The FBI Confirms What Most of Us Already Knew—Hate Crimes Are on the Rise

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The FBI published their annual study on hate crimes across the United States on Monday, confirming what anyone with eyes connected to their brain already probably knows—crimes based on race, sexual or gender identity, and religion are on the rise across the United States.


The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program surveyed 15,254 law enforcement agencies over the course of 2016, which collectively reported “6,121 criminal incidents that were motivated by bias toward race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, or gender identity,” a statement from the bureau said. The 2016 figures represent about a 5% increase from 2015.

Per the report:

Of the 6,121 criminal incidents reported, 6,063 were single-bias incidents (there were also 58 multiple-bias incidents).

Of the single-bias incidents:

—57.5% were motivated by a race, ethnicity or ancestry bias;

—21.0% were motivated by a religious bias;

—17.7% were motivated by a sexual orientation bias;

—The remaining incidents were motivated by a gender identity, disability, or gender bias.

According to the FBI, there were 7,615 total victims of hate crimes last year, the bulk of whom experienced attacks on their person or their property.

More than 4,200 single-bias hate crimes were motivated by race, ethnicity, or ancestry, with more than half of those crimes being “motivated by anti-black or African American bias.” Of the 1,538 religiously-motivated attacks, 54% percent were anti-Jewish, while nearly a quarter targeted Muslim victims.

While the FBI’s report does not attempt to explain why hate crimes are on the rise, its findings are in line with other hate crime metrics that have documented an increase in attacks on Muslims, the LGBTQ community, and people of color. It’s also no stretch to say that the political ascendency of Donald Trump, along with the corresponding wave of overt bigotry and white supremacy that he’s fueled and benefitted from as both a candidate and now as president, roughly tracks with the uptick in hate crimes.

America has always had issues combatting hate, but from the looks of it, it’s only getting worse.

Senior writer. When in doubt he'll have the soup.