Attacks against black people is the top hate crime, followed by crimes against Jews and then gay men. The report was compiled by the non-profit research firm USA Facts and used law enforcement data from 1996 to 2017. The federal definition of a hate crime became law with the Civil Rights Act of 1968. At the time, hate crimes were defined as crimes committed on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin. But, after the deadly attacks against Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., the Hate Crimes Prevention Act expanded the law to apply to crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived disability, all sexual orientations, gender, and gender identity.
Read the actual Hate Crime Act.
Hate crime data collected by the FBI has grown over time. So, too, have the number of reported hate crimes, which are beginning to rise after falling for many years. In 1996, when the data were first collected, there were 10,706 hate crimes. That number spiked after the attacks on 9/11…reports show anti-Muslim sentiment contributed to a total of 11,451 hate crimes in 2001 – the numbers also show anti-Muslim attacks have not gone below pre-9/11 figures. A year later, hate crimes dropped to 8,832. The numbers were pretty steady until 2014 when hate crimes dropped to an all-time low of 6418. In 2017, the number of hate crimes jumped up to 8,437. This is the last year that full data are available. See how the FBI classifies hate crimes.
Crimes against people because of race/ethnicity and ancestry is still the number one hate crime. From 2014 to 2017 there was a 48% jump in those types of crimes. Crimes against blacks is more than double what it is against Jews and gays. The numbers come from stats provided to the FBI by local, federal, state and regional law enforcement data.
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Graphics courtesy of USAFacts.org, Photo: Getty Images