News / USA

Researchers say Racist Internet Sites Breed Hate

Researchers say Racist Internet Sites Breed Hatei
|| 0:00:00
X
Mike O'Sullivan
August 11, 2012 12:35 PM
American Sikhs have been mourning the victims of the mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin - and also trying to comprehend an act that seems senseless. The shooter's motives are unclear, but in Los Angeles Mike O'Sullivan reports that an organization that monitors hate groups points to the Internet as a breeding ground for racial hatred.
Mike O'Sullivan
LOS ANGELES — American Sikhs have been mourning the victims of the mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin - and are trying to comprehend an act that seems senseless.  The shooter's motives are unclear, but one organization that monitors hate groups points to the Internet as a breeding ground for racial hatred.

In the Los Angeles suburb of Walnut, Sikhs and other community members gathered for a vigil to remember the victims of the Wisconsin shooting.

Some also tried to understand what motivated the accused shooter, Wade Michael Page.   

California temple member Nachhatar Singh Bhullar calls the act senseless.

"It could happen anywhere.  Somebody can come anywhere and do those things," he said.

But researchers into hate groups say Page had ties to music groups with a white supremacist message and they speculate that his hatred sparked the rampage.

Tim Zaal, 48, recognizes the message.  He came to the Sikh temple to offer condolences, but says he once viewed all dark-skinned people with hatred.  He spent a year in jail for attacking an Iranian couple and has been involved in other hate crimes.  In the 1980s, he was a skinhead and organizer for the neo-Nazi group White Aryan Resistance.

"The white racialist movement was moving into a different direction.  Rather than have all these great big organizations, they started to operate in these little cells," he said.

And they started organizing online.  

Rick Eaton is a researcher on hate groups with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which monitors social sites such as Twitter and Facebook, and distributes an online research app - or application - to law enforcement agencies.

He says a world of hatred, little seen by most Americans, thrives on racist music, epithets and symbols.

"The name of the song is Keep Fighting, and it says their job is to keep fighting and if you don't, I'll kill you myself," he said.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says through music and diatribes, the online sites spread ideas,  attract revenue and recruits, and strengthen their commitment to a set of beliefs.

“It's empowerment, it's validation," he said.

He says, for people on the fringe, the sites create the illusion of a mass movement.  

There are limits to what law enforcement can do in the absence of a crime, no matter how offensive the hate speech, says Teresa Carlson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“Until somebody actually threatens, there’s a threat of force or violence, we can not open an investigation," she said.

Rabbi Cooper says companies that dominate the Internet need to do more.

"The social networking on the Internet could and should be doing a lot more to marginalize the message, messages and messengers of hatred and intolerance and terrorism," he said.

Meanwhile, the Sikhs of California are trying to understand how a quiet house of worship could become the scene of such a tragedy.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid