One hallmark of the Trump administration was a rise in visibility and his support of white nationalism. Even before his insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, the year 2020 saw a record number of such attacks in the U.S. Then last week, the Department of Homeland Security warned that "the United States faced a growing threat from 'violent domestic extremists' emboldened by the attack" on January 6th. The former president pushed a false narrative of rioting people of color in American cities to win votes through fear mongering. But while hate crime by white supremacists has increased nationally, a closer look at the facts on the ground has consistently revealed that large cities with highly diverse populations have actually seen a drop in such incidents.
California's Los Angeles County, for example, boasts over 10 million residents. It also has one of the most diverse populations in the United States. Yet over the last 20 years, hate crimes have actually dropped by nearly half. 2019 saw only 524 reported incidents. This is a success story that needs to be told, including lessons that might apply in other communities across the country.
Today's guest, Marshall Wong has served as a Senior Human Relations Consultant with the L.A. County Human Relations Commission since 1999. He is the Commission’s Hate Crime Coordinator and the principal author of the agency’s annual Hate Crime Report. Marshall is a native of Los Angeles and also staffs a countywide coalition, the Network Against Hate Crime, and provides training for law enforcement and service providers. In this interview he shares insights into what drives and reduces these crimes in our communities.