As a Resident Assistant (RA) at Okada, Stanford’s Asian American ethnic-themed dorm, Takeo Rivera helped raise awareness about campus acts of intolerance after his dorm was the subject of an anti-Asian backlash in the spring of 2007. Here’s some excerpts from the interview. These predominantly white fraternities would pass by Okada and would shout various things. They would shout in mock Asian accents things like “F— Okada,” Azia Kim this, Azia Kim that. Each time I would sort of pursue them and tell them to disperse and eventually they would. And in this third incident, someone urinated on the lawn of the dorm and someone shouted, “Put that away, they don’t want to see any non-Asian (expletive) here.” I was able to recognize specific individuals in the group and I knew what fraternity they belonged to, so I was able to pursue that further. The problem, though, was that at Stanford, while we have sort of a working definition for acts of intolerance, there was no protocol to follow at the time, procedurally, to confront these acts of intolerance.
December 17, 2008 - 9:00pm
December 11, 2008 - 9:00pm
Three Mountain View teenagers were arrested for committing a hate crime, among other charges, after the teens allegedly yelled racial slurs and threatened to kill four 11-year-old Latino boys. The three white teenagers, two 15-year-old boys and one 14-year-old boy, were shouting racially offensive statements about Mexicans to the four Latino youth from inside their house, according to statements made by the victims to the police. After the two groups started arguing, the suspects came out of the house carrying a BB gun. The suspects, who are all students at Mountain View High School, allegedly continued to make hateful remarks and threatened to kill the victims with their weapon. This incident is the second potential hate crime to hit Mountain View recently. Spanish-language signs put up by one of the local school districts were stolen, defaced, and re-posted in late October with the words “No More Aliens.” Police have been unable to definitively determine if the vandalism constitutes a hate crime, but school officials are stepping up their efforts to ensure their signs are safe.
December 10, 2008 - 9:00pm
By Jody McDevitt, a resident of Billings, Montana In a small town in Northern Ireland, surrounded by farmland where sheep and cows graze the green hills and valleys, the story of Billings, Montana is gaining an important audience. Northern Ireland was known in the second half of the twentieth century as a place of sectarian conflict, widely called the “Troubles,” in which a Protestant majority with British political allegiances (Loyalists) clashed with a Catholic minority with an Irish cultural identity (Republicans). The peace process which was set in place in 1998 has resulted in greatly reduced violence and significantly increased prosperity for this small country–and for the first time, opened the country to migrant workers from other parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa.
December 10, 2008 - 9:00pm
Troubled by rising conflict and xenophobia, a network of Jewish women from Ukraine is saying “Not In Our Town” to intolerance. Community activists from Project Kesher, a Jewish women’s organization, gathered in Kiev last month to share stories and talk about the impact of an ongoing Not In Our Town initiative in their communities and in the region. Project Kesher’s year-old Not In Our Town program includes leadership training, workshops, exhibitions, posters, educational programs and special creative events to educate the younger generations about tolerance. The program began in May of 2007 at a summit attended by Project Kesher community leaders from the United States and throughout the former Soviet Union. A film crew from The Working Group was in attendance to document the kickoff of Not In Our Town Ukraine.
November 29, 2008 - 9:00pm
In the aftermath of the hate crime murder of Marcelo Lucero, community leaders and members have taken a strong stance against the anti-immigrant atmosphere that led to his death. Leaders from seven civil rights organizations held a news conference on Monday in Washington to denounce not only the killing of Lucero, but also the anti-immigrant actions and behaviors of politicians and the media that they see as conducive to such hate crimes.