The hate crime stats tell us something about what's going on in the country that might not be obvious. Determining what a "hate crime" is isn't easy. And many of us were against the passage of "hate crimes," because they were redundant. An assault would seem to hurt just as much regardless of the assailants frame of reference. But not being in one of the hate crime victim classes, I'm in no position to compare the pain.
In any event, here's how the FBI does it:
Because motivation is subjective, it is sometimes difficult to know with certainty whether a crime resulted from the offender’s bias. Moreover, the presence of bias alone does not necessarily mean that a crime can be considered a hate crime. Only when law enforcement investigation reveals sufficient evidence to lead a reasonable and prudent person to conclude that the offender’s actions were motivated, in whole or in part, by his or her bias, should an incident be reported as a hate crime.
There we see that there were 6,222 hate crime incidents in 2011, and in those incidents there were 7,254 offenses committed. (They make a distinction between single-bias and multiple-bias incidents. However, there were only a handful of multiple-bias incidents, and their effect on the percentages would be insignificant.) Here are some of the salient stats:
- 47.9% of the offenses were caused by racial bias, and 72.0% of those were anti-black;
- 20.8% were motivated by sexual-orientation bias, and 57.8% percent of those were anti-male homosexual;
- 18.2% were caused by religious bias, and of those 62.2% were anti-Jewish.
So in terms of hate crime victim-hood, a gay, black, Jewish guy is at the highest risk.
Some other interesting statistics --
- 63.7% were crimes against persons, and of those 45.6% were intimidation;
- 36.0% were crimes against property, and of those 81.4% were acts of destruction, damage or vandalism.
Finally, there's one hate crime category that's a head scratcher,
Crimes against society --
There were 20 offenses defined as crimes against society (e.g., drug or narcotic offenses or prostitution).
Apparently, offenders can be so biased against society that they use illegal drugs or have sex for money. Those hate criminals are a mysterious bunch.