Thursday, April 9, 2009

Stat of the Day: Hate Crime Increase

So, obviously, I'm not going to be able to do these EVERY day.

Also, feel free to submit a stat, and you can even submit one to counter one that I've posted, just be sure to include a source.

In 2006, the FBI reports a 7.8% increase in the number of hate crimes from the previous year.
Source: Human Rights First
As I can gather, this is the most recent information available.

After reading the Human Rights First analysis and then thinking about what has been going on over the past few years that could cause such an increase, the following comes to mind.

1. Persistent anger about 9/11. There's still a lot of people out there who are angry about the terrorist attacks and blame all Muslims or Middle-Easter persons.
2. Immigration. In 2006, people were hot about this issue. I suspect that the recent economic crisis doesn't help things. (side note: does this make anyone else think about about then Senator and candidate Obama's "bitter" remarks?). I fear that many Latinos have and will continue to fall victim to hate crimes because they are associated with illegal immigration, even if they themselves are U.S. citizens.
3. LGBT Rights. As this has become a more publicly contested issue, I suspect that more violence has been committed against members of the LGBT community. It was September of 2005 that NBA star Shaquille O'Neal helped arrest a man accused of attacking a gay couple (he does everything but shoot free throws well).

Overall, this is a disturbing trend, because it suggest not only that hatred is on the rise, not the decline, in this country, but that it is increasingly manifesting itself in violent and criminal behavior. While Latinos make up an increasing share of the U.S. population, they face increased violence. While members of the LGBT community gain more rights, they also face more violence. And, while we have a black president, we also have a population that has generated more threats on his life than for a typical president.

I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same.

No comments: