Land o’ hate crimes ...

Silja J.A. Talvi

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Since 1992, the FBI has been mandated to report the number of hate crimes in the U.S. The agency has reported, on average, at 8,000-12,000 hate crimes per year. Recently, a different and more extensive form of data analysis, conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), found that the average annual total is actually closer to 191,000 hate crimes.According to the BJS, less than half (44%) of hate crimes are actually reported by victims, in addition to the problem of misreporting by law enforcement.Sexual attack, robbery, assault or murder were committed in 84% of hate crimes. (By comparison, non-hate crimes involved violence in 23% of all cases.)

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Silja J.A. Talvi, a senior editor at In These Times, is an investigative journalist and essayist with credits in many dozens of newspapers and magazines nationwide, including The Nation, Salon, Santa Fe Reporter, Utne, and the Christian Science Monitor.
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