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Faculty in the News, April 29, 2019

NOTE: Faculty, if you are interviewed and quoted by news media, or if your work has been cited, and you have an online link to the article or video, please let us know. Contact us at news@csusb.edu.    

School districts must look inward for strategies to prevent campus shootings, CSUSB professor writes
The Desert Sun
Apr. 26, 2019
A CSUSB professor co-wrote an op-ed that called on school districts to develop strategies that integrates all the components of school safety within a facilitated self-assessment.
“We call on school districts to accept this challenge, the first step of which is to accept full responsibility for the safety of our children and for putting in place a candid process of self-assessments that will be at least as effective as the systems for preventing terrorism and coal mine disasters,” wrote Thomas G. McWeeney, associate director of the Research Institute for Public Management and Governance, Department of Public Administration, California State University, San Bernardino, and Mark Harrington, professor of criminology at George Mason University in Virginia.
“Like many contemporary matters, the overwhelming media response to school shootings often engenders a debate about alternative policies, which in turn evolves into a political debate in which winning and losing take center stage. As the politicians and the media become engaged, the devastation associated with the repeated massacre our children — and the priority to definitively address it — seems to fade, leaving too many of our schools vulnerable,” they wrote in the introduction.  
Read the complete article at “School districts must look inward for strategies to prevent campus shootings.”

​​​​​​Violent white nationalists are inspiring each other, CSUSB professor says
The Daily Kos
April 29, 2019
Brian Levin of the Center for the Study of Extremism and Hate at California State University, San Bernardino, was interviewed for an article about the content of a manifesto left by the suspected shooter in the Poway synagogue attack on April 27.
Levin says the newer dynamic in the manifesto replicates the content, but everything happens with much greater speed.
“In pre-Internet days, the violent extremist act itself of neo-Nazis and white supremacists was considered messaging and labeled ‘propaganda of the deed,’” he told Daily Kos. 
“Today, sociopaths, particularly ideological ones, are seeing social media not just as a radicalizing and messaging tool, but also as an archive of a folkloric warrior narrative,” he continued. “Once they too act out, they have a link to notorious killers of the past, where their new manifestos are inscribed in a continuing perverse online subculture of scripted violence.”
Read the complete article at “The new age of chain terrorism: White far-right killers are inspiring each other sequentially.”

​​​​​​CSUSB professor discusses increase in hate crimes and anti-Semitic incidents
KPCC Radio/NPR (Pasadena)
April 29, 2019
As part of its coverage of the Poway synagogue shooting, the public radio station aired an interview with Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Extremism and Hate at Cal State San Bernardino, about the increase in hate crimes, including anti-Semitic incidents.
Religious-based hate crime have been on the rise in the last three years, Levin said. The center tracks such incidents.
“Los Angeles hit a decade-high for hate crime in 2018, including a rise in anti-Semitic cases,” Levin said. And as bigoted language rises on the internet, so do targeted acts of violence. And self-radicalization online is particularly prevalent among young people who are socially isolated.
Listen to the segment at KPCC-FM (Radio).

​​​​​​Increase of lone, extremist assailants appears to be on the increase, CSUSB professor says
KNX Radio (Los Angeles)
April 29, 2019
New hate crime statistics to be released this week will show a “drastic increase” in such incidents, the news radio station reported, citing a new report from Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.
“One of the interesting things we’re seeing are lone, extremist assailants targeting houses of worship,” said Brian Levin, director of the center. “We’ve already seen for times since 1992, when the FBI found religion-based hate crimes 20 percent or more of all hate crimes. And three of those years were the last three years.
Segments were aired throughout the day.
Listen to the segment at KNX-AM (Radio).

​​​​​​Radicalization of white nationalists can be contained, CSUSB professor says
FOX 11/KTTV Los Angeles
April 28, 2019
Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Extremism and Hate at Cal State San Bernardino, was interviewed for a segment on the Poway synagogue attack on April 27.
“I don’t think we can stop this trend, but I do think we can contain it,” Levin said. “We can hold social media companies accountable for what they have on their sites. If they can get rid of groups like ISIS, they can get rid of violent, white nationalists. However, we’re seeing a migration of these extremists off these larger platforms to small part of the funnel to these fragmented platforms.”
View the segment at  KTTV-LA (FOX) - FOX 11 Ten O'Clock News Weekend.

​​​​​​Religious-based hate crimes saw three consecutive years of exceeding 20 percent of all hate crimes, CSUSB professor says
Los Angeles Times
April 28, 2019
For weeks, John T. Earnest allegedly planned his attack on the Poway synagogue, inspired by the horrific acts that preceded him — mass shootings at a synagogue in Pittsburgh and at two mosques in New Zealand.
On Saturday, the last day of Passover, police said the 19-year-old stepped into the Chabad of Poway armed with a semi-automatic rifle and opened fire. Authorities say Earnest is suspected of killing one person and injuring three others in the synagogue, which was founded in 1986 in the suburban community about 20 miles north of San Diego.
The suspect left behind a manifesto in which he explained the motivation for his actions.
Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino, said that since 1992 there have only been four years in which hate crimes against a religion exceeded 20 percent of all hate crimes. Three of those four years were recent: 2015, 2016 and 2017, he said.
Until recently, Levin said, such large-scale attacks were passed on through “propaganda of the deed” — an act in which the violence itself serves as a siren call for more violence.
“Now we are seeing a propaganda of the deed 2.0, where violent assailants want to commit acts, but also publicize it themselves,” he said, referring to the act of streaming shooting such as the New Zealand terrorist attack. “It’s a chain, almost like fan club of like-minded violent people.”
Read the complete article at “Poway synagogue shooting suspect linked to anti-Semitic internet manifesto.”

​​​​​​Anti-Semites and white nationalists are more emboldened to act, CSUSB professor says
Los Angeles Times
April 27, 2019
Jaweed Kaleem’s report in the aftermath of the Poway synagogue shooting included a comment from Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino.
“We’re not necessarily seeing a historic rise in anti-Semitism when you zoom out,” said Levin. “But the anti-Semites and white supremacists are more emboldened.”
Hate crimes targeting Jews peaked at 1,013 in 2008 and declined to a low of 609 in 2014. The total increased the next year to 664 and again in 2016 to 684. The FBI’s latest report on hate crimes was released last year and found 938 crimes against Jewish people in 2017, a 37% increase. Numbers for 2018 are expected to be released this fall.
Most anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. do not happen at large events or through deadly violence.
Last year, the Anti-Defamation League reported that “4.2 million anti-Semitic tweets were shared or re-shared in English on Twitter” over a yearlong period ending in January 2018.
“A lot of anti-Semitism has now gone from public spaces to virtual spaces,” Levin said. “We have a fragmentation of hate groups. We now have loners, autonomous actors and small local groups filling the gap where the largest groups had previously exerted some kind of prominence. Not anymore.”
The article was originally published Oct. 30, 2018, after the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh. It was updated after Saturday’s Chabad of Poway shooting.
Read the complete article at “Poway synagogue shooting is the latest in a trend of anti-Semitic incidents.”

Chicago rally used by white nationalist groups to recruit more followers, CSUSB professor says
Chicago Sun Times
April 27, 2019
When several members of groups with ties to white nationalists showed up at a rally criticizing Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, it represented the latest attempt by the groups to raise their profile in Chicago. The April 1 rally was organized by the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police.
While the police union denied any knowledge the groups would be at the rally, Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, said the event offered group members a chance to be seen at a more “mainstream” event.
The rally came after Foxx’s office’s controversial decision to drop charges against actor Jussie Smollett for allegedly faking a hate crime.
“It represents a significant recruiting opportunity,” said Levin, who two decades ago helped write the hate crime manual used by Cook County prosecutors. “They can ensconce themselves into rallies that are already highly charged and actually get coverage as opposed to doing it themselves.”
 Levin said he tallied 22 hate killings in the United States in 2018 that were “ideologically motivated.”
Locally, Levin said there were 77 hate crimes reported in Chicago in 2018, marking a 26 percent increase from the previous year and a single-year high for the past decade, citing data collected from police. Levin believes authorities aren’t doing enough to track and monitor groups aligned with white nationalism.
Read the complete article at “How groups tied to white nationalists are targeting Chicago and Kim Foxx.”

Quirk in Oregon hate crime law discussed by CSUSB criminal justice professor
VIP Portal
April 26, 2019
Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, was interviewed for an article about a quirk in Oregon’s hate crime law: someone can be subjected to a lesser penalty on anyone who commits a hate crime alone rather than with an accomplice.
Levin said he was not aware of any other state with a similarly worded hate crimes law. But he said states across the country are re-examining their statutes as an increase in hate crimes is reported nationwide.
“What we’re seeing now, in particular because this is a time that there is an issue with federal enforcement of states’ civil rights laws, is a renewed effort across the United States to bring some of the antiquated hate crimes laws up to modern times,” Levin said.
The number of hate crimes reported in Oregon increased 40 percent from 2016 to 2017, F.B.I. data showed, although half of the 2017 cases were in Eugene, a city of 170,000 that has focused on improving the reporting of hate crimes.
Levin said the Oregon law mirrored the wording of the earliest criminal civil rights laws, which were passed right after the Civil War, when racial terrorism was being committed by Klansmen and local authorities.
 “It reflects a bit of a bygone era,” Levin said, “when hate violence was thought to be orchestrated by organized groups.”
Read the complete article at “In Oregon, a murder conviction adds to calls for tougher hate crime punishments.”

CSUSB professor interviewed for article about planned white nationalist rally in Long Beach
Long Beach Post
April 28, 2019
With posters held high above their heads calling for a hate-free Long Beach, hundreds of people gathered at Bluff Park Sunday morning with one message: white nationalists are not welcome in this city. They carried signs saying “Unite to smash white supremacy,” while they shouted “racists out; immigrants in,” or “hate free LBC.”
But the planned rally by the white nationalist group United Patriot National Front, publicized on social media, did not materialize.
Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino, said such political rallies have been diminishing, despite a doubling of violent demonstrations between 2016 and 2017 (the year the Berkeley and Charlottesville clashes took place).
Statistics show Long Beach had an uptick in hate crimes that year as well, going from 10 in 2016 to 17 the following year.
Organizers of similar rallies are now shifting their approach to in-person or online contacts, Levin said, due to being attacked or having their personal details revealed.
When rallies do take place, they’re usually organized by people who live outside the cities where they are planned and the groups themselves try to brand themselves with Christian or patriotic names.
“A lot of those groups are trying to sugarcoat white nationalism under the guise of conservatism to get the mainstream on board, but it’s not working,” Levin said.
White nationalists are people who believe America should be a Eurocentric country demographically, according to Levin. He said far-right groups are not conservative people of goodwill but those defined by racial favoritism as well as a “rejection of the traditional balances that we’ve seen in politics.”
“White nationalism is now a coalesced sociopolitical movement and international one at that,” Levin said, pointing to statistics that show double-digit increases in the amount of white-nationalism rallies in Europe.
In the U.S., a total of 9% of participants in a 2017 ABC/Washington Post poll believed holding neo-Nazi or white supremacist views was acceptable.
“We’re not only more polarized than we’ve been in decades but we’ve been entrenched,” Levin said.
Levin said his center supports free speech— “even ignorant and bigoted speech”—but he also has advice for the general public when rallies like these take place: “Stay the heck home!”
Read the complete article at “White nationalist rally doesn’t materialize as counter-protestors fill Bluff Park.”

These news clips and others may be viewed at “In the Headlines” at inside.csusb.edu.

TAGS:Thomas G. McWeeney, Palm Desert Campus, opinion, Research Institute for Public Management and Governance, public administration, Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration, school safety, shooting, Brian Levin, criminal justice, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, hate crime, politics, religion, race, extremism, antifa, white nationalists, Poway, synagogue, Jussie Smollett, Long Beach, Top Stories

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