One of the SPLC’s most effective fund-raising tools is what I like to call “the empty statistic.” By this I mean a statistic that sounds quite impressive initially, because you do not know the actual numbers involved.
A case in point, a recent article in About.com’s “Race Relations” section raised the question: “Why Are Hate Crimes Against Latinos Rising?” The author of the piece, Nadra Kareem, quotes some pretty scary statistics from the SPLC’s $146,000 donor-dollar public relations guru, Mark Potok:
“FBI statistics indicate that anti-Latino crimes in America increased by nearly 40 percent from 2003 to 2007. That’s extremely alarming considering that the Latino population in the United States rose by just 14 percent during the same timeframe.”
“Wow!” The casual reader is likely to think, “Anti-Latino hate crimes are increasing at nearly three times the pace of immigration! I’d better get a check out to the SPLC right away!”
Of course, once you do a minimal amount of digging to discover the actual numbers involved, you come up with a very different picture.
According to Table 7 (page 16) of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting for 2003, there were 595 anti-Hispanic hate crimes reported in 2003. http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/03hc.pdf By 2007, that “40% jump” brings the number to 830. http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2007/table_07.htm
According to the US Census Bureau, there were 39 million Hispanics in the US in 2003. Factor in the increase of “only 14%,” or “only” 5.4 million new Hispanic immigrants and by 2007 the new total comes to 44.6 million.
Now let’s be perfectly clear here. NOBODY should have to be the victim of a crime, especially a hate crime, but an increase of 235 anti-Latino hate crimes against an increase of 5.4 MILLION Latino immigrants is statistically insignificant… when you plug in the actual numbers!
The 830 anti-Latino hate crimes against the overall 2007 population of 44.6 million represent even less of a crime wave.
Mark Potok knows this, but the vast majority of people who read the empty statistics he tucks into his fund-raising propaganda won’t. Even so-called professional media, such as National Public Radio allow Potok to propagate his fear campaign without asking for a single digit worth of proof.
Considering that the SPLC and NPR are in direct competition for the Left-wing donor dollar, you’d think it would be in NPR’s self-interest to out Mr. Potok at every opportunity.
What’s really amazing is the fact that during the same 2003 to 2007 time span, hate crimes against Blacks rose from 3,150 to 3,434. Not only were there four times as many hate crimes against Blacks as against Hispanics, but the Black population is smaller to begin with!!
Where is Mr. Potok’s outrage over THOSE numbers?
The simple truth is that Progressives are experiencing “donor fatigue” when it comes to poor Blacks. The SPLC has gone to that well too many times in the past. Hispanics are the new minority goldmine in 2010, and the SPLC intends to gather up every last nugget.
Vaya con dinero!! (Go with the money!!)