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Increasing hate crimes pointed to an incident like the Buffalo, N.Y., mass shooting, CSUSB professor says
May 15, 2022
Warning signs in the form of increasing hate crimes pointed to an incident such the May 14 shooting in Buffalo, N.Y., that left 10 people dead, says Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. He called the surge in hate crimes targeting Blacks, Asians, Jews and others as "a fire season all year long."
An examination of hate crimes in major U.S. cities tracked by Levin's group and set to be published this year found a nearly 39% increase in such offenses from 2020 to 2021.
"Nearly every social science data marker is flashing an undeniable warning sign," Levin said of the volatile environment.
Though warnings have sounded for years, the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021, pushed law enforcement to confront dangerous social and political divisions that have widened for the past decade.
Read the complete article at “Buffalo attack highlights most lethal domestic threat: Racist, extremist violence.”
CSUSB professor comments on mass shooting in Buffalo, N.Y.
May 14, 2022
MSNBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin spoke to Professor Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, and MSNBC law enforcement analyst Jim Cavanaugh for segment about the May 14 shooting in Buffalo, N.Y., in which 10 people died. The shooting is being investigated as a racially motivated hate crime.
Read the complete article at “Gunman kills 10 in Buffalo, NY in ‘racially motivated hate crime.’”
There were warning signs pointing to a shooting such as the Buffalo, N.Y., incident, CSUSB professor says
May 16, 2022
Brian Levin, director of CSUSB’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, appeared on the 10 a.m. (Eastern time) newscast as part of the cable news network’s continuing coverage of the May 14 mass shooting in Buffalo, N.Y., that killed 10 people. The interview with Levin is after the “[10:05:05]” mark in the transcript.
“We have been warning Congress for years about this. And since 2018, white supremacists, far-right extremists have been the predominant number one fatal threat in the United States. We've said it again and again, even as it is a diversifying threat matrix,” Levin said. “There are several things. First of all, we saw most recently, if I could move to the most recent attack after the string of attacks that you mentioned, by the way, there was another soul that passed from El Paso the following year, so it ended up being 23. What we look at Cal State San Bernardino is trends. And not all trends go in lockstep, but what we saw starting about a decade ago were these manifesto killers.
“And what we have found is that social media, various data, has been a fertile, toxic, waste dump for this kind of stuff. But what was lacking was the breadth and high re-transmitter. And that's what we ended up having. So, we had a perfect storm of contributing factors,” he said. “Fast forward into 2020, social justice protests during June, and you covered them during June, what we found was when we went into the FBI data before going into our own data, June 2020 was the worst month for anti-black hate crimes. And 2020 itself, we saw the end of a decades-long decline in the proportion of African-Americans as hate crime victims. They've always been the number one target, but it was falling. That trajectory changed markedly in 2020 and -- yes.”
Read the complete transcript at “Transcripts, CNN Newsroom, May 16, 2022.”
Buffalo, N.Y., mass shooting part of ‘a horrifying, familiar, tragic pattern,’ CSUSB professor says
May 15, 2022
Brian Levin, director of CSUSB’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, appeared on the 5 p.m. (Eastern time) May 15, 2022, newscast to discuss the mass shooting in Buffalo, N.Y., that left 10 people dead on May 14. Authorities are investigating the incident as a racially motivated hate crime. The segment with Levin starts after the “[05:30:00]” mark in the transcript.
“It is a horrifying, familiar, tragic pattern. We had testified before Congress about this kind of risk going back for many years,” Levin said. “Indeed, last year before the Senate, I said the most prominent extremist fatal threat today in the U.S. are white supremacists and far right extremists. Unfortunately, we had this chain, with many young people posting manifestos.
“And that's what happened in this case. It is very similar, along with instructions for would-be extremists down the line. These are folks in a vertical chain as opposed to the traditional horizontal chain, where people are operating contemporaneously in a formalized group at the same time. Now we seeing this chain, where one killer terrorist inspired another white supremacist killer. This is around the world, it is a transnational movement.”
In response to a question about how “replacement theory,” the extremist idea that whites are being “replaced” by people of color, played into the shooter’s motivation, Levin said, “Our recent study shows not only in 2020 did we have the worst month ever for anti-Black hate crime, it went longer and it was associated with the social justice protests.
“Then it is mutable through a variety of theories and conspiracies and scapegoating, and the latest one involves immigrants. This is a combination, if you will. And it is adaptable to whatever country you are in,” he said. “So whatever immigrant or minority is in that country, this replacement doctrine fits. And it came at a time of escalating anti-Black hate crime, as you said, what we saw was African Americans were associated with socialists and destroying cities, even though 95 percent of the protests were peaceful. Then African Americans stole the election and now that theory, that was the funnel on top of these white supremacists, looking at these demographic changes as what they call siren calls. It has been going on for years, but it's accelerated most recently.”
Read the complete transcript at “Transcripts, CNN Newsroom, May 15, 2022.”
Buffalo, N.Y., mass shooting ‘an extension and return to mass acts of violence’ by racist extremists, CSUSB professor says
Los Angeles Times
May 15, 2022
Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, was interviewed in the aftermath of the May 14 Buffalo, N.Y., mass shooting that left 10 people dead. Authorities are investigating the incident as a racially motivated hate crime. White supremacist and far-right killers have dominated the extremist homicide totals since 2018, said Levin. Over the last two years, there was a historic upward shift overall in the frequency of anti-Black hate crime across the U.S., Levin said.
“We saw a concerning historic inflectional spike in anti-Black hate crime and online invective in 2020 and 2021 with increased violence, but without the kind of multi-fatality attacks that previously accompanied such spikes, until now,” Levin said. “This shooting is an extension and return to mass acts of violence.”
The lull in hate-driven mass shootings was partly because the pandemic shut down schools, malls and places where crowds of people congregated, Levin said. But also because federal law enforcement paid closer attention to extremists on online apps such as Telegram after the El Paso shooting in 2019, said Michael Edison Hayden, senior investigative reporter with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project.
Read the complete article at “A new generation of white supremacist killer: shedding blood with internet winks, memes and livestreams.”
CSUSB professor discusses possible motivation behind Buffalo, N.Y., mass shooting
KNX Radio Los Angeles
May 15, 2022
A segment on the newscast’s continuing coverage of the May 14 mass shooting in Buffalo, N.Y., included an interview with Brian Levin, director of CSUSB’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. He discussed how the shooter may have become radicalized online by following white supremacists who perpetrated mass shootings in the past, left manifestos online and livestreamed their crimes. The common thread among them, Levin said, was the citing of the “replacement theory,” a conspiracy theory that alleges that white people are being replaced by people of color in the U.S.
U.S. big city hate crimes spiked by 39% in 2021, CSUSB center report finds
May 14, 2022
Preliminary data from more than three dozen U.S. police departments indicate a double-digit spike in hate crimes last year and a continued rise into 2022, with incidents targeting Asian and Jewish Americans accounting for the bulk of the increase. On average, bias-motivated incidents in 37 major U.S. cities increased by nearly 39%, with the 10 largest metropolitan areas reporting a record increase of 54.5%, according to an analysis of national police data compiled by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.
Brian Levin, executive director of the center, said the uptrend in hate crime extended into the first quarter of 2022 with bias incidents rising by an average of 30% in 15 large cities and is likely to continue.
“Historically, in midterm election years, hate crimes almost always peak, or come close to peaking much later in the year – often in September and October, with the first quarter usually significantly lower than the rest of the year,” Levin said. “This suggests a turbulent year-end 2022 may be ahead.”
The article was published on May 14, 2022, before the mass shooting in Buffalo, N.Y., later that day.
Read the complete article at “US big city hate crimes spiked by 39% in 2021, report finds.”
CSUSB center’s study on anti-Asian hate crimes cited in report of attack on Dallas hair salon
The Dallas Morning News
May 14, 2022
CSUSB’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism was cited in a report about a shooting that injured three women of Korean descent at a northwest Dallas hair salon. The incident may have been a hate crime, police Chief Eddie García said Friday. García, who initially ruled out hate as a factor in the shooting, said the incident may be connected to at least two other recent shootings that have targeted the Asian American community in Dallas.
According to a survey of major U.S. metropolitan police departments, there was a 189% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in the first quarter of 2021 compared with the same period a year earlier, testified Brian Levin, director for the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University in San Bernardino, before a U.S. Senate committee In August.
Read the complete article at “Salon shooting one of many attacks against Asian Americans during pandemic.”
Axios also mentioned the report in its coverage, “Dallas shooting at Korean hair salon investigated as hate crime,” on May 16, 2022.
These news clips and others may be viewed at “In the Headlines.”