Laguna Niguel PATCH, December 13, 2016
by Ashley Ludwig, Patch Staff
LAGUNA NIGUEL, CA – A rash of 29 “hate incidents” and five “hate crimes” have been reported over the past month, including students chanting “Build a wall” at a janitor of Latino ethnicity, the Orange County Human Relations Commission reported Monday.
The “spate of hate” incidents has promoted the agency to launch a “Hate Free OC” campaign, officials said.
The commission faulted a year’s worth of “rhetoric vilifying segments of our country” that have “rubbed relationships between our diverse communities raw.”
The eruption of racially charged incidents targeted Latinos, Muslims, immigrants and others, the commission reported.
In one incident a man attempted to rip a hijab off the head of a Muslim woman at a gas station as he hollered at her.
A Korean-American church was vandalized this weekend with swastikas, and a week ago a Cota de Caza entry point was vandalized with epithets against blacks and gays, the commission reported.
The public education and awareness program, which will use the #HateFreeOC, will educate residents about hate crimes and how to report them and will offer conflict resolution and mediation resources, officials said.