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FBI Reports Biggest Increase in Hate Crimes in Past Decade

By Jerica Deck ~ Global Citizen

And it shows no signs of slowing.

Hate crimes in the United States have increased by 17%, the highest jump in more than a decade, according to a new report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The annual Hate Crimes Statistics report said that 7,175 hate crimes were reported to authorities last year, compared to 6,121 in 2016. This is the largest rise in hate crimes since 9/11, Voice of America reports.

Out of the 7,106 single-bias hate crimes (as opposed to hate crimes caused by multiple biases) studied, 59.6% of people were targeted because of their race or ethnicity. Sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender bias were the other primary hate crime motives.

The FBI defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender or gender identity.” They are often violent acts of prejudice meant to incite fear among marginalized groups.

Anti-Jewish crimes rose from 684 to 938 this year. These alarming results come just a few weeks after the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, one of the largest attacks on the Jewish community in US history.

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