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The geography of hate: Texans tweet hate more than any other state!

Getty Images

Getty Images

The word “wetback” was tweeted from Texas more than any other anti-Latino word according to the folks at Floating Sheep Project – the group who tracked racist tweets during President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign; no other border state charted such levels of anti-Latino hate.

If you tweeted hate-speak words of the racist or homophobic variety anytime between June 2012 and April 2013, consider yourself “geo-tagged”, released, and tracked on an interactive map that burns bright red with a Hundred-Thousand-Lights-of-Hate from Brownsville to Bismarck and small white towns east of the Mississippi. Dubbed the “Geography of Hate”, the project reviewed and coded tweets from across the country noting the sentiment of each “hate” tweet then categorizing word usage as positive, negative or neutral.

“Social intolerance can’t be measured in tweets alone, (but) hate words are still a very real part of our culture.” contends Professor Monica Stephens, who directed research and plotting of the “Hate” map project for Humboldt State University in Arcata, California.

Orange County, California tops the study with the highest absolute number of tweets – both hateful and in general – however researchers assert their blue appearance on the “Hate” map is a result of being normalized by their significant overall Twitter activity. Only those counties with a disproportionately high usage of hate words glow red on the “Hate” map. Researchers and critics agree that hate speech continues to trend, but we hardly need Heat-Sensitive-Hate Maps to state obvious truths about Texas

Texas led the nation in population growth in the 2010 Census earning four new congressional seats, billions in federal dollars and newfound political clout for the Lone Star State. Latinos made up eight of every ten new Texans, yet none of the four new districts reflected this monumental growth. The following year, Texas lawmakers cut billions of dollars in public education as Latino children became the majority of students in the state’s overcrowded classrooms.

Since then, Texas lawmakers have systematically spent tens of millions of dollars to dismantle civil rights and voting rights for Latinos, women, and people of color. Adding a layer of gloom to the political landscape, the Supreme Court invalidated key sections of the Voting Rights Act in June declaring open season on the nation’s minorities.

Amidst this backdrop of doom in Corpus Christi, Texas – the new ground zero in the Latino civil rights movement – expect more anti-Latino hate tweets as the U.S. Department of Justice just filed suit against Texas over the voter ID law.


By Being Latino contributing writer La Lisa Hernandez.

About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.

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