Hate Crime A Mixed Bag

So, we’ve got some good news and some bad news. Which do you want first? The good? Okay.

The good news is hate crimes in America are down 6%, according to the FBI. The Advocate reports:

Police nationwide reported 7,163 hate crime incidents in 2005, targeting victims based on their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and disabilities. That was down from 2004, when the FBI reported 7,649 incidents.

Alright, six percent. It could be better, but that’s not too bad. Oh, right, that reminds us…

The bad news is that of all these crimes, hate crimes against gays up there. According to Human Rights Campaign, crimes against gays come in third. If you take a look at the FBI website, however, the break down read as follows:

In the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, the victim of a hate crime may be an individual, a business, an institution, or society as a whole. Nationwide in 2005, law enforcement agencies reported that there were 8,804 victims of hate crimes. Of these victims, nine were victimized in seven multiple-bias offenses.
By Bias Motivation
An analysis of data for victims of single-bias hate crime incidents showed that:

* 55.7 percent of the victims were targeted because of a bias against a race.
* 16.0 percent were victimized because of a bias against a religious belief.
* 14.0 percent were victimized because of a bias against an ethnicity/national origin.
* 13.8 percent were targeted because of a bias against a particular sexual orientation.
* 0.6 percent were targeted because of a bias against a disability.

So, why the discrepancy between the FBI and HRC?

As the HRC sees it, the difference arises from a lack of police follow-up when it comes to anti-queer attacks. And, of course, the lack of any federal hate crime category for gays.

According to the FBI report, there were a total of 1,017 hate crimes due to sexual orientation. Here are the stats:

Anti-Male Homosexual: 621
Anti-Female Homosexual: 155
Anti-Homosexual: 195
Anti-Heterosexual: 21
Anti-Bisexual: 25

What we find most intriguing about this breakdown is that there’s a distinction between male and female homosexuals and then a third, generic “homosexual” category. We can only imagine this means transgendered/sexual folk. If that’s the case, they should call them queer attacks. But let’s not get bogged down by semantics…

Oh, so which factors motivated the top two hate crimes? Rising an ugly historical wave, race and religion.