Although the FBI report released today shows a minuscule decline in all hate crimes in 2018, it also shows a 12 percent rise in hate crimes involving violence.
The overall decline was due to a decrease in hate crimes involving property, such as bias-related vandalism.
This uptick in violent hate crimes comes on the heels of FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in July, when he said the majority of domestic terrorism investigations are connected to white supremacy.
Given President Trump’s incendiary – and often false – rhetoric about immigrants, it is not surprising that the FBI reports a nearly 14 percent increase in hate crimes against Latinos in 2018. A president’s words have consequences, and this administration continues to normalize the bigotry that motivates hate crimes. Earlier this year in El Paso, we witnessed one of the deadliest white nationalist, anti-immigrant acts of domestic terrorism in U.S. history.
The FBI report also shows an 18 percent increase in anti-LGBTQ hate crimes.
About 27 percent of all hate crimes in 2018 – the largest share among all categories – were motivated by anti-black bias.
It’s important to remember, too, that the FBI statistics, while useful, represent just the tip of the iceberg. We know from previous Department of Justice studies that hate crime numbers are severely underreported and that an average of 250,000 people are victimized by hate crimes every year.
For more information about hate crimes, see Hate Crimes, Explained.
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