Progressive Orange County District Attorney Candidate Highlights Increase in Hate Crimes Under Current DA, Citing ‘Scandal’ Riddled Record of ‘Trump Republican’

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Steven Senne / AP

By The Vanguard Staff

ORANGE COUNTY, CA – A progressive candidate for Orange County District Attorney received a big boost to his campaign this week when the Orange County Human Relations Commission released its 2020 hate crime report that documents a “lethal rise in hate crimes across the county,” according to a statement by candidate Pete Hardin.

“Today’s shocking hate crime report is a painful reminder that far right extremism has been emboldened by the Trump Presidency and District Attorney Todd Spitzer, an unapologetic Trump Republican,” charged Hardin, a former Deputy District Attorney, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney and combat Marine Corps officer,

Hardin added, “Spitzer has failed to keep the most vulnerable members of our community safe, as is evidenced by the 1,800 percent rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, 114 percent rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes, and 23 percent rise in anti-Black hate crimes.”

The Hardin campaign points to current DA Spitzer’s current tenure, and said in a press statement it’s been “defined by scandal,” including Spitzer’s promotion of an employee despite the filing of sexual harassment complaints by at least four women in Spitzer’s office against the employee.

“Spitzer also attempted to drop sexual assault charges against high-profile defendants, leading a judge to remove him from the case.  Survivors of the sexual assault survivors were ‘dragged through the mud’ and ‘grossly mistreated’ by Spitzer for two and a half years, leading two of them to abandon their case,” according to the claims of the challenger’s campaign.

The Hardin campaign also maintains “Spitzer has been involved in an evidence booking scandal, a jailhouse informant scandal, defamed a victim of OC’s deadliest mass shooting as retaliation for peaceful protest (and) defended a DNA collection program known informally as’ “Spit and Acquit’ that coerces defendants to give up their DNA to law enforcement, a practice the ACLU called “unconstitutional.

DA candidate Hardin said, “Over the course of his 25-year career as a right-wing politician, District Attorney Todd Spitzer has regularly promoted policies that harm our most vulnerable communities. Spitzer has neither the skill nor the conviction to adequately address the extreme rise in hate we are witnessing.

“I stand in solidarity with the AAPI community, Black community, Jewish community, Latino community, LGBTQ community, Muslim community, and Arab community, which have experienced a dramatic rise in hate driven incidents. This is unconscionable and must be stopped.

“Orange County deserves a top prosecutor who will work in partnership with vulnerable communities to stamp out hate in our communities, prevent hate crimes from happening, and ensure hate crime investigations and prosecutions are pursued vigorously.  It’s time for a district attorney who will stand up for all victims and take a firm stand against hate in our community.”

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16 thoughts on “Progressive Orange County District Attorney Candidate Highlights Increase in Hate Crimes Under Current DA, Citing ‘Scandal’ Riddled Record of ‘Trump Republican’”

  1. Keith Olsen

    “Today’s shocking hate crime report is a painful reminder that far right extremism has been emboldened by the Trump Presidency and District Attorney Todd Spitzer, an unapologetic Trump Republican,”

    It seems like most of the hate crimes that have been caught on video against the AAPI community have been perpetuated by black people, hardly far right extremists.

    1. David Greenwald

      I don’t know if that’s true or not. But I think if you look at hate crimes as a manifestation of systemic racism rather than individual racism do you end up in a different place in terms of your analysis. In other words you are assuming that the individual act is perpetrated by an individual person that exhibit hate individually for the targeted victim rather than a systemic cause.

      1. Alan Miller

        I knew you’d give that answer, because that’s the progressive answer.  There’s a modicum of truth there, but it’s a real stretch to say an individual act committed by one group against another group is the fault of yet another group.  The modicum comes in that an overall societal situation could be created by the a dominant group which creates socio-economic disparity that causes one group to feed on another at some high level, overall.  But it is a really cynical view of the role and ability of the individual to overcome circumstances in a way that is not destructive to other individuals outside ‘their group’, and abdicates responsibility by assigning the blame for an individual crime not to the offender but to a blamed, nebulous, dominant ‘they’ who ‘all’ take on the traits of oppressor so that the perpetrator may be blameless.  I don’t subscribe to that theory.  I believe society should always strive to do better, that individuals should strive to improve their hearts, the opportunities for betterment should be provided, that non-corrupt charity can lift us as one.  I also believe abdicating individual responsibility via blame of a vague ‘they’ is destructive to both the individual and society, and that societal rules should not only be applied as equally as possible (and they are not, we agree there), but also must apply to all.  Abdicating responsibility to a stated and defined ‘victim’ class is not a solution to inequal prosecution and enforcement is not a solution to these ills, but rather are a further degradation.

        Why do you allow the pejorative, “Trump Republican” in you publication?  Yes I read the headline.

         

        1. Bill Marshall

          But it is a really cynical view of the role and ability of the individual to overcome circumstances in a way that is not destructive to other individuals outside ‘their group’, and abdicates responsibility by assigning the blame for an individual crime not to the offender but to a blamed, nebulous, dominant ‘they’ who ‘all’ take on the traits of oppressor so that the perpetrator may be blameless. 

          You’re making an important point… as one of Flip Wilson’s characters deflected (from individual responsibility)… “the devil made me do it!”… @ Nuremburg we heard, “I was just following orders!”.

          Now, some are giving individuals a new “cop out”… “wasn’t me, it was systemic racism!”… or, as Curley might say, “I was a victim of circumstances!”

          Ironically, blaming “systemic racism” is a form of ‘enabling’ for those individuals who act anti-socially, unjustly… go figure… it can even be a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’…

          1. David Greenwald

            I made this point to Alan – I view explanation and blame separately. Individuals are certainly responsible for their own conduct, understanding why one group of people is acting in a certain way however is a helpful explanation.

        2. David Greenwald

          Alan – thanks for the thoughtful comment…

          The point I was making was not about blame, but understanding the phenomena. I guess understanding the dynamics of a pogrom might be instructive (and less charged than a Nazi reference) – were you have a climate of intolerance trigger individual and collective acts of violence against a group. I believe that the rise in hate crimes is the result of a landscape of hate, scapegoating of the population for the pandemic by previous leaders and the people that seem (the stats I have seen) to be taking it are largely resource-deprived. (It may also be demographic – the people less likely to have contact with said group might be rural whites who we normally associate with hate crimes).

          Trump Republican seems more to reflect the fact that Trump has remade the Republican party with a certain characteristic, kind of like Reagan Democrats who moved from one party to another. Wasn’t the headline writer, but did allow it.

  2. Ron Oertel

    the people less likely to have contact with said group might be rural whites who we normally associate with hate crimes

    That is not the only group (or skin color) associated with hate crimes.  You (and those who think like you) are the ones who “normally associate” it primarily with that group.

    Those who think like you are “color-blind” to any other type. In fact, you purposefully wear blinders.

    The only skin color you see regarding this is white.

    And on those rare occasions when even you can’t ignore it, you somehow still see “white” involvement.

     

    1. Keith Olsen

      Those who think like you

      You mean David and his ilk?

      I totally agree Ron, I was getting ready to respond but you beat me to it.

      Blacks attacking Asians has nothing to do with Trump Republicans.  This is nothing but campaign rhetoric and deflection.

       

      1. Keith Olsen

        You know those numbers are skewed because usually only whites are accused of hate crimes.  Black and other people of color on white crime is less likely to be charged as a hate crime.

        1. Ron Oertel

          For those who don’t click on Keith’s link:

          The federal government and most state governments don’t consider Hispanic/Latino as a racial category — instead, most crimes committed by Hispanics are counted under the category “white.”

          By the way, do Asians ever commit hate crimes, themselves (in regard to the statistics that David presented)?

          And, are there ever hate crimes “between” different broadly-labeled groups, which fall under the same “umbrella” of label?

  3. Ron Oertel

    Spitzer has failed to keep the most vulnerable members of our community safe, as is evidenced by the 1,800 percent rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, 114 percent rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes, and 23 percent rise in anti-Black hate crimes.”

    Weren’t you just questioning a survey, in another article?  And yet, you accept this as fact?

     

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