Hate Crimes in the U.S.

Hate crime victims and comparisons with their demographic representation

Since 2000, the number of organized hate groups -- from white nationalists, neo-Nazis and racist skinheads to border vigilantes and black separatist organizations -- has climbed by more than 50 percent, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)” (Florida, 2011).

A summary of hate crime info, according to the FBI’s 2010 report:

  • Hate crimes are broken down thusly: 47.3% by a racial bias, 20% percent by a religious bias, 19.3% by asexual orientation bias, and 12.8% by an ethnicity/national origin bias. Bias against a disability accounted for 0.6% of single-bias incidents.

Hate crimes by race:
  • Anti-Black: 69.8%
  • Anti-White: 18.2%
  • Anti-multiracial: 5.7%
  • Anti-Asian or Pacific Islander: 5.1%
  • Anti-Native American/Alaskan Native: 1.2%

      Hate crimes by religion:
  • Anti-Jewish: 65.4%
  • Anti-Islamic: 13.2%
  • Anti-other/multiple religion: 13.3%
  • Anti-Catholic: 4.3%
  • Anti-Protestant: 3.3%
  • Anti-Atheism/Agnosticism: .5%

      Hate crimes by sexuality
  • Anti-gay man: 57.9%
  • Anti-“homosexual”: 27.4%
  • Anti-lesbian: 11.4%
  • Anti-bisexual: 1.9%
  • Anti-heterosexual: 1.4%

Hate crimes by ethnicity/nationality
  • Anti-Latino: 65.5%
  • Anti-other ethnicity and nationality: 34.5%

Hate crimes by disability
  • Anti-mental disability: 52%
  • Anti-physical disability: 48%


  1. The problem with Richard Florida's analysis is that it is based on flawed data.

    Unlike actual hate crimes, there is no legal definition for "hate group," which is why even the FBI does not, cannot, designate "hate groups," but somehow a private fundraising organization like the Southern Poverty Law Center can?

    Without a legal definition, a "hate group" is whatever the SPLC says it is, and frankly, that's not good enough.

    The SPLC has no more authority to designate "hate groups" than does the SPCA, so any report based on such data is fundamentally flawed from the get-go.

    Worse still, a closer look at the SPLC's spurious data demonstrates just how flimsy many of these claims are.

    The SPLC's public relations chief, Mark Potok, claims he designated 1,018 "hate groups" for 2011 and lists them on his Hate Map™ fundraising tool.

    Fully 247 of the groups listed are not affiliated with any known city or town. These homeless "hate groups" simply float in limbo, padding Mr. Potok's numbers.

    That's 25% right off the top.


    A perfect example is the state of Georgia. Mr. Potok announced that he had added 20 chapters of something he calls "the Georgia Militia" to that state's map, but he cannot locate 18 of them.

    There are 18 blank slots with "Georgia Militia" next to them. See it for yourselves:


    THIS is hard data?

    In many states, the percentage of homeless "hate groups" reaches 50%, 80% and even an incredible 100%.

    In October of 2011, Mr. Potok admitted on camera that his "hate group" designations were "anecdotal," "a very rough estimate" and "an imperfect process," yet he continues to release these numbers to the media as hard fact.

    You can see the video here:


    Fortunately for Mr. Potok, it makes little difference what numbers he pulls out of his imagination because no one in the media will ever vet a single one of his claims. They simply regurgitate Mr. Potok's press releases as fact.

    Obviously, Mr. Florida didn't look at the data before using it.

    Sadly, there is definitely too much hate in the world today, and actual hate crimes may or may not be on the rise, but citing SPLC fundraising propaganda and/or spurious reports based upon such "data" is a poor way to document it.

    Stick with the FBI and other law enforcement numbers for a more accurate appraisal.

  2. The above dumb-assery from stupid pundits (WASPs) is a good reason to fix your comments so they have to be approved before posting.
    Law enforcement numbers are very, very low - FYI - because of reporting problems, definition problems, and other issues. If Mr. StupidAss KKK-lover knew one one-hundredth of what his arrogant ass thought he did, he would know that law enforcement numbers are never the right number to rely on, and no one in the intellectual, law enforcement community does so.

    1. Well, I admit I can't match your eloquence, but essentially you're saying that Mr. Potok's data is accurate?

      The 18 phantom Georgia Militias are really there, somewhere, as are the other 230ish groups no one can seem to locate? Mr. Potok was just kidding when he said on camera that his information was anecdotal and unverifiable?

      Here are a few other chuckles Mr. Potok has had in the press over the past few years:

      “Potok acknowledged that some of the groups may be small and said it is impossible for outsiders to gauge the membership of most of the groups.” (David Crary, Associated Press Online, March 10, 2008)

      “Potok says inclusion on the list might come from a minor presence, such as a post office box.” (www.sanluisobispo.com, March 25, 2009)

      “Mark Potok, who has directed the SPLC’s Intelligence Project for 12 years, said the report relies on media, citizen and law enforcement reports, and does not include original reporting by SPLC staff.” (www.postcrescent.com, July 6, 2009)


      Here's a few SPLC numbers that actually have been verified:

      Zero: The number of minority executives currently employed at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

      Zero: The number of minority executives who have ever worked at the SPLC since it opened its doors more than 40 years ago.

      1: The number of years out of 21 that the SPLC's "Teaching Tolerance" program, which purports to promote diversity in the K-12 schools, has had a Director of color.

      106,000: The number of donor dollars that come to the SPLC each and every day, based largely on Mr. Potok's bogus "hate group" numbers.

      216,000,000: The number of tax-free dollars in the SPLC's "Endowment Fund" cash cow.

      Again, I can't match your wit but I think it's a safe bet that $4,400 donor-dollars each and every hour is a viable financial incentive for Mr. Potok to exaggerate his estimates.

      But if you're cool with it then you should send the SPLC a check today. That $100 check will keep the lights on for nearly 80 seconds and who knows what a local food bank, Women's shelter or free clinic would waste it on?

  3. Comments and debates! Oooooh! Lemme break out my popcorn. :)

    As a sociologist, I encourage peeps to be critical of stats and studies, since none are unbiased. Let-s face it -- we are all very biased and can ultimately find info out there that supports us, no matter our views. I tend to use governmental data about hate crimes, since they're the least obviously biased. However, as Lauri mentioned, hate crimes are vastly under-reported *and* reflect only our current methods of categorizing data. As I found when researching this, for example, the FBI doesn't have info for trans-motivated hate crimes. That is horrendous, since I feel quite sure the rates of hate and violence toward these folks are astronomical.

    Most of my info comes from the FBI, which is as credible as they come, I suppose. Do with the info as ye may.

  4. Fair enough, Elle,

    I appreciate your ability to convey your thoughts without resorting to ad hominem attacks and scatology.

    Nothing says we have to agree on everything, and I'm the first to admit that governmental reports are both under-reported and over-reported (many "hate" incidents consist of "intimidation," which no one should ever have to endure, but are generally unquantifiable. Are "mean looks" really "hate crimes"? Think about it.)

    My comments never had any relation to hate crimes, which are very real and most probably under-reported, but with Richard Florida's findings based on spurious and inaccurate SPLC "hate group" numbers.

    There's no legal definition for "hate group," so who decides? Me? Lauri? You? A "non-profit" civil rights group that takes in tens of millions of dollars a year by designating "hate groups" according to its own subjective definition?

    Without a codified, legal definition, "hate group" means whatever you, me or Lauri says it does and that's just not good enough, if for no other reason than that it means that sooner or later someone is going to decide that any of us belong to a "hate group" based on our beliefs.

    As a sociologist, I ask nothing more of you than to actually look at the SPLC's data and judge it for yourself. I have, based on the SPLC's own numbers from their own website and I have found them wanting. Yet their mostly elderly donors continue to send them tens of millions of dollars each year that would do infinitely more good if spent locally.

    I've cited my sources, most of which come from the SPLC or mainstream media outlets. Anyone can easily reproduce my findings and isn't that the core of the scientific method?

    That's all I'm saying.



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