On Monday, the FBI released its annual report on hate crimes. The report came to some newsworthy conclusions--most notably, that blacks and Jews are the victims of most of the hate crimes perpetrated in the U.S. Here's a look at what the report has to say, and how people are reacting to it.
- The FBI's Numbers Agence France-Presse reports that "out of 6,604 hate crimes committed in the United States in 2009, some 4,000 were racially motivated and nearly 1,600 were driven by hatred for a particular religion ... Blacks made up around three-quarters of victims of the racially motivated hate crimes and Jews made up the same percentage of victims of anti-religious hate crimes." The report also notes that "anti-Muslim crimes were a distant second to crimes against Jews, making up just eight percent of the hate crimes driven by religious intolerance." Finally, the report notes a drop in hate crimes overall: "Some 8,300 people fell victim to hate crimes in 2009, down from 9,700 the previous year."
- Hate Crimes Are Pretty Rare, concludes Don Surber at the Charleston Daily Mail. Surber notes that "less than 5,100" of the FBI's reported hate crimes "were crimes against a person (the rest were property crimes). In a nation of 300 million people of diverse backgrounds, that is unbelievably low. You are twice as likely to be murdered as you are to be a victim of a hate crime."
- So Where's That Anti-Muslim Backlash? wonders Jonathan Tobin at Commentary. "Despite the constant drumbeat of incitement from those extremists purporting to represent the interests of American Muslims, anti-Islamic hate crimes remain rare occurrences," Tobin writes. "The idea that anti-Muslim bigotry is a dominant theme in American society or that violent haters have disproportionately victimized believers in Islam is simply without foundation." Tobin also points out that "every year since such statistics were first kept... the vast majority of hate crimes motivated by religion have been directed against Jews, not Muslims."
- Gays Have It Worst, Not That You'd Know From the Report LGBTQ Nation points to a report issued by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which states that "homosexuals or perceived homosexuals are by far the group most targeted in America for violent hate crimes, according to an Intelligence Report analysis of 14 years of federal hate crime data. The bottom line: Gay people are more than twice as likely to be attacked in a violent hate crime as Jews or blacks; more than four times as likely as Muslims; and 14 times as likely as Latinos." LGBTQ Nation notes that the SPLC report was released this week "to coincide with the scheduled release of the FBI’s hate crime statistics for 2009." The FBI report compiles "not only attacks on a person or property motivated by racism or anti-religious sentiments, but also by prejudices based on a person's or group's sexual orientation, ethnic origins or disability," so it's not clear what accounts for the difference in the two reports' findings.