National hate crimes rise, campus witnesses decline

By Hannah Mueoz

Although hate crimes have become a common problem in the United
States, rising 7.8 percent in 2006, according to FBI crime
statistics just released, hate has not shown to be common within
Cal Poly.

Due to race, religion, sexual orientation, mental or physical
disability or ethnicity, 7,722 hate crime acts took place in the
nationwith 9,080 offenses as opposed to 7,163 cases in 2005.

According to the FBI study, race triggered 51.8 percent of hate
crimes in 2006. Religion resulted in 18.9 percent, sexual
orientation with 15.5 percent, ethnicity hate crimes with 12.7
percent and people with physical or mental disabilities suffered 1
percent of all hate crimes.

In 2006, the school did not experience any reported hate crimes.
This was a slight decline from the 2005 school year, during which
two occurred. Both were race related.

The city of Pomona has also experienced four hate crimes due to
race, one incident related to religion, and one incident related to
sexual orientation within the past year.

California hate crime have dropped 6 percent, with Los Angeles
also experiencing fewer hate crimes.

The FBI noted at least half of the nation’s hate crimes, as well
as Los Angeles’ and Pomona’s hate crimes, resulted from race. Most
race-related issues were offenses toward the black population,
according to the FBI. The race factor was also Cal Poly’s main
issue, although it is not severe.

Lt. Dan Ponder of the Cal Poly Police Department believes
publicizing diverse cultures has played a large role in the
decline.

“California has done extensive training for law enforcement in
trying to raise cultural awareness and diversity issues,” said
Ponder. Some students believe California has always been somewhat
diverse with residents of mixed cultures.

“I think one of the reasons is because California never had that
extreme view of racism that the South had,” said Andrew Sanabria, a
fourth-year history student. Other students agree that California
differs from other states.

“California is more open minded than other states,” said Michael
Cammarano, a fourth-year management and human resources
student.

Although the reason is unknown, some believe California is more
racially diverse.

“California leads the nation [in raising cultural awareness],
which is why California might be experiencing a drop, ” said
Ponder.

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