Politics of Hate Crimes in Providence

Thursday, December 08, 2016


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There have been no reported hate crimes against Muslims in Providence this year according to Muslim Advocates — a leading Muslim civil rights organization focused on “promoting freedom and justice for all.”

Mayor Jorge Elorza has held two press conferences and issued multiple press releases however on hate crimes. His press office was unable to provide how many hate crimes have occurred this year.


One Jewish advocate and former GOP Congressional candidate has charged that Elorza is biased.

“As I said, I don’t have a number (number of hate crimes) I can confirm at this time,” said Emily Crowell in an email to GoLocal on Wednesday afternoon, in response to repeated requests for the number of hate crimes reported in Providence over the last eleven months. On Wednesday, Elorza announced a hotline for those the victims of hate crimes.

According to the City of Providence, hate crimes decreased by more than 50% from 18 crimes in 2014 to 11 in 2015. Historically, Rhode Island ranks among the states with the fewest hate crimes in America per capita and over the last couple of years the number of reported hate crimes have decreased.

One GOP Congressional candidate has charged that Elorza’s is biased. “In just five months this year, Rhode Island suffered three highly publicized hate crimes perpetrated against the Jewish Community. Two of those took place in Providence, proper.  Yet Mayor Elorza showed virtually no public reaction.  That should be read as showing no leadership,” said candidate H. Russell Taub.

On November 22, Elorza signed an “executive order creating the Muslim-American Advisory Board as part of an ongoing One Providence initiative aimed at protecting and serving every resident of the city regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, political affiliation, religion, or disability.”  Taub says the lack of action against Jewish hate crimes shows bias by the Providence mayor.



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