Hate crimes

Hate Crimes Down, Says FBI


The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released its 2011 data on reported hate crimes. They have fallen to the lowest level since 1994. As the FBI reports:

  • There were 6,216 single?bias incidents, of which 46.9 percent were motivated by a racial bias, 20.8 percent were motivated by a sexual?orientation bias, 19.8 percent were motivated by a religious bias, and 11.6 percent were motivated by an ethnicity/national origin bias. Bias against a disability accounted for 0.9 percent of single-bias incidents.
  • Of the 4,623 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against persons in 2011, intimidation accounted for 45.6 percent, simple assaults for 34.5 percent, and aggravated assaults for 19.4 percent. Four murders and seven forcible rapes were reported as hate crimes.
  • There were 2,611 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against property. The majority of these (81.4 percent) were acts of destruction/damage/vandalism. Robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and other offenses accounted for the remaining 18.6 percent of crimes against property.
  • Fifty-nine percent of the 5,731 known offenders were white; 20.9 percent were black. The race was unknown for 10.8 percent, and other races accounted for the remaining known offenders.

Washington Post conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin observes:

To put [the FBI numbers] in context, in 2011, with total U.S. population of more than 300 million people, some 1,203,564 violent crimes  and 9,063,173 property crimes were reported.

In other words, hate crimes constituted about six ten thousandths of U.S. reported crimes in 2011. Rubin also notes that …

…among religious hate crimes, Jews make up the overwhelming number of victims (63.2 percent), but the total number, again, is tiny (936). Anti-Muslim hate crimes (in a country in which the left and groups like CAIR tell us is rife with Islamophobia) are much more rare. Muslim hate-crime victims make up only 12.5 percent of the anti-religious hate crimes. That is 185 victims. Any crime based on bias is to be deplored, but we don't have either rampant anti-Semitic crime or Islamophobia crime. When the Anti-Defamation League says that "that anti-Semitism is still a serious and deeply entrenched problem in America," I have to say bunk, at least if you are looking at FBI crime stats.

While the falling incidence of reported hate crimes is certainly good news, prosecuting people for thought crimes is problematic and unnecessary. After all, the sorts of crimes listed by the FBI—assaults, property destruction and even intimidation—are crimes that can and should be prosecuted on their own. As my colleague Jacob Sullum has pointed out "hate crime" laws are often used by prosecutors to put defendants who are either acquitted or convicted of an offense on trial twice for the same crime (double jeopardy).


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  1. Orwellian term is Orwellian. Clearly, shanking a guy for his wallet is done out of love.

    1. it is when you love money like i do. i consider it liberation. sort of like how we liberared iraq. by bombing them.

  2. Love crime is up. In my pants.

    1. That’s Obama at work again. He’s like Bill and Ted.

  3. Hate crimes are fucking stupid. Why is someone hating me for my race, creed, religion, whatever and doing violence to me for that hate worse than them doing it arbitrarily, for financial gain, or for any of a huge number of other reasons that are not ones we deem as justification for the violence?

    1. Why is someone hating me for my race, creed, religion, whatever and doing violence to me for that hate worse than them doing it arbitrarily, for financial gain, or for any of a huge number of other reasons that are not ones we deem as justification for the violence?

      Because certain groups of people have been persecuted over the years, and this is payback.
      That and since they haven’t yet figured out how to read thoughts and punish people accordingly, this is as close as they can get.

      1. That’s absurd. Not to mention unfair, as the people alive today didn’t do most of those historical things.

        1. If you were a member of a protected class then you would understand the outrage and fear you feel when a member of your group is attacked simply for being part of the group.
          It’s not fair that you should feel that way.
          A crime against a member of your group is a crime against everyone in the group, and as such deserves extra punishment.

          Shut off your brain and let your emotions take over like a good little liberal progressive.

          1. I find it horribly offensive to suggest that a victim of a violent crime gets less justice simply because he’s not somehow politically special.

            Incidentally, prior to all of this hate crime nonsense, many states had “aggravated” offenses, so that crimes against cops, old people, etc. received harsher penalties and sentences than other ones. A little different, as the class of the victim was all that mattered and didn’t require a look into the thoughts of the assailant, but still trending this direction.

            1. The other reason for hate crimes is that they are federal. This means the federal courts can get involved in crimes that were traditionally handled by the states.

              1. So I accidentally run over someone in a protected class, the state says it was an accident, then the FBI executes me for unmutual thinking.

                1. Or the state fails to convict you, and then the feds can charge you again while pretending it doesn’t violate double jeopardy.

                  1. Or the state fails to convict you, and then the feds can charge you again while pretending it doesn’t violate double jeopardy.


                    1. Unfortunately, it isn’t double jeopardy. That’s one of the bad things about the federal government continuing to expand into criminal law.

                    2. Like what I think you’re saying ProL, I can maybe get behind a sentence enhancement for a crime, if the crime is directed against a particular protected class. Take cross burning. Without the hate crime enhancement, what are the burners guilty of? Littering? Trespassing? Maybe incitement to riot? But making the act a separate crime, with a separate sovereign, is especially obnoxious.

                      And while we’re on the subject, how about instituting a Gibbs-type rule for criminal procedure? That a prosecutor can take multiple trials to charge an accused for the same criminal episode, and then rely on those unproven crimes in sentencing, strikes me as ridiculously unfair for the accused. Make the prosecution try everything they can at one tribunal, and live or die with the results.

  4. Didn’t Holder or some other administration jackal imply that only white people were capable of committing “hate crimes”? That might be a reason for the drop.

    1. Then these numbers ought to drop by at least 20.9%, no?

      1. Well there’s always manipulating statistics, like that guy down in Florida who somehow became the world’s first ever “White hispanic”.

        1. Do you even know what the term Hispanic means? It isn’t a racial term. There are literally millions of white Hispanics in the world

          1. And prior to George Zimmerman, they were known simply as ‘Hispanic’.

            1. In the media, that is generally true. There is a big wikipedia article on the term “white Hispanic” and I don’t think it was only put up when George Zimmerman got arrested. It is an example of the media contorting to fit a narrative, but at the same time, I think the fact that a cultural term like Hispanic carries such a racial connotation to the point where hearing the term “white Hispanic” is surprising indicates a problem with how the term has been used in the past, by the media, schools, public, etc. It’s also interesting how white is the one race where you generally need to have substantially more than 50% of your ancestry be white until people are comfortable using that label with you (Zimmerman for example, has majority European ancestry, as his dad is white, and almost all Peruvians have some Spanish ancestry)

          2. “Fifty-nine percent of the 5,731 known offenders were white;”

            All* those people were “hispanic”. Prove me wrong.
            *Given the mestizo/black gang problems, probably most were “hispanic”. Prove me wrong.

            Here’s a handy post which describes how to tell the “white hispanics” from the regular “hispanics.”

  5. There’s only one solution: expand the definition of hate crimes.

  6. Just what exactly constitutes a hate crime? That’s what I’d like to know. Remember, if we can’t quantify it, we can’t control it.

    1. A hate crime is a crime against a member of a protected class by a member of a non-protected class.

      Some animals are more equal than others.

      1. Dark legs good, white legs bad!!

  7. There were zero hate crimes in 2012, as always. Hate is a motive, not a crime.

  8. I’m white. My wife is black. If we get in a fight, is it domestic violence? Or is it a hate crime? If it’s a hate crime, who is charged? Because I’m ethnically Jewish.

    Does male trump female?
    Does white trump black?
    Does black trump Jew?

    I’m so confused!

    1. Well, black definitely beats Jewish, and I think you know which gender wins. So you lose. In fact, your marriage is a hate crime and a legal rape.

      1. Aw crap. Well, I guess I’ll just drive over to the local FBI office and turn myself in.

        1. No need. They’ve already dealt with you, Number 6.

          1. Who is Number 1?!

            1. I am Number 2.

              1. Yes, but who does Number 2 work for?

    2. Damn, EDG, you and the missus could visibly move the hate crimes needle with one good blowout fight.

  9. So Hate Crime laws don’t correlate to a reduction in Hate Crimes, but loser Gun Control law do correlate to a reduction in Murder? I’m confused…when does correlation = causation again?

    1. when does correlation = causation again?

      When it fits your agenda! Duh!

      1. I don’t think looser gun control laws decrease murders, I just don’t think they increase them.

        There’s no way in hell hate crime laws result in fewer hate crimes. If someone is so blindingly enraged by someone else’s race that they assault or murder them, there’s no way that such a person would have not committed the crime if his assault or murder was more illegal.

  10. Bias against a disability….


    Is that like when I curse Section 508 for forcing the web to cater to blind people?

  11. I thought that it was very peculiar, in the FBI’s 2011 hate crime stats, that one could be an hispanic victim, but one could not be an hispanic offender.

    It appears that, to the FBI, hispanics are ‘white’ or ‘black’ when they commit crimes but ‘hispanic’ when a crime is perpetrated upon them.

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