Hate Crimes Are On The Rise Post-Election as Racists Have Become Emboldened

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, both during and after the 2016 Presidential campaign, acts of hatred and discrimination have increased substantially around the country. According to the FBI, in one year from 2014 to 2015, anti-Muslim hate crimes rose 67%.

Hate crimes across the board appear to be up as America becomes much more intolerant. This intolerance is driven by a number of factors. Certainly the Presidential campaign and election of Donald Trump certainly hasn't helped, but one could say that vitriolic right-wing media has also played a significant role.

The FBI states that this is the highest hate crimes have been reported since anti-Muslim hate crimes rose sharply shortly after 9/11. Anti-Black hate crimes have risen 8%, anti-Semitic hate crimes have risen 9% and anti-LGBT hate crimes have risen almost 5%.

It's important to note however that there really is no set standard on tracking hate crimes and it's believed that thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of incidents never get reported. The FBI reports on hate crimes come as a result of voluntary data given to them by police departments - police departments that may chose to give the FBI their data...or not. According to Vox, over the past 20 years the FBI has documented between 6,000 and 10,000 hate crimes each year. However when the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics surveyed a massive segment of the population between just 2007 and 2011 in an attempt to get a better idea of the real number of hate crimes occurring each year - it came to the conclusion that there were nearly 260,000 hate crimes committed annually! This means that the FBI is under-counting hate crimes by a magnitude of 40 times!!

I don't put much blame on them since like I wrote above, they get their numbers from police departments and if departments are only getting 35% of hate crimes being reported in their communities (or possibly only reporting 35% to the FBI), then you'd expect the numbers to be way off.

After seeing all of this data, I can only come to the conclusion that these types of incidents will continue to occur and likely get worse after Donald Trump is inaugurated. I do not know how much worse they may get, or what the response from the U.S. government will be. However I continue to believe that the the groups of people acting out in this way are by no means a majority in this nation. They are however a sizeable minority.

I am in no way a defeatist in my mentality. I think it would behoove Black people, and those in other groups that may be impacted by recent events, to think the same way. Optimism and belief in a better future must be the driving force behind out present day decisions. To live in a free and fair society and given the proper resources to develop ourselves economically. The moment we lose sight of that and allow the emotions of frustration, anger, guilt and dread dominate our mindset; then that will become our reality.

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