The incidents of hate crimes seems to be increasing in USA at alarming levels. The new data released by the FBI indicates a 17 per cent increase in hate crimes, reported just for 2017. The disturbing trend is that over 60 per cent of those hate crimes are tied to race. In 2017, 16,149 law enforcement agencies participated in the Hate Crime Statistics Program. Of these agencies, 2,040 reported 7,175 hate crime incidents involving 8,437 offenses.
Of the 8,126 single-bias hate crime offenses reported in the above incidents include 59.5 percent stemmed from a race/ethnicity/ancestry bias, 20.7 percent were motivated by religious bias, 16.0 percent resulted from sexual-orientation bias, 1.6 percent resulted from bias against disabilities, 1.6 percent stemmed from gender-identity bias and 0.7 percent (53 offenses) were prompted by gender bias.
Of the race-based hate crimes, nearly half were against African-Americans. Nearly 60 percent of the hate crimes driven by religion were anti-Semitic in nature, with Islamophobic attacks coming in a distant second. Gay men were the most targeted (58.6 percent) when it came to hate crimes driven by sexual orientation, with a “mixed group” of lesbian, transgender, and/or bisexual members of the LGBTQ community the targets of nearly a quarter of the violence.
The vast majority of these acts of violence are being aimed at blacks, Jews, and members of the LGBTQ community—not the cisgender, heterosexual, white Christian men that we instinctively know to be the proponents of most of this bigoted violence.
As this date covers 2017, after the hellscape that far-right hate delivered to the nation in recent weeks, one can only wonder what 2018’s data will show. It’s also worth noting that not all law enforcement agencies track and report hate crimes to the FBI, though the federal agency is encouraging them in this regard.