By Doug Porter
A female Muslim student at San Diego State University was assaulted on campus last week. An unknown male, believed to be a SDSU student, pushed her and pulled her by her hijab while making hate comments and threats based on her religious appearance.
An unidentified pregnant woman, dressed in a traditional Muslim headscarf and pushing her child in a stroller in Mission Valley, was stopped by an unidentified man making racially charged threats. He went so far as to push her stroller back into her.
Those are just the most recent two of the 170 reported threats against Muslims in San Diego this year, according to officials with the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The Muslim Student Association organized a rally at SDSU for today, urging the community at large to come make a statement against Islamophobia.
San Diego is no outlier when it comes to hate crimes, nor is this trend confined to paranoia following the terrorist attacks in Paris. . In 2014, the FBI reported most categories of hate crime, including anti-LGBT, anti-black, anti-Latino and anti-Jewish crimes, have dropped. Anti-Muslim hate-crime incidents rose by 8%.
In Irving, the same Texas city where a nerdy looking teenager’s home-made clock sent law enforcement into a panic not long ago, a dozen men armed with AR-15 assault rifles and various long guns, stood in front of a mosque on Sunday to ‘protest’ the Islamization of America, Syrian refugees, and Islam in general. Imagine what the reaction would have been if they’d chosen just about any other faith’s house of worship.
Increasing hate crimes are, I think, a by-product of electoral strategies in the United States. Fear and hate are the tools the right believes are necessary to get elected, especially in light of increasing evidence that their economic theories are unsuccessful. The hoped-for Republi-topian economies in states like Kansas have turned out to be a disaster.
In the aftermath of recent terrorist attacks, high-profile Republican candidates for president have declared open season on immigrants from the middle east and, in The Donald’s case in particular, just about anybody with darker skin.
Trump wants to create a national registry to track American Muslims. Sen. Marco Rubio is prepared to close “any place where radicals are being inspired,” including mosques. Ted Cruz has sponsored a bill in the Senate barring some Muslim refugees. Others want only certifiable Christians to be allowed in the country.
Political wannabes are clamoring for their share of media attention. Alabama GOP Rep. Mo Brooks suggested on Friday that Syrian refugees are just trying to come to the United States for a “paid vacation,” noting how much the federal government spends to resettle refugees.
Roanoke mayor David Bowers was booted from the Clinton campaign’s Virginia Leadership Council after issuing a letter saying WWII-style internment camps for Syrian refugees were needed.
Not All Mayors (But No Kevin Faulconer)
Some 62 mayors from 28 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico wrote to Congress on Friday urging it not to prevent screened Syrian refugees from entering the United States, according to the Contra Costa Times.
Among the signatories were Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey Horvath, and West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon.
Not among the signatories was San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ letter to the House and Senate notes the conference adopted a resolution in June 2014 that “recognizes this nation’s leadership in protecting refugees and celebrates the contributions refugees make to their communities.”
That policy describes the U.S. refugee resettlement program, administered by the Departments of State and Health and Human Services, “as a unique and robust public-private partnership of the federal government, state and local governments, non-profit agencies, and individuals” which subjects people to “the most rigorous screening and security vetting of any category of traveler to the United States,” the letter said.
Muslim Lives Matter
The Huffington Post now has an ongoing post dedicated to reported incidents of hate crimes against Muslims.
McClatchy News has a great story about what it feels like to be on the receiving end of this fear and hatred:
The anti-Muslim rhetoric that followed the Paris attacks has had a chilling effect on Muslims in the United States, according to interviews this week with Muslims across the country. Some women say they face a wrenching dilemma over whether to remove their headscarves. Students avoid walking across campus alone. And commuters in big cities say they’ve begun standing back on subway platforms for fear that a revenge-seeker will push them into the path of an oncoming train.
For older Muslims who made it through the aftermath of 9/11, the current climate is a depressing return to the days of hateful voicemails, vandalized mosques and slurs shouted at the grocery store. Members of a younger generation who don’t remember that era are getting a jarring introduction to a world where presidential candidates espouse naked bigotry, and social media platforms are plastered with calls for the extermination of an entire faith.
Aysha Khan, 20, said she’s been dismayed over the years to see anti-Muslim attacks move from isolated incidents to the mainstream, fueled by anger over the rise of extremist groups such as al Qaida and the Islamic State. This week, she called her parents to tell them about a job interview that would require her to travel from Baltimore to Washington. Her father warned against taking the subway and offered to drive her. She refused.
Trump’s Racism Writ Large
Not content with bashing Mexicans and immigrants, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination has added black people to his hate list.
A Trump rally in Birmingham, Alabama was disrupted by a black man, reportedly chanting “Black Lives Matter.”
A video from CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond captured attendees swarming the man, kicking and punching him as he curled up on the ground.
From Think Progress:
Trump was asked to weigh in on his supporters’ actions on Fox & Friends Sunday morning. “Maybe he should have been roughed up,” he said. “It was disgusting what he was doing.”
The Republican frontrunner compared what happened at his rally to a Black Lives Matter protest at a Bernie Sanders event, which prompted the Democratic candidate to release a detailed racial justice plan. “This is not the way Bernie Sanders handled his problem, I will tell you, but I have a lot of fans and they were not happy about it. And this was a very obnoxious guy, a troublemaker, looking to make trouble,” Trump said.
He gave a similarly winking response when his supporters have turned violent in the past. Two men in Boston said they ambushed and brutally beat a homeless Latino man because they were “inspired” by Trump, who later explained his supporters “are very passionate” and “love this country.”
Not content to stop with a quip on Fox news, The Donald also took to twitter on Sunday, sending out an info-graphic from the non-existent Crime Statistics Bureau in San Francisco purporting to show black people murdering whites in 2015 at an alarming rate.
The FBI, which issues crime statistics, has not yet released figures from 2015. The statistics in question were demonstrably wrong.
It turns out that Trump’s source for the graphic was a post by a neo-Nazi.
What’s shocking about this was the apparent reluctance by some in the media to call the candidate out for this unadulterated racism. The Hill said it was a “controversial tweet.” CNN called it “racially charged crime data.”
Rep. Scott Peters Makes Another Stupid Vote
When it comes to eliminating protections imposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, there’s a certain class of Democrats beholden to banking interests that are all too eager to join with their Republican friends across the aisle in screwing consumers.
In this most recent case, the consumers were likely people of color getting ripped off on car loans. Congressman Scott Peters was among those proving their loyalty to the financial sector. I’m sure he’ll issue a statement (if he hasn’t already) explaining that he was against it before he was for it, and how this bill was much less racist than the alternatives proposed by the Tea Party.
From Daily Kos:
… 88 Democrats in the House of Representatives voted to approve the Reforming CFPB Indirect Auto Financing Guidance Act which would restore a system that “routinely charges Black and Latino borrowers hundreds of dollars more for car loans than similarly-qualified white borrowers.” It passed 332 to 96. For decades throughout America, “racial discrimination in consumer lending” has been a longstanding practice. This Act would eliminate the regulatory instructions put in place in 2013 by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, regulations to combat this longstanding practice. Although discriminatory lending is illegal, banks allow car dealerships to issue such loans.
A dealer sends a buyer’s credit information to the bank, and the bank then tells the dealer the appropriate interest rate for a borrower with that particular financial profile. But dealers are allowed to charge higher rates at their own discretion — and the dealers themselves receive a cut of that higher lending price. This arrangement creates incentives for both the dealership and the bank to inflate interest rates. Lawsuits dating back to the 1990s show that customers of color are more likely to be charged additional interest rates, known as “markups,” and that their markup rates tend to be higher than those charged to white borrowers.
On This Day: 1889 – The first jukebox made its debut in San Francisco, at the Palais Royale Saloon. 1935 – Mine Workers President John L. Lewis walked away from the American Federation of Labor to lead the newly-formed Committee for Industrial Organization. The CIO and the unions created under its banner organized six million industrial workers over the following decade. 1976 – Police arrested Jerry Lee Lewis outside the gates of Graceland after he showed up for the second time that night and made a scene by shouting, waving a pistol and demanding to see Elvis Presley.
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