As hate crimes develop extra violent, listed below are some coverage suggestions to guard the communities they affect

On January 7, after the attack on the US Capitol, the front page of the New York Times read: “Trump incites mob: rampage during evacuations of Capitol forces; It’s “part of his heritage,” says one Republican. “Indeed, it is noteworthy that former President Donald J. Trump closed his term in office on a note similar to that at the beginning of his election campaign: inciting violence and lawless behavior against fellow Americans.

Since the beginning of his presidential campaign in 2015, Trump’s political rhetoric has proven to be racially charged. For example, when Trump announced his run, he described Mexican immigrants as “rapists” bringing drugs and crime to the United States

He claimed, “The US has become a dump for everyone else’s problems. … When Mexico sends its people, it is not sending its best. You’re not sending us the right people. “During the speech, Trump also announced his plans for a border wall, stating that Mexico would pay for it. Shortly after these statements, two brothers attacked a homeless Latino man in Boston. One of the attackers said he was inspired by Trump’s immigration rhetoric. Scientists have long observed that political discourse and events can play an important role in the frequency of prejudice-induced incidents.

Muslim Americans are aware of this. According to academic research, Muslim Americans were three to five times more likely to be victims of threats or hateful violence during the 2016 US presidential election when they were labeled terrorists, religious extremists, and unwanted refugees by political abuse. Trump not only called for the no-guarantee surveillance of mosques, a Muslim register and the Muslim ban, but also claimed, “I think Islam hates us.”

After rising to the Oval Office, Trump signed executive orders banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. Indeed, Muslim-American interest groups claimed that anti-Muslim hate crimes increased immediately after the Muslim ban was implemented. In addition, according to a 2018 report by South Asian Americans Leading Together, one in five perpetrators of incidents of hateful violence against Arab Americans and Asian Americans cited President Trump, a Trump policy or a Trump campaign slogan.

Trump promised and delivered institutionalized Islamophobia and continued to use divisive rhetoric and politics that dehumanized and devalued Latin American and African immigrants. For example, he repeatedly used the word “animal” to describe those who crossed the southern border and accused immigrants of crimes and being gang members.

Even this volatile language was not without consequence. Trump’s xenophobia – including labeling Latino immigrants as “invaders” “invading our country” – encouraged perpetrators of hateful violence against these communities. In what turned out to be a broad national trend, he was often explicitly mentioned by his followers in criminal attacks. Representative is a 2017 attack against an undocumented immigrant in Michigan in which two male attackers told the victim, “Trump doesn’t like you,” and pinned a note on the victim’s stomach that read, “Go back to Mexico, Wetback. “

During a political rally in 2019, Trump asked his audience how they would prevent migrants from entering this country. When one supporter replied, “Shoot them,” Trump grinned, nodded, and offered no appropriate correction. For many in the Latinx community, the El Paso mass shooting that targeted “Mexicans” a few months later was a natural progression from inflammatory language to xenophobic violence. 22 people, including eight Mexicans, died in the attack on El Paso.

However, members of other historically marginalized groups were similarly affected. Jewish Americans in particular have experienced a number of tragic attacks. In 2018, for example, a rifleman advocating the nationalist ideology of whites killed 11 worshipers in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in what was considered the worst anti-Semitic attack on American soil. In particular, the attacker was a white supremacist who believed that white majority nations would be transformed into white minority countries through immigration. White genocide theorists like the Tree of Life attacker believe Jews are orchestrating this onslaught of immigration.

More recently, the Asian-American community has seen a surge in hate crimes in the context of a global pandemic. After Trump referred to the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus”, “Kung flu” and “Wuhan virus”, more than 2,800 cases of violence, harassment or discrimination were reported between March and December 2020.

Of course, these attacks are part of a much broader pattern of hateful violence against historically marginalized groups. For example, according to the latest FBI report on hate crime statistics, hate crimes involving physical violence – e. B. Intimidation, assault and murder – reached a 16-year high. In addition, religious, racial and ethnic minority groups are disproportionately violent. Many of the communities affected – such as Latin American, Black, Jewish, Asian and Muslim communities – attribute this increased violence to Trump’s inflammatory political rhetoric and discriminatory policies.

While the majority of Americans voted out Trump last November, there is still a risk of hate-motivated violence. Anti-government militias and racist extremists “are very likely to pose the greatest threats to domestic terrorism in 2021”, according to a recent bulletin by the National Center for Counter-Terrorism and the Department of Justice and Homeland Security. Significantly, violent extremist “targets, including[e] racial, ethnic or religious minorities and institutions, law enforcement and government officials and buildings. “The increasingly violent hate crimes that marginalized communities have complained about for years have arguably led to increased levels of conflict and violence.

Engy Abdelkader headshotEngy Abdelkader.

Against this social, political and racist background, the ABA Section for Civil Rights and Social Justice of Immigrants, in strategic partnership with the German Marshall Fund of the United States, convened an interdisciplinary group of experts in December 2020 to discuss possible answers at a larger summit meeting Social Justice Politics. This virtual session culminated in a number of recommendations.

Train judges and prosecutors

Hate crime laws must be applied, when applicable, to punish criminals and bring justice to victims while preventing others from making similar recourse. To this end, bar associations should coordinate appropriate legal education programs to improve the prosecution and assessment of hate crime cases while ensuring that the convicts’ motives are recognized.

Adoption of the Jabara-Heyer No Hate Act

To address persistent deficiencies in the collection of data on hate crimes while ensuring crime prevention, Congress should pass the No Hate Act. The bill promotes reporting with federal grants. These grants support, for example, the establishment of hotlines through which victims can report incidents. developing state and local guidelines for identifying, investigating and reporting hate crimes; Coordinating educational forums on the impact of hate crimes and services to victims; and the introduction of a standardized system for recording, analyzing and reporting the frequency of hate crimes among local and state authorities.

Look for explicit biases and train implicit biases

Hate crimes are notoriously underreported by both police authorities. It is likely that officials who view affected communities in stereotypical terms (e.g., suspicious, violent, inferior) are unable or unwilling to effectively investigate bias incidents as such. Similarly, communities with compromised police relationships due to abuse, ill-treatment and brutality cannot or will not entrust such sensitive information to officials. To this end, police authorities should actively screen applicants for explicit bias and provide annual training on implicit bias to alert officers to unconscious biases that affect their perception of the communities they serve and need to protect.

Create units for hate crimes in police departments

Using special hate crime forces will ensure more effective investigations, proper allocation of resources and personnel, and better results. Hate crime units within police units can also develop standards to prevent incidents of bias against public education initiatives, identify causative factors, and address potential community tensions to prevent acts of violence.

Ensure accountability on social media platforms

While the first change protects the language from government regulation, it doesn’t require private corporations to provide an unconstrained platform for bigots to spread bias and prejudice against historically marginalized communities. These people use social media platforms and scale and distribute their messages on a large scale. While some social media platforms already have clear terms of use banning hate speech, not all platforms are currently moderating user contributions effectively or not at all. Therefore, all social media companies should actively work to curb the overwhelming harassment, intimidation, and hate speech on their platforms, which often culminates in real-life violence against African Americans, Latinos, Jewish Americans, Muslims, and Asian Americans.

Engy Abdelkader is the chairman of the ABA Section for Civil Rights and Social Justice of Immigrants and a member of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. She teaches at Rutgers University.

Comments are closed.