Saturday, August 28, 2010

Why We Cannot be Silent

I've written a lot lately about the vitriol and hate being spewed around the US by political conservatives and many evangelical Christians (who typically are political conservatives). The prime reason WHY I have spent so much time and energy on this generalized topic is that IT MATTERS. For many, it is a matter of life and death.

A recent report has uncovered something that should surprise no one: anti-Latino violence is on the upswing.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is reporting an upward tick in anti-Latino hate crimes, and apparently it’s a general trend that’s been in the works for years. Hate crimes against Latinos had already increased in each of the four years between 2003 to 2007, according to FBI statistics. After taking a slight dip last year, the trend seems to be picking up just as the national debate over immigration reform rages on...
Of course, it's not just Latinos that are being brutalized. There has also been an increase in violence against Muslims!

Where hate speech is prevalent, violence tends to follow. When popular demagogues control the airwaves, it tends to whip certain segments of the population into a frenzy. If the voices of peace, justice and diversity are muted, there is nothing to counteract the growing furor.

As it stands now, the purveyors of hate, suspicion and self-righteousness are running amok. If left unchecked, we will continue to see a surge in hate crimes. Consequently, it is vitally important to call these people out and not to mince words. It's not enough to say that, while I don't personally agree with their rhetoric, it's a bit over the top to charge them with hate-mongering because what they ARE doing is hate-mongering!

If we remain silent, all we end up doing is abetting their efforts and I, for one, want no part of that.


  1. Yes, according to the FBI, hate crimes against Latinos did rise by 40% between 2003 and 2007, from 585 to 830.

    While nobody should ever have to be the victim of a crime, especially a hate crime, 830 crimes against a Latino population (in 2007) of 44 MILLION is hardly the crime wave the SPLC fund-raising propaganda would have us believe.

    What’s more frightening is that for the same time period, hate crimes against blacks rose from 3,150 to 3,434, which is FOUR times the number of crimes against an even smaller segment of the population.

    For some reason, the SPLC didn’t find that factoid to be newsworthy.

    The SPLC is a private fund-raising organization. Every document they issue is designed solely to scare their mostly elderly donor base out of a few million more donor dollars.

    NOT ONE of the SPLC's top ten, highest paid executives is even a minority, much less an immigrant.

  2. Richard,
    For one thing, the SPLC was founded to protect the rights of our black brothers and sisters. They have been tracking the KKK and our racist groups for a good long while.

    The other thing I would caution is not placing too much stock in the number of REPORTED hate crimes. Like in the case of rape or child molestation, the numbers represent a minuscule tip of the iceberg.


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