Hate Crimes Rise Across the U.S., Reaching Highest Level in More Than a Decade

By  - 

Hate crimes in the United States are peaking at levels that haven’t been seen since 2008, according to an annual FBI report released on Monday.

The FBI 2019 Hate Crime Statistics report, which was established in 1990, collects data on crimes that are evident of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. The report found there were 7,314 hate crime incidents reported last year which is just shy of the 7,783 reported in 2008. For three years in a row, more than 7,000 hate crimes have been reported.

More than 57 percent of the hate crimes reported in 2019 were incidents targeting racially and ethnically underrepresented groups. Of those crimes, nearly half were due to anti-Black racism.

The report also shows a 7 percent uptick in religion-motivated offenses from 2018.  Last year, there were 1,715 victims of anti-religious hate crimes, with more than 60 percent of the offenders being motivated by anti-Jewish bias.

More than 62 percent of the 1,395 hate crime offenses based on sexual-orientation were classified as anti-gay (male) bias, according to the data.

The report found there were 51 hate-related murders. Twenty-two of the hate-fueled killings are linked to the anti-Hispanic mass shooting that happened in an El Paso, Texas Walmart last August. Most of the victims from the domestic terrorist act were Latinx.

In 2019, there were 8,812 victims of hate crimes, with 260 victims experiencing multiple-bias incidents.

The FBI report comes at a time when colleges and universities have experienced an increase of hate crimes. This year, racist Zoom hackers have infiltrated virtual classrooms at colleges across the country, which is a federal crime.

Last year, ADL, formally known as the Anti-Defamation League, partnered with INSIGHT Into Diversity to help the higher education community address the rise in hate crimes on America’s campuses through a free webinar titled “Addressing Hate on Campus: Strategies for Responding to the Rise in Bias and Hate Incidents on College Campuses.”

The entire webinar can be accessed for free at https://vimeo.com/321599726. For more information about ADL’s resources, visit dc.adl.org/resources-for-responding-to-hate-in-the-community.