The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
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… )
In its September newsletter, the chairman of the board of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), Roy Porter, wrote a glowing paean to the group’s racist founder, John Tanton, in advance of FAIR’s Oct. 1 tribute to “John and his legacy.” Tanton played a critical role in the creation of several powerhouse anti-immigrant groups besides FAIR, including the Center for Immigration Studies and NumbersUSA, and is arguably the man most responsible for the modern nativist movement.
Porter gushed with praise for Tanton. “I’d like to express the board’s immeasurable gratitude to John, a man of extraordinary leadership ability, wisdom, courage, and compassion,” Porter wrote. In words reminiscent of those employed earlier by FAIR President Dan Stein to praise Tanton, Porter described the FAIR founder as “very much a Renaissance man, with expertise in such diverse fields as medicine, chemistry, ecology, history, literature, philosophy, politics, demography, agriculture, and land conservation.”
What’s not on Porter’s list of Tanton’s amazing abilities is racism. Nowhere is mention made of Tanton’s memos to FAIR’s board that questioned the “educability” of Latinos and warned darkly of a “Latin onslaught.” Also ignored are Tanton’s many racist comments including this 1993 gem: “I’ve come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.” And that’s only the beginning. ( continue to full post… )
Residents in New Castle County, Del., have reported that the Ku Klux Klan is actively recruiting new members by targeting predominantly white neighborhoods in Newport, an area southwest of Wilmington. According to reports, a Klan group is leaving calling cards in sandwich bags filled with rocks that they throw out of car windows onto lawns and driveways.
A Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue employee alleges he is the victim of a hate crime. Upon arriving for work Aug. 28, 2011, Miguel Rodriguez alleges he found an unsigned note on his locker. The note contained anti-black and anti-Latino racial slurs and a threat if Rodriguez were to return to his shift. Rodriguez reported several other incidents of harassment last year. County authorities are investigating the alleged incident.
Jury deliberations resumed Monday in the trial of a California teen accused of murdering a gay classmate three years ago. Seventeen-year-old Brandon McInerney is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of 15-year-old Larry King at E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard. McInerney has pleaded not guilty to one count each of murder and a hate crime.
A Stockton woman was arrested for allegedly assaulting her child’s principal over a dress code violation by punching her in the face. Police say Pami Gibbs also is accused of making references to ethnicity during the attack on Evangelina Ramos. Gibbs was booked on two felony charges of battery, criminal threats, and three misdemeanors, including hate crime.
Police in Staunton, Va., are investigating an incident where an expletive and “KKK” were burned into a person’s yard last week. Police do not consider the incident a hate crime because the home is occupied by a white family. No arrests have been made.
Police are continuing to investigate an attack against a 21-year-old transgender woman who was beaten with a baseball bat in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, Wash. According to police, who have stopped short of labeling the assault as a bias crime, the victim reported that she was attacked when a woman with a baseball bat, and a man, started following her and hit her. If an arrest is made, prosecutors will decide whether to pursue bias-crime charges against the attacker.
While much of the political rhetoric on the right these days is laden with violent imagery and gun-based metaphors, outright suggestions of political violence remain relatively rare. But in the wake of President Obama’s executive order last week that sharply limits deportations of non-criminal undocumented immigrants, that is changing.
Yesterday, speaking with far-right radio host Janet Mefferd, William Gheen, the leader of the nativist group Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), said that legal political activity may no longer be sufficient to protect America from immigrants — in particular, he made it clear, from non-white immigrants. Gheen, who in the past tried to appear a moderate on the nativist scene, said that in order to save “white America,” it may be necessary to engage in “extra-political activities that I can’t really talk about because they’re all illegal and violent.”
His full quote: “We’re no longer referring to him as President Barack Obama, our national organization has made the decision and made the announcement, we now refer to him as dictator Barack Obama. That’s what he is. And, basically, at this point, if you’re looking for a peaceful, political recourse, there really isn’t one that we can think of, and I’m really not sure what to tell people out there than I guess they need to make decisions soon to just accept whatever comes next or some type of extra-political activities that I can’t really talk about because they’re illegal and violent.” ( continue to full post… )
Four self-described white supremacists in Houston have been arrested for brutally beating a black man at a bus stop. The Harris County district attorney is receiving criticism for not charging the men, members of the Aryan Brotherhood, with a hate crime.
An Arizona man implicated in the home-invasion murder of a Latino man and his daughter has been sentenced to two life terms in prison, one without parole. Albert Gaxiola was convicted for his role in the murder of Brisenia and Raul Flores in a robbery designed to fund the anti-immigrant Minuteman American Defense organization.
Police in Oklahoma are searching for a militiaman accused of raping a 7-year-old family member. Charles Dyer, a former Marine and online figure known as the “July 4 Patriot,” missed a court hearing on Monday and then sent an E-mail to his attorney stating that if he is not heard from in 90 days, he is dead. A nationwide manhunt is now under way for Dyer.
A man implicated in a potential hate crime committed on Friday in Santa Barbara has turned himself in. Ryan Christopher Zietlow-Brown was arrested and charged with attempted murder for stabbing an African-American man with a pair of scissors as he walked down the street with a white man.
Anti-Latino hate crimes in California spiked up by almost 50% last year, the state’s attorney general’s office reported Wednesday. That dramatic rise, from 81 such crimes in 2009 to 119 in 2010, followed a decade of declines.
The numbers may be indicative of a renewed national rise in hate crimes directed at Latinos, who are often assumed to be undocumented immigrants. Nationally, FBI hate crime statistics showed a 40% rise in such crimes between 2003 and 2007, but that was followed by decreases in 2008 and 2009. The national numbers for the year 2010 are not expected to be released until November of this year.
The national hate crime numbers are notoriously sketchy, and only give a very rough indication of trends in hate crimes. However, many experts consider California particularly good at reporting hate crimes, so that state’s statistics are considered much more accurate than most others’. California, along with Arizona, has been the scene of much conflict between native Americans and immigrants, and if that conflict is heating up there, a similar pattern may be developing nationally. ( continue to full post… )
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.