In the US, the number of hate crimes last year rose by 17 percent. That makes 2017 the third year in a row that such crimes increased. This is shown by the figures released by the FBI.
In 2017, the FBI registered 7,175 reports related to hate crimes. In 2016, there were a thousand fewer (6,121). On the one hand, more and more police officers report such incidents to the FBI, as a result of which the figures can also be included in the database. On the other hand, mainly crimes related to racial hatred increase. More than half of such crimes – about three in five – were committed for ethnic origin. Religion was the cause of one out of five violent acts.
Racial hatred and anti-Semitism
Converted were 2,013 innocent black Americans and 938 Americans of Jewish origin attacked. 1,130 victims were targeted in 2017 because of their sexual orientation. The FBI has been highlighting the importance of the information for some years and wants to bundle the offenses in a federal database. Because many police departments do not report, the actual figure is probably much higher. “And that calls for action,” said Matthew Whitaker, new US minister of justice. “And we will respond to that call.”
Whitaker says he is particularly alarmed by the increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes “which are already the most common form of religious hate crimes in the US”. Anti-Semitic violence and hate messages actually rose by 37 percent in 2017.
From murder to vandalism
In total, if there are more than 7,000 hate crimes, more than 4,000 crimes were targeted against people: victims were threatened, raped, intimidated or killed. The other 3,000 crimes concern vandalism, theft and arson.