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Speculative Actuaries of Law: Criminalization of Hate in Los Angeles (1984 – 2014)

  • Author(s): Hwang, Jen-you
  • Advisor(s): Rodriguez, Dylan
  • et al.
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Abstract

Speculative Actuaries of Law: Criminalization of "Hate" in Los Angeles (1984-2014) argues that Los Angeles County (LAC) is a quintessential site for understanding the technological development of U.S. anti-hate crime activism on a local to transnational scale. Since the 1984 approval of Senate Bill 2080, California and LAC have modeled the collection and aggregation of hate crimes data for the U.S. and international democratic counterparts. I argue that in the span of thirty years, this legislation, in tandem with the material expansion of Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), worked to dictate the priorities for LGBTQ, immigrant and antiviolence community organizations, particularly those identifying as queer, transgender, gender nonconforming of color. The pressure to cooperate with local law enforcement for LGBTQ of color and immigrants reinforces compulsory logics of proper respectable sexual citizenship, particularly in cases pursuant to reporting hate crimes, revealing immigration status or obtaining amnesty. As an interdisciplinary research project, this project combines a legal history and cultural analysis of legislation, policy recommendation reports and pilot programs of what we now call hate crimes. Through examining Southern California antiviolence community organizational efforts towards 'community-parnerships' towards justice, this project concludes with a collaborative ethnographic and participatory roundtable by stakeholders in community. In collaboration with thirty-five queer and trans* people of color community advocates, service providers and organizers, these dynamic polyvocal roundtables illustrate the breadth of community voices and invaluable first-hand experiences that strongly distinguish "safety" outside of law-enforcing state agencies. These roundtables significantly reveal, as indexed by the National Coalition of Anti-violence Program annual report (2014), "LGBTQ & HIVAffected Hate Violence," that trans* women of color are both most likely to experience and least likely to report hate violence due to previous encounters of law enforcement hostility. Overall, this research project seeks to both 1) denaturalize U.S. settler-colonial and binary logics of "deserving/undeserving", "victim/perpetrator" and "human/nonhuman" that resound on a local to transnational scale, and 2) spotlight transformative justice initiatives being made most possible for and by trans* and queer of color queer community.

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This item is under embargo until June 16, 2020.