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November 14th, 2011
06:08 PM ET

Hate crime numbers steady, nearly half motivated by racial bias, FBI reports

By Terry Frieden, CNN Justice Department Producer

WASHINGTON (CNN) - As New York authorities investigate what appears to be the nation's latest hate crime, the FBI's annual hate crime report, released Monday, shows no significant change in the level of crimes motivated by bias.

The FBI reports the number of U.S. hate crimes  - offenses as a result of bias toward race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or national origin, physical or mental disability - totaled 6,628 in calendar year 2010. That's slightly above the 6,604 total hate crimes reported during 2009.

The largest category of hate crimes involved race, accounting for nearly half of more than 6,000 incidents. Figures roughly reflected the nation's overall population, with 58% of known offenders classified as "white" and 18% listed as "black."

Statistics showed a total of 2,600 anti-black offenses, 679 anti-white and 681 anti-Hispanic.

The FBI reported that out of  6,624 "single-bias" incidents, 47.3% were motivated by a racial bias, 20% by a religious bias, 19.3% by a sexual orientation bias and 12.8% were motivated by an ethnicity bias.

The figures included cases of intimidation as well as assaults. Seven murders in the nation last year were attributed to any form of bias. Four of the offenders were white and three were black, the FBI report said.

The FBI's annual report comes on the heels of a weekend incident in a Jewish section of Brooklyn in which three vehicles were set ablaze and graffiti was scrawled across park benches.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a statement declaring the attackers to be "a twisted person or people."

"This kind of hateful act has no place in the freest city in the freest country in the world," Bloomberg said.

The new hate crime statistics show anti-Jewish bias remains far and away the most prevalent form of hate crime directed at a religious group.

In 2010, the number of anti-Jewish incidents reported in the United States totaled 887 of roughly 1,300 cases in which a religion was targeted.

The next largest category was anti-Islamic bias, which was reported in 160 incidents. Anti-Catholic bias ranked third with 58 reported incidents.

The numbers were largely consistent with the 2009 figures, which showed more than 70% of religious bias was aimed at Jews, compared with 9% of cases labeled anti-Islamic and 4% anti-Catholic.

Although hate crimes remained essentially level last year, the statistics notably come in the wake of a recent FBI report that found overall violent crime such as murder and rape in the United States in 2010 had fallen a significant 6% from the previous year.

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Filed under: Ethnicity • Race • Religion • Sexual orientation
soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. lacey

    stereotypes exist because there is some truth to them, like it or not, thats just how it is.

    November 20, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. lacey

    stereotypes exixt because there is some truth to them, like it or not, thats just how it is.

    November 20, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jusme101@mail.com

    I disagree... stup_id people motivate most hate crimes.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Indigo

    And, unsurprisingly, an article about racially motivated crimes produces not a sensible debate, but yet another race-motivated mudslinging contest. God Bless America.

    November 16, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. DanoMcRoo

    Show me a "multicultural society", and I'll show you no society at all. But instead, individual ethnic enclaves. Anyone who suggests that, "our strength is our diversity", is just plain stupid.

    November 16, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • DanoMcRoo

      My apologies for the double post.

      November 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DanoMcRoo

    Show me a "multicultural" society, and I'll show you no society at all. Instead, individual enclaves of ethnicity. Anyone who suggests that, "our strength is our diversity", is just plain stupid.

    November 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Another Thing

    Another thing is that some people very mistakenly refer to Hispanics and Latinos as people of color, yet in reality their race is White! Just look at their birth certificates or check with any state or local govt. office. And Hispanics highly resent that implication since that term has been always been used to refer to African-Americans. The H and L terms, respectively, refer to Ethnicity, not race. By the way, those two terms Hispanic and Latino only make reference to those born outside the U.S. in a foreign country where those terms might apply, FYI, not those born in the U.S.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  8. h

    Department of Justice use torture to make suspects look unstable and therefor play into hands of jurors and conjured witnesses. Humiliation, drugging, sleep deprivation, stress positions, threats of physical violence, harassing relatives, etc... are commonly used.

    November 16, 2011 at 7:10 am | Report abuse |
  9. h

    The Department of Justice use torture to make suspects look unstable and therefor play into hands of jurors and conjured witnesses. Humiliation, drugging, sleep deprivation, stress positions, threats of physical violence, harassing relatives, etc... are commonly used.

    November 16, 2011 at 7:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. SOMD

    If you could report crimes against whites the numbers would be much greater.

    November 16, 2011 at 6:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      This does not fit into the liberal propaganda our media and government try to shove down our throats.

      November 16, 2011 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
    • real

      ...you mean like "they took our jobs"?

      November 16, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  11. David

    What if its your religion to hate others like israel? See! Then its ok

    November 16, 2011 at 6:01 am | Report abuse |
  12. CDaeda

    Political debates in my opinion are hate crimes.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. The only white man in America that hasn't gone crazy...

    Is it just me or is the whole f-ng "Black in America" crap racist as hell anyways? If I put up some kind of "White in America" that talks about the struggles of white people it would be in violation of something and deleted and kicked off of this site in a matter of minutes. Why is it okay for Fox news in Memphis to run a serious freaking news story with the concept of it being that a black guy starting to date white women was like graduating from junior varsity to varsity. And if you even hint about some kind of white pride or that you may be a little prejudice – you are classified as some inbred, white, hillbilly redneck.

    November 15, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • waiting on moderation

      Please tell me what the difference is in saying colored and white?? Racist CNN – as long as it offends white people it's okay – just nobody else right? Grow some nuts!

      November 15, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      What would "White In America" be about? Getting a job on the first try? Getting a plea deal on the first crime? Getting a loan without really trying? Having the police at your house before you hang up the phone? Having the best public schools and transit service in your area? Clapping to 1 and 3 during a song? Talking about "them" and "those people"?

      November 21, 2011 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
  14. Nah

    You do realize he's not saying "hate" crimes shouldn't be crimes, he's saying that adding the word "hate" onto it – and simultaneously increasing a criminal penalty because of it – is absurd.

    It's only made more absurd because it raises the penalty based on a subjective state of mind that has nothing to do with intent to commit a crime. Your punishment is increased or lessened based on your subjective motivations. For instance, beating someone up because they support an opposing sports team is simple battery.

    But beating someone up in the same way and manner because of the color of their skin is made more criminal.

    In essence it gives certain people in society more protection than others.

    November 15, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Change

    @Jacob

    The article isn't about why white people should HATE "black thugs" listening to bad music and "mugging old white ladies." We all HATE thugs and criminals regardless of their race. However, I believe the article is about why hate crimes are carried out against Good people or innocent people. I hate black thugs too but I also hate white thugs too such as the white racist thugs who recently murdered a young innocent black man in Missippi because of the color of his skin.

    November 15, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Justin

    Well, how about the incident where a white man was attacked by over 10 black guys for dating a black girl. It wasn't ruled as a hate crime.....
    http://articles.cnn.com/2009-09-07/justice/new.york.beating_1_milligan-beating-buffalo-police?_s=PM:CRIME

    November 15, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jacob

      Well – you see Justin – It's really not a hate crime if it's done to a white person. Because our society is afraid that would sound racist – and we don't won't to offend anyone – well anyone that's not white.

      November 15, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • Nah

        Very true.

        And yet hate crimes shouldn't exist, no matter if they occur to a white person, a black person, someone who is rich or poor. The only subjective intent required for a crime is the intent to "do" the crime. Not the person's motivation otherwise. Why? Because then you're punishing someone merely for their thoughts, not for the consequences of their actions.

        November 15, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Change

    A classic example of a hate crime is when after four hundred years of slavery in America and decades of oppression under Jim Crow laws, America finally elects its first African-American President only to see the Tea Party resurface to say that a black man should not be president of the United States. That is a classic example of a hate crime.

    November 15, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  18. hmc719

    I've never understood the concept of the term "hate crime." Aren't all crimes against another human based on some form of hatred? In these cases race and orientation is the motive. Regardless of the motive it is a crime. Why should these be classified differently?

    November 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Dan G.

    Unlike crimes against minorities most crimes against Whites by minorities aren't considered a hate crime when in fact most probably are.

    November 15, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Medallion

      Can you please elaborate on that? Or are you just ranting?
      So if someone steals your wallet, or mugs you, does not yell any racial epithets, and you are of a different race, are you calling that a hate crime?

      November 15, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      I think it makes sense to keep track of the motivation for crimes, even if you don't get increased punishment because of the motivation. That a crime involves people of two different races does not per se make it a hate crime, however much some wish to suggest that it does. The vast majority of interracial crime is not motivated by hate. The easiest way to determine if a crime is motivated by hate is to look at the record of the perp. If he's mugges lots of people of the same race and then mugs someone of a different race, it probably is not a hate crime. It's a crime of opportunity and greed.

      November 15, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Nah

        rob: "I think it makes sense to keep track of the motivation for crimes, even if you don't get increased punishment because of the motivation."

        The motivation for a crime is something that is wholly unknowable absent a confession.

        Increasing the punishment does two things: 1) punishes someone merely for their thoughts (rather than for their simply intent to commit the crime), and 2) gives greater protections to part of the population by doling out harsher punishments when a victim of a "hate crime" is one race rather than another.

        The second one harkens back to crime against nobility, doesn't it? Except here instead of protecting a monied interest, you're giving arbitrary protection to a minority interest.

        November 15, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Bill

    Figures roughly reflected the nation's overall population, with 58% of known offenders classified as "white" and 18% listed as "black."

    Except The 2010 Census says 77% of the population is white and only 13% is black. So, its only "roughly reflected" if you don't want to say that blacks are more likely to commit a hate crime than whites.

    Speaking of which, you do run a LOT of stories about white on "other" hate crimes, but nothing on "other" on white hate crimes. You know, whites make up 50% of all victims in such crimes? Half of all hate crimes are committed ON whites, yet there are 0 stories about them. Interesting.

    November 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  21. mat

    Easy question: black man walks down a white neighborhood at night and a white man walks down a black neighborhood at night. Who's more likely to be a victim of crime? Politically correct double think will never trump the truth. One does not need to believe something or agree with it for it to be true. Call it what you will. There are far more racist comments here made by so called liberals than I read on other forums.

    November 15, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Medallion

      Well that depends on the neighborhood you are in. Was it in Virginia where these white teens decided to find a black man, beat him and then run him over with a truck, very proudly mind you. Would you call that a crime, or a hate crime?

      November 15, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • josh

        it was Murder! Nothing more nothing less.

        November 15, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bob Miller

        Medallion, The beating and killing that you're referring to was in Mississippi....not Virginia.

        November 16, 2011 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      That depends entirely on the neighborhood. A white man walking down the street in my old neighborhood in PG County, MD would be perfectly safe. I, on the other hand, would have serious misgivings walking down the street at night in many white parts of Brooklyn.

      November 15, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  22. jazzy

    IF they factored in the "true" number of crimes against white people done by blacks, the statistics will rise. However, this will never happen with the pathetic politically correct society we live in.

    November 15, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Medallion

      Again, define what is a hate crime, vs a criminal offense.

      November 15, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  23. adc88

    There are hate groups of all races, gender and religion. I live in south central KY and the kkk visited a few years back (didn't make the locals happy) but they were met with an anti-white group, which for some reason to police officals here seemed 'more-acceptable'. Overall, the police and courts will convict a white male of a hate crime faster than a black/hispanic person. I have witnessed hate crimes against whites (harrassment, destruction of property) and though it was obviously directed at the victim b/c they were white, the criminal gets a slap on the wrist and its not classified as a hate crime (usually only b/c the criminal denys it)

    November 15, 2011 at 2:38 am | Report abuse |
  24. ZZZzzz...

    The numbers will never change...people are people

    November 15, 2011 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
  25. Nicola

    Wow!!! Basically, the only thing in the United States that showing any signs stability is hate. How sad.

    November 14, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  26. kd

    ignorant sad people only continue to hate. if you know how miiserable they are in there lifes of course they have to be raacist alot of the time i doubt they had any contact with the people they focus there hate on the just assume things withput ever knowing the parson what a sad way to live have hate and consume your thoughts about a person you never met seen or had no contact with. just patthic but thats a narrow mind rracist ignnorant way. stupid

    November 14, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • fdshfn

      I suffer from chronic depression, am I an ignorant racist?
      or were you just taking this opportunity to insult those who their hold racial prejudices openly to the world while the rest of us hide ours behind a variety of veiled threats and lies?
      In addition, your spelling suggests you are lacking in intelligence yourself, are you a racist?

      November 14, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |