(Washington, D.C.) – The FBI reported Monday that the number of hate crimes in the United States rose to the highest level in 12 years, driven by assaults targeting Black and Asian people. This rise in hate crimes occurred in a year of renewed protests for racial justice in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless others.
“The rise in hate crimes is sad but predictable given the well-documented efforts by elected officials and political candidates to foment hate and division for partisan gain, especially during the 2020 election season and amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Lawyers’ Committee filed a number of lawsuits within the last year to address hate incidents by people emboldened by an atmosphere in which blatant lies flourish and the truth is often questioned. Our clients were assaulted by racially-motivated mobs, beaten by police using racially-charged language, and targeted with thousands of racist robocalls delivering misinformation.
“While horrific on their own, all indications are that these incidents are still grossly underreported. Although hate crimes prey on historically disenfranchised groups, our government should treat these crimes as a threat to the very foundations of our democracy – a threat that we dismiss at our own peril.”
About the James Byrd Jr. Center to Stop Hate at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The James Byrd Jr. Center to Stop Hate, at the Lawyers’ Committee, supports communities and individuals targeted for hate and challenges white supremacy by using creative legal advocacy, disrupting systems that enable hate, and educating the general public and policy makers. The Byrd Center’s resource and reporting hotline for hate incidents, 1-844-9-NO-HATE (1-844-966-4283), connects people and organizations combating hate with the resources and support they need. For more information please visit:https://www.lawyerscommittee.org/project/stop-hate-project/