Brian Levin, Cal State San Bernardino - America's epidemic of hate crimes

Brian Levin, Cal State San Bernardino
America's epidemic of hate crimes


It’s a perfect nightmare scenario: you are the proverbial slowest camper and that bear is gaining on you. It also seems to be the psychological frame behind the outburst of hate-filled violence that is burdening America.

In this case, it seems as if folks who see themselves as the “slowest” White males fear, not being eaten by the bears of ethnic, religious and racial diversity, but in their word — “replaced” — by them. This sense of being erased by men of different races, religions or gender identities propelled a mob of mostly White men — “very fine people,” President Trump called them — to riot in 2017 in Charlottesville, chanting against Jews, African-Americans and other people they considered as nothing but “others” — “You will not replace us.”

It was an echo of an epic fear from America’s racist psycho-history, the nightmare of the replacement by big Black men of Whites in the arms of their wives and lovers. America not only heard this fear in the voices of the White supremacist marchers at Charlottesville, but it has also been recorded in the data collected in an academic study by Professor Robert A. Pape of the University of Chicago and the Chicago Project on Security and Threats. Pape published a precis of his analysis of “the demographics and home county characteristics of the 377 Americans, from 250 counties in 44 states [who have been] arrested or charged in the attack of the US Capitol [on January 6.]”

95 percent of this group are White, 85 percent are males, striking, but hardly new observations. What is new is this: “the [counties] most likely to produce insurrectionists who now face charges,” Pape found, were the counties “with the most significant declines in the non-Hispanic White population.” In short, the counties where, demographically, at least, Whites are being replaced by People of Color at the fastest rates. 

Pape’s data is echoed in the brand names of such anti-diversity aggregations as “White Lives Matter” or “All Lives Matter.”

So, what does this tell us about the finger-nail fraction of American White Males who have lead the MAGA-Zombie movement to resurrect the devilish regime of “the former guy” Donald Trump? They’ve told the world what they’re scared of, and Pape has suggested where, at least geographically, they are coming from, but a tougher question is — where are they leading America?



Criminologist and civil rights attorney Brian Levin is a professor of criminal justice and director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino where he specializes in analysis of hate crime, terrorism and legal issues. Prof. Levin began his academic career as a professor at Stockton College in New Jersey in 1996.

Previously, Professor Levin served as Associate Director-Legal Affairs of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Klanwatch/Militia Task Force in Montgomery, Al.; Legal Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnic and Racial Violence in Newport Beach, Ca. and as a corporate litigator for the law firm of Irell & Manella. He was also a New York City Police Officer in the Harlem and Washington Heights sections of Manhattan during the 1980s.

Mr. Levin is a graduate of Stanford Law School, where he was awarded the Block Civil Liberties Award for his work on hate crime. He is a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States and the state of California. He received his bachelor’s degree with multiple honors from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was awarded a grant to study hate crime.

He is the author or co-author of books, scholarly articles, training manuals and studies on extremism and hate crime. His book, The Limits of Dissent is about the Constitution and domestic terrorism. His research has been cited by The California Court of Appeals and in numerous scholarly journals and major law reviews.




Subscribe to insider notes from Dave Marash along with previews and cartoons of upcoming podcasts. You’ll be richer, taller, and if you don’t eat, thinner.


Here & There is kept afloat by wonderful sponsors and curious listeners like you. Your support is appreciated!