In one of the least surprising bits of news in recent memory, a new FBI report finds that hate crimes against Latinos increased to a 16 year high. Given Trump’s constant barrage of hatred and bigotry aimed at Latinos, especially immigrants, it would be shocking if this were not the case.
Personal attacks motivated by bias or prejudice reached a 16-year high in 2018, the F.B.I. said Tuesday, with a significant upswing in violence against Latinos outpacing a drop in assaults targeting Muslims and Arab-Americans.
Over all, the number of hate crimes of all kinds reported in the United States remained fairly flat last year after a three-year increase, according to an annual F.B.I. report. But while crimes against property were down, physical assaults against people were up, accounting for 61 percent of the 7,120 incidents classified as hate crimes by law enforcement officials nationwide.
State and local police forces are not required to report hate crimes to the F.B.I., but the bureau has made a significant effort in recent years to increase awareness and response rates. Still, many cities and some entire states failed to collect or report the data last year, limiting the conclusions that can be drawn from the F.B.I. report.
So that isn’t even a comprehensive total because many cities and municipalities aren’t even reporting their numbers. Ironically, one of the primary arguments for anti-immigrant bigotry is that they cause violent crime, yet study after study finds that immigrants, documented and undocumented, commit far less violent crime than native-born citizens. So the lie that immigrants are more violent than American citizens is used to justify committing violence against them. The dynamic echoes the publishing of every story about Jews by publications in Nazi Germany, which was then used to justify the Final Solution to the “Jewish problem.” I am truly terrified by where this country is heading in the age of Trump.