Hate Crimes Jumped 17% Last Year

The increase is the largest spike in more than a decade.

hate crime
An Israeli national flag is seen at a memorial on October 28, 2018, down the road from the Tree of Life synagogue after a shooting there left 11 people dead in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh on October 27, 2018. (Brendan Smialowski / AFP)
AFP/Getty Images

The FBI found that hate crimes across the board — based on everything from ethnicity and religion to sexual orientation — rose to historic highs during Trump’s first year as President.

The 17% jump equates to the most hate crimes the U.S. has seen since 2008. Those who pay attention to these numbers said the FBI’s report suggests there’s been an “outbreak of hatred” targeting specific groups, like black people, Jews, Muslims, LGBT people, and other minorities, BuzzFeed News reported.

But the total recorded by the Bureau, 7,175, may not be the actual number of hate crimes that took place last year because of uneven reporting by officials and because many are too afraid to report these types of incidents to police. Muslim, Sikh, Arab American, and other advocacy groups each reported to BuzzFeed that they received many more reports of hate crimes than reported by the FBI in the past year.

Yet, advocacy groups say the hard number is not necessarily what’s important — the fact that there’s an upward trend is.

“This is a historic increase, and it has to be recognized as such,” director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, Brian Levin, told the news site. “We’re at a new plateau.”

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