Political and social leaders have a role in blunting rise of hate crimes, CSUSB professor says

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The Tennessean — When bomb threats reported at Jewish community centers in at least five states, as well as the United Kingdom, put federal agents on standby Monday, the newspaper contacted Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, for perspective.

The threats came in the midst of a surge in anti-Semetic activity. FBI statistics released in November show a 9 percent increase in anti-Semetic crimes between 2014 and 2015.

Hate crimes against other groups are on the rise as well. The trend represents “a virtual log jam of extremism targeting whole groups of people,” said Levin. “Our center believes the Jewish community is elevated on that threat level – along with Muslims.”

It’s hard to say why this is happening – there are many potential factors, Levin said – but he said political and social leaders could play a role in blunting the rise in hate crimes. “We need leadership to condemn anti-Semitism and to condemn those who try to enter mainstream legitimacy while expressing anti-Semitism,” he said. “That goes for any prejudice.”

The article was published Jan. 9, 2017.

Read the complete article at “Bomb threats reported at Jewish centers in Nashville, 4 states.”

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