Posts Tagged ‘hate incidents’

SPLC — “Violent Hate Crime up in 2018!”

November 15, 2019

Nobody should ever be the victim of a crime, especially a hate crime.

Earlier this week, the Southern Poverty Law Center issued a press release making the claim that “New FBI report shows increase in violent hate crime in 2018.” As usual, the claim was picked up and repeated by the Media, and, as usual, a simple review of the source data shows that the SPLC’s claim is, shall we say, less than accurate.

In ancient times, this simple review would be known as “journalism.”

The report, authored by out-going SPLC Intelligence Project Director Heidi Beirich (more on that later), opens with a very subtle rewording of the original headline, citing the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) report for 2018, “Although the FBI report released today shows a minuscule decline in all hate crimes in 2018, it shows a 12 percent rise in hate crimes involving violence [emphasis added].”

The rewording, from “violent hate crimes” to “hate crimes involving violence” is so subtle as to be elegant. Here is what the FBI UCR actually says:

2017 2018 FBI UCR Hate Crimes - Persons

As the highlighted cells show, there was a 12% increase in the number of “crimes against persons” reported in 2018, however, violent crimes, such as murder and rape were virtually unchanged and there were 30 more aggravated assaults reported over 2017, or an increase of 4%. The FBI defines aggravated assault as:

Aggravated Assault—An unlawful attack by one person upon another wherein the offender uses a weapon or displays it in a threatening manner, or the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury involving apparent broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injury, severe laceration, or loss of consciousness.

This also includes assault with disease (as in cases when the offender is aware that he/she is infected with a deadly disease and deliberately attempts to inflict the disease by biting, spitting, etc.)

Nobody should ever be the victim of a crime, especially a hate crime.

The UCR report does show an increase in simple assaults, defined as:

Simple Assault—An unlawful physical attack by one person upon another where neither the offender displays a weapon, nor the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury involving apparent broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injury, severe laceration, or loss of consciousness

No weapon. No obvious bodily injury. Any incident where one party lays hands on another, such as pushing or shoving, qualifies as a simple assault, though calling that a violent crime is quite a stretch, even for the SPLC.

A drunken fist fight outside a bar at midnight might meet Dr. Beirich’s claim of a crime with violence, but it hardly qualifies as a lynching. The UCR report does not break its simple assault incidents into hard categories. There is no way to sort out the truly violent incidents from the others.

The other category showing an increase of 232 incidents over 2017 is intimidation:

Intimidation—To unlawfully place another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm through the use of threatening words and/or other conduct, but without displaying a weapon or subjecting the victim to actual physical attack

By definition, there is no violence involved in intimidation. These incidents may qualify as “crimes against persons” (making up a full 45% of that category) but not as crimes with violence and definitely not as violent crimes. While nobody should ever be placed in fear of harm, intimidation is entirely subjective.

Another major factor to consider is that while the UCR reports alleged “incidents,” these incidents are not actual crimes, even hate crimes, until determined by a court of law. In many cases, charges are dropped or never filed at all. The UCR’s Methodology section highlights the inherent difficulties in proving deliberate bias in a crime:

Because motivation is subjective, it is sometimes difficult to know with certainty whether a crime resulted from the offender’s bias. Moreover, the presence of bias alone does not necessarily mean that a crime can be considered a hate crime. Only when a law enforcement investigation reveals sufficient evidence to lead a reasonable and prudent person to conclude that the offender’s actions were motivated, in whole or in part, by his or her bias, should an agency report an incident as a hate crime.

At the end of the day, the 2018 UCR shows only a minor uptick in alleged violent crimes with 30 more aggravated assault claims in 2018 over 2017. There were 232 more simple assault claims over the same period but there is no way to determine shoving matches from fist fights, and even then, any serious violence would have elevated the incident to an aggravated assault.

In short, there’s not a lot here to base any serious claims of increased violent hate crimes based on an increase of alleged hate “incidents.” Heidi Beirich knows this, but her customer base, the Media and SPLC donors, are shopping for fear and outrage and Dr. B. is only to happy to accommodate them.

Interestingly, Dr. Beirich notes that “About 27 percent of all hate crimes in 2018 – the largest share among all categories – were motivated by anti-black bias.” This would seem to indicate that three-quarters of all alleged incidents, (not necessarily actual crimes) were NOT directed at blacks, which would seem like a positive.

Ironically, the same FBI UCR report claims that at least 24% of the accused perpetrators were black. In fact, the SPLC claims that black “hate groups” make up 23% of the alleged total, and the “largest share among all categories,” nationwide. Apparently, those stats are not as important as Beirich’s “27 percent” claim. There’s no outrage to be gained.

While Dr. Beirich’s claim of a 12% increase in “crimes with violence” seems significant, she writes off the corresponding 15% drop in alleged hate crimes against property in 2018 as “minuscule.”

Speaking of crimes against property, it is worth noting that not all “hate incidents” in the UCR report are created equal.

2017 2018 FBI UCR Hate Crimes - Property

Crimes against property make up 37% of the 2018 incident total right off the top (all confirmable non-violent alleged incidents make up 65% of the total, which does not include non-violent simple assaults).

While we can see how one could make a case for bias-related arson, some robberies and targeted vandalism, we are admittedly at a loss as to how stealing one’s car or burglarizing one’s home are hate crimes. The same is true of Crimes against Society, which, according to the FBI, are “typically victimless crimes” that include gambling, prostitution and drug dealing.

Dr. Beirich’s “report” closes with the obligatory anti-Trump allegation and her boilerplate claim that “250,000 people are victimized by hate crimes every year.” Since Heidi Beirich announced a few weeks ago that she is leaving the scandal-ridden company she has served for twenty years, we want to sincerely wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.

For the past ten years, Dr. Beirich and her former boss, Mark Potok, have given us here at Watching the Watchdogs more information, more fodder, more smoking guns as to the inner workings of the Southern Poverty Law Center and lesser Hate Industry players. Due to Mr. Potok’s abrupt and mysterious departure from the company a few years ago, we were not able to wish him a proper fond farewell, but for Dr. Beirich we have this parting gift:

Let us assume that the good doctor’s estimate of 250,000 hate crime victims a year, which, as we have seen, includes people who were shoved, called bad names, had their car stolen, bought weed on the street and/or hired a hooker, is spot on, with no questions asked.

That statistic works out to .07%, or seven hundredths of one percent, of the current US population. Hate crimes really do happen. Your odds of being a victim of a hate crime are extremely small. Your odds of being a victim of a violent hate crime, even using Dr. Beirich’s “generous” statistics are infinitesimal.

Nobody should ever be the victim of a crime, especially a hate crime.

Bon voyage, Heidi. You will be missed.

“The SPLC is Lying to Us”

December 3, 2017

We came across this excellent YouTube video not long ago. The video’s creator, who identifies herself as Annette Rivers and an experienced fact checker, uses great imagery and well reasoned dialog to expose how the Southern Poverty Law Center (and by extension, other major Hate Industry players) manipulates the “facts” for fundraising purposes.

Ms. Rivers manages to sum up in nine minutes what we at Watching the Watchdogs have been trying to explain for nine years.

Thank you, Ms. Rivers, for showing us how fact checking should be done in the 21st century. Well done!

SPLC – 2011 – The Year in Hate that Wasn’t

January 3, 2012

The start of the new year presents an opportunity to look back on the good works of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which purports to “fight hate” in the U.S., for only $86,500 a day.

This claim, no doubt, is the main reason why hundreds of thousands of mostly elderly donors sent the SPLC more than $31 million donor-dollars in 2010. After all, who wouldn’t want to do their part to “fight hate”?

Perhaps the best place to begin would be with the SPLC’s own case docket, found on their own website. A quick glance at the docket shows 16 cases for 2011, almost equally divided between law suits filed against under-funded school districts and suits filed on behalf of immigrants and illegal aliens.

In one “case,” the SPLC threatened to sue a school district for disqualifying a high school Homecoming King and Queen because both students were female. The school backed down before the “case” went to court.

While some may argue that these cases are important too, it really does not require a multimillion dollar law firm to file these suits, and let’s face it… “fighting hate” this ain’t.

By its own accounting, the SPLC hasn’t sued a “hate group” in nearly five years, and has only done so three times since 2000. In each of these cases the modus operandi has been the same:

1. Local thugs commit a crime, usually assault, are arrested, tried and sentenced to prison.

2. The SPLC steps in with a civil law suit, ostensibly on behalf of the victims.

3. The SPLC’s fund-raising machinery goes into high gear, bombarding the donors and the media with grisly descriptions of the crime and pleading for more money to “fight hate.”

4. The court finds in favor of the victims, awarding astronomical damages that the defendants will never begin to pay, especially from prison.

5. The SPLC pockets millions of tax-free donor-dollars garnered at the expense of the victims, who, of course, do not receive a single dime from the SPLC’s windfall.

Following the docket back in time we see that the SPLC pursued about the same number of cases in 2010, but then the numbers drop dramatically to 5 or 6 cases a year from that point back. In the meantime, the SPLC claims that the number of “hate groups” more than doubled since the year 2000.

Considering the SPLC has taken in more than a third of a BILLION dollars in the same time span, it doesn’t look like the donors are getting much of a return on investment.

In addition to its case docket, the SPLC also keeps a running total of “hate incidents” on its website, going back to 2003.  One can even find a link to a downloadable spreadsheet of the “incidents.”

The header for the “hate incidents” page includes an interesting turn of phrase that equates these “incidents” with actual “hate crimes.”

Click image to enlarge

A closer look at the SPLC’s “data,” as usual, paints a very different story. First, note that the header states that the “incidents” are “drawn primarily from media sources.” This is because the SPLC does no original investigation of its own.

Since the media and law enforcement steadfastly refuse to examine any of the SPLC’s claims, this is not a problem for them.

As of this writing, data for only the first three quarters of 2011 was available on the SPLC web site, so let’s take a look at 2010, the last full year of reporting:

The SPLC reports 234 “hate incidents” for 2010, including arson, assault, harassment and murder, among other “incidents.”

Both of the “incidents” listed under “arson” are actually assaults, with no references to any fires set.

An “incident” where a black and an Asian man in Seattle nearly beat a 16 year-old white boy to death, because he was white, is listed under “vandalism.”

As it turns out, “vandalism” is the largest category of “incidents,” comprising 31% of the total. The majority of acts of vandalism involved graffiti.

Second to vandalism on the list is the category “legal developments,” coming in at 26% of the total. “Legal developments” consist entirely of follow-up reports on the charges, pleas and sentencing of people involved in previously listed “incidents.”

How in the world can these be counted as “hate incidents”??? This double-dipping serves only to pad out the numbers.

*** UPDATE *** The SPLC has released its full list of “hate incidents” for 2011, citing 112 “legal developments,” or an incredible 35% of the 312 “incidents” listed for the year.

This kind of fast and loose addition is the stock and trade of the SPLC’s public relations guru, Mark Potok. Potok makes up these numbers out of thin air and the media accepts and repeats them without vetting a single claim.

Two other categories of “incidents” making up 11% of the total, include “leafletting” and “rallies.” While the majority of people may or may not agree with the messages promoted by the participants, these are Constitutionally protected civil rights!!

An entry for a rally in Frankfort Township, Illinois, is listed twice, is just one of several examples where the same “incident” is reported more than once, just to pad out the totals.

Again, for the purposes of SPLC fund-raising, it really makes no difference what they write or how obvious it is that the numbers are meaningless.  NOBODY EVER VETS THESE NUMBERS!

The same well-meaning folks who sent the SPLC hundreds of millions of donor-dollars since 2000 will continue to do so in the belief that they are somehow “fighting hate.”

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