Hispanics top target of hate crimes
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — "I remember seeing signs that read "No Mexicans or dogs allowed," recalls Alex Nogales, president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition.
He grew up as a child farm worker in California and now, several decades later, he still feels the very same hate.
"The reasons are very straight forward. They're economic, but beyond that they're racist to a large degree," said Nogales.
A recent report from the FBI shows that in 2010, 66 percent of hate crimes toward ethnic groups targeted Hispanics. In 2009 the number was at 45 percent.
"It's not a surprise," Nogales said. "I am surprised the number is as low as it is."
He feels those numbers would be higher if Mexican illegal immigrants reported the hate crimes against them.
Jose Gatica of East Los Angeles said he has never been the victim of a hate crime, but he was with a friend who experienced hateful discrimination as they tried to enter an LA bar.
"He showed his ID -- his Mexican one -- and they stopped him and they didn't let him in," said Gatica.
Nogales doesn't see the hate crimes number falling anytime soon.
"There are bigots of all stripes of all sizes around the nation that need to blame someone, and we are the most convenient target," he said.