Blacks Are Targeted for Hate Crimes More Than Whites

Timisha Dixon, NY African American Community Examiner, December 17, 2008

It is evident that the posters of the extremely anti-African American and minority comments from the previous blog post have strong opinions about whom they believe are committing crimes. I like to deal in the factual, and according to Human Rights First, African American’s are still among the highest levels of victims of violent crime… check out the facts and statistics here [http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/pdf/fd/08/fd-080924-usa-web.pdf].

There is no way to deny something when the statistical research is right in front of your face. Often, the problem is that although this report from Human Rights first gives an enumeration of incidents in which African Americans and other minorities were victims of hate, many of these crimes are unreported because minorities, mainly African American’s feel like they don’t have the LUXURY of complaining, afraid of what might happen to their families and friends heaven forbid it gets media attention- which it RARELY does. Working ourselves into an emotional frenzy when we are mistreated or misrepresented to some is interpreted as us “asking for yet another apology for slavery, or reparations”. Yet when racist people so vehemently hate, there is no doubt in my mind that most of this is hate is driven by emotion!

It’s evident that Hal Turner is extremely emotionally disturbed about his failure in his radio career, and uses an experience he had at 14 for justifying his failures- which fuels more hate! Rather hypocritical don’t you think? Yes, he has the right to hate any one he wants- but there is one thing I’ll commit my LIFE to, if you are going to hate, then learn to hate THE TRUTH!

Here is a small excerpt from the report, detailing the crimes reported against African Americans:

“Monitors in the United States generally categorize incidents of racist and xenophobic violence by victim’s race, ethnicity, or national origin, although there is often considerable overlap of these categories. Attacks motivated by racism and xenophobia are also often fueled by religious antipathy, gender bias, or other forms of prejudice.

The highest levels of violent hate crime continue to be directed toward members of the African-American community and others of African origin. In the latest report, covering 2006, the FBI found that over a third of the total victims of hate crime violence were targeted because of anti black bias. A high incidence of racist attacks on black Americans is also reported by municipal and county hate crimes monitors.

In other racist and xenophobic attacks, hate crimes targeting people of Hispanic or Latino origin rose nationwide by one third since 2003.

Racist violence also targeted people of Asian origin. These included attacks on persons of South Asian origin, who were sometimes targeted in the belief they were Muslims and from the Middle East.

A. Hate Crimes Targeting Black Americans

A review of the record of antiblack hate crimes in 2007 and the first half of 2008 reveals a pattern of both serious crimes—including murder, sexual assaults, and beatings—and of everyday violence affecting daily lives of ordinary people, often at the hands of neighbors, coworkers, or fellow students; in their homes, schools, churches, and elsewhere in their own communities. In many cases, hate crimes against black Americans echoed past policies, practices, and societal norms of racial segregation. Black families faced harassment and violence expressly intended to drive them out of particular neighborhoods; black workers were made unwelcome in predominantly white workplaces, black students faced harassment and violence at schools, and black churches were targeted for racist graffiti and arson.

The FBI’s hate crime report for 2006 recorded 3,332 victims of antiblack bias crimes, in 2,640 incidents. This represented 66.4 percent of the victims of racial bias crimes, and 34.5 percent of the 9,652 victims of hate crimes overall.3 Of 2,042 total offenses, 65 percent were crimes against persons (in contrast to 56.5 percent of such crimes among hate crime offenses overall). Higher rates were reported only in anti-Hispanic crimes (72.8 percent) and sexual orientation bias crimes (71 percent). The FBI breakdown identified one antiblack bias homicide and three cases of forcible rape. There were 395 cases of aggravated assault, 564 of simple assault, and 1,079 of intimidation. Crimes against property totaled 1,088, including 9 cases of arson and 980 cases of “destruction/damage/vandalism.”

Murder and Attempted Murder

Frequently reported hate crimes against black Americans took the form of physical assaults on individuals, including beatings, shootings, and stabbings. A number of these incidents led to arrests and prosecutions.

In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in August 2007, three men were charged with a hate crime and attempted murder for shouting racial epithets and allegedly firing a shotgun at two black Department of Public Works employees.

2008 Hate Crime Survey—A Human Rights First Report

On June 11, 2008, in Marshfield, Massachusetts, an estimated dozen assailants shouted racial epithets at an African-American man, chased him, and then “kicked, stabbed and hit until he was nearly unconscious,” according to police. Four suspects were detained and faced hate crime and attempted murder charges.

On January 20, 2008, in Omaha, Nebraska, Brittany Williams, a 21-year-old African American college student, was shot to death at a local drivein. Prosecutors noted that the murderer’s “own words—and the circumstances of the shooting—point to the [murder] as being race-based.”

In June 2008, in Eugene, Oregon, three young white men attacked a 59-year-old African-American man, beating him with a baseball bat. According to police reports, the victim suffered “facial, jaw and skull injuries” requiring extensive surgeries. The incident was investigated as a hate crime.

In Seattle, Washington, in March 2008, two white men yelling racial slurs attacked a 24-year-old black man at a bus stop. Police announced two arrests on charges of second-degree assault, firstdegree robbery, and malicious harassment (the latter is based on Washington’s hate crime law).

Hangman’s Nooses and Burning Crosses

Rope nooses and cross burnings are potent symbols of racist terror and intimidation and a reminder of the lynchings of African Americans that took place in the United States prior to the 1960’s civil rights movement. Regretably, these symbols are still employed to send messages of racial hatred, and figure in crimes of violence against persons and property motivated by racial bias. On September 1, 2006, two nooses were hung from a tree in a schoolyard in Jena, Louisiana, that set in motion protests and further noose-hanging incidents that continued throughout 2007.

A demonstration involving participants from across the United States was held in Jena on September 20, 2007, protesting the failure to address the noose incident as a hate crime and the disproportionate response by law enforcement authorities to offences attributed to black youths following the initial incident. The Southern Poverty Law Center documented as many as 50 incidents involving nooses in a “racist backlash” to the demonstration over the following months.

The intimidating use of the hangman’s noose, along with threatening graffiti and anonymous notes threatening violence, were increasingly reported at schools and colleges in the wake the Jena events. Incidents were recorded on campuses in Mobile, Alabama, Los Angeles, California, New London, Connecticut, Henniker, Vermont, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and other cities.

In April 2007, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Hate Crime website said twenty cross burnings, which are defined as a hate crime in most U.S. states, had been reported nationwide since October 2005. Special Agent Carlton L. Peeples, the acting chief of the Civil Rights Unit at the FBI Headquarters, declared that although the incidents were not common, “when they do take place, they have a huge impact—not just on the victim but on the entire community.”

Threats and Violence at Home and in the Workplace

Black and interracial families frequently suffered vandalism, arson, threatening graffiti, verbal threats, and harassment in many parts of the United States. In some cases, racist harassment of neighbors escalated to personal assaults. Many cases of assaults and harassment also occurred in the workplace environment.

The victims included county and municipal workers, medical professionals, clergy, and a wide range of other white and blue collar workers. Some of the most vicious attacks targeted individuals for their close relationship with black Americans, including interracial.

The United States—A Human Rights First Report couples and their children.

The hangman’s noose or the buring cross were sometimes used to deliever the message of racial hatred in the incidence of violence and property damage targeting black families.

In Brentwood, California, in August 2007, attackers spray-painted and set alight the home of a black family. A vehicle stolen from the family at the same time was found partially “stripped and burned.”

In Aurora, Colorado, in December 2007, police charged a 51-year-old man with harassment of another person because “of that person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry or national origin.” The man was allegedly responsible for hanging nooses and inserting razor blades in a black employee’s work belt at Arapahoe County Weatherization Department.

On July 19, 2008, a cross was set up and burned in the yard of an interracial couple with four children in Dudley, North Carolina. Police subsequently arrested a neighbor of the victimized family, Dixon Steward, who was charged with ethnic intimidation and a misdemeanor.

In Nashville, Tennessee, in January 2008, an unknown person set fire to a pile of newspapers on a man’s doorstep and placed a noose and cross atop the blaze.

In Arlington, Texas on December 19, 2007, a woman attacked a black neighbor, Silk Littlejohn, striking her on the head with a piece of wood while hurling racial epithets. Racist graffiti—expressing dissatisfaction with Littlejohn’s presence in the neighborhood—was sprayed on the victim’s house after the incident. Police charged the 66-year-old woman with a hate crime assault.

In Virginia Beach, in August 2007, vandals painted racist epithets on a car that was then set on fire at the home of “a white woman who has biracial children.”

In regards to affirmative action, here is an interesting piece that suggests that affirmative action has benefited the white community as well.

Check this out: A Time/CNN poll found that 80% of the public felt “affirmative action programs for minorities and women should be continued at some level” (Roper Center for Public Opinion, 1995a).

hatecrimes

Timisha Dixon .

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