November 14, 2008
Navarrette on the Killing of Marcello Lucero
As regular readers of the Immigrationprof Blog are aware, I do not always agree with Ruben Navarette Jr.'s columns. However, I wholeheartedly agree with his analysis of the horrible killing of Marcello Lucero in New York last weekend. Take a look.
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‘There are things that are so horrible that human beings should never become desensitized to them. Near the top of the list: when someone is killed because of his race, ethnicity, national origin or sexual orientation. That we cannot tolerate.’
Why are those reasons less tolerable than any other non-justifiable reason for killing? Why is the killing of a human being which can be categorized in certain ways, but not others, higher on the list or more punishable as a bias crime? Why is, e.g., gender not on the list? Disabled? A particular religion? A lack of religion? They keep crime statistics on all these. What about ‘Lookism’? Being beautiful? Being fat or ugly? Being short (was Randy Newman ginning their killing up—he said they got no reason to live)? Looking/being rich? Looking/being poor or homeless? Being a Democrat? Being a Republican? A LaRouche supporter? Should there be a difference in punishment between the homophobia motivated killing of a gay gay rights advocate vs. a non-gay gay rights advocate? What if you beat up a ‘metrosexual’ you know not to actually be gay but because you hate that he ‘acts gay’? How do you make distinctions without ultimately just being arbitrary?
‘Earlier this year, Barack Obama pointed to comments by radio and television hosts critical of immigration. "A certain segment has basically been feeding a kind of xenophobia," he told supporters at a Palm Beach, Florida, fundraiser, tying that sentiment to an increase in hate crimes against Hispanics.’
I remember that. Obama’s next two sentences were:
“There's a reason why hate crimes against Hispanic people doubled last year," Obama said. "If you have people like Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh ginning things up, it's not surprising that would happen."
The statistic was false. The Washington Post ‘Fact Checker’ gave him 4 Pinocchios writing:
‘Whatever you think about Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh, it is difficult to point to these trends as evidence that they are somehow responsible for a "doubling" in anti-immigrant hate crimes. It is also worth noting that hate crimes against Latinos are still only a fraction of hate crimes against African-Americans.’
‘In 2006, the last year for which statistics are available, Hispanics were -- according to the FBI -- the No. 1 victim of hate crimes motivated by ethnicity or national origin, representing 62.8 percent of the victims of such crimes.’
KJ also said on NPR that ‘61% of all hate crimes were directed at Latinos’.
No. 1 victim--to borrow the words of the Brookings Institution study, that sounds like a media narrative that conditions the public to associate racial/ethnic relations with crisis and Reuben has a particular ‘ethno-narrative’. The problem with Ruben’s alarm is the way in which FBI statistics are kept. ‘Anti-Hispanic’ statistics are kept in the ‘Ethnicity/National Origin’ category. There is no other specific ethnic or national origin group even counted, just ‘Other’.
A clearer picture is gained by looking at the total incident numbers relative to population. The Post’s claim that ‘hate crimes against Latinos are still only a fraction of hate crimes against African-Americans’ is true. There are more Hispanics than blacks but only 819 Hispanic victims vs. 3333 black victims. The FBI warns not to but if you're going to compare year to year, the % increase in crimes against blacks is also higher than the % increase against Hispanics. It is misleading for Ruben to single out Hispanics in light of this. Hispanics are also not 61% of all hate crimes as KJ said but with people like Ruben ginning things up, it's not surprising that KJ might think that.
A more eye-popping hate crime statistic than Anti-Black though is Anti-Male Homosexual—913 incidents, which is more than the 819 for Anti-Hispanic. Think about that in light of the fact that there are a LOT fewer gay men than Hispanics.
Posted by: Jack | Nov 15, 2008 2:32:15 AM
This is truly a tragedy.
And it never would have happened if Marcello had stayed in his own country and tried to make life better there and not come to the United States to sponge off an increasingly overflowing (citizen funded) diversity (LGBT), illegal-alien (Plyer) and victimhood (VAWA/U Visa) benefits rough.
The aggressors were defending their turf.
If the aggressors were Palestinians, they might even be heroes of the immigration professors blog!
Hey, maybe the aggressors were gang-members. Maybe the NLG could represent them pro-bono?
What's good for the goose is good for the gander!
Posted by: Thomas Lillich | Nov 15, 2008 2:45:05 PM