web analytics

Hate Crimes on the Rise

Election year usually sees more political incidents.

Unfortunately, hate crimes are nothing new in the US, or the rest of the world for that matter. In recent years, though, the violence has escalated, and reports show that crimes motivated by prejudice – whether based on race, religion, sex or sexual orientation, political affiliation, or a myriad other possible differences – are at the highest level in America since the 1970s.

Why the Rise in Hate Crimes?

In January, the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University released its annual study that revealed hate crimes in the ten largest cities rose again in 2023. There were at least 2,184 hate crimes reported in Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, and San Diego, an increase of 13% from the year before. “The top 10 cities generally match what’s going to happen nationally,” Brian Levin, professor emeritus and founder of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism, told USA Today.

The Israel-Hamas war is partially to blame, especially when it comes to offenses committed against Jews. In New York and Los Angeles, anti-Jewish hate crimes rose 12.6% and 48%, respectively. Anti-Muslim crimes in Los Angeles rose 40% and Chicago saw a whopping 300% increase, according to the study. “We consistently see increases in anti-Jewish hate crimes when there is violence in the Holy Land,” Levin said, referencing the 1990s, when anti-Jewish hate crimes rose during the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Jews are now the most targeted, surpassing blacks.

California has seen a rise in hate crimes for almost ten years, but it spiked between 2020 and 2022, according to the Public Policy Institute of California. In San Diego, for instance, a study noted that 66 of these incidents were reported in 2022, a 74% increase from the year before when 38 were noted. San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit and Kimberly Kirkpatrick, a program coordinator for the department’s crime analysis unit, presented a study that revealed 38% of the crimes were related to ethnicity, 32% to sexual orientation, and 27% to religion, according to Courthouse News Service.

Skin color and religious beliefs are often the reasons people are targeted, and both are covered extensively by the media. But there’s another cause of hate that is gaining traction this election year: political affiliation. Reuters investigated incidents related to politics and reported:

“About two-thirds of the politically violent incidents documented by Reuters were assaults by lone assailants or clashes between rival groups at public events, such as demonstrations over police killings, abortion and transgender rights. The rest involved substantial property damage, often associated with social justice protests and frequently attributed by police to left-wing militants.”

In the 1960s and 1970, there were more than 450 cases of political hate crimes, but by 1980, it was relatively rare, criminologist Gary LaFree told Reuters. “Political violence started to climb again in 2016, and it doesn’t seem like we’ve hit the top of the wave yet.”

It is interesting to note that of the top ten states with the highest hate crime, according to a June report from WNCT9, only two are run by Republicans:

  1. District of Columbia – Democrat
  2. Washington – Democrat
  3. New Jersey – Democrat
  4. Massachusetts – Democrat
  5. Vermont – Republican
  6. Michigan – Democrat
  7. Oregon – Democrat
  8. Colorado – Democrat
  9. Kentucky – Democrat
  10. Ohio – Republican

Political hate crimes usually jump during election years and it’s not unreasonable to suspect this year will be one for the books. The country is already divided, and that division continues to grow. With the recent guilty verdict for former President Donald Trump, there has been a lot of uproar within both the ranks of the elected officials and the people. As we draw nearer to November, researchers believe things will only get worse.

Read More From Kelli Ballard

Latest Posts

Chicago’s Homeless Population Boom

Sanctuary cities like Chicago are finding out just how heavy a burden they signed up for as migrants pour across...

Biden’s Blue State Buzzkill

Political analysts have rightly focused on the seven states considered battlegrounds in the 2024 presidential...

Biden’s Border Gambit – C5 TV

How far will the administration allow unchecked illegal immigration to go?...