Argument: Hate crime is a major problem, requiring a state response

Issue Report: Hate crime laws


  • Rebecca Stotzer. “Comparison of Hate Crime Rates Across Protected and Unprotected Groups”. The Williams Institute. June 2007 – “EXISTING HATE CRIME STATISTICS With the passage of the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990, the FBI has collected yearly data from participating agencies along with their Uniform Crime Report statistics. The raw counts show that the majority of hate crimes have been crimes based on race (primarily against African Americans), followed each year by either crimes based on religion (primarily against Jews) or crimes based on sexual orientation (primarily against gay men) as the second most common type of hate crime. Although tracking is invaluable for understanding hate crimes in the United States, evidence suggests that underreporting is a problem. As with other types of crime, there is a large gap between what is reported by the police and what is reported in victimization surveys. A report from the Bureau of Justice statistics comparing the FBI data and victimization survey data suggests that only about 44% of hate crimes are reported to the police.2 Thus, these estimates are a conservative look at the number of hate crimes that are occurring across the United States.”
  • “Hate Crime Laws”. Anti-Defamation League. Resources – “All Americans have a stake in an effective response to violent bigotry. Hate crimes demand a priority response because of their special emotional and psychological impact on the victim and the victim’s community. The damage done by hate crimes cannot be measured solely in terms of physical injury or dollars and cents. Hate crimes may effectively intimidate other members of the victim’s community, leaving them feeling isolated, vulnerable and unprotected by the law. By making members of minority communities fearful, angry and suspicious of other groups — and of the power structure that is supposed to protect them — these incidents can damage the fabric of our society and fragment communities.”