Tag Archive | "hate crime"

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FBI Report: Hartford Sees Increase in Hate Crimes


Fran Wilson, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — Hartford reported four hate crimes in 2017, according to the 2018 Federal Bureau of Investigation report.

That’s an increase from 2016, mirroring the national trend of an uptick in hate crimes in 2017 compared to 2016.

Of the 107 Connecticut law enforcement agencies that provided information about crimes motivated by hate, only 42 agencies reported 111 hate crimes.

Nationwide, law enforcement agencies reported 7,175 hate crimes in 2017.  In 2016, there were 6,121 hate crimes reported. The majority of victims, or 59.6 percent, were targeted because of a bias toward race, ethnicity or ancestry, according to the report.

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program releases an annual report. Law enforcement agencies submitted criminal incidents that were motivated by bias toward race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender and gender identity.

This year, there was a sharp increase with crimes motivated by bias toward religion–the second most common reason individuals were targeted. In 2017, 20.6 percent of the total number of criminal incidents were motivated by hate toward individuals based on religion. There was a 23 percent increase in overall religious based crimes and a 37 percent spike in anti-Jewish offenses.

The other hate crimes were motivated by sexual orientation, 15.8 percent; disability, 1.9 percent; gender identity 1.6 percent and gender 0.6 percent.

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CAIR: Spike in Hate Crimes Against Muslims


By Fran Wilson, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — The Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has reported that there’s a spike in hate crime against Muslims and is calling for stepped up security measures.

The call comes after an envelope containing white powder and hate mail with derogatory comments about Islam were sent to a mosque in Groton.

A 43-year-old man was exposed to the powder after he opened the envelope at the Islamic Center of New London at 16 Fort St, according to police.

The Groton Police Department and the FBI are investigating the incident as a hate crime.

“We are in contact with mosque officials and law enforcement authorities and will continue to monitor the situation,” said CAIR-Connecticut Executive Director Alicia Strong. “We advise all Connecticut mosques and other Islamic institutions to remain alert for any suspicious letters or packages. If you do receive anything suspicious notify authorities immediately and report the incident to CAIR-Connecticut.”

Strong is also urging Islamic institutions to take extra security precautions using its “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety” booklet. The advice in CAIR’s security publication is applicable to religious institutions of all faiths.

The booklet may be viewed here or at: https://tinyurl.com/BestSafetyPractices

The Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization recently released an update on anti-Muslim incidents nationwide between April and June of 2018 indicating that anti-Muslim bias incidents and hate crimes are up 83 and 21 percent respectively, as compared to the first quarter of 2018.

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A Hate Crime Is a Hate Crime


There isn’t much left in the way of pejoratives that haven’t been said about Vester Flanagan. He was disturbed, deranged, a psychopath, maniacal, the epitome of evil, and a flat-out nut job. The gunning down of TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, and then having the gall to videotape it, and expect it to make the round of cable and network news chatter, was beyond the diabolic.

The twist in Flanagan’s heinous act is that he’s African American and the victims are white. So the inevitable finger pointing began that if it had been the other way around, African Americans would have screamed bloody murder and the furor would have raged.

This is a disingenuous argument. More than a few African Americans did call Flanagan what he was, namely a homicidal nut case, and did offer prayers and condolences to the victims’ families. It was a case of their showing that all really lives do matter.

Almost no one publicly or privately bought into Flanagan’s rambling so-called “manifesto” in which he tried to put a racial rationale on why he did what he did.

Yet, the troubling and inescapable fact is that he did just that.

This is more than enough reason not to shrug it off as the rant of a kook. If Flanagan had lived, he likely would have been slapped with a hate crime prosecution by the feds in addition to state capital murder charges.

the-hartford-guardian-OpinionThe hate crime charge would have been justified. And I’m confident that many civil rights leaders would have called for hate crime charges against him. To not call a hate crime a hate crime when the perpetrator is black and the victims are white would leave them wide open to the slur that blacks are hypocrites and have a double standard when the victims are whites.

The victims of Flanagan’s rampage were innocents who, according to his manifesto, one could deduce were shot because they were white.

Blacks must mourn these murders as passionately as they do those of black victims of white attacks. And just as passionately call for the harshest punishment of the killer. The great strength of the civil rights movement was that it seized and maintained the moral high ground by never stooping to ape the violence of white racists.

The Flanagan shooting spree is deeply troubling for another reason. While it is a grotesque and extreme example of racial violence, it is hardly an aberration. Whites at times have been the targets of racially motivated attacks by blacks. While it’s true that some attacks are for their money and valuables, others are revenge assaults by blacks for real or imagined racial insults.

It is equally true that the vast majority of violent crimes against whites are committed by other whites, while the vast majority of violent crimes against blacks are committed by other blacks. It’s also true that the vast majority of racially motivated hate crimes are still committed against blacks.

Yet, even after discounting crimes that are erroneously tagged as racially motivated, many blacks do attack whites because they are white. According to FBI Hate Crime Statistics, among the single-bias hate crime incidents in 2012, there were 3,467 victims of racially motivated hate crimes. It found that nearly one in four were victims of an anti-white bias. In other words, blacks attacking whites because they were white.

A motley collection of white supremacists and rightist extremist groups has eagerly made black-on-white violence a wedge issue in their crusade to paint blacks as the prime racial hatemongers in America. Their websites and blogs shrilly rant about a so-called “wave” of black violence against whites and claim that it gets swept under the rug and the perpetrators handled with kid gloves.

A decade ago, the New Century Foundation, an ultraconservative think tank, launched a national campaign to alert whites to the danger of hate crimes committed by blacks. It uses the issue of black hate crimes to rationalize and bankroll its research into alleged genetic defects among blacks. These groups and individuals relentlessly magnify black hate crimes to oppose affirmative action programs, stronger hate crime laws and various social programs; to justify the proliferation of white-supremacist-tinged paramilitary groups, police violence and racial profiling; and to lobby for more prisons and police and tougher laws. Black-on-white violence also reinforces whites’ fears of blacks as the ultimate menace to society.

The Flanagan onslaught claimed innocent lives and caused monumental pain and suffering to the victims’ families and friends. It dangerously heightens racial distrust and further poisons racial attitudes. This is all the more reason for blacks to quickly and vigorously condemn these attacks. If not, it’s taken by some as a tacit signal that blacks put less value on white lives than on black lives. That notion is a terrible price to pay for not calling a hate crime a hate crime, no matter who commits it.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a frequent MSNBC contributor. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network.

 

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