Public transportation fertile territory for hate messages, CSUSB professor says

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The Boston Globe — A surge of hate messages on Boston-area public transportation prompted a reporter to contact Brian Levin, director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, for his insight. Public transportation provides fertile territory for such messages and those inclined to spew them, Levin said.

“It’s regularly densely packed at routine intervals, provides great exposure [for the message], and the ability to be relatively anonymous and escape,” he said.

Hateful messages have become common companions for Massachusetts commuters, showing up on benches, scrawled across the back of bus seats, scribbled over subway signs. The amount of offensive graffiti reported to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is up sharply this year, with 24 cases recorded through the end of April, compared with 35 in all of 2016. Offensive messages include racial, sexual, or hostile words or caricatures, or derogatory remarks against any person or group, according to the transit authority.

The surge of hate aboard public transit is hardly unique to Massachusetts. More than 100 reports, including assaults, threats, and graffiti, have been recorded since last year’s presidential election from Seattle to New York by Documenting Hate, a consortium of news organizations tracking bias incidents and hate crimes.

The article was published May 17, 2017.

Read the complete article at “Hate rides the rails, and the roads.”

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