The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Suffolk County, N.Y., Police Department Reaches Agreement with DOJ to Reform Hate Crime Practices

Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Latino, Hate Crime by Heidi Beirich on December 4, 2013 - 2:27 pm

The police department in Suffolk County, N.Y., has reached a tentative agreement with the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) to enhance the training of its officers and improve the way it investigates hate crimes and bias incidents, resolving a federal investigation into the county’s policing practices that followed revelations of rampant anti-Latino violence in the county.

The agreement announced yesterday, which still requires the approval of the county legislature, conforms to DOJ recommendations issued in 2011.

The Suffolk County Police Department came under scrutiny in the wake of the 2008 killing of Ecuadorean immigrant Marcel Lucero by a group of teens engaging in what they called “beaner-jumping.” In 2009, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) issued a report, Climate of Fear: Latino Immigrants in Suffolk County, N.Y, that documented widespread hatred and violence directed at the county’s Latino immigrants. The report also showed how certain political leaders in the county had added fuel to the fire by ignoring the problem and using inflammatory rhetoric. ( continue to full post… )

Once Again, White Nationalists Sully Immigration Debate

Posted in Anti-Black, Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Latino by Hatewatch Staff on May 15, 2013 - 1:33 pm

Opponents of immigration reform legislation have been trying to steer clear of white nationalists lately, hoping to keep their opposition to citizenship for undocumented Latino immigrants free from the taint of racism.

But they just can’t seem to run fast enough.

Last week, a major Heritage Foundation report about the supposed costs of illegal immigration was pilloried after the revelation that one of its authors, Heritage Foundation senior fellow Jason Richwine, had earlier claimed that there are deep differences in intelligence among races (with Latinos toward the bottom). Richwine resigned from the conservative think tank amid the outcry.

Now, this week, we discover that ProEnglish, a group with white nationalist ties, has launched an ad campaign against immigration reform. The first target is Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, according to BuzzFeed. The group’s minute-long radio ad features a Spanish-speaking character, apparently representing an undocumented immigrant, thanking Graham “for not requiring him to learn English in exchange for amnesty.” ( continue to full post… )

Kobach Tells Civil Rights Commission He’d Never Help a Known Bigot

Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Latino, Hate Groups by Leah Nelson on August 20, 2012 - 12:45 pm

Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State and the architect of harsh, anti-immigrant laws in several states and cities, made a special trip to Hatewatch’s home state last week to testify in Birmingham before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

The statutes pushed by Kobach – among them Arizona’s SB 1070 and Alabama’s even more draconian HB 56 – were devised to make life so miserable for undocumented immigrants that they give up and “self-deport.” A lawyer with degrees from Harvard, Oxford and Yale, he began crafting anti-immigrant policy while working in John Ashcroft’s Department of Justice. In 2004, he was hired as senior counsel to the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), where he devised immigration legislation that would later serve as the basis of the laws in Arizona and Alabama. (IRLI is the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an anti-immigrant hate group that yearns for a return to the days when immigration policy favored light-skinned northern Europeans over all others.) ( continue to full post… )

How Do We Know FAIR is a Hate Group? Let Us Count the Ways

Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Latino, Hate Groups, Nativist Extremist, White Nationalism by Leah Nelson on August 10, 2012 - 8:51 am

John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, the immigrant-bashing Los Angeles radio personalities who were suspended earlier this year when they referred to Whitney Houston as a “crack ho” and marveled that the late pop singer “took this long” to die, are back on the air and up to their old tricks.

In the August 3 edition of the “John & Ken Show,” the duo took up for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an anti-immigrant organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center has called a hate group since 2008 because of its virulent and false attacks on non-white immigrants.

“The Federation for American Immigration Reform, I think, has been defined by some of these think tank organizations as a hate group,” Chiampou said. ( continue to full post… )

The Astonishing Bigotry and Paranoia of Russell Pearce

Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Latino by Leah Nelson on July 18, 2012 - 4:50 pm

Former Arizona state Senate President Russell Pearce, the author of his state’s draconian anti-immigrant law, S.B. 1070, is notorious for making outrageous claims about the supposed dangers posed by immigrants – both documented and not.

In major speeches at least, Pearce usually tries to maintain some modicum of decency. In private (or at least semi-private), his taste has long been known to run even more extreme than he lets on. That’s likely one reason he became, last November, the first sitting state senate president in the U.S. and the first ever Arizona state legislator to be defeated in a recall election.

Now, a series of E-mails – released to a coalition of civil rights organizations that filed a public records request with the state of Arizona – shows just how deep his loathing of immigrants runs. ( continue to full post… )

Nativist Lawyer Kris Kobach Plays Dumb About His Employer’s Racism

Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Latino by Heidi Beirich on February 23, 2012 - 11:42 am

Anti-immigrant law drafter extraordinaire Kris Kobach continues to play dumb about the racist organization bankrolling his efforts, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), and its founder John Tanton. In a piece published by Salon yesterday, Kobach, who is also the Kansas secretary of state, was quoted claiming that he is “not familiar with [Tanton’s] writings or his views.” He also said: “I have not done any legal work for any organization that expresses or supports racial discrimination, nor will I ever do so in the future. ”

Really, Kris? ( continue to full post… )

FBI Reports Dramatic Spike in Anti-Muslim Hate Violence

Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Latino, Anti-Muslim, Hate Crime by Mark Potok on November 14, 2011 - 1:00 pm

Anti-Muslim hate crimes soared by an astounding 50% last year, skyrocketing over 2009 levels in a year marked by the vicious rhetoric of Islam-bashing politicians and activists, especially over the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” in New York City.

Although the national statistics compiled by the FBI each year are known to dramatically understate the real level of reported and unreported hate crimes, they do offer telling indications of some trends. The latest statistics, showing a jump from 107 anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2009 to 160 in 2010, seem to reflect a clear rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric from groups like Stop Islamization of America. Much of that rhetoric was aimed at stopping an Islamic center in lower Manhattan.

( continue to full post… )

Newspaper Publication of Anti-Latino Comments Stirs Controversy

Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Latino by Robert Steinback on October 21, 2011 - 2:20 pm

Never let it be said that the words of a simple “man on the street” can’t have far-reaching consequences in the modern world.

The Hazleton, Pa., Standard-Speaker newspaper is still coping with the fallout of an interview it published Aug. 15 in a regular print-edition-only feature called “Know Your Neighbor,” in which a local individual is stopped at random and asked to comment briefly on life in Luzerne County. That day, the paper interviewed a man identified as Richard Yanoski of the nearby town of McAdoo. ( continue to full post… )

News Roundup for September 16, 2011

Posted in Anti-Black, Anti-Latino, Anti-LGBT, Hate Crime by Janet Smith on September 16, 2011 - 1:49 pm

Two psychologists testified this week that a Santa Maria, Calif., parolee charged with trying to murder a local waiter a year ago is mentally incompetent to stand trial. Curtis Martin allegedly asked a waiter at a Denny’s Restaurant if he was gay and when the victim answered that he was, Martin stabbed him twice.

Anthony Weston, one of three men charged with hate crimes in the beating of two Mexican citizens, has pleaded guilty and is expected to receive probation in exchange for his testimony against the other two defendants. Prosecutors say the three men attacked their victims outside a bar in San Francisco last November while yelling “white power.”

Ricky L. Hawkins was indicted on aggravated assault and civil rights intimidation charges for allegedly hitting a black man with a baseball bat in Lake City, Tenn., in 2010. Authorities said Hawkins, who is white, was shouting racial epithets at his victim when he was arrested and later told them that he was angry because the victim had dated a woman Hawkins was going out with. Hawkins reportedly had tattoos associated with the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations group.

DOJ Says Suffolk County, N.Y., Police Need Improvements on Hate Crimes

Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Latino, Hate Crime by Mark Potok on September 14, 2011 - 3:38 pm

The Department of Justice (DOJ) sent a letter (pdf) to officials yesterday suggesting non-mandatory improvements in the way that the Suffolk County, N.Y., Police Department (SFPD) investigates hate crimes and other practices. The preliminary findings letter was part of a DOJ investigation of the department’s “patterns and practices” in the wake of the 2008 murder of immigrant Marcelo Lucero by a gang of white toughs.

Lucero’s murder by teenagers who had regularly engaged in the ethnic hunting parties they termed “beaner-jumping” shone a light on a community of immigrants who felt they were under siege, subjected to anti-immigrant violence and largely ignored or shunted aside by the police department. It also brought out the way that leading officials in the county had regularly demonized Latino immigrants.

The DOJ’s preliminary findings comported closely with those of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which published a September 2009 report on the situation entitled “Climate of Fear: Latino Immigrants in Suffolk County, N.Y.” Our report described not only how large numbers of Latinos in Suffolk County were subjected to hate crimes and other abuse, but also how many Latinos felt that SFPD officers ignored or belittled them, often declining to take reports after complaints were made. It also discussed the role of hate groups in the country and, especially, high-level public officials in contributing to an atmosphere of anti-immigrant hate — but those areas were outside the scope of the DOJ investigation. ( continue to full post… )