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The Hate Report

The Hate Report: The big lie fueling the immigration crackdown

In this week’s roundup: The mountain of studies that obliterate the link between immigrants and crime, hate attacks at Pride events, how white supremacy may dissolve a town’s government and more.

Donald Trump began his presidential campaign by calling Mexican immigrants drug dealers and rapists.

He’s doubled down since becoming president, using the specter of criminality to justify separating families at the border and other immigration crackdowns.

It’s a sentiment many Americans share. A 2017 Gallup survey found 45 percent of respondents believed immigrants are making the crime situation in America worse.

That’s not true. Scores of academic studies have disproved the racist theory that immigrants, especially nonwhite ones, pose an elevated threat of criminality.  

  • As immigration goes up, crime goes down, according to a 2018 study from the University of Wisconsin and Purdue University.
  • Increased immigration likely caused crime to decrease in most metro areas, a massive study led by a researcher at State University of New York Buffalo found.
  • First-generation immigrants are far less likely to commit crime than native-born Americans, according to a Pew study.
  • “Criminal conviction and arrest rates for immigrants were well below those of native-born Americans,” which holds true for both legal and undocumented immigrants, according to a Cato Institute analysis of data from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
  • “Undocumented immigrants may be less likely to engage in serious criminal offending behavior (than U.S. natives),” a researcher at Texas A&M International University found. The report added that immigrants are, if anything, more likely to be victims... Read More >

The Hate Report: The hate behind the immigration crackdown

The white nationalist connections of Trump’s immigration adviser, Canadian immigration policy, a neo-Nazi quiz and more.

White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller has been one of the driving forces behind the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their families, according to The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Miller, 32, was a staffer to Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions before Sessions became attorney general. Miller’s considered an author of the administration’s first attempt at a travel ban. Now, Miller is reportedly leading the charge to implement more anti-immigration policies over the coming months, ranging from restricting visas for temporary agricultural workers to collecting the biometric information of visitors to the United States.

Miller, who grew up in Santa Monica, California, has been connected to white nationalist ideas since his college days as an undergraduate at Duke University.

A member of the Duke Conservative Union, Miller worked with classmate Richard Spencer, who would eventually become the de facto face of the white supremacist movement. There, they organized a debate featuring Peter Brimelow, a prominent white nationalist. Brimelow has written extensively about the dangers of nonwhite immigration and runs a commentary site called VDARE, named after the first white child born in what would become the United States, Virginia Dare.

Spencer told Mother Jones the two were close at Duke, but Miller denied having any relationship with Spencer.

University of Oregon journalism professor Peter Laufer, who debated Brimelow at the event, told us that Miller and Spencer worked closely together as the driving... Read More >

The Hate Report: White nationalism at the ballot box

In this week’s roundup: White nationalism thrives in this election season, a roundup of hate crime news and a Chick-fil-A fact check.

On Tuesday, Corey Stewart, who has long flirted with white nationalists and their ideas, won Virginia’s GOP Senate primary.

The same day, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, retweeted a well-known British neo-Nazi, the latest in a long line of such endorsements by the Republican congressman.

These two events are evidence of a broader trend visible across the country: White nationalist politicians feel emboldened in 2018.

A study by the Southern Poverty Law Center this month identified at least eight openly white nationalist candidates running for election this season. These include:

• Paul Nehlen, a virulent anti-Semite who is running for Paul Ryan’s seat in Wisconsin.

• Patrick Little, who ran for Senate in California and has called for an America “free from Jews.”

• Arthur Jones, an avowed neo-Nazi and Holocaust denier who is running for Congress in Illinois and who won the GOP’s nomination in March when the party failed to run anybody against him.     

While the more fringe candidates, including Little and Jones, have been disavowed by the Republican establishment, Stewart and King retain their party’s support. Indeed, President Donald Trump cheered on Stewart’s win in Virginia, tweeting congratulations to the GOP candidate.  

The winning formula – one that both wins votes and support from Trump, whose backing seems to be essential for aspiring GOP candidates – seems to be to express support for white nationalists early on, and then quickly disavow them. In 2017,... Read More >

The Hate Report: The state of anti-immigrant hate, 2018

This week, Reveal embarked on a newsroomwide project digging into immigration in the United States.

We’ve explored how increased immigration enforcement is negatively affecting children’s health, tallied the numbers of lives affected by the policy changes, showed how fake lawyers are taking advantage of vulnerable immigrants, compiled 10 can’t-miss immigration investigations and devoted an episode of our weekly public radio show to answering listeners’ questions about immigration.

In this edition of The Hate Report, we’re looking into the torrent of hate that has flowed through America since Donald Trump was elected and how deportation fears are scaring immigrant communities away from reporting being victimized.

From his earliest moments on the presidential campaign trail, Donald Trump has aimed for the jugular on immigration. The man who launched his political career by questioning the citizenship of President Barack Obama soon gained a reputation for calling immigrants everything from rapists to animals.

How this rhetoric oozes into the lives of millions of immigrants – both those who’ve entered the country legally and those who haven’t – is difficult to measure. But over the last 18 months, we’ve been cataloguing some of the worst incidents of malice, hate and violence against immigrants in The Hate Report.

A few particularly violent and nasty incidents stand out from our reporting:

The Hate Report: The alt-right is down, but not out

Also in this week’s roundup: The curious case of an adoption ad on a far-right podcast, a Middle Eastern conservative reflects on the Trump administration’s Islamophobia, and a country music star fights back against hate.

The alt-right, as we know it, looks to be in serious trouble.

Richard Spencer is beset on all sides by lawsuits and begging for money. Milo Yiannopoulos, who toured U.S. campuses and incited riots, has seemingly disappeared from public view. Andrew Anglin, once arguably the world’s most powerful neo-Nazi, is running from lawsuits.

It’s tempting to draw grand conclusions from the predicaments of America’s racists and bigots: The legal pressure has shut them down; campaigns to pressure social media and web hosting companies to ban the movement have worked; and the antifa’s tactics of confronting the far-right with fists, sticks and pepper spray have them running scared.

Indeed, several stories recently have pondered the future of the alt-right movement.

On March 22, Newsweek asked: “Why Is the Alt-Right Falling Apart?” A week later, the Daily Beast proclaimed “Less Than a Year After Charlottesville, the Alt-Right Is Self-Destructing.” And on April 20, The Washington Post asked: “ ‘Imploding’: Financial troubles. Lawsuits. Trailer park brawls. Has the alt-right peaked?”

The alt-right is in trouble, sure. But those who closely monitor the far-right, in all its incarnations, have a warning for anyone who thinks the broader movement is dying: The far-right is just suffering a temporary setback. It’s here for the long term and the lasting effects of the alt-right aren’t going anywhere.

Here’s... Read More >

The Hate Report: Trump’s ‘animals’ comment enlivens neo-Nazis

In this week’s roundup: How the neo-Nazis heard Trump’s comments, the news that Hitler is definitely dead and a rundown of hate crimes across the country.

During an immigration roundtable with California law enforcement officials last week, President Donald Trump made a fairly remarkable comment.

He said:

We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in – and we’re stopping a lot of them – but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals. And we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before.

While Trump was wrong about the rate of deportations, which are down 50 percent from five years ago under President Barack Obama, his denial of the fundamental humanity of some immigrants drew significant criticism. A few days later, the White House put out a statement doubling down on Trump’s rhetoric, but insisted he was only talking about members of the violent Central American gang MS-13.

Even so, that distinction was not what some white supremacists heard. As part of our regular reporting, we often listen to popular alt-right podcasts, paying special attention to how the president is influencing the movement.

Here’s some of what we heard there about the president’s remarks:

On the influential neo-Nazi podcast “Fash the Nation,” hosts going by the pseudonyms Jazzhands McFeels and Ethnar said Trump was at least implicating all undocumented immigrants with his comments. They felt Trump’s talk, which... Read More >

The Hate Report: Targeted for being straight? Nope

In this week’s roundup: Police across the country are reporting anti-heterosexual hate crimes, but there’s no evidence such crimes exist; a rabid anti-Semite running for senator in California and investigating hate crimes in online gaming.

It has long been known that police departments across the country do a horrible job of reporting hate crime statistics. A federal agency estimates that there are at least 250,000 hate crimes in the United States every year, but official FBI statistics hover at about 6,000.

Now, ProPublica has uncovered another fallacy in the stats saga: Police are reporting anti-heterosexual hate crimes when there is little evidence such crimes are happening.

In 2016, police departments reported a total of 148 anti-heterosexual hate crimes to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports. Since 2010, for example, the Columbus, Ohio Police Department has reported six incidents of anti-straight hate crimes, ProPublica reported.

ProPublica requested records from every law enforcement agency that reported an anti-heterosexual hate crime in 2016. It received records for 58 of the crimes reported that year. None of those was legitimately anti-heterosexual, ProPublica found.

About half were actually anti-gay or anti-bisexual crimes that were miscategorized. Seven cases appeared to reflect other types of bias, with victims targeted because they were Jewish or black or women. Some 18 cases don’t seem to have been hate crimes at all, containing no discernible bias element.

People across the country are still being targeted on a regular basis because of their sexual orientation. Here are three reported anti-LGBT hate crimes we saw over just... Read More >

The Hate Report: 4 million anti-Semitic tweets and counting

A new report from the Anti-Defamation League puts some numbers to Twitter’s abuse problem, showing that the social media platform plays host to millions of anti-Semitic messages a year.

The league found that in one year, from the end of January 2017 to the end of January 2018, Twitter users sent or retweeted at least 4.2 million anti-Semitic tweets. League researchers used automated searches, combined with human statistical analysis, to draw their conclusions.

Starting in late 2017, Twitter began a significant crackdown on personalities who share hateful speech. The American Nazi Party and white supremacist group Vanguard America were both kicked off the platform in December.

This purge has seemingly done little to tackle the problem of rampant anti-Semitism on Twitter, however. A quick search just now for the word “holohoax,” a euphemism used by anti-Semites who are Holocaust deniers, yielded dozens of vile results from the past 24 hours, including tweets like this.

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said Twitter isn’t doing enough to stop harassment of the Jewish people.

“This new data shows that even with the steps Twitter has taken to remove hate speech and to deal with those accounts disseminating it, users are still spreading a shocking amount of anti-Semitism and using Twitter as a megaphone to harass and intimidate Jews,” Greenblatt said in a press release.

Hate blotter

  • A white South Carolina man was arrested and charged with attempting to hire an undercover FBI agent to murder his African American neighbor. For $500, the man allegedly wanted the agent to “hang his... Read More >

The Hate Report: Help us investigate hate

In this week’s report: We’re launching a crowdsourcing effort to improve our reporting on hate in America.

We recently completed a big project outlining how, across the country, people have been invoking the name of President Donald Trump in hate speech and hate-fueled attacks.

Reporting that story, we interviewed dozens of people of different ages, races, religions and sexual identities. By scouring the Documenting Hate database, we heard experiences that we, as individuals, never have lived or even fully understood. By listening to so many voices, we heard a pattern, and that pattern became an investigation, which then became a story.   

The more people we can speak with, and learn from — the more stories we can hear — the better we will understand hate’s complicated place within American society.

Now, we’re going to apply the open-source attitude to all of our hate coverage. And we want your help.

You’re smart, passionate people. That’s why you’ve taken the time to subscribe to, and (hopefully) read, our weekly reports. We think many of you have expertise, or experiences, or ideas, or all of the above, that can help us understand and explain the people and movements we write about.

So, we’re frequently going to be including a new section in this report called Help Wanted. This is exactly what it sounds like – a call for contributions of time, research, knowledge, data, contacts, sources and ideas from you, our readers. This is part of an effort we’re a part of called Join the Beat.... Read More >

The Hate Report: Facebook pages glorified ‘incel’ mass killer

In this week’s Hate Report, we look at the online fandom around the “incel” mass killer the Toronto van attack suspect cited as an inspiration for his terrorism and a dispatch from our reporter from the scene of last weekend’s neo-Nazi rally in Georgia.

Shortly before Alek Minassian drove a van into a crowd of people in Toronto, killing 10 and injuring 15, he posted on Facebook. “The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys!” Minassian wrote. “All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!”

The post was a reference to the 22-year-old Rodger’s 2014 killing spree in Isla Vista, California, that left six dead. Rodger, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the conclusion of his assault, posted an online rant, which has become a manifesto for some “incels.”

Incels are a community of men who see themselves as involuntarily celibate, blaming feminism’s influence on popular culture for their lack of sexual partners. In incel parlance, “Chads” are men who have frequent sexual partners, “Stacys” are promiscuous women, and “Supreme Gentleman” is a honorific bestowed upon Rodger.

In the years since Rodger’s attack, he has become a hero to many self-proclaimed incels.

Last month, we highlighted how social networks, like the gaming platform Steam, hosted hundreds of user-created groups glorifying mass shooters like Rodger. While Steam removed many of those groups in the wake of our report, fandom for Rodger continued to flourish online.

For example, we found dozens of groups on Facebook holding up Rodger as... Read More >

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