As the 2012 presidential election campaign heats up, expect more violent rhetoric from the Republican party. The GOP continues to thrash about like a wounded animal as it refuses to come to grips with the fact that there is a black man in the “White” House; and the fact that the U.S. will have a minority-majority population in a matter of years. In the meantime, while GOP politicians continue to incite violence, immigrants remain the target of hate crimes.
It’s no secret that the country’s demographics are rapidly changing. And while the shift toward becoming browner and younger is certainly transforming the political landscape, civil rights advocates also believe that it’s creating a dangerous environment for communities of color who they say are becoming the nation’s easiest scapegoats for a lagging economy.
That reality can be seen clearly in in the increasing number of hate crimes. Racially motivated attacks reached a startling number last year, as hate crimes against Latinos in California increased by nearly 50 percent. According to a recently released report by the state attorney general’s office, hate crimes against Latinos jumped from 81 to 119 between 2009 and 2010.
Information on the national number of hate crimes in 2010 will not be available until November, however the new statistics from California suggest that despite a slight dip in reported hate crimes around 2008, attacks are once again on the rise. Between 2003 and 2007, anti-Latino hate crimes rose by 40 percent, but the FBI reported decreases for the following two years. While national reports aren’t always perfect indicators, California’s accuracy in its findings is considered better than most other states’.