Police across the nation reported 7,722 criminal incidents in 2006 targeting victims or property as a result of bias against a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic or national origin or physical or mental disability. That was up 7.8 percent from the 7,163 incidents reported in 2005.Part of the rise is attributable to increased 'public awareness':
I do not mean to make light of these crimes, only of their designation. Destruction of property and 'intimidation' together comprise more than 64% of the total criminality reported.
One potential reason for last year's increase could be that almost 200 additional law enforcement agencies from around the country reported statistics for the year [though only three-fourths of law enforcement agencies participate in the FBI's program of reporting hate crimes].
Since there is much more political pressure for prosecutors to designate crimes perpetrated against non-whites (especially blacks) by whites as hate crimes than when the race of the victim and perpetrator are reversed, hate crimes (which might be better dubbed "crimes with hateful motivations") inflate the perception of white nastiness while downplaying the perception of non-white aggressiveness. This is further accentuated by the media's inability to put much of anything into perspective. As whites comprise two-thirds of the country's population, it's not surprising that they make up the bulk of the perpetrators.
How many murders actually took place over the course of the year were classified as hate crimes? Three. Across the entire country. And none of these involved nooses in action!
Al Sharpton does not share my sentiments:
In a statement Monday, Rev. Al Sharpton, president of National Action Network, which organized the protest [outside the Justice Department], said, "The FBI report confirms what we have been saying for many months about the severe increase in hate crimes and why many thousands of citizens marched Friday, Nov. 16 in front of the U.S. Justice Department. What is not reported, however, is the lack of prosecution and serious investigation by the Justice Department to counter this increase in hate crimes."It should be noted that black targets are even more highly represented than are black perpetrators, at 267%, of what would be predicted given equal victimization rates across demographic groups.
The Reverend might also make note of another aspect of the story that is not being reported: Rates of offence by race. The over- and under-representation of offenders as compared to their respective portions of the nation as a whole (with 100% being exactly as would be predicted based on total population size):
Blacks -- 161%
Native Americans -- 110%
Whites -- 73%
Asians -- 26%
Hispanics are not reported separately in the statistics, so most Hispanic offenders are included in the white number.
Although the abrupt increase from the year before is being heralded as evidence of increased white racial animus by Sharpton, the black rate of offence rose more from last year than the rate of any other racial group. The year-over-year increase in perpetrators, by race:
Asians -- 37.7% (from 61 to 84 total incidents)
Blacks -- 11.5%
Whites -- 4.3%
Native Americans -- (2.6%)
I do not find the hate crime designation helpful, especially as it is picked up on by media sources. Racial characteristics in exhaustive national crime statistics are rarely reported, so the focus on designated hate crimes gives the impression that criminality is overwhelmingly directed at blacks and perpetrated by the rest of society, especially whites, even as blacks commit more than 5.5 times as many violent crimes (in absolute numbers!) against whites as whites do against blacks, and are seven times more likely than non-blacks to commit murder.
This feeds into the idea of black victimization, which is counterproductive for sustainable black improvement.
It does not mesh at all with what whites see with their own lying eyes on the six o'clock news and in their knowledge of 'no-go' places for whites in many major US cities. This dissonance is a recipe for backlash.