The FBI has reported an increase in hate crimes in the United States for a second consecutive year, with Hindus and Sikhs among those targeted in the more than 6,000 incidents of crimes motivated by biases towards religions, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation.
More specifically, approximately 50 percent of the crimes were related to racial bias against Blacks, while 20 percent represented bias against Whites, 11 percent represented bias against Hispanics/Latinos, and 7 percent represented bias against American Indian and Asian groups.
Almost 18 percent of the hate crime incidents in 2016 were a result of sexual-orientation bias. No other religious group made up more than 4.1 percent of reported hate crimes motivated by religion.
The SPLC contends that the actual number of hate crimes may be much higher.
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Stacy added that politicians must be more vigorous in addressing anti-LGBT bigotry and championing anti-discrimination policies, further noting that such strategies also "requires vigorous enforcement of hate crimes laws, which can deter and address violence motivated by bigotry".
The number of hate crimes against Hindus, whose numbers are estimated to be around of 2.1 million, were not listed separately in the 2014 Federal Bureau of Investigation report, but have figured independently in the next two annual reports -with five in 2015 and 10 in 2016. More than 15,000 law enforcement agencies provided data for the report. Hate crimes against black people declined by 3 offenses from 2015 to 2016. "Hate crimes demand priority attention due to their special impact". Of the 6,121 incidents reported, 1,076 were based on sexual orientation bias and 124 were based on gender identity bias. "They not only hurt one victim, but they also intimidate and isolate a victim's whole community and weaken the bonds of our society".
"No person should have to fear being violently attacked because of who they are, what they believe, or how they worship", Sessions said. The plurality of the remainder, 44.7 percent of overall incidents, were for intimidation. In all, nine murders and 24 rapes were reported as hate crimes.
There were 1,076 incidents involving lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people, with nearly two-thirds of those targeting gay men.