Hate Crimes Are on the Rise in America

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To the surprise of pretty much no one who’s actually been paying attention to the world around them for the past couple of years, hate crimes in the United States have skyrocketed recently, according to a new report released on Tuesday by the FBI.


In their annual hate crime report for the year 2017, the FBI reported that there were 7,175 recorded hate crimes for that year—up a whopping 17 percent from 6,121 in 2016 (which was itself an increase from the previous year).

Per the FBI’s report:

The most common bias categories in single-bias incidents were race/ethnicity/ancestry (59.6) percent, religion (20.6 percent), and sexual orientation (15.8 percent). In addition to the 7,106 single-bias incidents reported last year, there were also 69 multiple-bias hate crimes reported.

The FBI report offers a snapshot of the data provided to it by 16,149 law enforcement offices across the country—a nearly 1,000 office increase from its 2016 report. And while the report doesn’t go into the “why” behind the increase in hate crimes over the past year, it’s hard to see the double-digit rise as happening wholly independent from the ratcheted up racism, homophobia, and dogwhistles coming from the White House.

In a press release, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker called the FBI data a “call to action” and noted specifically the sharp uptick in anti-Semitic hate crimes, the most prevalent type of hate crimes, over the past year—a 37 percent increase from 2016.

“The American people can be assured that this Department has already taken significant and aggressive actions against these crimes,” Whitaker wrote. “We will vigorously and effectively defend their rights.”

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