AP Plays Loose With FBI Hate Crime Statistics

Randall Hoven
The Associated Press misleads the public about hate crimes, creating a false impression that anti-black hate crimes have risen significantly. It  trumpets that
"Hate crime incidents in the United States rose last year by nearly 8 percent, the FBI reported Monday, as racial prejudice continued to account for more than half the reported instances."
The AP article prominently features a photograph of a noose and refers to race six times and to Jena four times.  In fact, it spends four paragraphs explaining the Jena incident while admitting that it was not even counted in the statistics.  It quotes Al Sharpton:
"The FBI report confirms what we have been saying for many months about the severe increase in hate crimes."
The raw data can be found at the FBI's web site, with tables for 2005 and 2006 here and here.  The data show a much different story than that painted by the AP.

Yes, from 2005 to 2006 the total number of incidents increased from 7,163 to 7,722 -- a 7.8% increase.  And yes, racial incidents continue to constitute a majority of incidents, 51.8%.  But that's where any similarity to the truth, and the AP's account of it, ends.

Overall, racial incidents increased only 2.1%, and anti-black incidents increased even less, at 0.4%.  So while the AP article speaks almost entirely of anti-black hate crimes, the growth of anti-black incidents rounds off to zero.

However, anti-white incidents increased 7.5%!  In fact, there were 81 more racial incidents in 2006 than in 2005, but 62 of those were anti-white, while only 10 were anti-black.  That's right, the bulk of the increase in racially-motivated hate crimes were anti-white.

The AP also fails to note that anti-religious incidents increased 19%, with anti-Jewish incidents accounting for two-thirds all anti-religious incidents, and increasing 14% from 2005 to 2006.  One surprise might be that anti-Catholic incidents increased 31%.  Another surprise: anti-heterosexual incidents went up 24%.

After the much-feared "Muslim backlash" , anti-Islamic incidents accounted for just 2% of all "hate crime" incidents.  There were more than 6 times as many anti-Jewish incidents as anti-Islamic ones.

So let's review: anti-black incidents up 0.4%; anti-white up 7.5%; anti-Jewish up 14%; anti-heterosexual up 24%; and anti-Catholic up 31%.  And where does the AP put its focus?
The Associated Press misleads the public about hate crimes, creating a false impression that anti-black hate crimes have risen significantly. It  trumpets that
"Hate crime incidents in the United States rose last year by nearly 8 percent, the FBI reported Monday, as racial prejudice continued to account for more than half the reported instances."
The AP article prominently features a photograph of a noose and refers to race six times and to Jena four times.  In fact, it spends four paragraphs explaining the Jena incident while admitting that it was not even counted in the statistics.  It quotes Al Sharpton:
"The FBI report confirms what we have been saying for many months about the severe increase in hate crimes."
The raw data can be found at the FBI's web site, with tables for 2005 and 2006 here and here.  The data show a much different story than that painted by the AP.

Yes, from 2005 to 2006 the total number of incidents increased from 7,163 to 7,722 -- a 7.8% increase.  And yes, racial incidents continue to constitute a majority of incidents, 51.8%.  But that's where any similarity to the truth, and the AP's account of it, ends.

Overall, racial incidents increased only 2.1%, and anti-black incidents increased even less, at 0.4%.  So while the AP article speaks almost entirely of anti-black hate crimes, the growth of anti-black incidents rounds off to zero.

However, anti-white incidents increased 7.5%!  In fact, there were 81 more racial incidents in 2006 than in 2005, but 62 of those were anti-white, while only 10 were anti-black.  That's right, the bulk of the increase in racially-motivated hate crimes were anti-white.

The AP also fails to note that anti-religious incidents increased 19%, with anti-Jewish incidents accounting for two-thirds all anti-religious incidents, and increasing 14% from 2005 to 2006.  One surprise might be that anti-Catholic incidents increased 31%.  Another surprise: anti-heterosexual incidents went up 24%.

After the much-feared "Muslim backlash" , anti-Islamic incidents accounted for just 2% of all "hate crime" incidents.  There were more than 6 times as many anti-Jewish incidents as anti-Islamic ones.

So let's review: anti-black incidents up 0.4%; anti-white up 7.5%; anti-Jewish up 14%; anti-heterosexual up 24%; and anti-Catholic up 31%.  And where does the AP put its focus?