Photo: OpenClipart-Vectors via Pixabay.
An alarming statistic recently released from the FBI shows that one in five hate crimes were motivated by bias against sexual orientation in 2018. The report also lists bias against race, ethnicity and religion as major factors of hate crimes reported in 2018.
According to the FBI, crime rates have dropped somewhat from 2017 to 2018.
However, the majority of hate crimes specifically targeted of the LGBTQ+ community have risen.
According to an estimate of Gallup, there is about 4.5% of people who identify as LGBTQ+.
In 2018, the FBI reported 61% percent of hate crimes were committed against a person while crimes against property decreased by 19% from 2017 to 2018.
FBI data has estimated that 1,300 of 7,120 hate crimes in 2018 occurred from anti-LGBTQ bias.
However, FBI data has estimated that 1,300 of 7,120 hate crimes in 2018 occurred from anti-LGBTQ+ bias.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit organization that tracks down hate groups, reported 954 hate groups in the U.S. in 2017 and 1,020 in 2018.
West Chester students and alumni had words to share about the statistics.
“It’s shocking,” said Alexa Fitter, alumni of West Chester who has an B.S. in nutrition and dietetics and a M.S. in community nutrition. “You hear about the violence all the time.”
The Human Rights Campaign released this statement about the concerning trend of rising hate crimes against the LBGTQ+ community: “Bias-motivated crimes are a real, frightening problem in the United States, and LGBTQ+ people continue to be targeted because of who they are,” said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David.
Not far from home, local hate crimes in Philadelphia include of the murder of Blaze Bernstein. Bernstein was a psychology student at the University of Pennsylvania when he was killed in a California park January of last year.
Over the years, LBGTQ+ community has mourned the loss of its members through senseless tragedy and violence. Notable hate crimes that conjure to the mind is the murder of gender-fluid 16-year-old Kedarie Johnson, who was a Burlington, Iowa resident. On March 2, 2016, they were shot and killed by two men when the men found out Johnson was not biologically female.
Hate crimes against the trans community have claimed many, such as Vicky Gutierrez, a transgender woman of color from Honduras who was found stabbed and burned inside her Los Angeles home on Jan. 10, 2018. Friends and family described her to reporters as “a young trans Latina immigrant woman whose warm smile would give anyone comfort.”
‘It’s shocking,’ said Alexa Fitter, alumni of West Chester who has a B.S. in nutrition and dietetics and a M.S. in community nutrition. ‘You hear about the violence all the time.’
Not far from home, local hate crimes in Philadelphia include of the murder of Blaze Bernstein. Bernstein was a psychology student at the University of Pennsylvania when he was killed in a California park in Jan. of last year.
In an article from Philly Magazine, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said that Samuel Lincoln Woodword, member of a Neo-Nazi Group, killed Bernstein because he was gay and Jewish. Bernstein was visiting his native home of California during his winter break.
To learn more about statistics and hate crimes concerning the LGBTQ+ community, visit FBI.gov.
Hania Jones is a fourth-year student majoring in English and minoring in journalism. HJ902644@wcupa.edu