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Showing posts with label Hate in America. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hate in America. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

ProPublica: Hate In America

Happy Holidays...... But hate doesn't take a holiday.


Repost From ProPublica
Documenting Hate in America: What We Found in 2018
Swastikas drawn on the office of a Jewish Ivy League professor. Latinos harassed for speaking Spanish in public. Hijab-wearing women targeted in road rage incidents. Neo-Nazis bragging online about a murder. These are just some of the incidents that we and our partners have reported in our second year of Documenting Hate, a collaborative project investigating hate with more than 160 newsrooms around the country. 
Since we launched the project in January 2017, victims and witnesses of hate incidents have sent us more than 5,400 reports from all 50 states. We've verified nearly 1,200 reports, either via independent reporting or through corroborating news coverage. We've also collected thousands of pages of hate crime data and incident reports from hundreds of police departments across the country.
Here are some of the highlights from the project this year, including ProPublica's work and reporting by partners using our tips and resources. (Read all our reporting from the past year here.)
Dozens of Hate-Fueled Attacks Reported at Walmart Stores Nationwide, UnivisionUnivision’s Jessica Weiss identified dozens of harassment incidents at Walmarts and other superstores. Walmarts often act as “de facto ‘town centers,’” and people of color end up getting targeted, such as being told to go back to their country or to speak English. Just this month, two men in Louisiana were arrested for allegedly yelling racial slurs at a black woman leaving a Walmart and smashing a shopping cart into her car.
They Spewed Hate. Then They Punctuated It With the President’s Name, Reveal from the Center for Investigative ReportingReveal went through hundreds of tips in which President Donald Trump’s name was mentioned, identifying incidents all over the country ranging from harassment to assault. Reporter Will Carless spoke to 80 people who reported these tips, and he found an additional 70 cases reported in the media or confirmed with documentation. 
“Dozens of people across the country said the same thing: What hurts most in these attacks is being told that you don’t belong in America,” Carless wrote. “That you’re not welcome. That since Trump was elected, the country has been reserved for a certain group — a group that doesn’t look like you or dress like you or practice the same religion as you.”
A Killing at Donkey Creek, ProPublicaProPublica’s Rahima Nasa reported on potentially bias-motivated crimes that weren’t prosecuted as hate crimes, including the killing of a Native American man in Washington state. Even though there were indications he was targeted and run over because of his ethnicity, prosecutors didn’t bring bias crime charges. The man convicted of the homicide received only 7 ½ years in prison.
Police Are Mislabeling Anti-LGBTQ and Other Crimes as Anti-Heterosexual, ProPublica
ProPublica’s Rahima Nasa and I discovered that some police officers were marking some crimes as anti-heterosexual, including anti-LGBTQ bias crimes and offenses that weren’t even bias-related. Those crimes were then reflected erroneously in the FBI’s national hate crime data. Some of the police departments we contacted said they’d fix the errors. “Thank you for bringing it to our attention, because we never would have known,” one records officer told us. 
Hate in Schools, Education WeekEducation Week’s Francisco Vara-Orta examined hate incidents in schools, which affect black, Latino, Muslim and Jewish students. He built on previous reporting our partners had done to analyze patterns, finding that hate speech, both written and spoken, was the most common occurrence, while the largest number of reports happened the day after the 2016 election. Swastikas were the most common hate symbol; the most common words were the n-word, various versions of “build the wall” and “go back to [foreign country].” 
Hate in America, Education Week
This year, we partnered with News 21, a project of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. A team of News21 reporters did a deep dive into how hate crimes are investigated and tracked, how laws are enforced, and what groups are targeted. They found that more than 2.4 million suspected bias crimes were committed between 2012 and 2016, based on an analysis of the National Crime Victimization Survey, but only 12 percent of the nation’s police departments reported any hate crimes to the FBI during this period. They also found that only about 4 percent of hate crime victims who reported to police had those crimes verified by law enforcement, and that only 100 hate crimes were prosecuted at the federal level from January 2010 to July 2018. 
In The Name Of Hate, Muslim Women Face Road Rage Behind The Wheel, HuffPost
HuffPost’s Rowaida Abdelaziz identified road rage incidents affecting Muslims and people of Arab descent. Hijab-wearing women reported hearing slurs or seeing threatening gestures from drivers, or even nearly getting driven off the road. Those interviewed said it happens so often that they don’t see a point in reporting it, especially since it’s hard to gather evidence while driving. Abdelaziz also wrote about a road rage incident recorded by a college student in Texas, which prompted an open letter from the local mayor. 
Hate in Maryland: From Racist Taunts to Swastikas to a Campus Stabbing, Bias Reports Up Sharply in State, The Baltimore SunThe Baltimore Sun’s Catherine Rentz gathered and analyzed two years worth of hate crime data from Maryland police departments, and she found that police categorized more than half of reported hate crimes as inconclusive. Law enforcement only forwarded verified reports to the FBI to include in their annual data, leaving out potential bias crimes in which a perpetrator wasn’t identified. Ten of the state’s counties reported zero hate crimes.
Documenting Hate: New American Nazis, ProPublica and Frontline 
In a two-part documentary, ProPublica’s A.C. Thompson and Frontline investigated white supremacist groups the Rise Above Movement and Atomwaffen, discovering members and associates’ involvement in violence and even murder. Reporters identified neo-Nazis who were active-duty members of the military, and one white supremacist with a government security clearance. The project had major impact. It led to indictments and arrests, a firing, a prison sentence and a change in Marine Corps policy. 
Jewish Professor Finds Swastikas Outside Her Office at Columbia Teachers College, Gothamist/WNYCWhile overall crime is down in New York City, hate crimes are on the rise, and our partner WNYC has been reporting on many of the incidents happening around the city. 
We’ve received hundreds of reports about swastikas, and one report ended up going national after WNYC’s Arun Venugopal broke the story of anti-Semitic vandalism in a Columbia University professor’s office. The professor, who researches the Holocaust, said it was the second time her office had been vandalized. WNYC also reported that one of New York City’s top civil rights officials was targeted in a hate incident, but when she reported it to police, they allegedly discouraged her from making a report. 
The Cities Where the Cops See No Hate, BuzzFeed NewsNearly 90 percent of law enforcement agencies that voluntarily submit data to the FBI claim to have no hate crimes. So Peter Aldhous of BuzzFeed News reviewed more than 2,400 incident reports of assaults from 10 police departments that reported zero hate crimes in 2016. In the process, he identified assaults that should have been classified as potential bias crimes but weren’t. 
We’re still figuring out where the Documenting Hate project goes from here, but we’re proud of the work it has produced, both by our newsroom and by our partners. It’s a topic that, unfortunately, retains its relevance and its urgency. 
Have you been a victim or witness of a hate incident? Please tell us your story. 
ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Hate-Fueled Violence And An Accomodating Society


Violence begets violence
Power has no limits if left unchecked by authority
...and then they came for me


Amid the Blaring Headlines, Routine Reports of Hate-Fueled Violence

by Joe Sexton ProPublica, July 25, 2017, 3 p.m.

Last Wednesday, July 19, was something of a busy news day. There was word North Korea was making preparations for yet another provocative missile test. The Supreme Court, in its latest ruling in the controversial travel ban case, said that people from the six largely Muslim countries covered by the immigration enforcement action could enter the U.S. if they had a grandparent here, refusing to overturn a ruling that grandparents qualified as "bona fide relatives." And then, late in the day, President Donald Trump gave a remarkable interview to The New York Times, one that, among other things, laid into Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The day also produced its share of what, sadly, has come to qualify as routine news: A Muslim organization in Sacramento, California, received a package in the mail that included a Koran in a tub of lard; police in Boise, Idaho, identified a teenage boy as the person likely responsible for scratching racist words on a car; in Lansing, Michigan, police launched a search for a suspect in the case of an assault against a Hispanic man. The victim had been found with a note indicating his attacker had been motivated by racial animus.

The specter of hate incidents and crimes — some of them fueled by the nastiness of the 2016 presidential campaign — felt white hot months ago. The issue remained high-profile as several horrific murders — a South Asian immigrant slain in Kansas City, a homeless black man butchered near Times Square in New York — generated outrage and national news coverage.

Documenting Hate, an effort by a coalition of news organizations, has sought to sustain a focus on incidents and crimes of racial or religious or sexual prejudice even as the temperature around the issue rises or falls. One of the truths the effort has laid bare is that such crimes are so commonplace that they can seem an almost ordinary part of the fabric of life in America.

Scattered among the news items on that single July day — captured in local write-ups and wire-service briefs — was the attempted murder of a black employee at an auto parts store in Desert Hot Springs, California, an attack during which the shooter repeated racial epithets; the menacing of a mosque in Georgia, where repeated telephone threats warned that "white people are going to kill you"; an Indian-American Ph.D. candidate in California had her car's windshield shattered by a rock as she drove to work, glass from the window embedding in her skin and hair. "Go back to your own country," the assailant had screamed.

"I was shocked," Simranjit Grewal told the India West newspaper. "Another human being was trying to attack me, to hurt me."

Earlier this year, ProPublica reported on studies done in Great Britain on hate crimes in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. Immigrants in the country faced violence, having been demonized as a threat during the polarizing and ultimately successful effort to withdraw from the European Union. One of the researchers' findings was that the hate incidents very often did not involve fringe, ultra-nationalist and neo-Nazi groups. Instead, they were perpetrated by, as one researcher put it, "ordinary people."

The accounts marshaled by the Documenting Hate coalition suggest the same is true in the U.S. Amid the hundreds upon hundreds of news reports of crimes and insults and threats we've collected, there's an everyman quality to the accused. While the black man killed in New York was allegedly slain by a consumer of white supremacy propaganda, the immigrant shot to death in Kansas City was allegedly killed by an unremarkable suspect, a man who had worked menial jobs across his life and, according to some associates, been in a spiral of drinking and depression for months.

The kinds of suspects implicated in the events of July 19 — a teen, a somewhat bumbling young man who managed to shoot himself in the course of trying to kill an auto parts worker — turn up on other days, in other crime reports. Two college students in Berkeley, California, were charged on July 18 with spray-painting racist graffiti. A man in Oregon was arrested after swearing at and harassing a Muslim women over a 20-block span, pretending to shoot a gun and screaming at her to leave the country and remove her headdress. The man, in tears, later said his "stupidity" had got the best of him.

The news reports collected as part of the Documenting Hate project include more than just crimes. The project also tracks news accounts dealing with reports on things such as hate crime statistics and calls for new hate crimes legislation. This month, for instance, there was the formal release of a Center on Islamic-American Relations report on anti-Muslim crimes, one that showed a huge spike over the last six months, a 91 percent rise in reported incidents over the same period last year.

Also included, though, are reports of steps being taken to combat the crimes and limit their incidence and damage — committees formed, outreach initiated. This month in Montgomery, Alabama, several organizations joined to run what they called "bystander intervention training," meant to encourage people to act when witnessing the harassment of people because of their race or religion. In Anne Arundel, Maryland, there was a protest on the courthouse steps organized in part by the NAACP to highlight a recent case of a noose being hung in a local middle school.

And in Washington, D.C., there was a conference on hate crimes run by the Department of Justice overseen by Jeff Sessions. Should the news of July 19 — Trump's first salvo in what seems to many to be a bid to drive Sessions from office — result in a new attorney general, one of Sessions' final acts will have been an impassioned promise to fight hate crimes.

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