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How Americans Hate Each Other

Stashed in: Joo, Crime!, America!, That's racist!, Haters!, Charts!, Racism, Charts, Freakonomics

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Last week, a man yelled “Heil Hitler,” and shot three people in front of a Jewish community center in Kansas City. It was one of thousands of hate crimes that will occur in the United States this year -- most of which you won't hear about.

The U.S. Congress currently defines a "hate crime" as "a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.” While hate itself is not a crime, the FBI is "mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties" 

In 2012 alone, the bureau’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program identified 6,705 hate-motivated offenses, which include incidents of destruction, vandalism, assault, and intimidation.


If these statistics aren’t depressing enough, a report released last year by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics found that nearly two-thirds of hate crimes go unreported. Throughout the early 2000s, about 50% of hate crimes were being divulged by victims; today, that number has declined to 35%. The reason for this? Victims are increasingly losing faith in the police’s ability to protect them.

The same report also concluded that hate crimes, while on a slight decline, are becoming increasingly more violent. From 2003-2006, violence accounted for 84% of hate crimes; today, it accounts for 92% of them. Over the past three years, the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified over 3,000 organized hate groups.

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