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hate crimes

Jay Schalin writes for SeeThruEdu:

On the night of January 13, we smashed out the front windows of the Chi Psi frat house, 321 Cameron Ave., Chapel Hill, NC. We did this for anyone who has ever been afraid to walk the streets of this town because of harassment for their body, gender, or sexuality. This fraternity was chosen at random. All fraternities are sites of conscious self-organization for patriarchal power and the homophobia that supports it. They exist to convert this power into real capital.

It would seem pretty clear that anarchists involved with the blog committed at least the first incident. It would also seem that it would be easy to identify some of the 20 people confronting the member of the second fraternity in broad daylight.

Yet a Chapel Hill police spokesman said “police have exhausted all leads and are no longer investigating the incidents.” No further investigation was undertaken even after a student anarchist, in defending the intentions of the rock-throwers in an op-ed in the student newspaper used language extremely similar to that in the War on Society post, raising the question exactly how well he knew the perpetrators. The name of his anarchist group: the UNControllables.

It would seem that, if members of the UNC Republican Club had thrown rocks through the windows of a feminist housing unit because they didn’t like what the women represented, and then bragged about what they had done, even anonymously, the police would have eventually found them. And it is likely that university officials would not have spared the rod once they were known.

I smell a foul pattern with such Keystone-Kop-like inability on two different campuses to find some extremely clumsy perpetrators. Did somebody high up call these investigations off?

Read the full story here.

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The recent election marked the end of “Anglo Saxon” domination over the United States and the beginning of a possible race war between whites and Latinos, said Linda Martín Alcoff, a well-known philosopher from the City University of New York, during a lecture at Columbia University on Wednesday.

Alcoff said the presidential election results prompted the question of “how Angelo Saxon cultural domination is going to survive in the United States” as whiteness begins to “lose its place.”

Winning the Hispanic vote by 44 points over Mitt Romney was seen as the key to President Barack Obama’s reelection last week, and with one in three Americans predicted to be Latino by 2050, it’s forced both Republicans and Democrats to prioritize the major issues concerning the group in an attempt to win over the growing voting bloc, she said.

One of Alcoff’s central claims for why the Latino vote has caused such a stir in the recent election cycle is because its population growth poses a new and unique threat to whites, as the United States is largely surrounded by countries made of up Latinos whose populations could feasibly overtake that of whites.

“No other group can realistically pose a threat of ballooning numbers like we can,” Alcoff said. “It’s not like the Jews in Germany, where they were like 3 percent of the population and there was no real economic threat.”

Alcoff even went so far as to connect an increase in recent gun purchases to whites arming themselves for some sort of possible race war against Latinos.

Since Obama was elected in 2008, for example, the number of radical groups has increased hugely all across the country, while the number of guns sold in the month Obama was elected reached an all time high of 1.5 million, she noted.

While the Associated Press reported last month that rising firearm sales resulted from a fear of increased gun laws, Alcoff said this is instead evidence of the Latino community being targeted.

“These groups are not harmless,” Alcoff said. “The principle target here…is not an unspecified or abstract immigrant population, but generally Latino immigrants from Mexico or Central America.”

In fact, Alcoff is currently lobbying for more recognition of specific instances of Latino racism as hate crimes. Her talk was hosted by The Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, and previewed her forthcoming paper about racism.

It will argue that discrimination against Latinos should be regarded as its own category, much like the notion of anti-black racism, which she says will allow for a clearer identification of racist legislation, politicians and groups.

Obama’s victory has left the Latino population as the “it group” among political pundits, Alcoff said, adding the discussion about the group is “offensive in so many ways…I won’t even go into it.”

Fix contributor Luke Kerr-Dineen is a student at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

IMAGE: PVCG/Flickr

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After conducting an investigation in response to a recent police report that 36 books treating LGBT topics had been damaged with what appeared to be urine in Lamont Library last month, the University determined Monday morning that the incident was an accident and will no longer be treated as a hate crime, according to a statement sent from College Dean Evelynn M. Hammonds to the Harvard community on Monday.

On November 24, library staff at Lamont discovered the damaged books—on subjects including lesbian and gay issues and same-sex marriage—along with a bottle assumed to have contained what investigators believed to be urine. This past Friday, library personnel reported the incident to the College and Harvard University Police Department as vandalism, and the affair was subsequently investigated as a hate crime for the “focused nature and related topics” of the affected books, according to Hammonds.

But upon an investigation by HUPD, it was revealed Monday morning that “our own library personnel” had accidentally spilled a bottle, containing what was reported to be urine, that had been found on the shelf, according to Hammonds. Harvard College Library plans to replace all 36 damaged books as soon as possible, she added.

Read the full story at the Harvard Crimson.

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