Over the past few years, we’ve heard a lot of talk about whether America is becoming post-racial. New data, however, suggests that race hatred hasn’t gone anywhere, although race ranks third in terms of groups most likely to be victimized by hate crimes.
FBI data from 2012 shows that people are more likely to be attαcked because of their sεxual orientation than their religion or race. Gay men are the most likely to become victims of hate crimes, followed by Jews and Muslims, and then blacks.
Hate groups are situated mostly in the South and Northern plains, according to the Washington Post:
Nearly 200 out of every one million gay men in the United States was a victim of a hate crime in 2012. Among religions, there were more than 150 victims of hate crime for every one million Jews, and 80 victims of hate crime for every one million Muslims. Among racial groups, blacks and Native Americans experienced hate crime at the highest rates.
It is hard, however, to determine how accurate the FBI’s data is given that it depends on adequate reporting from local law enforcement agencies who categorize hate crimes.
Surprisingly, economist Alan Krueger found that factors other than economic hardship are impacting hate crimes. Krueger determined that “rather than economic conditions, the hate crimes literature points to a breakdown in law enforcement and official sanctioning and encouragement of civil disobedience as significant causes of the occurrence of hate crimes.”
But economists Matt Ryan and Peter Leeson disagree.
“Our results suggest that unemployment and, to a lesser extent, poverty, are strongly associated with more hate crime, particularly crimes that are sexually, racially and religiously motivated,” they said.