We Define the Future

Faculty in the News, Aug. 12

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  


Peers take notice: How one CSUSB lecturer was recognized for great teaching
ACUE The ‘Q’ Newsletter
Aug. 8, 2019
 
Krystal Rawls, an Association of College and University Educators (ACUE)-credentialed faculty member at California State University San Bernardino (CSUSB), is engaging her students in new and different ways—and seeing the results. So are her colleagues.
 
 “My students have wholeheartedly embraced the ‘concept map’ as a discussion tool, so they use it when outlining our topics, which means we actually cover so much more,” said Rawls, a lecturer of business management organizational behavior and theory.
 
Read the complete article at “Peers take notice: How one CSUSB lecturer was recognized for great teaching.”

CSUSB professor emeritus refutes opposition’s criticism of Ethiopian prime minister
ZeHabesha (Ethiopia)
Aug. 12, 2019
 
Alemayehu G. Mariam, CSUSB professor emeritus of political science, in his weekly column, took aim at critics of Abiy Ahmed, prime minister of Ethiopia.
 
Mariam wrote: “In an interview, a self-styled journalist-cum-former-regime official-turned-opposition activist and avowed opponent of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed pointedly accused PM Abiy Ahmed of having vanquished his legion of opposition by persuading them to quaff a ‘special drink that strikes their cerebellum and makes them high.’”
 
The balance of Mariam’s column went on to pick apart that argument, highlighting the reforms Ahmed has instituted since becoming prime minister.
 
An excerpt: “PM Abiy has declared time and again that Ethiopians can solve their problems only through goodwill and good faith dialogue, discussion, negotiation and compromise. Political power does not come out of the barrel of the gun.
 
“It comes out of the consent of people’s hearts and minds. Let the people decide which ideas they prefer for their governance.
 
“PM Abiy has invited and challenged political leaders, scholars, advocates and activists to present their ideas in the Ethiopian marketplace of ideas and sell them.
 
“The ‘opposition’s’ response has been SILENCE.”
 
Read the complete column at “Raising the white flag! The power of medemer and the ‘Disarming of the Ethiopia opposition?

Charles Manson, in some ways, was a harbinger of white supremacist violence, CSUSB professor says
North Jersey Record (New Jersey)
Aug. 9, 2019
 
Brian Levin, director of the California State University, San Bernardino, Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, was interviewed for an article exploring the link between recent mass shootings and the so-called Manson murders 50 years ago by a group led by Charles Manson.
 
"He carved a swastika in his head when he was going on parole," said Levin. "In some ways, Manson was a harbinger of what we're seeing now."
 
Hate crimes of recent years, like the ones in El Paso and Charleston, are often committed by self-described "race warriors" whose motive seems to be, above all, fighting for their own group, their "kind." There's no evidence that Manson's motive, at any point, was anything but himself. 
 
But the point is, he used racism. More, it was the very focus of his scheme, the newspaper reported. 
 
"At the end of the day, he was a murderous cult leader," Levin said. "I think most of what he was about was fealty to him. But I think it was undeniable that in his leanings, he was definitely a bigot. And he promoted white supremacy to his followers."
 
The very fact that Manson was a smorgasbord of ideologies, some of them new-agey, some of them old-school intolerance, is another way in which Manson feels oddly pertinent.
 
"He was kind of scattershot," Levin said. "He was a harbinger of this freewheeling extremism, combining idiosyncratic motivations. Now we're starting to see other people like that. Especially on the internet, people are choosing from a buffet of anti-social viewpoints — some of which are contradictory. The El Paso guy wrote about the environment as well."
 
But the fight against racism also continues — sometimes, also, in strange guises. Levin was surprised, more than a decade ago, to get a prison note from Susan Atkins, the Manson family member who was one of victim Sharon Tate's killers.
 
"She wrote me from prison shortly before she died," Levin said. "It was a hand-written letter on legal pad paper, saying she wanted to start an anti-hate program in prison. I never responded. It was just too freaky."
 
Read the complete article at “Charles Manson: 50 years later, murders have racist link to recent mass-killings.”

CSUSB professor discusses case of suspect freed on bail after threatening a massacre at a Bay Area synagogue
East Bay Times /Bay Area News Group
Aug. 9, 2019
 
Brian Levin, director of the California State University, San Bernardino, Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, was interviewed for an article about a San Francisco Bay Area man who was arrested after he allegedly made online threats to attack a Jewish synagogue and was later released after making bail.
 
Legally, there are limits on what law enforcement and prosecutors can do to keep a person such as Ross Farca — charged with threatening but not yet acting on plans to commit a massacre — in custody, the newspaper reported.
 
 “There’s a lot of discretion that we give to judges, but in today’s current threat climate — and I don’t know all the details of this defendant’s background — but there should be a careful assessment of him being a threat to the community,” Levin said. “That’s the basis for restricting bail: if someone’s a flight risk or a risk to the community.
 
 Without having seen all the evidence, it’s difficult for me to second guess, but it certainly sends up a red flag that a fellow who threatened a massacre is free.”
 
Two days after Ross Farca allegedly posted on the video game platform Steam that he wanted to imitate the Poway synagogue shooter “except with a Nazi uniform on” and tally “a body count of at least 30,” Concord police arrested him at his home.
 
They booked him into the Martinez Detention Facility and charged him with making criminal threats, as well as manufacturing and possessing an illegal assault weapon. When police searched the 23-year-old’s home in Concord, they found an assault rifle Farca claimed to have made, 13 empty magazines, a three-foot Katana sword, camouflage clothes, pistol ammunition, a hunting knife and books about Hitler youth and Nazis.
 
But the day after his arrest in June, Farca was released upon posting a $12,500 deposit for his $125,000 bail. He remains out of custody at least until his next court appearance in September under the condition that he can be searched by police at any time and must not possess firearms or ammunition.
 
Read the complete article at “East Bay man threatened to kill Jews and had an illegal assault weapon, police say, but he qualified for bail.”

Experts, including CSUSB’s Brian Levin, see challenges ahead for efforts to police extremist content online
Sinclair Broadcast Group via KOMO News (Seattle)
Aug. 9, 2019
 
 After two mass shootings in less than 24 hours last weekend left many asking what more can be done to combat hateful and violent material online, tech executives trekked to the White House Friday to discuss new ways to counter the spread of extremist content.
 
Experts on extremism say the internet has exacerbated the spread of hateful ideologies like white supremacy, making it easier for users to radicalize and providing a community that shares and validates their views. The suspected gunman in the Aug. 3 El Paso mass shooting appears to be the third gunman this year to have posted content to 8chan, a lawless discussion forum described by the Anti-Defamation League as a “cesspool of incitement.”
 
Of the many extremist ideologies growing online, Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University-San Bernardino, said white supremacy is the most ascendant. His organization identified three hate-motivated supremacist homicides in 2016, but he has seen more than 20 so far this year.
 
“The primary place where the most vile and lengthy communications are going on is free speech and privacy platforms, especially those that are encrypted ...,” Levin said. “Out of all the things people are saying should be done, the one changing most substantially as we speak is online, and it’s also the hardest to monitor and regulate.”
 
Levin also sees parallels to the rise of ISIS and the radicalization of its followers online, but some crucial differences as well.
 
“What both were able to capitalize on was a growing feeling of indignity and disenfranchisement in their particular target constituencies,” he said. “They were trying to get young people who were trying to establish an adult identity... What both ideologies were able to do is say there’s a fight that needs you and it will add reason and purpose to your life.”
 
However, the jihadists had more centralized groups and were pitching supporters a specific urgent goal of building a caliphate in the Middle East. The defeat of that caliphate on the ground in Iraq and Syria has contributed heavily to their weakening as a threat to the United States.
 
“Nothing loses followers more than losing,” Levin said.
 
Read the complete article at “Experts see challenges ahead for efforts to police extremist content online.”

The article was published nationwide on other Sinclair Broadcast Group affiliates’’ websites.

Challenges in combating domestic terrorism outlined by experts, including CSUSB’s Brian Levin
The Associated Press via The Fresno Bee
Aug. 8, 2019
 
Seven days, three mass shootings, 34 dead.
 
The FBI has labeled two of those attacks, at a Texas Walmart and California food festival, as domestic terrorism — acts meant to intimidate or coerce a civilian population and affect government policy. But the bureau hasn't gone that far with a shooting at an Ohio entertainment district.
 
Even if there's a domestic terrorism investigation, no specific domestic terrorism law exists in the federal criminal code. That means the Justice Department must rely on other laws such as hate crimes and weapons offenses in cases of politically motivated shootings.
 
"Calling something for what it is an important first step in combating this problem," said Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.
 
However, supporters of a domestic terrorism law say some lawmakers may be reluctant to push legislation that could target white supremacists. …
 
The legal framework is different in international terrorism cases, where a wide-reaching statute makes it a crime to support a designated foreign terror group such as Islamic State or al-Qaida and often produces arrests long before violence occurs.
 
As a result, it's a crime for an American to fly to Syria to join Islamic State, but it's not illegal for an American to travel in the U.S. to meet with Ku Klux Klan leaders or other white supremacists.
 
"When politics get involved, we end up playing games," Levin said. "Had the El Paso killer been named Ahmed, the response of some in government and some in the media would have been markedly different."
 
Read the complete article at “Experts push for domestic terrorism after attacks.”
 
The Associated Press article was picked up nationwide by various newspaper and broadcast news websites.

CSUSB center’s research cited in column about radical right-wing extremists
The Washington Post
Aug. 12, 2019
 
Opinion writer Jennifer Rubin interviewed Cynthia Miller-Idriss, a professor at American University and a senior fellow with the Center for Analysis of the Radical Right, about radical right-wing extremists.
 
When the question of how rhetoric by high-profile politicians can motivate extremists to act, Miller-Idriss cited the work of CSUSB’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism: “Rhetoric that uses the word “replace” definitely legitimizes and reinforces the idea of a great replacement. Language like ‘invasion,’ ‘incursion,’ ‘defense,’ all reinforce the idea of a threat. What we know from data is that hateful speech from political leaders sparks large-scale social media hate speech, which in turn can and has inspired fringe actors to take violent action. So the link between the political rhetoric and the violent act is mediated through social media platforms, chat rooms, etc. This is shown most clearly in the data from Brian Levin (professor of criminal justice and director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino) on social media spikes following political hateful rhetoric.”
 
Read the complete article at “A guide to the ugly ideology we’re up against, and how politicians like Trump spread it.”

CSUSB professor interviews for article on heightened concerns about domestic terrorism and white supremacy
Homeland Security News Wire
Aug. 12, 2019
 
Federal and local authorities recently have said there are heightened concerns about domestic terrorism and white supremacy.
 
Brian Levin, director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, said it can be difficult to classify such attacks. For example, the gunman in the Parkland, Fla., shooting in February 2018 that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School fixated on racist imagery, but authorities did not designate the attack as a hate crime, and Levin’s center did not include it in a recent report, Levin said.
 
Levin said political polarization and a rise of far-right nationalism is contributing to hate crime around the globe.
“We’re seeing a coalescence of traditional hate crime with political violence,” he said.
 
Read the complete article at “Deadly violence heightens concerns about domestic terrorism and white supremacists.”

Hate crimes tend to rise the year before a presidential election, CSUSB professor says (in Spanish)
El Diario [de Coahuila] (Mexico)
Aug. 11, 2019
 
The Spanish-language website published an article by Lourdes Cárdenas on the Aug. 3, mass shooting in an El Paso, Texas, Walmart that left 22 people dead, and is being called the he worst attack against the Hispanic community in recent history, and included an interview with Brian Levin, director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.
 
The center has recorded an increase in hate crimes by 9 percent, the news site reported. Levin said that the changing demographics at the local level, the polarization of society and the rise of white supremacist groups are behind that increase in violence. “Often,” he said, “hate crimes rise when political conflicts or domestic or international events arise. The year before the presidential election, hate crimes tend to rise.”
 
Read the compete article, in Spanish, at “Continuarán ataques contra los hispanos.”

‘We’re seeing a coalescence of traditional hate crime with political violence,’ CSUSB professor says
The Daily Wire
Aug. 10, 2019
 
Shireen Qudosi, a conservative writer and speaker on faith, identity and belonging, cited research by CSUSB’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism in a column about the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
 
“Domestic terrorism has many faces. Speaking to the rise of domestic terrorism, Brian Levin, the director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism observes, ‘We’re seeing a coalescence of traditional hate crime with political violence.’”
 
Read the complete article at “QUDOSI: After mass shootings, national preventing violent extremism programs is the first step forward.”

 


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