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CSUSB professor writes on U.S. Supreme Court’s Bostock decision that protects LGBTQ employment
PA Times
Jan. 11, 2021

Ann M. Johnson, a CSUSB associate professor of management, wrote about the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock vs. Clayton County, Georgia, which safeguards most employees from sexual orientation and transgender status discrimination.

She wrote in the online publication for the American Society for Public Administration: “Now, as with other protected classes, Bostock shields LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in recruiting, applying, hiring, firing and promoting employees. Elected officials and governmental managers need to ensure compliance priority since the decision became effective July 10, 2020.”

Read the complete article at “Supreme Court’s Bostock decision protects LGBTQ employment.”

CSUSB professor among experts who say deadly siege at Capitol marks beginning of new era of violent extremism
Kansas City Star
Jan. 10, 2021

The deadly insurrection at the nation’s Capitol marks the start of a new era of violent extremism and should serve as a wakeup call to those who have ignored the warnings, some experts say, including Brian Levin, director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.

He said was not uncommon to see activity ramp up around an election.

“But because of the unusual drawn-out nature of this particular election and the way Trump has weaponized it, it’s actually extended through a season, with ebbs and flows,” he said. “We had this locomotive train of ideology and subcultures, some of which were really different — but they all were looking at things like a purge, a storm, a Civil War. And a lot of these folks really thought that the president was going to ultimately prevail.”

But as Trump began losing court challenges and his support from mainstream Republicans dwindled, things changed, Levin said.

“And the date and time for this particular battle in the Civil War became January 6.”

When Trump was elected, Levin said, the far-right movement was united behind his candidacy.

“We kind of saw them on a more organized dance card,” he said. “But then these larger groups fell apart. Their leadership was hobbled by lawsuits and doxxing and criminal prosecutions.”

And that led to what Levin called “elastic grievance movements,” such as those staging “open states” or “liberate” protests against government officials’ stay-at-home directives and mask orders issued during the coronavirus pandemic.

“These elastic grievance movements take in an array of ideologies and complaints, some of which are closer to the mainstream and others which are just lunatic, cultish and oftentimes bigoted conspiracies,” he said.

Read the complete article at “Deadly siege at Capitol marks beginning of new era of violent extremism, experts say.”

Biden ‘has to thread the needle’ as he heals the nation’s racial wounds, CSUSB professor says
The Washington Post
Jan. 11, 2021

For nearly two years, President-elect Joe Biden has sold himself to American voters as the man best able to heal a nation sundered by racism and partisan distrust. He has vowed to rein in police abuse, reform criminal sentencing and inject fresh resources into low-income communities battered by inequality.

But accomplishing these goals, never easy, has been made immeasurably more difficult by last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol, a stark display of White anger and violence. 

Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University in San Bernardino, cautioned that a legislative debate about the definition of domestic terrorism could prompt resistance from free-speech advocates and others concerned about broad new federal powers. Instead of getting bogged down in that debate, Levin said Biden should consider empowering the Justice Department to investigate far-right threats while investing in prevention strategies.

Even that approach could be hampered, Levin said, by the close relationship between the Republican Party and some extremist groups. Many members of the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol bore insignia of the conspiratorial QAnon movement, which has been embraced by at least two incoming Republican lawmakers.

Biden “has to thread the needle,” Levin said, and make sure that “conservative people of goodwill and career public servants” are in prominent positions in the Justice Department and other law enforcement agencies. In the Biden administration, he said, “the intelligence community has to be viewed as nonpartisan."

Read the complete article at “Biden vows to heal the nation’s racial wounds, but doing so will take more than words.”

Trump’s departure from office may not quell his most militant followers, CSUSB professor says
The Washington Post
Jan. 9, 2021

The attempted insurrection in Washington on Jan. 6 was, in effect, beta tested in a series of hostile demonstrations in the spring and summer, when a similar collection of President Donald Trump’s supporters and others rallied against coronavirus restrictions at statehouses around the country.

Trump may be leaving office soon, but his departure is unlikely to quell his most militant followers, one expert said. If anything, some actors in the loose universe of hate groups, conspiracy theorists and fringe movements that have coalesced around him could find new avenues for violence, according to Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University at San Bernardino. The risk could become more pronounced as they move off mainstream social media and onto “affinity-based” platforms such as Parler and Gab, he said.

“I think we’re in an insurgency now,” Levin told The Post. “We’ve got a whole bunch of people with an array of grievances and a whole lot of guns, who hang out together and in online taverns with similarly leaning peers.”

Read the complete article at “After trial runs at statehouses last year, the far-right’s violent tactics erupted at the Capitol.”

CSUSB professor discusses challenges facing social media companies as they moderate their platforms
Jan. 11, 2021

A commentary by Ian Sherr calling for social media companies to have their platforms moderated after Twitter and Facebook banned President Donald Trump over “weaponizing their influential social media platforms” included comments by said Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.

 "These people use coded language," Levin said. He tracked how the movements that sprung up to support Trump's calls to "liberate" states from coronavirus lockdowns in 2020 drew in conspiracy theorists, extremists and small-business owners afraid for their jobs.

"A lot of bears came to that honey," Levin said.

Read the complete article at “Trump showed Facebook, Twitter, YouTube can't moderate their platforms. We need change.”

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