Hate crimes in the United States rose to the highest level in more than a decade.
The FBI’s annual report defines hate crimes as those motivated by bias based on a person’s race, religion or sexual orientation, among other categories.
There were 7,314 hate crimes last year, up from 7,120 the year before – and approaching the 7,783 of 2008. There was a nearly 7 percent increase in religion-based hate crimes, with 953 reports of crimes targeting Jews and Jewish institutions last year, up from 835 the year before. The FBI said the number of hate crimes against African Americans dropped slightly to 1,930, from 1,943. Anti-Hispanic hate crimes, however, rose to 527 in 2019, from 485 in 2018. And the total number of hate crimes based on a person’s sexual orientation stayed relatively stable, with one fewer crime reported last year, compared with the year before, though there were 20 more hate crimes against gay men reported.
Margaret Huang. president of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which tracks hates groups, said, “Hate crimes are consistently under-reported due to the federal government’s failure to mandate hate crime data collection at the state and local levels.”