End Bullying and Prevent Hate

Created for us by one of PREVENT HATE’s student friends.

Update: Sent to us by another one of our student friends

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Stand Up To Bullying!

Know Your Legal and Civil Rights

PREVENT HATE is actively mobilizing against bullying through student-oriented solutions, creating programs and workshops for students and parents, offering practical solutions for our kids to be safe.

PREVENT HATE is also working with schools on creating student body patrols on campus to intervene against bullies, empowering their general student bodies to take a stand against bullying, and providing the kids with information about their legal and civil rights.

If you, or your child, is being victimized by a bully, it is important to determine whether any crimes are being committed. Talk to your local school and police department immediately with any concerns you have.
Every student has the RIGHT to attend school without worrying about violence, harassment, or intimidation. STOP BULLYING! Prevent hate.

What is BULLYING?

BULLYING: When a person intentionally inflicts harm or discomfort upon another person in order to gain power over them and force them into submission with mental or physical threats, name-calling and/or exclusion from social interaction, using methods such as gossip, defamation or the silent treatment, causing the victim to experience fear, anxiety, isolation and hopelessness.

What is CYBER-BULLYING?

CYBER-BULLYING: When someone is repeatedly tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed, defamed, ridiculed or otherwise targeted by someone with the intent to extract power or to elevate themselves at the expense of someone else, using text messaging, email, instant messaging or any other type of digital technology.

Legal and Civil Rights

ASSAULT: Threatening someone with harm, including texting, and being able to carry it out.

BATTERY: Making physical contact in order to harm, harass, or intimidate someone.

EXTORTION: Demanding money, goods or services in order not to bully someone.

CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATION: Bullying someone until they stop going to school, or have to change schools.

HATE CRIME: Bullying someone just because they are gay, or have a disability, or are a different race, ethnicity, or religion than you are.

Please join our team and help raise awareness.

Thank you!

Cross-posted at:
Crowdrise, Change & Facebook

PREVENT HATE Speakers Bureau for At-Risk Youth Going Strong

On Tuesday, May 25, 2010, PREVENT HATE brought one of our speakers to Canoga High School in Los Angeles, CA for a program to inspire youth away from hate and violence, and to open their minds to creative outlets for their frustrations.

Mr. Zuhdi Sardar, a brilliant artist from the Kurdistan region of Iraq, spoke for approximately 45 minutes to a large group of students about his experiences with institutionalized discrimination and intergroup violence under Saddam Hussein’s regime, as well as his determination to channel his anger into productive methods. Today, Zuhdi Sardar’s smile is irrepresible, as well as is the love for humanity that he exudes.

An ethnic minority in the Middle East, the Kurds have been subjected to systemic violations of their human rights by various political parties representing ethnic majorities in the region. Mr. Sardar’s story is one of hope and inspiration, explaining how the friendships he cultivated across ethnic lines saved his life at a time when nearly all his childhood friends were murdered by government forces. At the end of the program, he opened his portfolio and shared some of his art with the students. The swarm of youth that approached Mr. Sardar at the end of his speech was a strong testimony to his message and his ability to speak directly to the hearts of at-risk youth.

For more information on Zuhdi Sardar’s art, please visit zuhdisardar.com.

PREVENT HATE’s speakers bureau brings survivors of genocide and severe crimes against humanity to speak to students about overcoming their differences, rejecting violence, and making a productive contribution to society. Our speakers are role models who have been through the worst hellfire, and yet, celebrate life.  As is always the case, at the end of the program, we were asked to come back.

PREVENT HATE Exclusive: Human Trafficking is a Bias Crime

“Most people don’t know what human trafficking is, and when you tell them, they say, ‘so what'” — Los Angeles City Councilmember, Tony Cardenas.
 
PREVENT HATE has devised an equation using the economic theory of supply and demand to demonstrate that human trafficking is a bias crime.  

 

Human trafficking is a bias crime
As we all know, demand for a commodity drives its supply. That’s commerce. This equation shows that, for human trafficking to occur, the in-take society must have pre-existing biases, coupled with its needs for sex and labor (demand), resulting in the flow of human bodies (supply). The bias is not merely demonstrated by the people directly enslaving those who are trafficked, but by the society-at-large into which people are brought for illicit sex and labor without much public outcry or intervention. Essentially, trafficking/slavery would not occur if there were no pre-existing institutionalized bias against the victims on the part of the in-take society-at-large. This is true for all societies that have slaves for sex and labor.
 
Societies have needs, their concerns for the gender and ethnic groups of the victims are less than for those getting served by the victims, so that hence — cultural values, plus public demand for sex and labor, creates institutionalized bias resulting in trafficking and slavery.

 

Human trafficking is a bias crime. Prevent hate!
 
[Note: Human trafficking should not be confused with human smuggling.]

Should the homeless become a protected category for hate crimes legislation?

The debate is raging whether crimes targeting homeless people should be considered hate crimes. And now it appears that the County of Los Angeles has decided that the answer is yes, at least where statistical collection is concerned.
 
Currently, more than half of the states in the USA have hate crimes statutes of some type. The United States government also has a federal hate crimes law, plus they have empowered the FBI to collect hate crimes statistics from law enforcement agencies throughout the USA (although not crimes motivated by bias against women — for more information, see PREVENT HATE Exclusive: The FBI’s Hate Crimes Report Ignores Crimes Against Women) Yet, of all the laws we have, only three municipalities include being homeless into their hate crimes statutes: Seattle, Maine, and Alaska. Is Los Angeles on its way toward inclusion in this small, but potentially growing group?
 
The County of Los Angeles has decided to begin tracking crimes against homeless people as if they are hate crimes, although they have not (yet?) moved toward legislation. For now, due to an escalated level of criminal activity against homeless people, and in light that homelessness will increase in these tough economic times, they have asked for agencies to consider anti-homeless crimes to be hate crimes, and to begin to collect data on them.
 
According to the Los Angeles Times:
 
During the last year, the homeless in Los Angeles County have been set on fire, stabbed, shot and beaten with baseball bats in attacks. Advocates for the homeless say the incidents have become more violent but until now no one has tracked such crimes countywide.

Los Angeles County supervisors on Tuesday unanimously recommended that sheriff’s deputies, prosecutors and the county Human Relations Commission start tracking and reporting attacks on the homeless as hate crimes. The vote came as the economy worsens and the number of homeless in the county increases — with some shelters seeing four times as many people seeking help this winter.

 

Advocates for the homeless called the collection of such data a first step in changing policy and laws. They cite several high-profile incidents in the last year as cause for alarm.
 
The supervisors’ move does not change the law, a shift that would be necessary for crimes against the homeless to carry enhanced penalties.

Efforts to add the homeless to the state’s hate crime law have failed in the past.

So far only one city and two states have passed such legislation: Seattle, Maine and Alaska, according to the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit National Coalition for the Homeless.

Local legislation is pending in 10 states and Washington, D.C., coalition officials said.

Prevent Hate has been part of the conversations between advocates for the homeless and human relations professionals about whether being targeted for crimes because one is homeless should be categorized as a hate crime. Time and again, the same issues keep coming up. First of all, everyone agrees that targeting a homeless person for crime is particularly horrible, but is it a hate crime? Or does it deserve its own categorization?
 
Well, before we make that decision, we need to delve into the ever-presence of … you got it … political considerations … Come on, you didn’t think this problem could be solved without adding politics into it, did you?
 
Unfortunately, hate crimes laws are delegitimized by people who consider them the legislation of “thought crimes,” and hence, think there should be no hate crimes laws at all. I disagree with this. Hate crimes speak directly to motive, and I have no problem adding extra penalties onto crimes whose intention is to disrupt society through fear. I really don’t see why that’s so hard to understand. For the perpetrator of a hate crime, a victim is not just a victim whose suffering is contained to the incident. A victim is a first domino whose suffering is meant to spread throughout entire segments of society, and eventually break it down. So yeah, smack some extra social responsibility onto the perpetrators’ sentences as part of a comprehensive system to create more inclusive communities. As long as there are some “carrots” to go along with the “stick,” when crafting public policy, then go for it.
 
(Then again, do we really want to send more people into a prison system in dire need of reform when they could actually come out a bigger threat to public safety? What do you do when your protective safety valve does the job opposite of what its meant to do?)
 
See also: Prevent Hate’s Recommendations for Prison Reform
 
Nevertheless, there are quite a number of things to consider before determining whether being homeless should get the same categorization as other protected groups.
 
Advocates for the homeless will tell you that being homeless is a category that often becomes part-and-parcel of a lifestyle, similar to religion, and that therefore, it deserves the same protections. Clearly homeless people are targeted because of what they are, not what they have done, which is the very essence of a hate crime, so their argument is logical. But then again, what if someone is targeted just for being fat? Or just for being ugly? It happens. Technically, they are hate crimes. People hate them … fell prejudiced against them, and discriminate. But do they deserve inclusion in hate crimes laws? Advocates for homeless people say they are on the right track because targeting the homeless for crime is on the increase and is now a relevant social phenomenon.
 
Conversely, advocates against including homeless people into hate crimes categorization say that doing so muddies the waters and opens the doors to get rid of such laws altogether by feeding many of the existing arguments already in place against having hate crimes laws. The argument goes that, although well intentioned, the result will not be increased protections for homeless people, but rather, lessened protections for the groups already included in hate crimes legislation. Therefore, they believe crimes against homeless people should have their own protected category, standing on its own.
 
For more information about hate crimes laws in the United States, please go to:

PREVENT HATE Exclusive: The FBI’s Hate Crimes Report Ignores Crimes Against Women

 

The FBI’s Hate Crimes Report Ignores Crimes Against Women
 
Matthew Rosenthal
 
The FBI just released its annual hate crime report for the year 2007, and just as it has always done, it ignores victims targeted because of their sex/gender. Last year, thousands of law enforcement agencies throughout the nation reported a total of 7,624 hate crimes to the Department of Justice, resulting in 9,535 victims, yet not even one of them was logged as having been motivated by prejudice against women or girls. Curiously, law enforcement agencies examine whether forcible rape and simple assault are used as criminal weapons, but not whether the perpetrators purposely target women. Although this seems illogical, there is a rationale.
 
The Hate Crimes Statistics Act of 1990 empowered the US Attorney General – the FBI’s overseer – to collect statistics “about crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.” Later, the law was amended also to include crimes against people with physical and mental disabilities. Yet to date, the FBI still is not authorized to collect statistics about bias-motivated crimes against females, so they go unreported.
 
One would think that hate crimes against women and girls would be at the forefront of statistical collection, especially because they arguably are targeted for violence more than any other group. Women and girls are raped, pimped, harassed, intimidated, and assaulted every day by men who abuse them without concern or guilt. In domestic violence situations where women are beaten because they “do not know their place,” you can bet the crime is motivated by discrimination. Often at the core of such violence is a fundamental bias against women because of what they are, not what they have done, thereby exemplifying the essence of a hate crime. So why the dearth of statistics?
 
If the FBI were instructed to collect data about bias-motivated criminal behavior against females, and if law enforcement examined causes of certain crimes against women in terms of prejudice (including some, but not all, cases of domestic violence), one can only imagine what the FBI’s hate crimes report would actually look like. The numbers would probably be quite high, and, in turn, might provide ammunition for anyone seeking to misinterpret the data to conclude that US municipalities are unfriendly toward women – something many local and national representatives understandably do not want. Clearly there is a problem to be addressed, but politicians are faced with a conundrum — how to report hate crimes accurately without allowing them to be misinterpreted about local and national safety.
 
Whereas it is true that women suffer from hate crimes daily, nobody should try to paint the United States as a generally unsafe society. Women have more opportunity, more access, and are systematically treated better in this country than ever before; and when evaluating human rights and social development, this must be factored into the equation. Clearly women thrive in this nation and are not merely victims. Therefore, a balance must be struck to provide an accurate accounting of the data. Legitimate statistics coupled with solid explanations would help guide policy and education that would minimize the reality of crimes against women, while also showing that social health flourishes here. A truthful explanation of the data is a far better policy than head-in-the-sand ignorance.
 
In a world where healthy women are crucial to foster socioeconomic development, improving protections for them is central to elevate public safety and encourage investment, including in our own country. The United States could be more productive as a world leader in the cultivation of democratic institutions abroad by providing a local, and global, context where we simultaneously work to empower women while suppressing criminal manifestations of bias against them, which must include data collection. Therefore, let us hope that national law soon is amended to make the FBI’s hate crimes report become more inclusive … for everyone’s sake.
 
Matthew Rosenthal is President of PREVENT HATE