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Hate Crimes Against Latinos Rise In California


Aired 8/23/11

Hate crimes against Latinos in California have grown by almost 50 percent between 2009 and 2010. Meanwhile, the number of attacks against other groups continues to go down.

Many Latinos and Latin American immigrants do not come forward and report cri...
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Above: Many Latinos and Latin American immigrants do not come forward and report crimes for fear of the police.

By law, a hate crime is a criminal act targeting someone because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. Last year in California, there were 119 documented hate crimes against ethnic Latinos or Latin American immigrants. In 2009, that number stood at 81 statewide.

"Latinos are identified as one of the most prominent immigrant groups," said Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino. "That, coupled with demographic changes and long-term structural changes to the economy, I think has also influenced the targeting as well."

California does a better job of collecting hate crime data than other states in the Southwestern region, notably Texas and Arizona. According to Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, those states may actually see higher rates of violence against Latinos, but do not track them as hate crimes.

"The fact that California now reports a rise in 2010, and that California has done historically quite a good job at collecting these types of numbers, really brings up the question of are we seeing a rise in the anti-Latino hate crimes nationally?" said Potok.

According to Potok, the hate crime rate is likely to be much higher than the data shows, since many victims of hate crimes, and many immigrants, are afraid to come forward.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | August 23, 2011 at 8:52 a.m. ― 5 years, 7 months ago

"As his education proceeded, Cicero met the full force of an inherent schizophrenia in Roman culture. There was a widespred belief that traditional values were being undermined by foreign immigrants. The decadence that was perceived to permeate the Republic was attributed largely to slippery and corrupt Greeks and Asiatics who had come to Rome from the hellenized Orient." -- Anthony Everitt, CICERO: THE LIFE & TIMES OF ROME'S GREATEST POLITICIAN (RH, 2001)

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Avatar for user 'rkeefe57'

rkeefe57 | August 24, 2011 at 6:21 a.m. ― 5 years, 7 months ago

No one should ever be the victim of a crime, especially a hate crime, but in the big picture, 119 anti-Latino hate crimes against a population of close to 14 million doesn't exactly constitute a crime wave.

Groups like the SPLC love to speak in terms of percentages, "Anti-Latino hate crimes up by 50%" because it looks good in their fund-raising materials, but the actual hard numbers don't bear out their claims.

This is not the case with Brian Levin, however, the "Director" of the one-man "Center for the Study of Hate." Unlike his mentors at the SPLC, Mr. Levin has never used his letterhead "center" for personal gain.

And, of course, what both "experts" neglect to mention is that there were nearly 3 times as many reported hate crimes against African Americans in California last year, and 4 times as many nationally.

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Avatar for user 'BlueEyedBellyDancer'

BlueEyedBellyDancer | September 3, 2011 at 1:16 p.m. ― 5 years, 6 months ago

No reason for hating people for their belief, race, or sexual orientation. I really wish the hate crimes would stop compleatly. But people will never change. We are not born in this world to hate or fear someone for what they believe in or color of your skin. Your tought the fear through your parents.
Their is no reason to fear people for what can not be changed.

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