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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

November 27, 2007

Written by C.N.

Increase in Hate Crimes

As many media organizations report, the FBI has released their data on hate crimes reported in 2006 and the official statistics indicate that all hate crimes are up 8% from 2005. However, as this article at CBS News mentions, the real numbers of hate crimes committed is almost guaranteed to be much higher:

“It’s unfortunate that the numbers went up by almost 8 percent, but the truth is the FBI Hate Crimes statistics severely undercounts the number of hate crimes that we have in the United States every year,” [Heidi Beirick of the Southern Poverty Law Center] told CBS News. That’s because only 12,600 of the nation’s more than 17,000 local, county, state and federal police agencies – roughly three-quarters – participated in the hate crime reporting program in 2006.

In addition to only about two-thirds of law enforcement agencies reporting their data, as any criminologist will also tell you, another big reason why the true number of hate crimes committed is actually much higher is because only about a third of violent crimes and 40% of property crimes are ever reported to law enforcement by their victims.

Therefore, taken altogether, the real number of hate crimes actually committed (as opposed to reported to law enforcement agencies) is likely to be over 30,000 incidents a year. Overall, it’s not an encouraging picture or trend.

Author Citation

Copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le. Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Increase in Hate Crimes" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <> ().

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