Monday, November 21, 2016

Hate crime statistics for 2015

Most people don't follow crime statistics, and probably not hate crime statistics, but I do. The law that hate crimes had to be collected and analyzed is 26 years old, signed by GHW Bush with a Democrat Congress in 1990. It's been revised twice, and most recently in 2009 to add more categories for sexual orientation. Race/ethnicity and religion are the majority. Hate crimes are a small niche in crime given the attention it gets on TV--5,850 crimes of all types from assault to murder--person, business, institution, or society as a whole. And now there are 3 categories for sex: gender, gender identity and sexual orientation--that should goose the numbers a little. It must be tough to mark the box for a bi-sexual Muslim who assaults a transgender woman who is a lesbian Jew. Since we already have laws against all these crimes I've never understood a special hate motivation law. Only one rape (legacy definition) in the 2015 report was counted as a hate crime compared to 255 larcenies.

It's unclear to me if the San Bernardino murders of Dec. 2015 by Muslims were ever called a hate crime even though 14 people died and 22 were injured, 3 of them immigrants, and many Christians participating in a quasi-religious holiday party. Even though the FBI said the shooters were inspired by jihad and terrorist ideas, it wasn't a hate crime?

San Bernardino did however, inspire Donald Trump to say all immigration from Muslim countries should end until the U.S. had a better way to vet them. For this he was condemned--by Obama, Gov. Brown, the Pentagon, and most global leaders. When polled right before the election about 57.4% of American voters agreed with Trump on immigration, including 58.5% of Hispanic voters. (Zogby)

Southern Poverty Law Center, which I consider a hate group, blames Pamela Geller for San Bernardino terrorists.

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