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Friday, June 24, 2022

Laguna Woods Church Shooting Adds to Hate History, But Hope Isn’t Lost

San Bernardino. Pove. El Paso. Atlanta. Buffalo.

and on May 15, in the luncheon hall of a Presbyterian church supported by older Taiwanese Americans, Laguna Woods.

In recent years and days, each of these cities, as well as dozens of others, has been the backdrop of some of the most high-profile hate crimes; With some residents targeted for mass murder because of their religion, ethnicity or race.

Each crime was unique and shocking. And each victim was a person who touched others tangibly.

But when those and other incidents are viewed collectively, everyone from advocates to conservative law enforcement leaders see the same harsh truth:

Hate is having a moment.

Experts describe the current spike in the number of hate-motivated conflicts – from incidents as large and horrific as mass murders to as intimidating as personal name-calling – as nothing short of a national crime wave.

“What happened at Laguna Woods is just part of a bigger story,” said Brian Levine, who teaches criminal justice at Cal State San Bernardino and runs the independent Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.

“it’s everywhere.”

Police crime scene tape wraps around the perimeter and a moving memorial at the Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, where one person was killed and five others were injured, four of them Seriously were in a shooting at the church. Sunday, May 15, 2022. (Photo by Mark Wrightmeier, Orange County Register/SCNG)

The hatred is so mind-boggling that investigators at the end of a May 16 news conference believe what happened in Laguna Woods — an attack in which officials say the alleged shooter targeted people based on their nationality — Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes offered this comment:

“It is an expression of the ugliest part of humanity in our country today. At some point, we have to put aside our differences and focus on our similarities,” Barnes said.

“Whether it was Poway, where the focus was on religion. Or the buffalo, where this race was. Or national origin,” he said. “We’re not going to tolerate hate.”

Rare? not rare

The laws defining hate crimes and agencies that track hate crime trends are relatively new. But hate crime, even if it wasn’t always labeled legal, is as old as America.

The Jim Crow South relied on lynchings and police brutality against black Americans to maintain white control over commerce and politics. Rewards paid by territories and federal officials for the killing of American Indians. The Asian, Jewish, Latino, LGBTQ communities – all have been targeted for violence at some point, either officially or unofficially.

So while the current data on hate crime shows a spike from recent times, it also reflects a world that is far less hate-filled than many previous eras.

Nevertheless, some experts also suggest that a new era may be upon us.

Consider: Hate crime in the nation’s 10 largest cities increased by 24% during the first quarter of this year, according to data collected by Levine’s group, the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism in Cal State San , compared to the first quarter of 2021. Bernardino.

This year’s initial jump comes after 39% growth, year-on-year, was reported in 2021 and He The increase came after a jump of 13% in 2020. Overall, in the first two years of the pandemic (and, yes, experts see a connection) there was a 54% increase in hate crime in large cities. A crime that was rarely reported 20 years ago – physical or verbal assault on a person because of their race, ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual orientation – has become close to routine.

“It fosters fear. It is generally a target,” said Nikki Singh, senior manager of policy and advocacy for the Sikh Coalition, which represents a group – Sikh Americans – that has been the most in recent American history. There have been victims of some of the highest-profile hate crimes.

In 2012, seven people were killed and four others were injured when a white supremacist opened fire inside a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. And in 2001, two days after the September 11 terrorist attacks, a Sikh business owner was shot dead outside his gas station in Mesa, Arizona by a white man who believed he was killing a Muslim. Was. That murder was the first known hate-based murder since 9/11.

“Sikhs are among the most targeted groups,” Singh said. “And if we’re just looking at the data, it’s showing that hate remains a major threat to our community.”

and to many others.

Although the current hate crime wave rests mostly on historical norms—FBI data shows that black Americans continue to be targeted for hate-motivated violence, usually by white Americans, more than any other group—it Not driven by the growth of specific haters. a specific group of victims.

In New York, people who report being victims of a hate crime are Jewish. In Chicago, it’s gay men. In Las Vegas (not one of the 10 largest cities, but tracked in FBI data) the group is most likely to be the victim of a hate crime.

The data suggests a major shift from historical norms: a massive increase in violence aimed at Asian Americans. FBI data shows that anti-Asian hate crimes nationally have more than tripled in the past two years.

“It’s a lot to take in,” said Levine of Cal State San Bernardino. “The numbers show the same thing, if not always at the same level, then across the country.”

old hate new hate

The two most notable hate crimes committed so far this month—the murder of 10 black Americans in Buffalo and the murder of a Taiwanese American man during a shooting spree in Laguna Woods—turn to the increasingly random nature of hate as a catalyst for violent crime. Indicates. ,

They also show some of the reasons why hate crimes are on the rise.

In Buffalo, the incident reflects a long-standing pattern of American hatred, with a white man allegedly targeting black Americans to death.

Flowers And Candles Outside A Shooting Scene At A Supermarket In Buffalo, Ny, Sunday, May 15, 2022.  (Ap Photo/Matt Rourke)
Flowers and candles outside a shooting scene at a supermarket in Buffalo, NY, Sunday, May 15, 2022. ( Associated Press Photo/Matt Rourke)

And, according to news accounts, the alleged shooter was part of a network of people who used social media to discuss violence against black people. Levine and other hate experts say the pattern isn’t rare. The 2015 San Bernardino terror-related massacre and mass shootings of 14 people killed 51 at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2019, included shooters who received inspiration, tactical views or online approval.

“The Buffalo fella fell down a rabbit hole in the lowest section of the internet,” Levine said.

In Levine’s view, the link between online chatter and hate-crime behavior is powerful. Levine noted that like-minded people expressing views together, often with more impetus than debate, can generate extreme – sometimes violent – rhetoric. And violent rhetoric, he said, is sometimes a precursor to violent behavior.

“People have a First Amendment right to express non-threatening yet completely offensive hate speech,” Levine said. “But the same people are not entitled to use social media discourse to incite violence.”

But the internet clearly isn’t the key to shooting Laguna Woods. Instead, the known details of the incident – ​​in which the alleged shooter also brought material (bombs and spare ammunition) to launch a major attack – suggest a comparatively international tension of the hate crime: one of foreign origin. The American has long acted in anger at other foreign-born Americans.

“It’s kind of a Southern California thing,” Levine said, noting that census data shows Los Angeles and Riverside counties, but with more foreign-born residents than some other large U.S. communities.

But Levine and others, note that it is rare for people of foreign origin to commit hate crimes. Instead, victims of people born in other countries are becoming more common. The idea that white America is being replaced – or being replaced by – is part of a new rise in hatred by people of foreign descent, a theory allegedly linked to the Buffalo massacre.

“The far right has a legend about a great fight and replacement,” Levine said.

“It puts some groups at greater risk than others, including the common groups in Southern California.”

Why now?

The current rise in hate crimes is an accelerated version of what began around 2015, when former President Donald Trump began campaigning for president by speaking out harshly against Muslims, Mexican immigrants and others.

At the time, many experts linked Trump’s use of racially charged rhetoric with a rise in hate crime. And data shows that his use of anti-Asian words, along with the coronavirus in early 2020, helped fuel a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans. Then April 2020 – a month when Trump used such a term at a news conference – was the biggest month for an anti-Asian hate crime since at least 1991, according to FBI data.

“You can pin it down in words,” Levine said.

“But you can also pin it to events,” he said. “As such, the days when hospitalizations were reported were also the days when most (anti-Asian hate crimes) were reported.”

And whatever link existed did not end when Trump left office. In fact, hate crimes of all kinds have increased at a time when Trump was not giving news conferences and was not allowed to issue statements on Twitter.

Experts say the problem isn’t just Trump’s words – or the words of many others who now resonate racially charged themes in the media or politics – but the people who appreciate him.

“A growing number of empirical studies confirm the idea that high-profile political speech and government policies toward racial minority groups can affect the level of hate crimes committed against those groups,” said Sherin, a professor of law at Stanford University. Sinnar, who studies hate crimes, said in a blog last week.

“But the relationship between government rhetoric or policies and hate crimes can be complicated. … We should be deeply concerned not only about the generalization of ideas such as the ‘Great Replacement’, but about the use of political violence in our culture. There must be a desire.”

Experts are divided on how much violence we will see.

“The game isn’t over,” Levine said. “Right now, haters are falling out of their weight class. But they won’t last forever. It’s just a tough first half.”

Singh of the Sikh Coalition said she was optimistic that the violence would not continue; That hatred may be cresting.

He said groups that have traditionally been targeted for hate crimes are also the biggest advocates of new laws — and new resistance — to the fear that hate crimes create.

“The Sikh community has a word, Chardi Kala, which means ‘living in eternal optimism’,” Singh said.

“It also means not succumbing to the identity of the victim,” she said. “That’s the future I see.”

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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