September 2012

Time to say, “Not in my backyard!”

When it comes to terrorism and hatred, we often focus our attention overseas. Yet, everyday, in our own neighborhoods, Americans are displaying acts of hate toward non-Americans and Americans alike. What’s the reason for this hate? It’s because as humans, we are all different. We have different views in the areas of race, religion and sexual preference and what seems ok to us, doesn’t sit well with others. And instead of just being tolerant and accepting of other’s belief systems like many, some individuals and groups feel this way of life is wrong and must be stopped by any means possible.

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, in 2010, 1,949 law enforcement agencies reported 6,628 hate crime incidents involving 7,699 offenses. There were 6,624 single-bias incidents that involved 7,690 offenses, 8,199 victims, and 6,001 offenders.

2011 stats are still being broken down, but nevertheless, the stats are astronomical:

 

Racial bias

In 2010, law enforcement agencies reported that 3,725 single-bias hate crime offenses were racially motivated. Of these offenses:

  • 69.8 percent were motivated by anti-black bias.
  • 18.2 percent stemmed from anti-white bias.
  • 5.7 percent were a result of bias against groups of individuals consisting of more than one race (anti-multiple races, group).
  • 5.1 percent resulted from anti-Asian/Pacific Islander bias.
  • 1.2 percent were motivated by anti-American Indian/Alaskan Native bias.

Religious bias

Hate crimes motivated by religious bias accounted for 1,409 offenses reported by law enforcement.  A breakdown of the bias motivation of religious-bias offenses showed:

  • 65.4 percent were anti-Jewish.
  • 13.2 percent were anti-Islamic.
  • 9.5 percent were anti-other religion, i.e., those not specified.
  • 4.3 percent were anti-Catholic.
  • 3.8 percent were anti-multiple religions, group.
  • 3.3 percent were anti-Protestant.
  • 0.5 percent were anti-Atheism/Agnosticism/etc.  (Based on Table 1.)

Sexual-orientation bias

In 2010, law enforcement agencies reported 1,470 hate crime offenses based on sexual-orientation bias.  Of these offenses:

  • 57.9 percent were classified as anti-male homosexual bias.
  • 27.4 percent were reported as anti-homosexual bias.
  • 11.4 percent were prompted by an anti-female homosexual bias.
  • 1.4 percent were the result of an anti-heterosexual bias.
  • 1.9 percent were classified as anti-bisexual bias.

 

Hate crimes is one thing, but also in the mix are organizations that develop out of pure hatred for a group of people. The Southern Poverty Law Center, an American nonprofit civil rights organization, noted for its legal victories against white supremacist groups; its legal representation for victims of hate groups; its monitoring of alleged hate groups, militias and extremist organizations; and its educational programs that promote tolerance counted 1,018 active hate groups in the United States in 2011. Of those, 84 of them are in California alone. That’s the largest amount in one state.

Now the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list includes anything from Neo-Nazis, to groups who want to keep illegal immigrants out of the country, to religious groups that feel homosexuality is a sin. Everyone’s opinion of what defines “hate” varies. Going through the list yourself, you can form your own opinion on who the true haters are.

That being said, for the record, I believe in freedom of speech. But, I also believe hate can lead to violent acts against our citizens (as seen in the stats above) and I believe that people need to be aware that these organizations exist in their neighborhoods. So here is a rundown of a few:

 

  1. The National Socialist American Labor Party, (Neo-Nazi) resides at928 N. San Fernando Blvd, Suite J143, Burbank, California  91504(americasvoice@nsalp.org). They don’t advocate any illegal or unethical activities, but you can listen to Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” on the website and see many other racist remarks and deplorable cartoons. Wow!
  2. The American Third Position, (White Supremist) are based in Vegas (american3rdposition.com), but have groups in California including in San Diego and Westminster. Their Mission Statement spouts: Parts of our beautiful country now resembles Third World communities in Latin America, Africa and Asia. White people are already the minority in many cities and counties…enough is enough! Unreal, and they have a Presidential Candidate who you will never hear of.
  3. The Institute for Historical Review,P.O.Box 2739 Newport Beach 92659 ihr@ihr.org describes itself as a “public-interest educational, research and publishing center dedicated to promoting greater public awareness of history.” According to their “history,” big chunks of what really happened during the Holocaust are missing. Their so-called “scholarly body” has links to Neo-Nazi affiliates.
  4.  Concerned Citizen’s for the First Amendment, Hemet,(anti Islamic)why does this sound familiar? Oh, maybe because this is the organization run by Steve Klein, the consultant on the film whose trailer portrayed the prophet Mohammed as a philanderer who advocated child abuse. The 13 trailer sparked deadly protests in the Middle East which led to the death of U.S. diplomats in Libya.
  5. Voice of Reason, Pasadena, Radio broadcast of white supremacy. Look at the line up: Jamie Kelso is formerly from the Church of Scientology, now a white supremist. Here’s a connection, he is a director at the American Third Position (mentioned above). Also, the Marc Weber Report. Marc Weber is the director of the Institute for Historical Review (also, mentioned above).

Oh, how it all comes together to one big happy family of hate. For the whole list, visit: www.splcenter.org/get-informed/hate-map#s=CA.

Hatred is something that shouldn’t have to be tolerated, and though these groups are protected by the First Amendment, there are ways to take action:

  1. By supporting those who are victims of hate crimes
  2. By reporting instances of hate crimes in your community
  3. Get involved: http://www.splcenter.org/get-involved/your-community

Advertisements