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To Address Rising Hate, More Focus on Prevention and Crime It Triggers

According to the FBI, over 10,000 people nationally reported to law enforcement in 2021 that they were victims of hate crimes because of their race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, religion or disability. Hate is on the rise in California. For example, there was a 6% increase in hate crimes and hate incidents in Orange County from 2020 to last year.

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Hate crimes against Blacks were the most prevalent, according to the state report. There were 513 crimes committed against Blacks in 2021, 13% more than the 456 in 2020. Overall, there were 1,763 crimes reported in 2021. Crimes spurred by sexual orientation bias jumped from 205 in 2020 to 303 in 2021.
Hate crimes against Blacks were the most prevalent, according to the state report. There were 513 crimes committed against Blacks in 2021, 13% more than the 456 in 2020. Overall, there were 1,763 crimes reported in 2021. Crimes spurred by sexual orientation bias jumped from 205 in 2020 to 303 in 2021.

By McKenzie Jackson | California Black Media

Although Black people are still primary victims of hate crimes and hate speech, hate speech of any kind is hurtful at the least and condones activity that can be dangerous.

Last month, two Black icons engaged in what was considered hateful speech.

Hip hop icon and fashion designer Kanye West wore a black, long-sleeved shirt with “WHITE LIVES MATTER” emblazoned on the backside in white block letters at his Yeezy fashion show in Paris on October 3, kicking off a national conversation on racism that intensified four days later when West broadcast on Twitter that he was going to go “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE” in a since-deleted tweet.

Then, on October 27, NBA player Kyrie Irving posted a link on Twitter to the 2018 film “Hebrew to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” and shared a screenshot on Instagram of the film’s rental page on Amazon.

The film, directed by Ronald Dalton Jr., who also wrote a 2014 book under the same name, contains antisemitic tropes disparaging Jewish people.  The film also claims the Holocaust never happened.

For both men, the national outcry led to swift censure.

West, who changed his legal name to Ye, was barred from Twitter and Instagram and lost his partnership with Adidas. He reluctantly apologized on October 19.

Irving was suspended for several games by the Brooklyn Nets for refusing to say he has no antisemitic beliefs and Nike suspended his shoe contract. Irving has apologized for his social media actions, and discussions on biased hate in the U.S. have been heightened.

Los Angeles Lakers star Lebron James said on November 6 that Irving was in the wrong.

“Me, personally, I don’t condone any hate of any kind,” James told the media. “To any race. To Jewish communities, to Black communities, to Asian communities.”

According to the FBI, over 10,000 people nationally reported to law enforcement in 2021 that they were victims of hate crimes because of their race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, religion or disability.

Hate is on the rise in California. For example, there was a 6% increase in hate crimes and hate incidents in Orange County from 2020 to last year.

Of the 398 bias-motived activities, Black people were the target of 25 incidents and 16 crimes, according to the “2021 Orange County Hate Crimes Report” released by Orange County Human Relations Council on September 15.

Don Han, the Council’s director of operations, said the trend is concerning.

“Orange County has 2% African Americans in the demographic, so a very small percentage, but in terms of hate crimes they are within the top three,” Han said. “That speaks volumes for us, and that is something very intentional for us in how we support the community here in Orange County, so that people can feel that they belong.”

A hate incident is an action or behavior motivated by hate but legally protected by the First Amendment right to freedom of expression. A hate crime is an illegal action committed against an individual, group, or property motivated by the victim’s real or perceived protected social group.

Overall, there were 97 documented hate crimes in Orange County and 301 reported hate incidents a year ago. A large swath of the incidents in 2021 — 153, a 164% increase from 2020 — were against Asian/Pacific Islanders. Sixteen crimes were committed against gay men, while 26 of the crimes had an unknown bias.

The rise in hate crimes and incidents in the Southern California county is part of a broader pattern around the Golden State.

A report released by California Attorney General Rob Bonta in June revealed hate crimes inspired by racism and homophobia resulted in a 33% uptick in reported incidents in the state in 2021.

Hate crimes against Blacks were the most prevalent, according to the state report. There were 513 crimes committed against Blacks in 2021, 13% more than the 456 in 2020. Overall, there were 1,763 crimes reported in 2021. Crimes spurred by sexual orientation bias jumped from 205 in 2020 to 303 in 2021.

Crimes involving religion bias increased from 180 in 2020 to 218 last year. Crimes involving a gender bias decreased to 54 in 2021 from 62 in 2020.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 2282, meant to crack down on hate crimes and protect minority communities in California, on September 18. The bill equalizes and strengthens penalties for using hate symbols and bolsters security for targeted religious and community-based nonprofits.

“California will not tolerate violence terrorizing any of our communities, and this measure updates state law to punish the use of universally recognized symbols of hate equally and to the fullest extent of the law,” Newsom said. “California will continue to lead the fight to stamp out hate and defend those under attack for who they are, how they identify, or what they believe in.”

The legislation brings parity to penalties for burning crosses and using swastikas and nooses. Using a noose as a hate symbol currently has the lightest penalty of the three while cross-burning is the most highly penalized. People who use any of the three symbols of hate will be subject to the strongest of these criminal penalties under the signed bill.

Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda), AB 2282’s author, said hate symbols are violent and terrifying.

“With hate crimes increasing across the state, it is critical to recognize the power and destructiveness of these symbols, and restrict their use equally,” she said.

On August 21 Krishnan Jayaraman, who is Indian, was in a Taco Bell in Fremont when Singh Tejinder hurled anti-Hindu comments and racists slurs at him. Tejinder used the N-word several times, called Jayaraman a “dirty Hindu,” and seemingly twice spit at Jayaraman.

Tejinder, who is Asian/Indian, was charged by Fremont police with a hate crime in violation of civil rights, assault and disturbing the peace by offensive language.

Han of the OC Human Relations Council said his group attempts to prevent hate activities in the county by organizing educational programs with schools and other organizations.

“We work with different communities on hate crime prevention and on how to report a hate crime and hate incidents,” he said. “We work with law enforcement. If they are responding to a hate crime, and the victim speaks a language other than English, we are able to connect them with organizations that we partner with to make communication possible.”

Reena Hajat Carroll, executive director of the California Conference for Equality and Justice (CCEJ) in Long Beach, said racism and bigotry are big problems in California.

CCEJ battles prejudice via workshops and trainings in schools, and with its restorative youth diversion program, meant to be an alternative to the juvenile justice system.

“CCEJ’s work with young people is key,” said Carroll. “It creates a generation of people who know how important it is for us all to fight bias, bigotry, and racism. No matter what age, no matter what race, etc. We have to all be in this together because the problem is too pervasive.”

Han said the best way to prevent hate activities is education and for to people get to know each other.

“We have created a safe space to have conversations, so hopefully those conversations will create common ground,” he said. “If you know someone as a person or another human being, when you truly know me and we know each other, it’s harder to have bias-motivated feelings.”

For more information on hate crimes and resources victims, visit https://oag.ca.gov/hatecrimes.

This report was supported in whole or in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library.

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Activism

Tiny Homes Offer Hope for Holidays and Beyond

We are accepting applications for volunteers and accepting donations that we can use to build Tiny Homes. You might have things in your house or garage you haven’t used or extra construction tools, a bag of stud nails, used doors, windows, roofing materials, lumber, metal, hardwood flooring, sheetrock tape, paints, and anything that we can recycle to build and add to our Tiny Homes. 

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As chief operations officer for The Tiny Homes Project, I join Lackey in expressing gratitude for the support that the Oakland Post, as our media partner, has helped us with in gathering community and faith-based leaders to help solve our increasing homeless problem in the Bay Area. We can no longer ignore homelessness in Oakland, which has now reached a humanitarian crisis.
As chief operations officer for The Tiny Homes Project, I join Lackey in expressing gratitude for the support that the Oakland Post, as our media partner, has helped us with in gathering community and faith-based leaders to help solve our increasing homeless problem in the Bay Area. We can no longer ignore homelessness in Oakland, which has now reached a humanitarian crisis.

By Dr. Maritony A. Yamot and Rev. Ken Lackey

The holidays are the season when we stop and begin to think, “How can I give back this year and what are some different ways to help out?”

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to help out during the holidays that don’t cost a thing. The Tiny Homes Project — with Rev. Ken Lackey of the Center for the Perfect Marriage Church at 6101 International Blvd. — needs to increase its capacity and we wanted to remind our community that everybody matters to God.

As chief operations officer for The Tiny Homes Project, I join Lackey in expressing gratitude for the support that the Oakland Post, as our media partner, has helped us with in gathering community and faith-based leaders to help solve our increasing homeless problem in the Bay Area. We can no longer ignore homelessness in Oakland, which has now reached a humanitarian crisis.

We want to launch an intensive month-long generosity campaign to help the increasing homeless issues in our neighborhoods by adding to the number of tiny homes that we have already built at various private locations in Oakland.

We invite you to join us as we partner with some of Oakland’s fabulous nonprofit organizations to meet critical needs in our communities.

Whether through donation or action, there are plenty of opportunities to give.

We are accepting applications for volunteers and accepting donations that we can use to build Tiny Homes. You might have things in your house or garage you haven’t used or extra construction tools, a bag of stud nails, used doors, windows, roofing materials, lumber, metal, hardwood flooring, sheetrock tape, paints, and anything that we can recycle to build and add to our Tiny Homes.

We are also looking for vehicle donations of trailers or any truck for hauling material and picking up volunteers and homeless people that are helping to build Tiny Homes. We build our homes with primarily donated and surplus materials, allowing us to cut costs and provide a pleasant home for under $40,000.

Each and every person who wants to help out and eradicate the homeless problem in the City of Oakland can donate funds for us to build a Tiny Home. If donors want to give money to the ministry, we will build a tiny home and name it after them. Know that your donations will be able to take a whole family off the street during this cold season.

In addition, we are open to getting a sponsor or sponsors for an entire Tiny Homes Community Park and we have a separate location that will be designated for homeless veterans, the elderly, single mothers or single fathers, and any individual or family who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, such as those living in emergency shelters, transitional housing, places not meant for habitation, or sleeping on our streets.

Please spread the word and contact us about any way you can help our Tiny Homes Community Project with Rev. Ken Lackey.

There are three ways to contact us

  1. By Phone/toll-free number: 1-833-233-8900 ext. 1
  2. By Email: TinyHomesC@gmail.com
  3. By Appointment/Donation Drop off location at the All About Grits Restaurant at 6101 International Blvd., Oakland, CA

Or you can attend our next two major events:

  1. Tiny Homes Fundraising Event on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. Place to be announced.
  2. Tiny Homes Community Building Workshop with the help of our community and local partners in the Bay Area. Date and place to be announced.

Contact us for more details of these two events or any ways you can help in this season.

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Activism

Faith Baptist Church Becomes Oakland’s First Official Resiliency Hub

Faith Baptist Church was the recipient of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Green Legacy Award. Faith was chosen out of a pool of dozens of applicants for the award. The key differentiator was the Solar Battery Storage project. With that, Faith Baptist has the ability to totally exit the PG&E grid and generate 100% energy from its solar panels. That makes Faith Baptist a potential energy distributor.

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As members of the community that comprise Faith Baptist Church look on, California Interfaith Power and Light Executive Director Susan Stephenson, left (in white jacket), hands scissors to the eldest member of Faith Baptist for the ribbon cutting on Nov. 14 while Pastor Curtis Robinson stands just behind him. Also pictured are District 1 Councilmember Dan Kalb (white hair, white shirt) and to his right (multi-colored top) is Shayna Hirschfield-Gold, Oakland’s Climate Program manager. Photo courtesy of Faith Baptist Church and California Interfaith Power and Light.
As members of the community that comprise Faith Baptist Church look on, California Interfaith Power and Light Executive Director Susan Stephenson, left (in white jacket), hands scissors to the eldest member of Faith Baptist for the ribbon cutting on Nov. 14 while Pastor Curtis Robinson stands just behind him. Also pictured are District 1 Councilmember Dan Kalb (white hair, white shirt) and to his right (multi-colored top) is Shayna Hirschfield-Gold, Oakland’s Climate Program manager. Photo courtesy of Faith Baptist Church and California Interfaith Power and Light.

By Curtis O. Robinson, Sr., M.A., Harvard University fellow, ’19, Senior Pastor, Faith Baptist Church

So, when I say that Faith Baptist is Oakland’s first Resiliency Hub, the first question that many people ask is, “what is a resiliency hub?”

In an article from the Christian Science Monitor entitled “Resilience hubs: A new approach to crisis response,” the author writes, “Things that shock a community have to do with climate, but more urgently they have to do with systemic inequities.”

He was referring to police shootings, civic unrest, the growth of homeless encampments and more. The resiliency hub approach to these inequities uses a respected local organization, such as a church or community center, and bolsters it to help neighborhoods prepare for crises — hurricanes, heat waves, pandemics or unrest — and to respond and recover from them.

When Faith was approached with the idea of solar panels for its rooftop as a source of heat, the decision was relatively a no-brainer.

As a House of Worship, there is a collective emphasis on the workings of God in the universe. The first job that God gave humanity was to tend the Garden. When it comes to environmental justice, our goal then is to take care of this place called planet Earth.

The world is now in an environmental tailspin. However, with technology that teaches us how to create sustainable outcomes, sprinkled with common sense, we can achieve an environmental balance that can create safe spaces environmentally for our children and for our future.

Faith Baptist Church was the recipient of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Green Legacy Award. Faith was chosen out of a pool of dozens of applicants for the award. The key differentiator was the Solar Battery Storage project.

With that, Faith Baptist has the ability to totally exit the PG&E grid and generate 100% energy from its solar panels. That makes Faith Baptist a potential energy distributor.

With the help of California Interfaith Power and Light and energy experts from the U.S. Green Building Council, we held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov. 14.

Joining us, among others, were Susan Stephenson, executive director of California Interfaith Power and Light, Oakland City Councilman Dan Kalb of District 1, Shayna Hirschfield- Gold, Oakland’s Climate Program manager and members of Faith Baptist and the Pentecostal community that shares our space and Green Building volunteers.

We bask in the glory of energy independence, because we now tap into clean energy from above and not dirty energy from below.

Publisher’s note: Rev Curtis Robinson also is a columnist for the God on Wall Street column for the Post News Group.

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Activism

March Against Fear: When ‘Black Power’ Became Mainstream

What began as a solitary peaceful protest for voter registration became one of the South’s most important demonstrations of the civil rights movement. Leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Carmichael formed unlikely alliances that resulted in the Black Power movement. This ushered in a new era in the fight for equality.

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James Meredith walking on the campus of the University of Mississippi, accompanied by U.S. marshals. (Photo: Marion S. Trikosko, the United States Library of Congress.)
James Meredith walking on the campus of the University of Mississippi, accompanied by U.S. marshals. (Photo: Marion S. Trikosko, the United States Library of Congress.)

By Tamara Shiloh

It was June 5, 1966.

James Howard Meredith (born 1933), on a mission to encourage Black voter registration and defy entrenched racism in the South, set out on a solitary walk from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi.

On the second day of his journey, Aubrey Norvell, a white gunman, waited on a roadside a few miles south of Hernando, Mississippi. He ambushed Meredith, shooting him in the neck, head, and back.

Within 24 hours, the nation’s three principal civil rights organizations vowed to continue the march: the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Congress of Racial Equality, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

Success of the event could not be predicted. Leaders were aware that last-minute planning of a march could be dangerous, and the route chosen was not without uncertainty. The three-week march led to death threats, arrests, and the use of tear gas. Internal tensions surrounding leadership swelled and use of the slogan “Black Power” became a revolutionary phrase urging self-determination and Black pride.

The Deacons for Defense and Justice, a group of Black veterans from World War II who believed in armed self-defense, provided protection for participants. Founded in Jonesboro, La., in 1964, The Deacons for Defense had already protected civil rights activists from the Ku Klux Klan. About 20 chapters were created throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

The march ended on June 22, 1966. Meredith, sufficiently recovered, had been able to rejoin the event. Participants supporting Meredith along the way joined in, making the total number of marchers arriving in Jackson about 15,000. The March Against Fear was one of the largest marches in history for that geographical area. It was during the post-march rally that Stokely Carmichael first used the phrase “we want Black Power” during a public speech.

Carmichael sought to define the quest for Black Power in constructive terms, explaining to supporters in Detroit that “Black votes created Black Power…That doesn’t mean that we are anti-white. We are just developing Black pride.”

Meredith had become well known when he successfully challenged the Kennedy administration to protect his civil rights. His application for admission to the University of Mississippi, dubbed Ole Miss, had been twice denied. With backing from the NAACP, he filed suit for racial discrimination.

After heavy negotiations with U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Meredith was permitted to enroll at Ole Miss but only under escort of federal troops. He graduated in 1963 with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

What began as a solitary peaceful protest for voter registration became one of the South’s most important demonstrations of the civil rights movement. Leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Carmichael formed unlikely alliances that resulted in the Black Power movement. This ushered in a new era in the fight for equality.

Understand the complex issues of fear, injustice, and the challenges of change in Anne Bausum’s “The March Against Fear: The Last Great Walk of the Civil Rights Movement and the Emergence of Black Power.”

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