A white supremacist was identified as the suspect in shootings at two Jewish community centers in Kansas City last week, on Sunday April 13th 2014. Frazier Glenn Cross, aka Frazier Glenn Miller, is a 73-year-old ex-grand dragon of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, an organization infamous for racist and anti-semitic motivations. Miller was also the founder of another white supremacist group, the White Patriot Party. His shooting rampage ended with three dead, and the crime is being investigated as a hate crime.
Congress defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.” Usually, these are crimes that are violent in nature, and can include offenses like murder, assault, arson or vandalism.
While many people realize that violence against the LGBT community is considered a hate crime, it wasn't that way until 2009. The passage of a new law gave the federal government the authority to prosecute violent hate crimes against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act also helped with the prosecution of hate crimes based on sexual orientation by providing funding and assistance to states and other jurisdictions to help them investigate, prosecute, and prevent hate crimes.
According to the FBI, in 2012, 48.3% of 5,790 single-bias incidents in 2012 were racially motivated, while 19.6% were based on sexual orientation and 19% from religious bias. Of the 5,331 known offenders, 54.6% of them were white, and 23.3% were black.
Each year, the FBI compiles statistics about reported hate crimes, of all kinds, in every state. Not only does America identify hate crimes that damaged people directly and violently, but they also monitor groups that preach hatred as this can, of course, incite violence and exacerbate racist sentiment.
One very important note to consider when looking at these rankings is that there are many variables at play that may or may not be quantifiable. When looking at these rankings, it's important to remember that these stats are only a small piece of the puzzle and are not, of course, definitive proof that any one state has more hatred or bias than any other. These are simply statistics of reported crimes during a certain period of time.
11 Maine - 3.91 crimes per 100,000 people
10 Washington - 3.95 crimes per 100,000 people
9 Nevada - 4.15 crimes per 100,000 people
8 Connecticut - 4.17 crimes per 100,000 people
7 Alabama - 4.25 crimes per 100,000 people
6 Tennessee - 4.91 crimes per 100,000 people
4 Kentucky - 5.31 crimes per 100,000 people
3 North Dakota - 5.95 crimes per 100,000 people
2 Michigan - 6.38 crimes per 100,000 people
1 District of Columbia - 11.39 crimes per 100,000 people
D.C has been in the news many times for their general crime rate. For many years, it's been considered one of the most dangerous cities in the United States, so it likely comes as no surprise that they're number one on the list for having the most hate crimes as well. One thing should be noted however, and this could affect the ranking some: Several states still do not classify violence against LGBT people as a hate crime, while D.C does. This might explain the large jump in hate crime rates from Michigan - who don't classify LGBT violence as a hate crime - to D.C, who do.
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