hate crime » ADL Blogs
Posts Tagged ‘hate crime’
February 13, 2015 1

A Tragic Murder, Hate Crimes, and the Need to Fight Stereotypes

The tragic mur­der of three Mus­lim stu­dents in Chapel Hill, North Car­olina this week has stirred deep emo­tions.  While all of us should refrain from rush­ing to judg­ment about why they were attacked, we can cer­tainly under­stand the pow­er­ful impact this hor­rific crime has had, not only on the Mus­lim com­mu­nity, but on Amer­i­cans of good will.

Until the inves­ti­ga­tion is com­pleted, the evi­dence ana­lyzed, and the case pre­sented, it is impos­si­ble to know whether or not this case meets the legal def­i­n­i­tion of a hate crime.  Such crimes require the pros­e­cu­tion to prove that the per­pe­tra­tor tar­geted his vic­tims because of their race, reli­gion, eth­nic­ity, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, or other immutable char­ac­ter­is­tics.  A crime is not auto­mat­i­cally a hate crime just because the vic­tims are Mus­lims, or Jews, or blacks, or mem­bers of the LGBT com­mu­nity – or because the per­pe­tra­tor and the vic­tims are of dif­fer­ent races or reli­gious tra­di­tions.   The spe­cific tar­get­ing because of their sta­tus is required.  And there is a rea­son for this – hate crimes are dif­fer­ent pre­cisely because they are not the result of greed, or road rage, park­ing lot argu­ments, or busi­ness dis­putes.  Rather, anal­o­gous to anti-discrimination laws, they are crimes which sin­gle peo­ple out sim­ply because of who they are.

 


Un Trágico Asesinato, Crímenes de Odio y la Necesi­dad de Luchar Con­tra los Estereotipos

El trágico asesinato de tres estu­di­antes musul­manes en Chapel Hill, Car­olina del Norte, esta sem­ana ha provo­cado pro­fun­das emo­ciones. Aunque todos debe­mos absten­er­nos de saltar a con­clu­siones sobre el por qué fueron ata­ca­dos, cier­ta­mente podemos enten­der el tremendo impacto que ha tenido este hor­rendo crimen, no sólo en la comu­nidad musul­mana sino tam­bién en los esta­dounidenses de buena voluntad.

Hasta que se ter­mine la inves­ti­gación, se anal­i­cen las prue­bas y se pre­sente el caso, es imposi­ble saber si este caso se ciñe a la defini­ción legal de un crimen de odio. Dichos crímenes requieren que la Fis­calía pruebe que el agre­sor atacó a sus víc­ti­mas a causa de su raza, religión, ori­gen étnico, ori­entación sex­ual u otras car­ac­terís­ti­cas inmuta­bles. Un crimen no es automáti­ca­mente un crimen de odio sola­mente porque las víc­ti­mas sean musul­manes o judíos, negros o miem­bros de la comu­nidad LGBT –o porque el agre­sor y las víc­ti­mas sean de difer­entes razas o tradi­ciones reli­giosas. Se requiere que la víc­tima sea escogida especí­fi­ca­mente por su esta­tus. Y hay una razón para esto –los crímenes de odio son difer­entes pre­cisa­mente porque no son el resul­tado de la avari­cia, ira en la car­retera, argu­men­tos en el esta­cionamiento o con­flic­tos de nego­cios. Por el con­trario, anál­ogo a las leyes con­tra la dis­crim­i­nación, son crímenes que esco­gen a sus víc­ti­mas sim­ple­mente por ser quienes son.

Por supuesto, inde­pen­di­en­te­mente de si estos asesinatos resul­tan ser un crimen de odio, las pre­ocu­pa­ciones expre­sadas en reac­ción a ellos por muchos de la comu­nidad musul­mana son com­pren­si­bles. Los asesinatos refuerzan un sen­tido de vul­ner­a­bil­i­dad y los esta­dounidenses de todas las creen­cias reli­giosas deben ser con­scientes de ello, y ofre­cer apoyo y con­suelo a nue­stros veci­nos musulmanes.

Sabe­mos que la inmensa may­oría de los musul­manes en los Esta­dos Unidos está con­ster­nada por ese pequeño por­centaje de extrem­is­tas musul­manes respon­s­ables por los actos de ter­ror que los Esta­dos Unidos vivió el 11 de sep­tiem­bre de 2001 y que con­tinúan plante­ando una grave ame­naza para la seguri­dad y esta­bil­i­dad en muchas partes del mundo. Tam­bién sabe­mos que demasi­a­dos esta­dounidenses alber­gan estereoti­pos y están dis­puestos a usar de chivo expi­a­to­rio a los musul­manes. En este con­texto, es com­pren­si­ble que los musul­manes esta­dounidenses estén ansiosos sobre el lugar que ocu­pan en la sociedad esta­dounidense y su seguri­dad física, par­tic­u­lar­mente a raíz de una trage­dia como la de esta semana.

Los musul­manes esta­dounidenses tienen dere­cho a dis­fru­tar de la seguri­dad y lib­er­tad que son el ideal amer­i­cano. En el pasado, judíos, católi­cos y mor­mones (entre otros) tam­bién fueron vis­tos con descon­fi­anza. Por tanto, todos debe­mos con­tribuir a arro­jar luz por el dis­tor­sion­ado lente del miedo y la igno­ran­cia, para ofre­cer apoyo y amis­tad, y con­fiar en nue­stros organ­is­mos poli­ciales para que garan­ti­cen que se cumplen los intere­ses de la justicia.

Of course, regard­less of whether or not these mur­ders are ulti­mately shown to be a hate crime, the con­cerns expressed by many in the Mus­lim com­mu­nity in reac­tion to them are under­stand­able.  The killings rein­force a sense of vul­ner­a­bil­ity, and Amer­i­cans of all reli­gious faiths need to be aware of that and to offer sup­port and reas­sur­ance to our Mus­lim neighbors.

We know that the vast major­ity of Mus­lims in Amer­ica are appalled by that small per­cent­age of Mus­lim extrem­ists respon­si­ble for the acts of ter­ror to which Amer­ica woke up on Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001 and which con­tinue to pose a seri­ous threat to both secu­rity and sta­bil­ity in many parts of the world.  We also know that too many Amer­i­cans engage in stereo­typ­ing, and are will­ing to scape­goat Mus­lims.    In this envi­ron­ment, it is under­stand­able that Amer­i­can Mus­lims are anx­ious about their place in Amer­i­can soci­ety and indeed about their phys­i­cal safety, par­tic­u­larly in the after­math of a tragedy like this week’s.

Amer­i­can Mus­lims are enti­tled to enjoy the secu­rity and free­dom that is the Amer­i­can ideal.  In the past, Jews, Catholics, and Mor­mons (among oth­ers) were viewed with sim­i­lar dis­trust.  We must there­fore all do our part to shine a light through the dis­tort­ing lens of fear and igno­rance, to offer friend­ship and sup­port, and to trust our law enforce­ment agen­cies to ensure that the inter­ests of jus­tice are served.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

October 15, 2014 0

The Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act: Five Years Later

The Matthew Shep­ard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Pre­ven­tion Act (HCPA), enacted into law on Octo­ber 28, 2009, is the most impor­tant, com­pre­hen­sive, and inclu­sive fed­eral hate crime enforce­ment law passed in the past 40 years.Matthew_Shepard_and_James_Byrd,_Jr._Hate_Crimes_Prevention_Act

The HCPA encour­ages part­ner­ships between state and fed­eral law enforce­ment offi­cials to more effec­tively address hate vio­lence, and pro­vides expanded author­ity for fed­eral hate crime inves­ti­ga­tions and pros­e­cu­tions when local author­i­ties are unwill­ing or unable to act.  Impor­tantly, the HCPA adds sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, gen­der, gen­der iden­tity and dis­abil­ity to the groups which pre­vi­ously had fed­eral pro­tec­tion against hate crimes – race, color, reli­gion and national origin.

For more than a dozen years, the Anti-Defamation League led a broad coali­tion of civil rights, reli­gious, edu­ca­tional, pro­fes­sional, law enforce­ment, and civic orga­ni­za­tions advo­cat­ing for the HCPA. The leg­is­la­tion was stalled by fierce oppo­si­tion from some con­ser­v­a­tive orga­ni­za­tions — and, for eight years, by Pres­i­dent George W. Bush — in large part because it pro­vided new author­ity for the FBI and the Jus­tice Depart­ment to inves­ti­gate and pros­e­cute cases in which mem­bers of LGBT com­mu­ni­ties were tar­geted for vio­lence.  Ener­getic sup­port by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and Attor­ney Gen­eral Eric H. Holder, Jr.  was essen­tial to achiev­ing final pas­sage of the measure.

The HCPA has proven to be a valu­able tool for fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors.  The Depart­ment of Jus­tice has brought more than two dozen cases over the past five years – and has suc­cess­fully defended the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of the Act against sev­eral con­sti­tu­tional chal­lenges.

Enact­ment of the HCPA also sparked a wel­come round of police train­ing and out­reach – and the devel­op­ment of a num­ber of sig­nif­i­cant new hate crime train­ing and pre­ven­tion resources, includ­ing an updated Hate Crime Model Pol­icy pre­pared by the Inter­na­tional Asso­ci­a­tion of Chiefs of Police.

Yet, much work remains to be done.  Hate crimes remain a seri­ous national prob­lem. In 2012 (accord­ing to the most recent data avail­able) the FBI doc­u­mented more than 6,500 hate crimes – almost one every hour of every day. The most fre­quent were moti­vated by race, fol­lowed by reli­gion and sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion.  Of the crime moti­vated by reli­gion, more than 60 per­cent tar­geted Jews or Jew­ish institutions.

Unfor­tu­nately, more than 90 cities with pop­u­la­tions over 100,000 either did not par­tic­i­pate in the FBI 2012 data col­lec­tion pro­gram or affir­ma­tively reported zero (0) hate crimes. That is unac­cept­able. As FBI Direc­tor James B. Comey said in remarks to the 2014 ADL Lead­er­ship Sum­mit, “We must con­tinue to impress upon our state and local coun­ter­parts in every juris­dic­tion the need to track and report hate crime. It is not some­thing we can ignore or sweep under the rug.”

The fifth anniver­sary of the HCPA pro­vides an impor­tant teach­able moment.  It is a fit­ting occa­sion for advo­cates, the Obama Admin­is­tra­tion, and Con­gress to pro­mote aware­ness of the HCPA, to report on the progress our nation has made in pre­vent­ing hate vio­lence, and to reded­i­cate our­selves to effec­tively respond­ing to bias crimes when they occur.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

April 16, 2014 0

Overland Park Shooting Suspect Admired “Lone Wolf” Killers

image

Glenn Miller on Joseph Paul Franklin

Fol­low­ing deadly shoot­ings at Jew­ish insti­tu­tions in Over­land Park, Kansas, on April 13, 2014, Over­land Park police soon arrested a sus­pect, Fra­zier Glenn Cross (more com­monly known as Fra­zier Glenn Miller or sim­ply Glenn Miller). A new ADL report reveals dis­turb­ing new details about his recent activities.

Miller is a long-time white suprema­cist whose extrem­ist career spans decades.   In recent years, Miller was active on the white suprema­cist dis­cus­sion forum Van­guard News Net­work (VNN), mak­ing over 12,000 posts to that site.  He expounded racist and anti-Semitic views on a vari­ety of sub­jects, but dur­ing 2009–2013 Miller repeat­edly made posts related to one rather dis­turb­ing theme:  sup­port for lone wolf white suprema­cists who had com­mit­ted vio­lent acts.

One lone wolf ter­ror­ist Miller admired was James Von Brunn, the 88-year-old white suprema­cist who opened fire at the U.S. Holo­caust Memo­r­ial Museum in June 2009, killing a secu­rity guard.  Miller also approved of Wade Michael Page, the white suprema­cist who embarked upon a deadly shoot­ing spree at a Sikh tem­ple in Wis­con­sin in 2012.  “Many thou­sands of would-be mud [i.e., non-white] immigrants…will decide not to come [after Page’s attack],” Miller wrote shortly there­after.  “Is that good or bad for white folks?  See?”

Another white suprema­cist mur­derer Miller admired was Keith Luke.  In early 2009, Luke embarked upon a mur­der­ous ram­page in Brock­ton, Mass­a­chu­setts, killing two West African immi­grants and shoot­ing and rap­ing a third.  Luke allegedly planned to attack a syn­a­gogue that evening, but police caught up to him before he could carry out the final act of his spree.  In early 2010, Miller described Luke as “a super coura­geous young white man with the guts to act, as opposed to yel­low cyber-space [white nation­al­ists] who only type, anonymously.”

When Nor­we­gian extrem­ist Anders Behring Breivik com­mit­ted bomb­ings and shoot­ings in July 2011 that killed 77 peo­ple, mostly chil­dren, Miller imag­ined an Amer­i­can equiv­a­lent.  “If some enter­pris­ing Amer­i­can fel­low went to a youth camp in the Catskills, Camp David, or Martha’s Vine­yard,” he wrote on the VNN forum that same month, “and ‘sprayed’ some young’uns belong to our immigrant-loving JOG [Jewish-Occupied Gov­ern­ment], I dare say I might not lose a whole lot of sleep…I just might sleep even bet­ter than my norm, pos­si­bly with a wide grin on my face.”

How­ever, if there was one mur­derer whom Miller par­tic­u­larly looked up to, it was Joseph Paul Franklin, the white suprema­cist ser­ial killer and death row inmate who in the 1970s had­com­mit­ted a num­ber of mur­ders and bomb­ings against African-Americans, Jews, and interracialcouples.

In August 2009, Miller pro­claimed that Franklin was “one hell of a [white nation­al­ist].”  Miller­soon actively urged other white suprema­cists to sup­port Franklin—whom he dubbed a “martyr”—by writ­ing him, send­ing him money, and other mea­sures (includ­ing brib­ing guards).  In early 2010, Miller announced on the VNN forum that he had received a let­ter from Franklin, “this liv­ing [white nation­al­ist] legend.”

By Sep­tem­ber 2013, just months before Franklin’s sched­uled exe­cu­tion date, Miller and Franklin had estab­lished a rela­tion­ship, with Franklin mak­ing reg­u­lar phone calls to Miller.   Miller ener­get­i­cally tried to raise money for Franklin and to pro­mote his rep­u­ta­tion.  Franklin, he claimed in a Sep­tem­ber 29 post­ing to VNN, was “the most coura­geous Amer­i­can war­rior for our race in our life­time.”  Two days later, Miller called Franklin, “a lone wolf hero.”

Miller even tried to put him­self into Franklin’s head when describ­ing some of Franklin’s vio­lent actions:  “This one in one-hundred-million white man, in total self con­trol, cool and con­fi­dent in him­self and his Aryan abil­i­ties, does not run away to safety.  No, no, no.  He calmly pulls over, con­fronts the n—–, and blows his black ass away, and the white assed, n—–loving bitch, too, AFTER rel­ish­ing, up close and per­sonal, the ter­ror in their eyes.  And then, and only then, he calmly dri­ves away while plan­ning his next hit.”  For a select few, Miller said in a dif­fer­ent post­ing, “it’s what makes life worth living.”

On Novem­ber 20, fol­low­ing Franklin’s exe­cu­tion, Miller announced his death, then pro­claimed that “Joseph Paul Franklin, mar­tyr, is born and will live for­ever in the hearts and minds of strong, loyal white men, women, and youth.  Hail Joseph Paul Franklin!!!”

Five months later, Fra­zier Glenn Miller allegedly embarked upon his own killing spree in Over­land Park, Kansas.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,