On January 15, during a Sabbath service at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, four worshipers were taken hostage by Malik Faisal Akram. Thankfully, all four hostages were freed, but that does not erase the evil and hate surrounding this terrorist attack.
Using Jewish worshippers as hostages to force the release of an imprisoned convicted terrorist was the explicit motive of Akram, as made clear by his statements during the attack. The Washington Post reported, “Akram chose this place, according to people who heard him on the live stream, because it appeared to be the closest assemblage of Jews to a federal facility in Fort Worth where an American-educated Pakistani convicted terrorist is serving an 86-year sentence for shooting at U.S. soldiers and FBI agents.”
Ironically, the day after this horrific attack, the United States observed National Religious Freedom Day, which commemorates the passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786. This law later inspired and shaped the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
I guess I first knew Jussie Smollett was fated for disaster when he did the unthinkable: an American trying to perpetrate a fraud on Nigerians.
Add to that: He had the full-throated backing of Kamala Harris, our vice tweeter, and of our Tweeter-in-Chief. In Harris’s words: “@JussieSmollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery. This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.” Uncle Joe (or whoever tweets for him) posted this: “What happened today to @JussieSmollett must never be tolerated in this country. We must stand up and demand that we no longer give this hate safe harbor; that homophobia and racism have no place on our streets or in our hearts. We are with you, Jussie.”
The Insatiable American Fascination with Crime, Crooks, Detectives, and Courtroom “Trials of the Century”
The FBI’s latest annual report on hate crimes seemed to deliver more grim news about race relations in America, announcing a nearly 40% rise in anti-black hate crimes in 2020. Major news outlets trumpeted the headline-grabbing statistic, noting that it coincided with a rise in “white nationalism” and came amid a surge in anti-black “hostility” caused by summer 2020 protests. Attorney General Merrick Garland quickly promised “a comprehensive response” by the Department of Justice.
But a closer look at the data reveals a more complicated picture. Some of the biggest increases in anti-black hate crimes occurred in Democratic Party strongholds yet, perhaps surprisingly, almost no increases were reported in major cities riven by the racially tinged protests and riots after George Floyd’s murder. It’s no surprise, then, that experts caution against using these numbers to claim an epidemic of anti-black crime – both because of the FBI data’s limitations, as well as the small absolute and relative size of the reported increase.
California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder’s campaign hit back at the Los Angeles Times Friday, accusing the publication of using a photo to suggest he was hitting a supporter.
A white woman in a gorilla mask threw an egg at Elder’s head Wednesday in an attack that he says would have been called a hate crime if he were a Democrat and not a Republican. The attack quickly circulated on social media and was widely reported.
The LA Times headlined its report on the incident “LAPD is investigating altercation involving Larry Elder at Venice homeless encampment” accompanied by a photo showing Elder with his hand apparently on the face of a woman.