The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
A Lecompte, La., man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for shooting into the home of three Hispanic men because of their ethnicity. Johnny Mathis was accused of shooting into the home of the men with three shotgun blasts, entering the home, and only leaving as the house went up in the flames.
The IRS has revoked the tax-exempt status of Peter LaBarbera’s virulently anti-gay Americans For Truth About Homosexuality. The decision, which is not subject to appeal, was made after it was found that AFTAH had not filed the proper tax forms.
A seasoned “sovereign citizen” in Florida is attempting to stop a foreclosure on a Miami church. Jacob-Franz Dyck is claiming that the lender in the case of the foreclosed church stole the church. Dyck is notorious for having filed more than 600 fraudulent deeds in 17 Florida counties after having his dental practice shut down for running an illegal dental plan.
New evidence was released by prosecutors to bolster their position that members of the Alaska Peacekeepers Militia should not be granted bail. The evidence confirms the group’s plans to kidnap and even kill police officers and government officials if they attempted to arrest any of the militia’s members. It also includes a photographic inventory of the group’s arsenal of small arms and grenades and a white board detailing how the militia’s “security team” should deal with law enforcement officials.
A Boulder, Colo., woman has been charged with attempting to extort a Latino couple by threatening to turn them in to immigration authorities. Abigail Jane Suber allegedly told the couple that if they did not admit fault in a vehicle collision, which she was responsible for, and pay her $400, she would call immigration authorities on them. Suber has been charged with felony extortion.
An African-American man was killed in Jackson, Miss., when he was assaulted and run over by a pick-up truck in what prosecutors are calling a hate crime. Two white men, Deryl Dedmon and John Aaron Rice, both 18, are charged with murder in the death of James Anderson, 49. The prosecutor said the pair were looking for a black man to assault and that they rejoiced after killing Anderson.
A woman in Georgia has pled guilty to racketeering charges for using fraudulent deeds to claim foreclosed properties around Atlanta. The woman is being charged along with 11 others, all of whom claim they are “sovereign citizens” immune from Georgia law.
Lawyers for “sovereign citizen” militia leader Schaefer Cox are asking for murder conspiracy charges against their client to be thrown out. Defense lawyers claim that the sloppy behavior of the prosecutors toward the grand jury merit the dropping of charges. Cox and four other defendants are facing charges for conspiring to murder Alaska state troopers, an assistant district attorney, and other court officials.
A committee hearing of the Washington, D.C., City Council has revealed a rise in hate crime reports in the District. According to police statistics, the number of reported hate crimes jumped nearly 66 percent in 2010 over 2009. Gays and transgender persons remain the most targeted victims, while a growing trend of hate crimes are race-related, especially targeting Latinos.
Two former Pennsylvania police officers convicted of working to cover up the beating death of a Mexican immigrant more than two years ago – a hate crime that turned the nation’s attention to swelling violence against Latinos – have been sentenced to prison.
Former Shenandoah Police Chief Matthew Nestor on Wednesday was handed a prison sentence of 13 months for falsifying police reports, while former Lt. William Moyer, described by defense attorneys as “the Barney Fife of Shenandoah,” received a three-month sentence and 20 hours of community service for lying to the FBI.
“Americans rely on their law enforcement officials to protect public safety and serve justice,” said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. “But these officers chose to obstruct the very investigation they were charged with conducting.”
The charges stemmed from an investigation into the July 12, 2008, beating death of Luis Ramirez. A group of high school football players came across Ramirez, 25, who was walking in a park with a white girl, and started calling Ramirez a “fucking spic” and taunting him with threats. A fight erupted and the teens, some grasping chunks of metal to harden the impact of their punches, ganged up on Ramirez and beat him unconscious. Ramirez died several days later. ( continue to full post… )
Arizona nativist Laine Lawless, chief of the vigilante group Border Guardians, pitched a fit in 2006 after the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report published the contents of an E-mail she apparently sent to a high-ranking member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM) to urge a campaign of violence and harassment against Latino immigrants.
“Steal the money from any illegal walking to the bank or check cashing place. … Discourage Spanish-speaking children from going to school,” the E-mail to “SS Commander” Mark Martin of the NSM’s western Ohio chapter said. “Be creative. … Make every illegal alien feel the heat of being a person without status.”
Lawless, who refused to comment prior to the publication of the Report’s 2006 article – even after being sent copies of the E-mail over her signature to Martin – later told the media that the message was fabricated. In a long rant on her blog, she declared that the SPLC is part of an “essentially EVIL … Communist conspiracy” intent on destroying America. She was no neo-Nazi or racist, she insisted.
So it was particularly enlightening to learn that she took some time out from immigrant-bashing last Thursday to go to a speech by British writer David Irving in Phoenix. Irving, author of an infamous and ahistorical Hitler apologia called Hitler’s War and some 20 similar books, has cultivated a reputation as the world’s most prominent Holocaust denier. In 2000, at the conclusion of an exhaustive British trial in which he accused a Jewish scholar of libeling him by calling him a Holocaust denier, the judge of the London High Court ruled flatly against him. The judge concluded that Irving “displays a distinctly pro-Nazi and anti-Jewish bias” and is “an active Holocaust denier” who “deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence.” Later, in 2006, Irving served time in an Austrian prison for denying the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz. He has been barred from entering Australia, New Zealand and Germany for similar reasons. More recently, he has suggested that the Jews’ best friend in 1930s Germany was Hitler. ( continue to full post… )
Gravelly voiced conspiracy theorist Alex Jones touts himself as one of the few daring souls willing to tell the “truth” about 9/11 being an inside job, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s plans to intern dissidents in “death camps,” and the “New World Order” plot to exterminate 80% of the world’s population. The Austin, Texas-based radio host suggests that he is a lone voice “in the wilderness” of a corporate media too cowardly to tell the truth about looming disaster.
But at least one member of that media has shown Jones nothing but love. Judge Andrew Napolitano, senior judicial analyst for Fox News and host of the Fox Business program “Freedom Watch,” calls Jones a “dear friend” who is “doing more than anybody I know” to “educate the public” with “courage and fearlessness.” Jones responds by calling Napolitano the “best person” on national TV. Last Friday, according to liberal watchdog Media Matters for America, Napolitano was on Jones’ show for at least the sixth time, and promised to soon bring Jones on to “Freedom Watch,” which he announced was expanding from the weekend to weekdays.
Maybe they’ll get a chance to discuss a Jones theory that’s a little more racially charged than much of his usual fare: a purported secret plan on the part of undocumented Mexican immigrants to murder all whites over 16. ( continue to full post… )
Record-breaking high temperatures have been the norm this summer in the United States and other countries. But for Latinos, it’s been even hotter than the thermometer suggests, with one after another targeted for hate crimes around the country. Here’s a sampling of recent incidents:
- Early last Saturday in Baltimore, Martin Rayez, 51, was beaten to death with a piece of wood. The man arrested for the crime, Jermaine Holley, 19, allegedly confessed and told police that he “hated Hispanics.” He has been treated in the past for schizophrenia. The killing occurred in East Baltimore, the scene of other recent attacks on Latinos. ( continue to full post… )
This coming Aug. 31, the Fremont, Neb., City Council will consider hiking property taxes to pay to defend its recently passed anti-immigrant law. Two civil rights organizations have challenged the law, saying the voter-approved ordinance amounts to discrimination. The law, which bans the housing and hiring of undocumented immigrants in the town of 25,000 residents, is currently tied up in federal court.
City Administrator Robert Hartwig told the Omaha World-Herald that the council most likely will not vote on the proposed 18% increase in the city’s portion of the property tax rate until Sept. 14. If approved, the owner of a $200,000 house would pay about $116 more in taxes next year. ( continue to full post… )
There’s an old jest in the news business: Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story. Some anti-illegal immigrant zealots in the blogosphere are taking the joke to heart. Two-and-a-half weeks after reporting with no factual basis that members of a dangerous Mexican drug gang had seized two Americans’ ranches near Laredo, Texas, the bloggers still insist their fairy tale is true.
It has been an agonizing summer for Latino residents of Staten Island. Since April, there have been 11 known instances of racially motivated violence against Latinos in the New York City borough, most of it taking place in the economically depressed Mexican-immigrant neighborhood of Port Richmond. This past Saturday, an 18-year-old Mexican immigrant named Christian Vazquez became the latest victim when he was attacked and beaten by three young African-American assailants who yelled anti-Mexican slurs and accused him of belonging to a Mexican gang. (In fact, Vazquez is active in a local group working against bias crime and gang activity, called Eye Openers: Youth Against Violence.) Currently one of the assailants, a 15-year-old Liberian immigrant, is in police custody and facing hate-crime charges of assault, robbery and aggravated harassment.
The most recent attack follows a rising pattern of black-on-Latino bias crime in the borough. In another representative case, on April 25, 46-year-old Rogerio Vazquez (no relation to Christian) suffered lacerations to his head during a slur-laden assault and robbery at the hands of a 19-year-old Asian woman and 21-year-old African-American man.
The rash of attacks in the area has led to the construction of a “police skywatch tower” to better monitor the streets, as well as the involvement of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Mexican Consulate, which have participated in a growing number of community forums on the problem.
But some local community leaders say that much more is needed.
“While the City has dramatically increased police presence in Port Richmond, where many of these attacks have occurred, this surge in police presence fails to address the root causes of this violence,” said Ana Maria Archila, spokeswoman for Make the Road New York, a Latino advocacy group. “We can’t continue to wish discrimination and bias away. New York City must take concrete steps to promote tolerance and expand opportunities for young people.”
The steps proposed by Archila’s and allied groups include more public town halls and hearings; public awareness campaigns about hate crimes and how to anonymously report them; and educational programs for teenagers, who make up a large proportion of the perpetrators.
Though violence between black and Latino populations is generally associated with gang activity in Los Angeles and high school conflicts there and elsewhere in California, the recent events on Staten Island illustrate that the problem is national in scope, especially when the communities border each other and are in direct competition for scarce local jobs. Attacks on Latinos have risen in recent years, as anti-immigrant rhetoric ratcheted up across the country. According to the FBI, anti-Latino violence shot up 40% between 2003 and 2007, dropping back slightly in 2008. The FBI has yet to release hate crime statistics for 2009.