Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tis The Season...To Hate

FBI Releases 2011 Hate Crimes Statistics:

According to statistics released today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 6,222 criminal incidents involving 7,254 offenses were reported in 2011 as a result of bias toward a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, or physical or mental disability. 

Hate Crime Statistics, 2011 includes the following information:
  • There were 6,216 single-bias incidents, of which 46.9 percent were motivated by a racial bias, 20.8 percent were motivated by a sexual orientation bias, 19.8 percent were motivated by a religious bias, and 11.6 percent were motivated by an ethnicity/national origin bias. Bias against a disability accounted for 0.9 percent of single-bias incidents.
  • Of the 4,623 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against persons in 2011, intimidation accounted for 45.6 percent, simple assaults for 34.5 percent, and aggravated assaults for 19.4 percent. Four murders and seven forcible rapes were reported as hate crimes.
  • Fifty-nine percent of the 5,731 known offenders were white; 20.9 percent were black. The race was unknown for 10.8 percent, and other races accounted for the remaining known offenders.
If you glance through the report itself, the numbers become even more depressing.

Racial bias

In 2011, law enforcement agencies reported that 3,465 single-bias hate crime offenses were racially motivated. Of these offenses:
  • 72.0 percent were motivated by anti-black bias.
  • 16.7 percent stemmed from anti-white bias.
  • 4.8 percent resulted from anti-Asian/Pacific Islander bias.
  • 4.7 percent were a result of bias against groups of individuals consisting of more than one race (anti-multiple races, group).
  • 1.9 percent were motivated by anti-American Indian/Alaskan Native bias. (Based on Table 1.)

Sexual-orientation bias

In 2011, law enforcement agencies reported 1,508 hate crime offenses based on sexual-orientation bias. Of these offenses:
  • 57.8 percent were classified as anti-male homosexual bias.
  • 28.4 percent were reported as anti-homosexual bias.
  • 11.1 percent were prompted by an anti-female homosexual bias.
  • 1.5 percent were classified as anti-bisexual bias. 
  • 1.1 percent were the result of an anti-heterosexual bias. (Based on Table 1.)

I guess if there's any good news, it's that the total number of incidents in 2011 isn't any higher than 2010's numbers. But interestingly, if you compare the racial and sexual-orientation bias crimes of today to the pre-Obama era (2007), it appears that crimes motivated by racism and homophobia are getting worse, not better.

Much to think about as the first African-American president prepares for a second term, and the Supreme Court of the United States takes up the issue of same-sex marriage next year.

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