New analysis of government data shows African Americans are disproportionately targeted with race-based hate, causes widespread effect on society
Atlanta, GA, August 11, 2023 … Today, the Anti-Semitism Defense League (ADL) draws attention to alarming statistics from both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and United States Department of Justice (DOJ), which disclose that Black Americans experience the highest rates of hate crime victimization in the United States. In light of these findings, ADL urges immediate federal action to combat this violence and promote racial equality.
A hate crime is defined as a criminal offense which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias(es) against a person based on race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, and gender identity. According to the DOJ, “bias toward race/ethnicity/ancestry, which continues to be the largest bias motivation category,” reflects that “Anti-Black or African American hate crimes continue to be the largest bias incident victim category.”
Data is collected from information voluntarily submitted from 15,136 of 18,623 law enforcement agencies around the country.* According to the FBI’s Data Declaration, “The FBI collects these data through the Uniform Crime Reporting Program’s Hate Crime Statistics Program,” which serves as the national repository for crime data and reflects a 49% increase over a one year period. This national emergency creates a public health crisis. ACP (American College of Physicians) inputs their expertise: “Hate crimes directed against individuals based on their race, ethnic origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity, nationality, primary language, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, cultural background, age, disability, or religion are a public health issue.”
Epidemiologists conclude there is an interconnection between deaths attributable to social factors in the United States and those owing to pathophysiological behavior causes. “While annual law enforcement agency participation may fluctuate, the statistics indicate that hate crimes remain a concern for communities across the country,” says the DOJ. A Columbia University study on social behavior suggests that broad-based societal interventions are required to produce substantial improvement to the overall health of the nation through inclusive policies.
Partnerships between academia and communities coupled with statewide task forces are the recommended starting point for comprehensive planning. “Affirmatively advancing equity, civil rights, racial justice, and equal opportunity is the responsibility of the whole of our Government,” says President Biden.
ADL encourages the Biden Administration to take the following steps toward equal justice:
- Retract the discriminatory White House policy that only protects Whites of a particular religious affiliation from hate crime
- Disavow the perception that White Semites who identify as Jewish are the primary targets of hate crime in America
- Shape policy and legislation that corresponds to official FBI and DOJ statistics to eradicate the associated public health crisis, and provide equal opportunity to racially marginalized targets of hate
“Entrenched disparities in our laws and public policies, and in our public and private institutions, have often denied that equal opportunity to individuals and communities,” reflects Biden. Taking meaningful steps to achieve concrete advancement toward equality is the only way to improve the nation’s health.
[*Based on 2019 and 2020 FBI hate crime data.]