Hate Crimes are on the rise. The statement has been a go-to narrative for the establishment media since before Donald Trump assumed the presidency in 2017. Most recently, the hate crimes hysteria has focused on the Asian community in the United States. That hysteria has reached a crescendo so loud that one could be forgiven for thinking that nobody who looks even remotely Chinese, Japanese, or Korean is safe walking down any street of any city in this country. But the narrative is a despicable distortion of reality by a media that is now so bereft of principle, integrity, or any sense of responsibility to tell the truth that one cannot help believing Trump may have been onto something when he described the media as the enemy of the American people.
It is not at all unfair to assume that left-wing editors and reporters have a particular agenda behind pushing the idea that East Asians or people of East Asian descent are no longer safe in the U.S. That agenda is racial division. So-called hate crimes, allegedly perpetrated in alarmingly increasing numbers against Asians in the U.S., are reported with the implication that the people committing these crimes are white supremacists. No clear evidence of this exists, of course, but the media, as always, assume that they can embed certain subliminal messages within their reporting, and most people will take them as facts.
Manipulating the Numbers
Has any newspaper or television news network presented an honest breakdown of the demographics of those committing these alleged crimes? No, they have not. Even if such data were available, the media would probably not publicize it because there is a fairly good chance it would show that a lot of the alleged crimes being committed against Asians did not involve white people.
On the subject of crime data, it is also worth noting that no official numbers are available to support the narrative that Asians have been increasingly targeted over the past year or two. The most reliable and credible source from which one could pull such data would be the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) website, which is administered by the Office of Justice Programs – an agency of the Department of Justice.
BJS currently does not have up-to-date figures available to support the media’s narrative. What proof, then, is there that the number of hate crimes against Asians has rapidly increased? Voice of America, on its website VOA News recently published a graphic that showed a significant increase in such crimes in nine major American cities. The rate of increase cited ranges from 33%, in Seattle, Washington, to 833% in New York City. VOA News pulled the data from the Center for Study of Hate and Extremism, an organization which apparently compiled the numbers from police reports.
Interestingly enough, every one of the cities listed by VOA is run almost entirely by Democrats. They are cities in which the overwhelming majority of residents vote Democrat, and, with one exception, they are all cities located in blue states. In addition to Seattle and New York, the cities listed as having growing hate crimes issues are Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Francisco, in California, Boston, MA, Philadelphia, PA, Cleveland, OH, and Phoenix, AZ.
Where the graphic falls short, though, is that it only provides the number of “incidents.” There is no information on how many of these alleged hate crimes led to arrests or convictions. So one can only assume that, by “incidents,” the table refers only to specific events reported to the police. The mere fact that any individual reports something to the police means very little unless the law enforcement agency in question follows up with investigations and arrests. VOA News is presenting data that is virtually impossible to verify.
NPR is another of the many media outlets to claim that attacks against Asians have risen dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like VOA, NPR cites as its source the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center – AAPI standing for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Stop AAPI Hate was formed in March of 2020. The project is a collaboration between the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, Chinese for Affirmative Action, and the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco State University. These organizations are all fully immersed in the social justice warrior culture, as is plainly evident by the language they use to describe themselves. For example, Chinese for Affirmative Action claims that it “advocates for systemic change that protects immigrant rights, promotes language diversity, and remedies racial and social injustice.”
Where does Stop AAPI Hate get the numbers that show a rise in anti-Asian crimes? Conveniently, the project compiles its own reports and gathers its own data, largely from alleged incidents reported directly to it. And of course, as is also evident from a cursory inspection of its website, Stop AAPI Hate is focused mostly on raising money through donations.
The Lasting Damage of Hate Crime Legislation
The broader issue is the very concept of a “hate crime.” What is it, exactly? Surely, a crime of violence committed against any person is, to some extent, motivated by hate. Is the very term “hate crime” not somewhat redundant?
The FBI 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, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.” Worthy of inclusion, here, is the FBI’s assertion: “Hate itself is not a crime.”
The concept of hate crime presents us with two significant problems. The first is subjectivity. Almost any crime that involves a perpetrator and a victim who belong to different races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, or sexual orientations – or, indeed, who hold differing political beliefs – could be classed as a hate crime.
The second problem is proving beyond a doubt that a crime can be classed as a hate crime. After all, unless the perpetrator freely admits that he or she targeted the victim out of bias, such a motivation cannot be proven; it can only be assumed.
An additional destructive and potentially fatal flaw in the entire concept of hate crimes is that when one begins to accuse a particular demographic of targeting another demographic out of prejudice, one is creating even more separation and fostering more hatred. As Liberty Nation’s Joe Schaeffer wrote back in January 2020:
“Their hate crime hysteria is more than merely a means to support comfortable progressive fantasies in blue urbanite enclaves: It is a serious threat to constitutional freedoms. When untruths are unchallenged and used to promote police action, the liberty of all Americans is threatened.”
The very idea of accusing anyone of a hate crime – especially where prejudice may not have been the real motivating factor – is deeply divisive and deeply destructive to society. Ultimately, nobody wins – not those falsely accused, nor those who are victims.
Read more from Graham J. Noble.