We Define the Future

Faculty in the News, Aug. 1

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  

This list covers July 30-Aug. 1.


CSUSB professor interviewed about U.S. imposing sanctions on Iran’s foreign minister
Press TV
Aug. 1, 2019
David Yaghoubian, CSUSB professor of history, was interviewed for a segment on the continuing conflict between the U.S. and Iran over the multi-national agreement to regulate Iran’s nuclear program, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. The Trump administration pulled out of the agreement last year, and has since been pressuring Iran, through economic sanctions, to return to the negotiating table for what it says would be a better agreement, as other signatories have worked to try to preserve the JCPOA.
 
The latest development: Iranian officials reacted with unified irritation on Thursday to the Trump administration’s decision to sanction Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, calling the move petty and provocative — further evidence, they said, of Washington’s insincerity when it talks of peace.
 
“I really see this as just spiteful immaturity and sour grapes from neoconservative failures,” Yaghoubian said. “To paraphrase Jack Nicholson (in the movie) ‘A Few Good Men,’ they can’t handle the truth, basically. And Zarif’s truth, his wit, his logic, his facts and his demeanor that are all a direct threat to the agenda of the neoconservatives. …”
 
See the online video interview, which begins at about the 2-minuite, 45-second mark, at “Germany says will not participate in U.S.- led naval mission in Strait of Hormuz.”
 
Press TV is a 24-hour English language news and documentary network affiliated with Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.

CSUSB professor discusses China’s call for U.S. to lift sanctions against Iran
Press TV
July 30, 2019
 
David Yaghoubian, CSUSB professor of history, was interviewed for a segment on the latest development involving the multi-national agreement to regulate Iran’s nuclear program, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. The United States was one of the signatories, but President Donald Trump pulled out of the agreement last year, saying he could get a better deal, and imposed economic sanctions on Iran to get it to the negotiating table. Tensions have risen since then.
 
China, another signatory, called on the U.S. to stop its “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, which was creating new obstacles for the remaining signatories – France, Great Britain, Germany and Russia – to implement the JCPOA.
 
Of the U.S. lifting sanctions, Yaghoubian said, “Right now, the Donald Trump administration has very few options, having … backed themselves into a corner and repeatedly shot themselves in the foot regarding foreign policy initiatives. … Whereas this is truly the only potentially viable option for the Trump administration to pursue regarding peace in the Persian Gulf stability and nuclear weapons non-proliferation, it really doesn’t seem as though the Trump administration elite, specifically the neoconservatives (National Security Advisor John) Bolton and (U.S. Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo, are thinking logically and planning rationally regarding realties that are repeated time and time again.”
 
He added, “These are really just basics – these are basics that we even teach to children -- you don’t break agreements and promises that you have made. If you irrationally break agreements and promises you don’t certainly engage in violence or bellicose language or threatening behavior.”
 
Watch the online video of the interview at “China demands end to maximum pressure.”
 
Press TV is a 24-hour English language news and documentary network affiliated with Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.

CSUSB professor: Digital networks or circles are more pernicious than in-person meetups between racists or religious radicals
San Francisco Chronicle
July 31, 2019
 
An article about authorities’ search to determine what motivated the shooter in Gilroy to attack the community’s annual Garlic Festival on July 28 included insight from a CSUSB professor of criminal justice and expert in hate and extremism.
 
To Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University San Bernardino, the digital networks or circles are more pernicious than in-person meetups between racists or religious radicals.
 
“In the old days, you’d join a hate group, go to a bar and hang out, trade hate books, trade hate music,” Levin said. Members of the group might have bizarre or hateful beliefs, he said, but at least they had peers around to moderate them.
 
That’s a sharp contrast to the digital world of wall-to-wall vitriol and bigotry that’s always available, he said, and might seem particularly compelling to a young person who experiences most social interactions online.
 
A new study by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism suggests that white supremacy is the most ascendant form of hate around the country. While the overall number of extremist homicides decreased, from 36 in 2017 to 22 last year, the number seen as driven by white supremacy rose from 13 to 17.
 
The internet has become “an increasingly radicalized and fragmented incubator,” the report said.
 
Read the complete article at “Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting: Experts worry killer fits pattern of hate, fueled online.”

CSUSB report: 30 cities see increase in hate crime while San Diego remains steady
KPBS (San Diego)
July 31, 2019
 
A new report from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino shows hate crime is up in 30 cities across the country. Director Brian Levin joined KPBS Midday Edition co-host Jade Hindmon to talk about what’s driving hate crimes and how they can be stopped.
 
One excerpt from the interview: “We had two 19-year-olds in California who appear to be influenced by hate on the internet. So what we're seeing is even though hate groups have imploded, they're inspiring people because of the web presence and there's a 24-hour hate rally and bookstore available on the internet and we think that may have influenced these younger people.”
 
Listen to the online audio interview at “Report: 30 cities see increase in hate crime while San Diego remains steady.”

Social media activity suggest extremist views may have been a factor that led to Gilroy mass shooting, CSUSB professor says
The Mercury News (San Jose)/Bay Area News Group
July 31, 2019
 
Officially, what motivated Santino William Legan’s swift and devastating rampage through the Gilroy Garlic Festival is not known.
Authorities have said that they have not yet determined whether Legan was motivated by any extremist ideologies. On Wednesday, the Bay Area’s top FBI agent refuted news reports that white supremacist and radical Islamic reading materials had been found at the shooter’s Nevada apartment.
 
Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, said authorities are being appropriately circumspect in determining Legan’s motivations. But, Levin said, the shooter’s social media activity, combined with the demographics of his victims — the three people killed were ethnic minorities, as were over half of the wounded — suggests that extremist views may have been at least one of the factors that led him to train an AK-47-style rifle on the festival crowd Sunday evening.
 
“He murders three young people of color, and right before he does it, he posts about mestizos, and then encouraged people to read a book republished by a Nazi publishing house,” Levin said. “What more do you need?”
 
“You have to go where the evidence takes you,” he added. “I’m not saying there aren’t other motives; most times there are. But certainly with the minimal pieces of the jigsaw puzzle they’re looking at, it points to one particular thing, not to the exclusion of others.”
 
Read the complete article at “Gilroy shooting: Hate motive debated as suspect’s background emerges.”

CSUSB center’s latest report on hate crimes cited by columnist
The Daily Kos
July 31, 2019
 
David Neiwert wrote in an article about the July 28 Gilroy shooting: “Both real-world events and a recent report on hate crimes in America confirm: The incoming tide of white nationalism and its accompanying terror and violence is reaching crisis levels. But you’d never know it from listening to our national leaders and the media. …
 
“The absurd wrongheadedness of this kind of leadership was underscored this week by a report on the national scope of hate crimes released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino. Titled ‘Report to the Nation: 2019,’ it underscored how deep the incoming tide of white supremacism has become, along with the horror of its terroristic violence.”
 
Read the complete article at “Gilroy terror underscores how deep the tide of white nationalist hate and violence has become.”

Young people who don’t belong to a specific hate group can self-radicalize through extremist content online, CSUSB professor says
Los Angeles Times
July 31, 2019
 
The motive behind the Gilroy Garlic Festival rampage that left three dead remained a mystery Wednesday, with federal authorities saying literature found in searches of gunman Santino William Legan’s homes ran the gamut from left to right. John Bennett, FBI special agent in charge, said they had not determined the ideology of the Gilroy shooter and had recovered “conflicting literature” during searches in Nevada and Gilroy.
 
Before the attack, Legan posted a photo on Instagram of a Smokey Bear sign warning about fire danger, with a caption instructing people to read an obscure novel glorified by white supremacists: “Might Is Right” published under the pseudonym Ragnar Redbeard.
The book, published in 1890, includes discredited principles related to social Darwinism that have been used to justify racism, slavery and colonialism, said Brian Levin, director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.
 
A study published by the Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism this month found that mass shooters frequently used sites such as 8chan, Telegram, Gab and Facebook around the time of their attacks. It remains unclear whether Legan used any of these sites, authorities say.
 
 “Over the last decade,” Levin said, “many of the most notorious extremist mass killers have participated in, or were influenced by, bigoted content on social media before undertaking attacks in their home regions.”
 
He cautioned that there were a lot of factors that could spur someone to carry out a violent act, not just one motivating cause. But young people who don’t belong to a specific hate group can self-radicalize through content from those groups easily found online, Levin said.
 
Read the complete article at “Gilroy shooter read literature from both left and right, FBI says.”

Hate crimes in major U.S. cities increased 9% in 2018, new CSUSB report shows
The Orange County Register/Southern California News Group and Bay Area News Group
July 30, 2019
 
A report by the Cal State San Bernardino Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism shows hate crimes are trending upward for the fifth consecutive year at a time when overall crime is down.
 
“Increasingly, we’re seeing that political events correlate to fluctuations and spikes in hate crimes,” said Brian Levin, director of the center,  which released the comprehensive report Tuesday, July 30. The report includes legal policy analysis and the center’s own findings on the latest police-reported hate crime in major cities across the United States, showing a 9% increase in 2018.
 
Stateside, Levin said, extremists of all stripes are being emboldened in a polarized atmosphere.
 
“There is a toxic brew of hatred – foreign and domestic – bubbling up, and white supremacists are leading in a crowded racetrack,” he said.
 
With more loners being radicalized online, the nature of extremist attacks is changing, Levin said. There are more loners, people he calls “domestic ticking time bombs.” These individuals are striking not just in large cities but more bucolic locations such as New Zealand and Gilroy, he said.
 
While the left has its share of extremism, it hasn’t come close to the havoc white nationalism has wreaked in this country, Levin said. Trump’s recent Twitter threat to label Antifa a “major terrorist group,” has no basis in numbers, Levin said.
 
“White nationalism is the 800-pound gorilla in the room,” he said. “If you picture a wheel of fortune, the white nationalists have the biggest wedge on the wheel. Antifa, on the other hand, is not a group. It’s a splintered movement with varying degrees of acceptability to violence.”
 
Read the complete article at “Hate crimes in major U.S. cities increased 9% in 2018, new report shows.”

Hate crimes on the rise across the US, CSUSB study shows
NBC Los Angeles
July 30, 2019
 
Hate crimes are up in major U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, a new study by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino shows. Lolita Lopez reported for the NBC4 News and interviewed Brian Levin, director of the center and professor of criminal justice.
 
See the video segment online at “Hate crimes on the rise across the U.S.

Hate crime rising in 30 US cities as overall crime rates decline, CSUSB report finds
The Guardian (United Kingdom)
July 30, 2019
 
new report shows that 2018 saw a national rise in hate crimes, and that almost all extremist homicides were carried out by the far right.
 
Hate crimes rose 9% to a decade high of 2,009 in 30 US cities surveyed for the  Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism (CSHE), headquartered at California State University, Santa Bernardino, which published the report on Tuesday.
 
The report warns that “the risk of extremist violence by (white nationalists) will likely continue into this current nascent political season”, and that they will “maintain their position at the top of the threat matrix”.
 
Despite recent moves from Republicans to define anti-neo-Nazi groups known as “Antifa” as a terrorist organization, the report suggests that the far right has presented a much more serious threat of deadly extremist violence.
 
The report points to “politically motivated assaults and suspected crimes–and non-violent protests” from “Antifa, anarchists, and hard left extremists”, and details 19 incidents of “Antifa harassment and violence” throughout 2018 and 2019.
 
CSHE director Brian Levin said in a telephone conversation that there is “a sliver of violent Antifa” but “we’re not seeing the hard left yet going in and doing mass political violence”.
 
Read the complete article at “Hate crime rising in 30 US cities as overall crime rates decline, report finds.”
 
The university was misidentified in the initial article.

Hate crimes hitting decade highs in US, CSUSB report says
Talking Points Memo
July 31, 2019
 
The United States is experiencing a steady rise in hate crimes going into the 2020 presidential election, according to a new report on extremism and violence in the U.S.
 
The report — released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino — details data on reported hate crimes throughout the U.S., as well as extremist murders.
 
The report, titled “Report to the Nation: 2019 Factbook on Hate & Extremism,” also records 2018 as the year with the largest number of anti-Semitic killings to date.
 
“Hate crimes continue to incrementally rise, interrupted by declines and big spikes,” Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism director Brian Levin told TPM.
 
Read the complete article at “Hate crimes hitting decade highs in the US, report says.”

CSUSB report: Anti-Muslim hate crimes drop for second year in a row
VOA News
July 30, 2019
 
Anti-Muslim hate crimes in 10 of the largest U.S. cities declined last year for the second year in a row, according to a new report from California State University at San Bernardino.
 
There were a total of 53 reported anti-Muslim hate crimes in cities with large Muslim populations such as New York and Los Angeles, down from 74 incidents reported in 2017, the report by the university’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism stated.
 
While cautioning that the data is preliminary, Brian Levin, director of the center and the report’s lead author, said the decline was focused mostly on larger cities where historically a disproportionate number of hate crimes take place.  
 
Anti-Muslim hate crimes, Levin said, tend to be “cyclical,” rising as terror attacks carried out by Muslim extremists inspire a public backlash and falling when the violence subsides.
 
Read the complete article at “Report: Anti-Muslim hate crimes drop for second year in a row.”

While social media posts may provide clues, other factors may have motivated Gilroy shooter, CSUSB professor says
Los Angeles Times
July 31, 2019
 
An article about law enforcement authorities seeking to find the motive behind the July 28 shooting in Gilroy included an interview with Brian Levin, Brian Levin, director of CSUSB’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.
Investigators have determined that the shooter had planned the attack.
 
Before the attack, the shooter posted a photo on Instagram of a Smokey Bear sign warning about fire danger, with a caption instructing people to read an obscure novel glorified by white supremacists: “Might Is Right” published under the pseudonym Ragnar Redbeard.
The book, published in 1890, includes discredited principles related to social Darwinism that have been used to justify racism, slavery and colonialism, said Brian Levin, director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.
 
“The killer intended to send a message,” Levin said. “It would seem his postings would be probative of his motive, but what it doesn’t tell us is whether there is some mental instability, some stressor, some accomplice or peer group. Oftentimes, these kinds of killers act on idiosyncratic motives as well.”
 
Read the complete article at “Gilroy shooter meticulously planned attack, was armed for battle.”

Some extremist mass shooters participate or are influenced by bigoted content on social media, CSUSB professor says
Los Angeles Times
July 30, 2019
 
Brian Levin, director of CSUSB’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, was interviewed for an article that reported authorities searching the Nevada home of Gilroy Garlic Festival shooter found extremist materials, citing a law enforcement source. The discovery came as detectives are trying to determine a motive in the Sunday attack at the famed food festival.
 
Detectives have been looking through the shooter’s social media, electronic devices and computer hardware but are still struggling to understand why he opened fire, killing three and leaving 12 hurt, the sources said.
 
A study published by the Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism this month found that mass shooters frequently used sites such as 8chan, Telegram, GAB and Facebook around the time of their attacks. It remains unclear whether Legan used any of these sites, authorities say.
 
“Over the last decade, many of the most notorious extremist mass killers have participated in, or were influenced by, bigoted content on social media before undertaking attacks in their home regions,” said Levin.
 
He cautioned that there are a lot of elements that can propel someone to carry out a violent act, not just one motivating factor. But young people who don’t belong to a specific hate group can self-radicalize through content from those groups easily found online, Levin said.
 
Read the complete article at “Extremist materials found at home of Gilroy Garlic Festival shooter, source says.”

CSUSB professor discusses role of social media on those who commit mass shootings
USA Today via Yahoo! News
July 31, 2019
 
Sunday's mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival is only the latest in the United States' expanding list of attacks by disgruntled men that leave death and destruction in their wake. Such scenes are becoming an increasingly common experience in today's America. A survey by Chapman University last year found 41% of Americans fear random mass shootings. 
 
While factors are many, experts, including Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino, say social media can’t be discounted as a possible influence on those who decided to undertake an attack.
 
In the past, shooters joined groups that motivated them to attack. Nowadays, more are radicalized on their own while browsing the internet – "a 24-hour hate rally and bookstore," said Levin.
 
The solo browsing sessions lead to "a lone-wolf mentality among the attackers. They may strike for no reason other than they are fed up,” Levin said.
 
Read the complete article at “Not an unreasonable fear: Mass shootings like Gilroy Garlic Festival more numerous, deadly.”

 
CSUSB’s Brian Levin says the Gilroy shooter’s social media shows a disturbing trend
NBC Los Angeles
July 29, 2019
 
Hate speech expert Brian Levin, director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, said the Gilroy shooter's social media shows a disturbing trend of young people finding an audience of extremism online. Lolita Lopez reports for the NBC4 I-Team Monday, July 29, 2019.
 
Watch the online video at “NBC4 I-Team investigates Gilroy shooter's background.”

 
While shooter’s social media posts mentions white supremacist book, CSUSB professor says his motive still remains unclear
The Sacramento Bee
July 29, 2019
 
Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, was quoted in an article about the alleged gunman who killed three people at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on July 28. The gunman’s social media accounts were taken down by Monday morning, but various reports indicated he had posted a reference to a white supremacist book to an Instagram account before the shootings.
 
The book, an 1890 text called “Might is Right” by Ragnar Redbeard, is a white supremacist screed that purports to explain Aryan superiority over other races.
 
“If there were an Aryan book club, this book would be in it, but it wouldn’t be the book of the month like ‘Mein Kampf’ and ‘The Turner Diaries,’” said Levin.
 
But he cautioned that it is too early to decide the motive for the attack was racial bigotry, noting that such shooters typically fall into one of three categories: ideologically motivated, psychologically impaired or acting out of personal revenge.
 
“You always let the evidence take you where it leads,” Levin said, adding that Legan was not a known figure among white supremacists.
Read the complete article at “Gunman in Gilroy mass shooting bought ‘assault-type rifle’ legally in Nevada, police say.”

CSUSB professor discusses social media post by Gilroy shooter
Los Angeles Times
July 29, 2019
 
In the hours before Santino William Legan is alleged to have begun firing into a crowd at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on Sunday, police say the 19-year-old posted a photo on Instagram with the caption, “Ayyy garlic festival time come get wasted on overpriced ...,” using an expletive.
 
He also posted a photo of a Smokey Bear sign warning about fire danger with a caption instructing people to read the novel “Might Is Right” by Ragnar Redbeard, authorities said.
 
The book, published in 1890, includes discredited principles related to Social Darwinism that have been used to justify racism, slavery and colonialism, said Brian Levin, director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.
 
“The notion that people of color are biologically inferior is a key tenet of this book, and that biological determinism, the Darwinian view of the world, justifies aggression against diverse people and vulnerable people,” Levin said.
 
A law enforcement source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said police were still trying to determine a motive for the attack, adding detectives were digging into the suspect’s social media accounts for indications of his belief system and opinions.
 
Books and movies, Levin said, are often used in the radicalization process, and “Might Is Right,” like others that used to be obscure, is easily found on the internet.
 
“It’s certainly not the most popular available title in the virtual Aryan book club available 24 hours a day on a computer screen nearest you,” Levin said. “It stands out as among the worst bigoted screeds of its era promoting biological determinism and racial prejudice.”
Read the complete article at “Disturbing portrait emerges of Gilroy Garlic Festival shooter.”
 
The interview was also cited by The Sun newspaper in the United Kingdom at “Gilroy Garlic festival gunman Santino Legan, 19, promoted white supremacist book in Instagram rants before shooting dead three.”

White supremacist book mentioned by Gilroy shooter discussed by CSUSB professor
Los Angeles Times
July 29, 2019
 
In another article about the July 29 Gilroy shooting, Brian Levin, director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, briefly discussed a book, “Might Makes Right,” mentioned by the shooter on his Instagram page
Levin said the obscure book, published in 1890, is glorified among white supremacists and that “the notion that people of color are biologically inferior is a key tenet of this book.”
 
“It stands out as among the worst bigoted screeds of its era promoting biological determinism and racial prejudice,” Levin said.

Read the complete article at “A 19-year-old with a semiautomatic rifle shatters Gilroy’s beloved garlic festival, killing 3, including 2 children.”

Bigotry and role of social media in Gilroy shooting discussed by CSUSB professor
KABC-AM Radio (Los Angeles)
July 19, 2019
 
The radio station reported that the gunman in the Gilroy shooting made reference to a book promoted by white supremacists. Brian Levin, director of CSUSB’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, told a reporter, “Bigotry may have played a role in this attack. And until it’s proven otherwise, that’s going to be an area that investigators are going to pursue among others.”
 
Levin also noted that the suspect accused in the San Diego-area synagogue shooting also posted bigoted comments online prior to that incident.
 
Listen to the segment at “New reports indicate that a book often promoted by white supremacists was cited by the alleged Gilroy shooter before Sunday’s mass murder.”

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

 


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