So, what do you make of this? This AP article says that Hate crimes up against gays, religious groups – “Overall, the number of reported cases increases 2 percent.”
Now the FBI says this could be the result of better reporting, and not really an increase.
Brian Levin, director for the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University-San Bernardino, warned that the national numbers may be misleading because some states — like California, New Jersey, and Ohio — are good at reporting hate crimes while others — Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi and Pennsylvania — are not.”The quality of the data is so variable and in some instances so bad that it makes trend analysis extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible,” said Levin. “Generally, states that have effective data collection also have effective training and procedures to address these crimes.”
For the sake of argument, let’s assume these numbers are true. Are the gays and the religious attacking each other? How do you explain this?
Overall, the number of reported cases increases 2 percent.
Even if there is no measurement error, this is still just statistical noise. Just as the number of crimes varies from one week to another for no particular reason, it also varies from one year to another. A 2% change, especially when coupled with nearly 1% population growth, might as well be zero.
Are the gays and the religious attacking each other?
Almost certainly not. As JNS points out on the related BCC thread, most of the victims of religously-motivated hate crimes are Jewish. I doubt they are the ones perpetrating hate crimes against gays.
I agree that it is probably noise, but the gay rights groups quoted in the article are using this as if it is true. as for religious groups targeted, how do you know it is jews targeted? the article makes no such claims. it could be muslims as part of the war, or it could be mormons and evangelicals for anti-gay stances. I don’t think we can immediately jump to the conclusion that jews are primarily picked on by reading that article .
From the FBI report:
As I read it, I don’t think we receive the whole picture from the introduction of the article. Though all hate crimes are up 2%, something that can be very statistically insignificant depending on your confidence level, I think the numbers of 11% based on sexual orientation and 9% on religious views is statistically significant. I doubt that this level of increase is due to better reporting, but possibly more reporting, in hopes to influence policy changes. With activists groups helping the religious groups pass along their messages and activists groups for the sexual-orientation groups doing the same, I’m thinking we will continue to see increased numbers until this issue no longer takes social precedence.
I’m quite sure that once this is no longer on the forefront of many people’s minds as to social policy change we will notice increased numbers on whatever society is worried about next. So they may be fighting amongst each other, but if you looked at the definition 1/3 being vandalism, 1/3 intimidation, and 1/3 being physical attacks, I doubt we will see an increase in ER visits.
I think the thing would be to isolate which religious people are being attacked. I haven’t heard any reports of gay people attacking religious people.
My speculation would be that unbalanced people are attacking gay people and Islamic people and using their extreme fundamentalist religious views to justify it.
kuri, thanks for the link to the FBI website. I find it interesting that atheists are considered a religious group. It doesn’t explain the 2% rise, but seems quite ironic.
I think it is interesting that both gays and the religious have statistics which support the claim of persecution.
I’m just curious how this statistic is measured.
This sounds horrible, but I knew eleven or so gay students in my high school who reported every slight and insult or jerk who knocked their books off the desk as a hate crime resulting from their sexuality.
On the other hand, the orthodox Jewish girls and the devout Muslim girls I knew endured horrific abuse and kept their mouths shut. The only times anyone reported crimes against those girls were when their attackers made a move in front of a teacher with a little more integrity than the rest or the school police officer. Personally, I think a ninth grade girl (13-14 yr old) being publicly called “Satan’s whore” and thrown out of class because of her religion probably counts as a hate crime, but it wasn’t reported as one.
How is this measured? Is there a minimum severity level? How does the distribution of percentages vary between states? Or cities? Does San Fransisco have the same statistics as New York or Dallas?
That’s a good question. I think the FBI has more stringent rules that reporting insults. Perhaps you could check the FBI website that Kuri mentioned above.