Although hate crime in L.A. County was recently reported to be at a 21-year low (PDF), an L.A. immigrants' rights group wants it to be known that such attacks targeting Latinos are up nearly 50 percent across the state (PDF).
The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles thinks that much of this crime is “anti-immigrant.”
The group's executive director, Angelica Salas, even called out the rhetoric of right-wing radio talkers John & Ken (KFI AM 640) today:
We are gravely concerned that hate crimes in California are increasingly anti-Latino and anti-immigrant. An unjust and inhumane immigration system makes matters worse in immigrant-heavy states like California by forcing millions to live in the shadows only because their papers are not in order. Lest we forget, conservative and extreme talk radio programming, including the John and Ken Show in Los Angeles, contribute to a community atmosphere constantly on the lookout for someone else to blame.
According to a California Attorney General's office report released last week (PDF) anti-Latino hate crime was up about 47 percent statewide last year.
Are John & Ken really inspiring people to lash out at los illegals? All they inspire in us is a twist of the knob to the off position.
Salas, for her part, admits it's not all bad:
As the LA County report also points out, an overall third-year decline in hate crimes may indicate an age of reason is upon us.