Violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip has led to physical and rhetorical attacks on Jewish and Muslim people in the U.S. and elsewhere. A child stabbed to death in Illinois and a surge in antisemitism were predictable. The pattern over the past decade has been that the targets of hate crime in the U.S. are often members of groups that are a collective target or a collective focus of the public’s attention, the Washington Post reports. On Monday, the FBI released data documenting the number of hate-crime reports last year. The figure increased to more than 11,000 in 2022, up 7% over 2021 and double the level in 2014. Some of the increase is related to an actual rise in occurrences — as a closer look at the targets of those crimes suggests.
Consider the percentage of reported hate crimes targeting groups by race, LGBTQ identity and religion. African
Americans have consistently been the most commonly targeted group over the past decade, but that surged in 2020 — a year in which the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota drew new attention and protests centered on law enforcement. There was a spike in incidents targeting Asian Americans after 2020. In that year, the coronavirus traveled from China, its point of first detection, to the U.S., triggering a spate of attacks targeting Asian Americans generally. Collectively, the percentage of hate crimes targeting LGBTQ+ people was trending down through 2020, when the percentage sharply reversed. That shift overlaps with new rhetorical attacks from the right against LGBTQ+ people and culture, including on the visibility of transgender people. The percentage of hate crimes targeting transgender people has doubled since 2017. Jewish Americans continue to be the most commonly targeted religious group in U.S. hate crimes. There was a big drop in the percentage of attacks targeting Jewish Americans from 2019 to 2020.