This Week In Hate: Hate in the New Year
In January 2019, SAALT documented four incidents of hate violence and one incident of xenophobic political rhetoric aimed at South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Middle Eastern, and Arab American communities. Of the four incidents of hate violence, two were physical assaults and two incidents of property damage. Two incidents of hate violence occurred on the east coast, one in the south, and one on the west coast.
On January 14, 2019, Harwinder Dodd, a Sikh gas station clerk in Salem, Oregon was punched and kicked by 24-year-old Andrew Ramsey for refusing to sell him rolling paper without an ID. On January 29, 2019, a woman wearing hijab was spat on while she was walking on the street in Queens New York.
In an incident of property damage against a Hindu Temple, the Swaminarayan Temple in Louisville, Kentucky was found vandalized on January 27, 2019. A window near the entrance of the temple was broken and phrases such as “Jesus Is All Mighty” “Jesus Is Lord” and “God” were spray painted on the walls with several black crosses.
Anti-Black Muslim Hate Crimes
A second incident of attempted physical and property damage occurred in Islamberg, New York. On January 24, 2019, the FBI arrested Vincent Vetromile, Andrew Crysel, and Brian Colaneri, for plotting an attack against the hamlet of Islamberg, a community made by and for Black Muslims. Officers found three homemade bombs along with 23 firearms during a search of the homes of the white supremacist youth.
In the past few years, Islamberg has been the target of various attacks planned by white supremacists. The most recent FBI Hate Crimes report found that 48.6 percent of hate crimes were motivated by anti-Blackness and 18.6 percent by anti-Muslim bias. Attacks against Islamberg are even more troubling because the community is targeted with both anti-Black and Islamophobic sentiments.
Since November 2016, we have documented over 450 incidents of hate violence and xenophobic political rhetoric around the country (See Figure 2). This breaks down further to 317 incidents of hate violence and 136 incidents of xenophobic political rhetoric.
In January 2019, there was one incident of xenophobic political rhetoric aimed at newly elected Palestinian Muslim Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. Anabelle Lima-Taub, a city commissioner in Hallandale Beach, signed an online petition seeking to remove Tlaib from office and posted the petition on her personal Facebook page. “Proudly signed,” Lima-Taub wrote. “A Hamas-loving anti-Semite has NO place in government! She is a danger and [I] would not put it past her to become a martyr and blow up Capitol Hill.”
While the first month of the new year saw multiple incidents of hate, our hope for the year is one of continued resistance and safety. In 2019, we will continue to advocate for comprehensive hate crimes legislation at state, local, and federal levels to protect our communities.