The FBI defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.” Unfortunately, filing hate crime reports for the federal count is voluntary.
But according to an AP Big Story earlier this month, good news is that guidelines call for reports to be submitted even if they list zero hate crimes, a signal to both the FBI and the community that local departments are taking such crimes seriously.
According to the AP, FBI Director James Comey has called on all agencies to do a more aggressive job tracking hate crimes, and also has initiated training sessions on bias attacks for hundreds of law enforcement officers nationwide.
First up, the U.S. Postal Service has launched an investigation this week, after a woman claiming to be an employee posted this message of hate on her Facebook page:
I can personally assure everyone here that anything with this stamp on it will be lost or destroyed in the system before is makes delivery. Guaranteed. Happy Ramadan.
Lucky for us some sites, including Raw Story, were quickly able to capture a screenshot of the woman’s page before it was removed.
Buzzfeed reporting says the USPS is attempting to determine whether or not the woman, whose page identified her as Catherine An Ray, is a postal employee.
The timeline of hate goes like this:
JUNE 10: The USPS posts a new stamp announcement its Facebook business page:
The stamp has been dedicated almost yearly since 2001 for “the two most important festivals — or eids — on the Islamic calendar: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.”
JUNE 12: The Orlando mass shooting occurs. Forty-nine innocent lives lost, more than 50 others injured by a madman’s assault weapon. Unfortunately, the man named Omar Mateen, a U.S. citizen, was of Muslim heritage. And so it began.
JUNE 13 – Right-wing wacko and so-called “journalist” Pamela Geller takes her ugly hateful hands to Facebook and posts this:
Geller, who has been labeled an “extremist” by the Southern Poverty Law Center describes her as “the anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and flamboyant figurehead.
LATER, JUNE 13: Catherine An Ray posts her Facebook message. And let me tell you, her Facebook page is the perfect exhibit of the Donald Trump campaign messaging, let me tell you that, believe me. Trump has welcomed racism and bigotry out of the covers and into open public spaces since the very day he threw his ugly red and white hats into the 2016 GOP ring of primaries.
But I digress. Back to Ray’s page, which was filled with hate, with post after post after post of nothing but her racist, bigoted attitudes towards everyone, from Islam to the President of the United States, with a photo altered to resemble a primate.
Guess who she’s voting for?
Although it has yet to be confirmed whether Ray is actually a postal employee, USPS spokeswoman Toni DeLancey said, “We can assure you that the incident is being fully investigated and that the Postal Service will take whatever action is appropriate.”
NOTE: Refusing to deliver mail would result in the employee being fired, she added, noting that the USPS prohibits discrimination and harassment in any form based on religion, race, creed, color, or national origin. The delay or destruction of mail is also federal offense that can result in jail time.
If Geller and Ray weren’t enough of an example of hate to write about, let me tell you about another crime of hate towards African-Americans that occurred in Trumpworld.
Hunter Park, a student at Missouri University of Science and Technology, pleaded guilty in April to making a terroristic threat. During the university’s racial protests last year, Lake was posting threatening messages against black people on Yik Yak, an anonymous social media app.
According to the Columbia Daily Tribune, Lake posted, among other things, statements that he was going to shoot every black person he sees.
Guess who he’s voting for?
The Missouri newspaper reported that he received a three-year suspended sentence and was placed on five years of probation.
“We hoped for some incarceration, but the fact that he got a felony conviction over a suspended imposition of sentence” is appropriate, Boone County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Brouck Jacobs said.
A suspended execution of a sentence, which Park received, means the felony will stay on Park’s record even if he successfully completes probation. As a convicted felon, Park will be barred by law from legally possessing a gun, Jacobs said.
One of the leaders of local activist group Race Matters, Friends criticized the sentence shortly after the hearing. The group had encouraged a letter writing campaign to persuade circuit Crane to impose a harsh sentence. “It pays to be white,” Traci Wilson-Kleekamp said.
These hateful criminal acts are but two in an ever-increasing stream of horrific incidents now occurring regularly throughout the good ol’ USA. And guess what? The presumptive GOP nominee for POTUS has become a lightning rod for these incidents, which now are more open and rampant than in recent years.
Even worse, and as reported by AP, thousands more of these types of hate crimes go unreported to the FBI by local police agencies. AP examined FBI hate crime reports for the years 2009 through 2014 and matched those against lists of every city and county law enforcement agency in each state, obtained separately from all 50 states. AP identified more than 2,700 city police and county sheriff’s departments across the country that have not submitted a single hate crime report for the FBI’s annual crime tally during the past six years — about 17 percent of all city and county law enforcement agencies nationwide. The statistics analyzed by the AP also revealed wide disparities in how seriously states take the reporting.
Remember just one year ago a young white man walked into a Charleston church and killed nine innocent African-American parishioners, who welcomed him to join them while they were praying. Yeah, well, nothing has changed since. In fact, it’s gotten worse. Much worse. And these are not isolated incidents.
These hate crimes are only two but examples of the hateful, terroristic crimes.
Welcome to Trumpworld, more frightening than West World and Jurassic Park ever were.
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