The Southern Poverty Law Center is reporting that the number of hate crimes against Latinos has been rising for the last several years as right wing rhetoric has been getting more and more extreme and violent.
Anti-Latino crimes increased in each of the four years from 2003 through 2007, before dropping back slightly in 2008, according to FBI national hate crime statistics (2009 figures have not yet been compiled). In recent months, politicians and others have made statements that demonize Latinos and likely contribute to the atmosphere of violence. Two of the most outrageous recent examples: Texas Republican Congressmen Louie Gohmert and Debbie Riddle both claimed that pregnant terrorists plan to sneak into America to give birth to future terrorists who will automatically become U.S. citizens and eventually "help destroy our way of life," as Gohmert put it. Both representatives claimed that former FBI officials divulged the terrorist baby threat to them.
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