alabama Klan boss who is the founder of Stormfront.com, the world’s largest white supremacist online forum. Derek Black works on his father’s website. His mother, Chloe Black, was married to Duke before she married Don Black.
Derek Black won election to one of 111 Palm Beach County Republican Executive Committee seats, beating the incumbent with 58% of the vote. Committee members’ low-profile duties include electing the county party chairman and promoting voter turnout. After Dinerstein, the local party chief, learned more about Black, he said he wouldn’t seat him on the committee. He could do so, he said, because Black failed to sign the GOP loyalty oath by the June 20 deadline. ( continue to full post… )
Less than 24 hours before Latino immigrant Marcelo Lucero was beaten to death by a gang of white youths, another Latino resident of Patchogue, N.Y. reported being shot with a BB gun by white teens shouting expletives, 911 records show.
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The president of the National Council of La Raza joined other civil rights leaders in criticizing Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy along with other politicians and the news media for cultivating anti-immigration sentiments preceding the murder of a Latino immigrant.
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Police are looking for eight white young adults who shouted ethnic slurs at a group of Latino men then shoved one of them in Patchogue, N.Y., where tensions are still running high after the Nov. 8 random hate crime murder of an Ecuadorian immigrant.
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Elementary school district officials in Mountain View, Calif. reported that some of the district’s Spanish-language signs were stolen and reappeared on a busy thoroughfare spray-painted in red with the words, “No More Aliens.”
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Eight days after a Meade County, Ky., civil jury delivered a potentially crippling verdict against the Imperial Klans of America (IKA), including $1 million in punitive damages against IKA leader Ron Edwards, the unrepentant imperial wizard had this to say to “IKA Members and Supporters”:
Oh, and please send money.
In an open letter dated Nov. 22 and posted on the IKA website, Edwards declared that he was resigning effective immediately. “I need time off because I have not had any in many years,” wrote Edwards, who founded the IKA, now the third largest Klan group in America, in late 1996.
Edwards further explained that he was stepping down in order to “focus my efforts” on preparing an appeal of the $2.5-million judgment in a lawsuit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on behalf of a teenager who was assaulted by IKA members at a county fair in rural Kentucky in 2006.
Although Edwards represented himself during the recent three-day trial, he claimed in his letter that an unnamed Louisville, Ky., lawyer had offered to represent Edwards on appeal for the cut rate of $10,000. “That is GREAT!” Edwards wrote. “While this lawyer does not share our beliefs, he … seems to be determined to put up a serious fight in court. So, anyone who can send anything in, please do! In the memo area, please write ‘Lawyer.’ Thank you so much!” Later in the letter, Edwards reiterated his plea for money: “Again, anyone who can help with donations for the appeal, please do. This is very important, not just for myself, but all Pro-European American groups and our people as whole.”
Unfortunately for Edwards, potential donors to his purported cause are likely to consider the damning testimony of former IKA members who said in the Meade County trial that Edwards routinely lines his own pockets with IKA membership fees and “defense fund” donations. One of them, Joshua Cowles, a former IKA recruiter under Edwards, described a typical occasion where Edwards paid his own bills with a $400 donation that Edwards had solicited on behalf of an IKA member facing a criminal assault charge. “The IKA is about one man and one man only—and that’s Ron Edwards,” Cowles said on the witness stand. “It’s about his greed, his want to have money, his desire to get by without working, his desire to trick people into giving him money to support him.” ( continue to full post… )