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Why Year-To-Year Hate Crime Comparisons Are 'Highly Suspect'

Around 7 percent of anti-White hate crimes in the entire U.S. in 2003 occurred in two tiny cities in Arkansas with a combined population of 8,000. There were a combined 54 anti-White hate crimes reported in Waldron and Lonoke, Ark., and 773 reported in the entire rest of the United States. Waldron has not reported another anti-White hate crime since 2003 and Lonoke reported one each in 2004, 2013 and 2018. There were more anti-White hate crimes reported in Arkansas in 2003 than the total reported there over the last 14 years. Crime analyst Jeff Asher cites what he calls a somewhat absurd example to note that every discussion of national hate crime should begin and end with the fact that the data is highly suspect when attempting compare year-to-year changes.

Reporting on the subject frequently fails to lead with the unreliability of the data if it is mentioned at all. Much of the problem with hate crimes data is that what gets reported is up to agencies. What constitutes a murder or a motor vehicle theft is clearly defined by the FBI and relates almost entirely to the offense, but hate crimes require a law enforcement agency to deduce the offender’s motive. This is extraordinarily difficult when you consider the enormity of this data collection task for law enforcement officers. The real question is whether increasing hate crimes reflects changing reporting practices or a surge in actual hate crimes nationwide. Aher believes the culprit is changing reporting practices. First, weird things are still happening, especially in the South. Former Confederate states made up 9 of the 16 states with the lowest rates of reported hate crimes in 2022 including 3 of the bottom 4. New Jersey had by far the nation’s highest rate of reported hate crimes in 2022 at 13.1 hate crimes per 100,000 people covered by a reporting agency. That’s nearly double that of the next closest state and 13 times higher than Florida’s reported rate. There were about as many hate crimes reported in New Jersey and New York (population about 28 million) in 2022 as there were in the entire former Confederacy (population about 100 million).


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