When Americans talk about “hate crimes,” most do so in the context of recent media coverage. They think about movements like “Black Lives Matter,” sexism, racism, bigotry, and discrimination against minorities.
Teachers are even citing the “Trump Effect” as the source of increased bullying on the playground and in the classroom:
The newest figures show hate crimes against Muslims soared 67% in 2015 — from 154 in 2014 to 257. There were also 1,745 anti-black incidents last year, which is 124 more incidents than the year prior.
Victims in more than 59% of the bias-motivated crimes in 2015 were targeted because of their race, ethnicity or ancestry, according to the FBI’s report. About 48% of the roughly 5,500 known offenders were white, data shows.
But Time left out one demographic entirely — Jewish Americans — and when the statistics were laid out in their entirety, the new picture they painted was sobering.
The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) laid out the information:
Members of which of these groups were most likely to be a victim of a hate crime in 2015: Muslims, Blacks or Jews? Based on media coverage, you would have to say Muslims or Blacks.
According to a Google news search for the term “hate crimes” along with the name of each of those three groups, there are 164,000 results for “hate crimes” + black, 134,000 results for “hate crimes” + Muslims and only 36,400 results for “hate crimes” + Jews.
Based on news reports, you would think that blacks were 4.5 times more likely than Jews to be the victim of a hate crime and that Muslims were almost 4 times more than likely than Jews to be a hate crime victim.
At first, the numbers seemed to line up with the media narrative — but then the data was applied to the relative populations of those groups, and a different image began to emerge. Again, AEI provided the practical application of the numbers:
Hate crime data from the FBI for 2015 reveals that there were 1,745 African-American victims of hate crimes last year, 664 Jewish victims of anti-religious hate crimes and 257 Muslim hate crime victims.
Adjusting for the population size of each group (42.75 million blacks, 5.7 million Jews and 3.3 million Muslims), the hate crime victimization rates last year per 100,000 population were 11.6 for Jews, 7.8 for Muslims and 4.1 for blacks.
Therefore, American Jews were nearly three times more likely than blacks to be a victim of a hate crime last year, and 1.5 times more likely than a Muslim to be a hate crime victim.
The chart below gives a stark visual representation:
Many have pointed out that despite these numbers, the American media continues to give the most coverage and express the most concern about “hate crimes” against blacks and Muslims.
And while hate crimes against any group of people are clearly unacceptable, the question, posed by the AEI, seems relevant: “Don't we have to conclude that hate crimes against Jews are routinely under-reported by the media relative to the reporting of hate crimes against blacks and Muslims?”