Hate crimes against Hispanics triples from 2011-12
Hate crime attacks against the Hispanic community have more than tripled between 2011 and 2012, according to a report released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
The study shows that the total nonfatal and property hate crime victimizations data does not statistically differ from the year 2004, meaning that the number of hate crimes hasn’t increased, but the targets of the crimes have shifted to Hispanics and, to a lesser degree, Muslims. Mark Potok from the Southern Poverty Law Center believes this increase in Hispanic-targeted attacks is “...pretty clearly related to the continuing and rising anger over [the] country’s demographic changes, the loss of the white majority.”
However, people are standing up to the violence. Last month, following the killing of a local immigrant, hundreds in Trenton, NJ rallied to stop violence targeting Latinos. “What happens to one of us in this city happens to all of us,” former Trenton mayor Doug Palmer told the Trentonian. “This is not a Latino problem and African-American problem, it is a people’s problem.”
Read the rest of the story at The Daily Beast.
West Virginia Muslims face hate speech
A West Virginia mosque that was vandalized with hate-speech graffiti immediately following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks has been struck again 12 years later, according to Al Jazeera America.
When anti-Muslim sentiment flared after Sept. 11, 2001, Muslim communities around the U.S. found themselves under newfound scruntiny and suspicion from their neighbors. This was not so in the Muslim community of Princeton, WV. The broader community came to their support after Islamophobic speech was spray painted in red on the walls of the local mosque.
An anonymous leader from the vandalized mosque located between Princeton and Bluefield says that 12 years later there is need to reignite that kind of community solidarity in the wake of a similar recent incident. “In 2001, there was a huge outpouring of support from the community, and everyone came together to help us restore our mosque. We haven’t seen that this time around,” he said.
But the community doesn't plan on giving up. “Most of the members of our community are doctors," the anonymous leader said. "Why don’t we run a free clinic? Why don’t we run a pantry? This is a very impoverished area, and there’s so much more we could be doing to build bridges,” he said. There are also proactive non-Muslim community members who seek to strengthen ties. Jack White, an academic at a nearby liberal arts college, spoke to a need for the community at large to better embrace and celebrate diversity, instead of ignoring it. Read the rest of the story at Al Jazeera America.
Texas dentist gives free dental reconstruction to hate victim
A young man lost nine of his teeth trying to defend his friend from a violent hate attack and faced a potential dental procedure that could set him back by six figures. But one dentist who heard about this story decided he couldn't stand by and do nothing.
Dr. Gary Cash, D.D.S., has provided free dental reconstruction for the past year and a half for Andrew Oppelman, the victim of this violent anti-gay hate crime.
Oppelman and his friend Nick Soret were attacked while attending a Gay Pride Weekend in Austin in 2012 while waiting in line at a food truck. Police say the perpetrator accused Soret of hitting on him and then attacked him. Oppelman intervened to help his friend and had nine of his teeth knocked out.
The Austin-based dentist, originally from Detroit, heard the story and wanted to do what he could to help. “People have been so warm and welcoming to me here. I figured that’s not the way someone should be treated from out of town,” he said. Read the rest of the story at Huffington Post.