Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead is the story of how Meeink went from being a violent Neo-Nazi leader and recruiter to a civil rights activist and upstander against hate and intolerance. His story proves that tolerance can be learned at any time, even in the most unlikely circumstances. As a Jewish-American woman, curiosity about the Neo-Nazi movement sparked my interest in Meeink’s story. I could not wrap my head around the fact that such violent hate for another group of people still exists, even after the atrocities of the Holocaust and other genocides. Meeink’s individual story, along with stories I have been exposed to while interning at Not In Our Town, have provided me with a better understanding of where this hate comes from.
FBI to investigate murder of Mississippi mayoral candidate as hate crime CREDIT: Alternet The FBI will investigate the brutal murder of Marco McMillan, an openly gay man who was running to become mayor of Clarksdale, MS, following an appeal from his family and numerous civil rights groups.
D.C. Chief of Police Cathy Lanier discusses the formation of the new task force during an interview with the Washington Blade. Photo: Strother Gaines/Washington Blade Washington, D.C. leaders are ramping up efforts to improve hate crime investigations. Last month, the district mayor and police chief launched a task force that will evaluate how the Metropolitan Police Department investigates and reports hate crimes, particularly those targeting the LGBT community. The task force aims to identify and strengthen investigation weaknesses and build better police-community relations.
This is the second in a five-part series published by our public media partneras at Fronteras. Listen to the accompanying radio piece. By Adrian Florido SAN DIEGO — Detective Ellen Vest investigates hate crimes for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, and she recently recalled a case in which a white skinhead attacked an African-American man outside a bar, causing brain damage. Vest thought the assault was a hate crime. “He had one swastika on his shoulder that he displayed to our African-American victim. So we served a search warrant on his house,” she said of the suspect, who was ultimately convicted. “He had a money clip that had a little KKK man on it, with a burning cross. He didn’t have a lot, but what he did have was really pretty specific to show he was a biased individual.” To convict a suspect of a hate crime, proving that bias is critical. And for detectives like Vest, one of the best ways to do that is by looking for those hate symbols.
This is the first in a five-part series published by our public media partneras at Fronteras. Listen to the accompanying radio piece. By Jude Joffe-Block PHOENIX — Gilbert, Ariz. is a bedroom community outside of Phoenix that has seen explosive population growth in recent decades. As it grew from a small, conservative farming town into a more diverse community, some notable tensions arose. “In 1993, our detectives started to identify in the town of Gilbert a gang that called themselves White Power,” said police spokesman Sergeant Bill Balafas. Six years later, a spin-off gang called the Devil Dogs emerged among football players at Highland High School. “Their belief system, we learned, was for white people and anti everything else,” Balafas said. “So they were racists, but that didn't mean they didn't beat up white people, they just beat up everybody.”
Tune into this original Not In Our Town programming from our public media partners at Fronteras. We asked you this question in October 2011: Does your community make you feel safe and included, or scared and marginalized? The Fronteras: Changing America Desk has joined forces with Not in Our Town documentary producers to determine how hate affects communities throughout the Southwest and what people like you are doing about it. Tune in to hear these stories on KJZZ at 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. during Morning Edition
A Latina resident of Phoenix stepped up to the microphone, her voice cracking, nearly tearful. “Why do they hate us?” she began. “That’s what my seven and eight-year-old niece and nephew—who have been in this country all their lives—ask me when they hear what people say about immigrants here in Arizona.” The woman spoke to Patchogue, NY Mayor Paul Pontieri in a packed theater in February, following a screening of Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness. Pontieri was sharing his experience during the aftermath of the hate crime killing of Marcelo Lucero and attacks on local immigrants in 2008. He spoke with compassion and conviction about the need to dampen dehumanizing rhetoric against immigrants, most especially because of its effects on children and young people. Pontieri was formerly a middle school assistant principal.