Michigan Leads Hate Crime Index

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By Joel Campbell

It is a strange thing to say that, “Racism is back in the news.” It implies that somehow race, and other hatreds, ever left the body politic. Attention is focused on the episodic story. What is missed, especially by the dominant society, are the thousand cuts caused by systematic abuses. These cuts are bleeding all of us dry.

For the dominant society, life passes by without much contact with the darker elements. Their affluence acts as a shield to many forms of discrimination. Discrimination is less obvious now. Rather than overt racism it is found in phrases such as, “We need to take our country back.” As Donald Trump rises to prominenc02_michiganLeadsHatee, subtle and overt racism rises with him. He creates an air of respectability for these ideas. The danger is in letting this atmosphere permeate into society. While the toxic fumes are more easily dispersed across the United States, it is far more concentrated in Michigan.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, hate crimes decreased across the nation from 2010 to 2014. Although they spiked in 2013, they soon subsided and continued the downward trend. Michigan is a different story. In 2010, 304 incidents were reported. 2012 exploded with 617 incidents reported in Michigan. That’s a 103 percent increase from 2010. It is easy to forget that with each year the report amount starts at zero. That is to say that in five years there have been 1,907 unique incidents. While some states may be worse and some better, Michigan is where we can make a stand.

The FBI and participating state agencies report incidents for race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity and disability. Although gender and gender identity were added to the Hate Crime Statistics Act in 2009, they did not appear in the reportable categories until 2013. That was 15 years after disabilities were included. Consistently the law has overlooked marginalized groups and the fight for inclusion is far from over.

Under Section 750.147b of the Michigan Penal Code, “A person is guilty of ethnic intimidation if that person maliciously, and with specific intent to intimidate or harass another person because of that person’s race, color, gender, or national origin…” Sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability are not included. The law fails to mention them. Law enforcement does even less to protect them.

While it is right to be indignant about the abuses visited upon people of a particular faith or race, it is important to realize that there are many other communities that do not receive media attention, let alone police protection. A 2013 report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs studied hate violence against LGBTQ and HIV-affected people. It found that transgender survivors were, “3.7 more likely to experience police violence compared to cisgender survivors and victims.” It also found that they were, “7 times more likely to experience physical violence when interacting with police compared to cisgender survivors and victims.”

Police violence only ensures that victims will feel more isolated and unwilling to reach out for help. It is no wonder why the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that 2 out of 3 hate crimes were unreported. According to the 2013 report, U.S. residents experienced 259,700 hate crimes annually from 2007 to 2011. Whether it is the murder of black youths by police, the surveillance of mosques in New York, or racist laws such as Michigan’s S.B. 445, marginalized communities do not see law enforcement as their protector. Until meaningful reforms are implemented directed against those aforementioned actions, hate crimes will continue to be unreported.

The current situation can cause a justified anxiety. Hate speech, rising hate crimes, and inadequate policing only furthers these problems. Rather than asking a deaf state for more help, we must reimagine society. We can peer into the future and wait for a storm of hate and fury or we can act. The isolation that our culture creates and perpetuates through a myriad of distractions, dislocations, and segregation only serves to alienate us. We must break these isolating barriers through communal activities. It was public outcry that helped to isolate and destroy America’s most prominent terrorist network, the Ku Klux Klan. Terrorist networks rely on a culture of sympathy. It is time to end any such sympathy.

A culture that pits one worker against another is no friend to the working-class. A culture that perpetuates racist and sexist stereotypes will never be able to see a multi-cultural democracy emerge.

Es una cosa extraña que decir que, “El racismo está de vuelta en las noticias.” Esto implica que de alguna manera la raza, y otros odios, nunca dejaron el cuerpo político. La atención se centra en la historia episódica. Lo que se pierde, sobre todo por la sociedad dominante, son los mil cortes causados ​​por abusos sistemáticos. Estos recortes están sangrando todos nosotros seca.

Para la sociedad dominante, la vida pasa sin mucho contacto con los elementos más oscuros. Su riqueza actúa como un escudo a muchas formas de discriminación. La discriminación es menos obvio ahora. En lugar de racismo abierto se encuentra en frases tales como: “Tenemos que recuperar nuestro país.” A medida que Donald Trump se eleva a la fama, el racismo sutil y abiertamente se eleva con él. Él crea un aire de respetabilidad para estas ideas. El peligro está en dejar que este ambiente permeado en la sociedad. Mientras que los gases tóxicos son más fácilmente dispersadas por todo Estados Unidos, es mucho más concentrado en Michigan.

Según la Oficina Federal de Investigaciones, los crímenes de odio disminuyeron en todo el país entre 2010 y 2014. A pesar de que se dispararon en 2013, pronto se calmó y continuó la tendencia a la baja. Michigan es una historia diferente. En 2010, se reportaron 304 incidentes. 2012 explotó con 617 incidentes reportados en Michigan. Eso es un aumento del 103 por ciento desde 2010. Es fácil olvidar que con cada año la cantidad informe comienza en cero. Es decir que en cinco años ha habido 1.907 incidentes únicas. Mientras que algunos estados pueden ser peores y algunos mejor, Michigan es donde podemos hacer un soporte.

El FBI y las agencias estatales participantes reportan incidentes de raza, religión, orientación sexual, etnia y discapacidad. Aunque el género y la identidad de género se han añadido al odio Ley Estadisticas delictivas en 2009, no aparecen en las categorías de notificación obligatoria hasta 2013. Eso fue 15 años después se incluyeron discapacidad. Constantemente la ley ha pasado por alto los grupos marginados y la lucha por la inclusión está lejos de terminar.

Si bien es derecho a estar indignados por los abusos visitado a las personas de una fe o raza particular, es importante darse cuenta de que hay muchas otras comunidades que no reciben atención de los medios, permiten la protección policial solo. Un informe de 2013 de la Coalición Nacional de Programas Anti-Violencia estudió violencia de odio contra LGBTQ y las personas afectadas por el VIH. Se encontró que los sobrevivientes transgénero fueron: “3,7 más probabilidades de experimentar violencia policial en comparación con los sobrevivientes cisgénero y víctimas”. También se encontró que eran “, 7 veces más probabilidades de sufrir violencia física en la interacción con la policía en comparación con cisgénero sobrevivientes y víctimas. ”

La situación actual puede causar una ansiedad justificada. El discurso del odio, el aumento de los crímenes de odio, y la vigilancia inadecuada solamente promueve estos problemas. En lugar de pedir un estado sordo para obtener más ayuda, hay que reinventar la sociedad. Podemos mirar hacia el futuro y esperar a que una tormenta de odio y furia o podemos actuar. El aislamiento que nuestra cultura crea y perpetúa a través de una miríada de distracciones, luxaciones, y la segregación sólo sirve para alienar. Debemos romper estas barreras de aislamiento a través de actividades comunales. Fue la protesta pública que ayudó a aislar y destruir la red terrorista más importante de Estados Unidos, el Ku Klux Klan. Las redes terroristas dependen de una cultura de la solidaridad. Es hora de poner fin a tal simpatía.

Una cultura que enfrenta a uno de los trabajadores en contra de otro no es amigo de la clase trabajadora. Una cultura que perpetúa estereotipos racistas y sexistas nunca será capaz de ver una democracia multicultural emerger.

Joel Campbell is a west Michigan native. He started the Laker Sentinel while at Grand Valley as a way to discuss civic issues with students. This is his first article with La Voz.

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Ray Andrews aka Ray Andres is the content manager for the website Lavoz web. Ray helps support the uploading and management of the monthly content uploaded to the website from the monthly magazine and blog post from subscribers and journalist. Ray currently lives in Denmark and Lithuania and works as activities leader for Future Kulture and project manager for "InCubator" a new initiative from Lithuania. Ray administers the tourist websites for Welcome 2 Europe; www.welcome2vilnius.com www.welcome2cph.com, www.welcome2brd.com. "I think and breath better when I tilt my head." Ray Andres

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