Civil rights groups are converging on the White House for a summit on hate crimes to plot strategy and press for legislation expanding federal hate crimes law. Bills introduced in Congress would give the government a stronger hand in investigating and prosecuting acts of hatred motivated by sexual orientation, gender and disability.
Around the country, just in the past few weeks there have been many related stories on hate crimes–from violent attacks against people of color, gay people and others, to demonstrations, to renewed efforts to enact hate crimes laws.
In Northern California, two brothers jailed in connection with the shooting deaths of a gay couple earlier this month are being investigated for their role in arsons at three California synagogues and possible connections to racist groups.
Officials searching the house of Matthew and James Williams found racist, anti-Semitic propaganda, including materials related to the World Church of the Creator. This group was also linked to Benjamin Nathaniel Smith, who went on a shooting rampage in Illinois and Indiana last weekend which targeted African Americans, Asians and Jewish people.
In Idaho this weekend, members of The Aryan Nation were confronted by hundreds of protesters are they attempted to march. And the Knights of Freedom of the Ku Klux Klan have applied for a marching permit in Washington, DC, for August 7th.
Court TV tonight premieres a documentary called "Crimes in the Name of God," which takes a look at the Christian Identity Movement, and its connections to the bombings in Oklahoma City, the Atlanta Olympic bombing and bombings of abortion clinics around the country.
- Steven Rosenbaum, Executive Producer of "Crimes in the Name of God," a one hour documentary produced by BNN that looks at terrorist attacks in the US and at their connection with Christian Identity groups.
- Rick Ross, expert consultant on cults and extremist groups. He has worked to deprogram skinheads, neo-Nazis and members of the Christian Identity Movement around the country. Speaking from Phoenix, Arizona.
- Kerry Noble, former member of the CSA (The Covenant, The Sword and the Arm of the Lord) from the Christian Identity Movement. He is now reformed, and has written a book called ??Tabernacle of Hate, an autobiographical account of his experiences in the extremist hate movement. Speaking from Burleston, Texas.