Re­port: Hate crimes on the rise in US

China Daily - - WORLD -

WASHINGTON — The United States saw more hate crimes in 2016 than the pre­vi­ous year, but ex­perts said the prob­lem may be big­ger than the num­ber in­di­cated.

The to­tal num­ber of hate crimes last year was 6,121, with an in­crease of 4.6 per­cent, com­pared with 5,850 in 2015, ac­cord­ing to new data re­leased by the Fed­eral Bu­reau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion on Mon­day.

Those in­ci­dents, the re­port said, were mo­ti­vated by bias to­ward race, eth­nic­ity, an­ces­try, re­li­gion, sex­ual orientation, dis­abil­ity, gen­der or gen­der iden­tity.

Ac­cord­ing to the data, the num­ber of hate crimes in­creased for a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year, and most were “sin­gle-bias in­ci­dents”.

Hate crime vic­tims, the FBI said, can be in­di­vid­u­als, busi­nesses, gov­ern­ment en­ti­ties, re­li­gious or­ga­ni­za­tions, or so­ci­ety as whole, and they can be com­mit­ted against per­sons, prop­erty or so­ci­ety.

Of those sin­gle-bias of­fenses in 2016, nearly 58 per­cent were mo­ti­vated by race, eth­nic­ity or an­ces­try bias, while 21 per­cent were driven by re­li­gious bias and about 18 per­cent were caused by sex­ual orientation bias.

More than half of the rac­ere­lated in­ci­dents were an­tiblack, while about 20 per­cent were anti-white, the FBI’s data showed.

Fur­ther­more, over half of the re­li­gion-re­lated of­fenses were anti-Jewish, while a quar­ter were anti-Mus­lim.

“No per­son should have to fear be­ing vi­o­lently at­tacked be­cause of who they are, what they be­lieve, or how they wor­ship,” US At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions said in a state­ment af­ter the statis­tics were re­leased.

The FBI re­port is based on vol­un­tary re­search by more than 15,000 lo­cal law en­force­ment agen­cies.

But some sug­gested the FBI fig­ures were in­com­plete as nearly 90 cities with pop­u­la­tions of more than 100,000 ei­ther re­ported no hate crimes or did not sub­mit data for 2016.

“There’s a danger­ous dis­con­nect be­tween the ris­ing prob­lem of hate crimes and the lack of cred­i­ble data be­ing re­ported,” said Jonathan A. Green­blatt, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Anti-Defama­tion League.

He also called for an “all­hands-on-deck” ap­proach to ac­quire bet­ter na­tion­wide fig­ures on the prob­lem.

Sim Singh, the national ad­vo­cacy man­ager of the Sikh Coali­tion, said the FBI statis­tics “rep­re­sents the tip of the ice­berg”.

Singh said it will be hard for the coun­try to mo­bi­lize po­lit­i­cal will and re­sources nec­es­sary to ad­dress the is­sue if law en­force­ment agen­cies fail to doc­u­ment true ex­tent of hate crimes.

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