Today we partnered with the County of Orange for the release of the 2018 Hate Crime Report. For the fourth year in a row we saw an increase in both hate crimes and incidents in our county. I believe this rise in hate crime and hate incidents is partly a reflection of the divisions in our nation. We have increasingly dehumanized and degraded people who don’t look like us or share our values and viewpoints. When we stop seeing our fellow Americans as human it makes the leap to violence more likely. We have seen a growing number of examples of the deadly combination of hate and violence internationally and nationally, Christchurch and El Paso most notably, which have also highlighted the ease of access to hateful ideas online that may also promote and glorify violence.
There have been multiple incidents linked to high school students in Orange County this year that have shown that racism, anti-Semitism and bigotry are a part of our county. It’s time that we all make the effort to face this. When we acknowledge this is happening, we can work to understand who it impacts and how and then we can change it.
I hope we can all agree that behavior of this kind is not acceptable from anyone, at any place, at any time. Our county cannot thrive if we harbor and tolerate racism and white supremacy. The ability of our region to support families, provide good jobs and schools and safe neighborhoods will not withstand the exodus of people who are made to feel unwelcome. More importantly, our collective conscious calls on us to make sure that all people are safe and respected while in our home
At OC Human Relations, we believe that we can do better and fight to be more than the hate that swastikas and racial slurs bring to our home.
Two school districts are partnering with us to create their district-wide Human Relations Task Force that will promote safe and respectful schools for all.
Sixteen schools across the county are enrolled in our BRIDGES Program to train young leaders to work in diverse groups and fight things like bullying and bigotry on campus.
We train people to recognize and interrupt their own biases, to listen for understanding and dialogue with alienating others.
Every day people come to us to resolve conflict through a productive and civil process that empowers them to solve their own problems.
Good human relations is force against the isolation, segregation and fear that breed hate. With four years of rising hate crimes and an election year ahead this work is vital to your county.
You make the difference when you get involved in your school or city and ask leaders to take a stand against hate before it comes to town.
You make the difference when you contribute to the programs and organizations that fight hate and OC Human Relations would be honored to have your support.
For over 20 years, OC Human Relations has been collecting, tracking, reporting, and responding to hate crimes in Orange County. Our experts provide support for victims of hate crimes and trainings for community, educators, students, and law enforcement to increase the accuracy of reporting and decrease the number of hate-related crimes and incidents. To report a hate crime that has occurred in Orange County, or learn how to fight hate in OC, email Joyce Sanchez, [email protected], phone 714-480-6580 or click the link at the top of the page.
What Is A Hate Crime?
California Penal Code section 422.55, defines Hate Crime as being a criminal act committed, in whole or in part, because of one or more of the following actual or perceived characteristics of the victim: Disability, Gender, Nationality, Race or Ethnicity, Religion, Sexual Orientation, or association with a person or group of persons with one or more of the preceding actual or perceived characteristics. Examples – painting racist, homophobic and/or religious graffiti on private property; burning a cross on an individual’s lawn; an assault; a criminal threat of violence against an individual or group; attempted murder or murder.
A bias related incident is behavior that is motivated by hate or bias towards a person’s actual or perceived disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation but that is not criminal in nature. Typically these behaviors are protected by the First Amendment right to freedom of expression. If this type of activity escalates to threats being made or carried out against a person or property, or becomes an incitement to commit violence it would be classified as a hate crime. Examples – the distribution of non-threatening racist flyers in a public place; displaying non-threatening anti-gay or lesbian placards at a parade or funeral; writing a letter to the editor ridiculing people with disabilities; painting racist graffiti on a freeway overpass.
A hate crime or incident may have occurred if any of the following were present:
- There was a perception that the victim was targeted because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion etc.
- The perpetrator wrote or spoke in a manner that indicated bias.
- The date of the incident or crime coincides with a date that is of significance to the victim’s religion, nationality, ethnicity etc.
Need Support? Here’s some suggestions if you’ve been victimized.