Hate crime statistics still at an all-time high, says FBI
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) showed that hate crime statistics were still at an all-time high in 2018 after surging in 2017.
According to the FBI, the number of hate crime incidents that targeted gays, lesbians, and bisexuals in the US in 2018 went up by nearly 6 percent as compared to 2017.
Meanwhile, anti-transgender hate crime incidents went up by 41 percent in the same period.
Hate crime statistics still high for 2018
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics Report, which covered the period of 2018, had participating law enforcement agencies in the US reporting a total of 7,120 hate crime incidents.
This is less by 55 as compared to in 2017. However, from 2016 to 2017, there was a 17% increase in reported incidents.
The 2018 report noted 1,196 sexual orientation-related hate crime incidents for the year. This is 5.8 percent over the 1,130 incidents reported in 2017.
There were also 168 incidents in 2018 of victims targeted for a hate crime based on their gender identity, an increase of 41.1 percent as compared to the previous year.
Of the 1,196 incidents based on sexual orientation, these included 726 anti-gay male incidents, 129 anti-lesbian incidents, 303, anti-LGBT “mixed group” incidents, 21 anti-bisexual incidents, and 17 anti-anti-heterosexual incidents.
Of the 168 gender-identity incidents, there were 142 anti-transgender incidents and 26 reported anti-gender non-conforming incidents.
Reactions to the FBI report
Washington Blade asked the White House about the report and they replied: “The president has said that hate has no place in America and has condemned racism, bigotry and violence.”
“This administration is committed to ensuring law enforcement have all the tools they need to investigate and disrupt hate crimes or acts of domestic terrorism against any person or group,” they said.
Meanwhile, Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said: “Bias-motivated crimes are a real, frightening problem in the United States, and LGBTQ people continue to be targeted because of who they are.”
FBI guidelines break down incidents into six categories of “bias motivation.” These are: Race/Ethnicity/Ancestry, Religion, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender, and Disability.
Of the 7,036 “single bias incidents” reported in 2018, 57.5 percent were race/ethnicity/ancestry bias, 20.2 percent were religious bias, and 17.0 percent were sexual orientation bias.
The others were: 2.4 percent were gender identity bias, 2.3 percent were disability bias; and 0.7 percent or 47 incidents were gender bias.
Hate crime statistics vs. other minorities
The FBI report noted that bias against African-Americans was in the largest category of reported hate crime offenses with regard to race with 46.9%, followed by Latinos with 13%.
The Latino figure has been steadily increasing in the past years with Brian Levin, the director of California State University’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, citing a national shift from Muslims to Latinos.
“I think we’re seeing a swapping out of Latinos as immigration has reasserted itself as a top issue and as Middle Eastern-related terrorism has declined,” Levin told CNN.
“As the electorate has switched from having terrorism being the No. 1 issue, now to immigration, it looks like we’ve seen a switch for Latino victims,” he said.
Bias against Jews comprised the majority of incidents reported with 57.8%, followed by 14.5% of against Muslims.
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said, “It is unacceptable that Jews and Jewish institutions continue to be at the center of religion-based hate crime attacks. We need to take concrete action to address and combat this significant problem.”
Heidi Beirich, head the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, said: “Hateful and inflammatory rhetoric from the current presidential administration continues to normalize the beliefs that motivate these crimes.”