Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crime

Fighting hate by networking resources

Oregon Senators sign letter critical of Trump’s removal of racists from extremist list — February 11, 2017

Oregon Senators sign letter critical of Trump’s removal of racists from extremist list

Democratic Senators Criticize Reported White House Plan to Refocus Counter-Terror Program, Ignore Threats from White Supremacists and Other Extremist Groups

Reports indicate that Trump administration is seeking to refocus Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) efforts solely on “Islamic Extremism,” ignoring broader violent extremist threats.
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Source: http://www.booker.senate.gov

WASHINGTON, DC –U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), along with 10 other Democratic Senators, are criticizing a reported Trump administration plan to restructure U.S. government efforts to counter violent extremism (CVE) to instead focus solely on “Islamic Extremism” or “Radical Islamic Extremism,” and no longer target violent white supremacist and other extremist groups that have threatened or carried out attacks in the United States.

The Department of Homeland Security currently defines CVE as efforts that aim “to address the root causes of violent extremism by providing resources to communities to build and sustain local prevention efforts and promote the use of counter-narratives to confront violent extremist messaging online.”

Joining Sens. Booker and Schatz on a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and USAID acting Administrator Wade Warren expressing concerns with the reported White House plan are Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tom Carper (D-DE), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Bob Casey (D-PA). 

The Senators write, “Singling out a specific religion as the focus of CVE efforts rather than violent extremism more broadly— while ignoring threats from white supremacist groups— would severely damage our credibility with foreign allies and partners as an honest broker in the fight against violent extremism, and prove divisive in communities across our country.”

The letter continues, “Supporting countering violent extremism programs that take an evidence-based view of what violent extremism really is and how to tackle it increases the U.S. government’s standing as a moral leader, advances American foreign policy objectives, and protects our homeland. We will not allow these U.S. government’s efforts to be tarnished by any move that would overtly single out a specific religious, ethnic, or other identity due to bias instead of evidence.”

The full text of the letter follows:

February 9, 2017

The Honorable Rex Tillerson
Secretary
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520

 The Honorable John Kelly
Secretary
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
3801 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20528

 The Honorable James Mattis
Secretary
U.S. Department of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301

 The Honorable Wade Warren
Acting Administrator
U.S. Agency for International Development
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20523

Dear Secretaries Tillerson, Kelly, Mattis and Acting Administrator Warren:

We write with deep concerns about reports that the Trump administration plans to restructure U.S. government efforts to counter violent extremism (CVE) to instead focus solely on “Islamic Extremism” or “Radical Islamic Extremism,” no longer targeting violent white supremacist and other extremist groups. As we have witnessed most recently and tragically with the mass shooting of worshippers at a mosque in Quebec this past month, violent extremism is not confined to any single ethnic, religious, or other identity group, but is instead a political and social phenomenon afflicting diverse nations and peoples across the globe. In the United States, the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in American history, the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, was perpetrated not by “Islamic extremists” but by an anti-government extremist from New York. Singling out a specific religion as the focus of CVE efforts rather than violent extremism more broadly— while ignoring threats from white supremacist groups— would severely damage our credibility with foreign allies and partners as an honest broker in the fight against violent extremism, and prove divisive in communities across our country.

Bipartisan national security leaders along with numerous former U.S. officials and practitioners recognize the value that CVE programs bring to the fight against extremists and we are eager to continue this critical work. Countering violent extremism programs have proven to decrease the number of communities engaging in extremism. By preventing people from heading down the path to radicalization and recruitment, we can help to stem the spread of extremist ideologies and prevent new individuals from resorting to violent means—thereby reducing the need for the U.S. military to solve violent extremism through use of force alone, an impossible and misguided task.

As national security leaders tasked to protect our country and expand our alliances and partnerships around the world, we know you are aware of the considerable efforts we and our partners across the world have engaged in to prevent violence and the spread of violent ideologies. From the United Arab Emirates’ Hedayah, the International Centre of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism, to our own Life After Hate, a group of former members of the American violent far-right extremist movement countering neo-Nazi propaganda, these governments have taken important steps to address radicalization. Refocusing our violent extremism program to focus exclusively on Islamic extremism will, without any doubt, alienate Muslim organizations and individuals in the United States, as well as the governments who have been our closest partners abroad. It will also put U.S. service members, diplomats, development practitioners, and citizens traveling the world at significant risk, and will increase the likelihood of more attacks. We have already seen the effects of this proposed change as Reuters reported that one Michigan-based group led by Lebanese-Americans has already declined a $500,000 CVE grant from the Department of Homeland Security and numerous overseas development partners have expressed that they will no longer work with the United States in the event of such a redefinition. 

In addition to isolating our closest allies in the fight against extremism, both at home and abroad, the administration’s plan to exclusively target Islam raises serious questions over whether such a policy would violate constitutional protections and the rights of American citizens. Specifically, we are concerned that this course of action risks violating both the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, crucial safeguards on the rights of vulnerable citizens.

Supporting countering violent extremism programs that take an evidence-based view of what violent extremism really is and how to tackle it increases the U.S. government’s standing as a moral leader, advances American foreign policy objectives, and protects our homeland. We will not allow these U.S. government’s efforts to be tarnished by any move that would overtly single out a specific religious, ethnic, or other identity due to bias instead of evidence.

Sincerely,

 

_______________________________                                      _______________________________

Cory A. Booker                                                          Brian Schatz

United States Senator                                               United States Senator

_______________________________                                      _______________________________

Richard Blumenthal                                                  Jeffrey A. Merkley

United States Senator                                               United States Senator

 _______________________________                                      _______________________________

Ron Wyden                                                                Kirsten Gillibrand

United States Senator                                               United States Senator

 _______________________________                                      _______________________________

Tom Carper                                                               Chris Van Hollen

United States Senator                                               United States Senator

 _______________________________                                      _______________________________

Patty Murray                                                             Maria Cantwell

United States Senator                                               United States Senator

 _______________________________                                      _______________________________ 

Sheldon Whitehouse                                                Robert P. Casey Jr.

United States Senator                                               United States Senator

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Rally and March Against Hate, Feb. 12 — February 10, 2017
CAHC Meeting, Feb. 2 at 2 pm — January 27, 2017

CAHC Meeting, Feb. 2 at 2 pm

January 27, 2017

The January 5th meeting was well attended. Participation from community groups as well as Portland Police, the FBI and the DOJ really got the ball rolling. Our next Coalition Against Hate Crime meeting is:

Thursday, February 2nd at 2 pm

PCC – Cascade Campus
Student Union Building
Room 204 – Cascade Room
(For directions: CLICK HERE)
Among other items, we will be discussing the proposal to declare Oregon a “Hate-Free Zone,” a hate crime reporting app, and events in Ashland.
Police arrest man who allegedly posted pro-Nazi flyers — January 26, 2017

Police arrest man who allegedly posted pro-Nazi flyers

From the Mail Tribune, January 26, 2017

Ashland police arrested a 28-year-old Medford man Tuesday for allegedly posting pro-Nazi flyers around Ashland late Sunday or early Monday morning.

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Justin Anthony Marbury was arrested on five counts of criminal mischief, according to a news release from Ashland police. Marbury was not listed in the Jackson County Jail Wednesday, and no information on further proceedings had been updated in court records.

Ashland police received several complaints of pro-Nazi flyers being left around downtown Ashland and released a photograph Monday of a man wearing a mask over the lower part of his face.

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The flyers promoted white supremacy and the Nazi party. One flyer said, “We will secure the existence of our people and a future for white children,” along with “Cascadian Nationalist Resistance” and a Twitter handle. Another flyer read, “A storm is coming,” accompanied by two swastikas and a silhouette of a person wearing a helmet worn by Nazis in WWII.

Police said Marbury’s arrest did not stem from the content of the signs, but for defacing property.

“However, the police department also recognizes that the particularly incendiary nature of the flyers made this situation more alarming and concerning to the department and to members of the community than a more innocuous flyer would have,” the press release said.

Source: Police arrest man who allegedly posted pro-Nazi flyers

 

CAHC Meeting, Jan. 5 at 2 pm — December 21, 2016

CAHC Meeting, Jan. 5 at 2 pm

December 20, 2016

We had to cancel the CAHC meeting this month because of the snow. The new meeting time is:

Thursday, January 5th at 2 pm

PCC – Cascade Campus
Student Union Building
Room 204 – Cascade Room
(For directions: CLICK HERE)
Among other items, we will be discussing the possibility of declaring Oregon a “Hate-Free Zone” as was done in Washington this week.

We hope to see you there. Happy holidays!

Dec. 15 CAHC meeting to be rescheduled — December 15, 2016

Dec. 15 CAHC meeting to be rescheduled

December 14, 2016

Thanks to the snow, PCC will be closed Thursday, 12/15, so we will have to reschedule our Coalition Against Hate Crime meeting. I apologize for any inconvenience. We will try to get a new meeting date out you as soon as possible.

 Please think about these two questions before we meet:
1. How can we encourage people across the state to report hate crimes and incidents to the appropriate authorities?
2. How can we engage in outreach to communities who are the most vulnerable to hate crimes?
Thanks and hope you all have the day off Thursday.
Randy Blazak,
CAHC chair
Senators’ open letter to the DOJ concerning hate crimes in Oregon. — December 1, 2016
CAHC meeting set for December 15th — November 28, 2016

CAHC meeting set for December 15th

November 28, 2016

The Coalition Against Hate Crime is having a face-to-face meeting to discuss recent hate related incidents in Oregon. We expect meeting participation from community partners, and local and federal law enforcement agencies. The meeting is open to the public.

Thursday, December 15th
2 p.m.
PCC Cascade Campus
Student Union Building, Room 204
The agenda will address two primary concerns:
1. How can communities be made to made to feel safe in the wake of election-related hate crimes and incidents?
2. What kind of education can be done to reduce hate and bias in our community in the coming year?
Additional agenda suggestions can be sent to me at: blazakr@gmail.com
This is a time of both vigilance and calm. Last week I appeared on an Al Jazeera program about the wave of fear around this issue.

Scared state: Fearing a Trump presidency

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The Department of Justice is also taking this issue very seriously.  The link below features U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch discussing the increase in reported hate crimes in 2015 and emphasizing U.S. Department of Justice’s ongoing commitment to enforcing the laws and keeping our community safe.

The Department of Justice has also released a statement titled,  PORTLAND METRO LAW ENFORCEMENT PARTNERS UNITED AGAINST ALL FORMS OF HATE CRIME. (click link)

We look forward to building strong responses to hate through our historic coalition.

Randy Blazak, CAHC chair

 

In the wake of Trump-related hate crimes and incidents in Oregon — November 20, 2016

In the wake of Trump-related hate crimes and incidents in Oregon

November 19, 2016

The media has been full of dramatic stories of hate crimes following the election of Donald Trump. There have also been numerous hate incidents reported, including in Oregon schools. What we do know is the number of hate crimes nationwide increased last year by 7 percent (and anti-Muslim crimes increased by 67%), according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report.

What we don’t know for 100% certain is that these crimes are a result of the rhetoric, campaign, or election of Donald Trump. There may be other factors leading to the increase or more people just might be reporting hate crimes to authorities.

BUT we do know, at least anecdotally, that many of these crimes and incidents have been committed by Trump supporters or people using Trump-related slogans, like “Build a wall” and “Make America great again.” This includes a racial assault of a woman in Hillsboro by men naming Trump and racist graffiti at Reed College referencing Trump. (below)

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On Friday, I appeared on OPB’s Think Out Loud to discuss the current climate and how to best respond to these tensions that are likely to follow us past Inauguration Day. I want to make two important points.

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First and foremost, people need to feel safe in their communities. A wave of fear has struck numerous minority communities this fall. This includes immigrants, Muslims, women, Latinx residents, and sexual minority groups. It important for us to defend our fellow citizens from harassment and attack, even if we are not members of those groups. The CAHC has long taken a “Not in our town” approach to hate crimes, where we stand, visibly and vocally, with those who are the targets of hate and against the agents of hate. Now is the time to be mindful of our neighbors who may feel fearful and vulnerable in this current divided climate.

Secondly, those who are the agents of hatred, including racism, sexism, Islamophobia and other bigotries, are often victims of ignorance and misinformation. This is something that can be solved with outreach, education, and calm conversation. America is at a crossroads. Will it become Trump supporters versus the rest of the country or will we use this crisis as a moment to come together? Hating the hater does not bring us forward, but helping the hater might.

As Oregon moves forward into the “Trump years,” the role of the Coalition Against Hate Crimes may be more important than ever. The CAHC has been active since 1997 but for the last two years we have existed primarily as a Facebook page and an email contact list. I would like to see the CAHC become again a more public presence in our state and work to make sure all the members of our many communities feel safe and heard. I encourage your suggestions for next steps.

Dr. Randy Blazak, CAHC chair

 

 

 

 

 

 

Death of man run down in Gresham ruled hate crime — September 15, 2016

Death of man run down in Gresham ruled hate crime

From KGW.com.

GRESHAM, Ore. — A couple already charged with crimes stemming from running down a man in Gresham have now been charged with a hate crime for the deadly incident.

Larnell Malik Bruce, 19, of Vancouver, was run over on Aug. 10 after a fight in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven at Burnside and 188th Avenue. He died several days later.

Russell Courtier, 38, the alleged driver of the red Jeep, and his passenger, Colleen Hunt, 35, were caught by police shortly after Bruce was run down.

Both had been charged with murder and failure to perform the duties of a driver to injured persons. They pleaded not guilty and were being held without bail. Their trial is scheduled  for Oct. 3.

A re-indictment document released Tuesday adds first-degree intimidation charges for both. It reads, in part, that Courtier and Hunt “did unlawfully, acting together and because of their perception of the race and color of Larnell Bruce intentionally cause physical injury to Larnell Bruce.”

In addition, Courtier was charged with second-degree intimidation for “unlawfully, intentionally and because of (Courtier’s) perception of race and color of Larnell Bruce, subject Darnell Bruce to offensive physical contact.”

The Portland Mercury reported that Courtier has ties to a prison-based white supremacist group called European Kindred. It was formed in the 1990s.

A photo on Courtier’s Facebook page shows a leg tattoo with the letters E and K within a shield.