Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Hate crimes? Well, bad hate accounting anyway

Is it better to fund a group to go looking around for hate, or is it better to fund them to do nothing at all? Apparently, the city has decided the former. From the London Free Press:

City hall should hold back funding for an anti-hate group until troubles there, which left no money in the till to pay staff, are scrutinized by an auditor and new board, city politicians say. The London Association for the Elimination of Hate, whose staff was laid off in October, is now being run by a new board that has hired KPMG to audit its finances. The board also has begun its own review, trying to find out how money was spent and accounted for and whether safeguards that were in place were adequate. Until the audit and report are done, city hall should withhold two-thirds of the association's funding, giving $20,000 to pay for the audit, bills and office expenses, the city's community and protective services committee says.

[…] "The board of directors is committed to seeing the association move forward and continue to deliver programming," [new board chairman Laila Norman] said yesterday Norman hopes the audit and report will be completed in March so the rest of $63,000 in city funding will be released to hire staff.
I'll bet she does. Also from the Free Press:
$160,000 in funding from other levels of government is on hold until the association's affairs are in order.

[…] The entire staff of the London Association for the Elimination of Hate, including its founding executive director, is out of work. A new chairperson has taken over the board. City funding, about $63,000 this year, continues while volunteers staff the phones. […] The major funders include the Trillium Foundation, the federal departments of Canadian Heritage and Justice, and the provincial Ministry of the Attorney General.
According to professional hate activists who specialize in the justification of their existence at the expense of taxpayers, the fear of what happens if there are no professional hate activists in London far outweighs the pecuniary interests of ordinary citizens:
[T]he association's troubles will comfort the city's white supremacy movement and hurt efforts to promote tolerance in an increasingly multicultural London. "It is certainly going to make the white supremacist groups very happy," [former executive director Debbie] Lee said.

Anti-hate crusader Richard Warman said a strong anti-hate association is key in London. "There doesn't seem to be much political will to take the issue seriously, despite the fact London has one of the worst, if not the worst, problem with white supremacy and neo-Nazi organization in Canada," said Warman, an Ottawa lawyer who fights Internet hate propaganda. The association is like a "canary in a coal mine," warning Londoners of the problem, he added.

[…] The association has worked with regional school boards to teach students about tolerance, and sponsors a summer camp for teachers about the Holocaust and human rights.

It supports gay pride events, the city's multicultural groups and individuals facing racism. The association has also urged London police to lay hate crime charges against a white supremacist.
Well, I guess there's no answer for it — we'll simply have to give them more money!


Pietr said...

More money?
Don't you just hate that?

MapMaster said...

I think that's precisely the kind of hate they're trying to eliminate.

Seth Patinkin said...

Dear Oprah,

I am writing to you about discrimination which has been expressed by the selective enforcement of city ordinances against me with respect to my rental business in Southern Indiana once city officials discovered that I am a Jewish person.

More about me: I was named to the "30 under 30" list by my alma mater and did my PhD work at Princeton Univ. under John Nash. I am a applied mathematician/ entrepreneur in my day job.

In the years since I completed my undergraduate work at IU in 1998, I proceeded to buy a small number of rental properties in Bloomington, Indiana, which I have successfully run as a side business for a number of years.

However, about 2-3 years ago, the normal flow of my side rental business ran into some serious roadblocks.

It started when two housing inspectors made a number of explicit anti-semitic statements to me and to a Jewish tenant at one of my rentals.

Soon thereafter, four (4) groups of my otherwise law-abiding and happy tenants were threatened with $10,000 + fine (assessed PER tenant) for alleged ordinance violations.

Long story short, I was soon stuck with numerous vacancies and left paying the mortgage payments on these properties which were subsequently burglarized and vandalized. At the same time, the Housing Department caused complaint inspections to take place at these properties, identifying dozens and dozens of "defects" in the properties not otherwise noted in previous move-in inspections and causing me to incur thousands of dollars of needless "improvements".

And then the Legal Department went to work on me, filing at least five (5) lawsuits against me for alleged ordinance violations, and at the same time, the Legal Department Chief's wife, over at Student Legal Services, encouraged my erstwhile tenants to sue me for recovery of their security deposits, in spite of their breaches. I was soon dealing with about ten lawsuits at once.

So in April 2007, I filed a lawsuit against the City of Bloomington for violating my right to equal protection of the law, and a number of other civil rights violations. For reasons unbeknownst to me, I have become of the despotism of city government in small town Indiana. My attorneys have recently discovered that my case is not unique. Another Jewish landlord also has a case pending in federal court against the City, regarding the improper withholding of a building permit based upon the impermissible consideration that the prospective buyer of the commercial property in question was a Jewish investor from New York.

My life has been turned upside down by the systematic abuse of ordinances and
judicial proceedings. I find it outrageous that such a negative spirit still thrives in modern America. I would love the opportunity to talk about my story on your show, as I think it is in the public interest.

Seth Patinkin