Via Ampersand, Dave Neiwert had a post a few weeks ago pointing to a new Bureau of Justice Statistics study showing that the number of hate crimes in the United States vastly exceeded the totals reported to the FBI by far. The report estimated that there were an average of 191,000 hate crimes per year—between 19 and 31 times higher than the FBI’s numbers. Moreover, only 44 percent of all hate crimes were ever reported to the police. 84 percent involved violence.
Why are hate crimes so underreported? Neiwert suggests it could be because of the rise of violence against immigrants, many who are here either illegally—and are afraid of being deported by going to the police—or, perhaps, are “guest workers” who would rather get on with their lives and not have any trouble with law enforcement. Either way, though, Neiwert’s characterization of hate crimes as “acts of terrorism directed at entire communities of people” seems perfectly apt, and it’s pretty obvious that the problem is massive.