Last week, Michael Szaz was sentenced to 45 days in prison and 100 hours of community service for a death threat he sent to leaders at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR).
In his email to NCLR, Szaz referred to Hispanics using a racial epithet and threatened to kill members of the staff and splay their bodies. NCLR and other community advocates believe that this has to be seen as a part of a larger pattern of hate directed at immigrants, as the debate on immigration continues to loom in the national psyche. Szaz’s prosecution sends an important message to others engaging in this type of action that it is a federal crime punishable in a court of law.
This is a victory for those who are working to end the violent hate-speech threatening the Latino community in the United States.
According to the FBI, hate crimes targeting Latinos have risen steadily in the last few years. Through its website, http://www.wecanstopthehate.org/, NCLR has been working to raise awareness of this increase and the ties to white supremacy and eugenics that many of the anti-immigrant groups have.