The number of reported hate crimes against Black and Asian Americans have increased according to FBI data released Monday.
According to the FBI’s annual hate crime statistics report, there were more than 7,700 criminal hate crime incidents reported to the agency last year. That marks an increase of more than 400 incidents from 2019. CNN reports the increase comes as fewer agencies report hate crime incidents in their jurisdictions to the agency than in recent years.
According to the report, 62% of victims were targeted due to their race or ethnicity, up from 58% in 2019. Twenty percent were victimized due to their sexual orientation and 13% were victimized due to religious bias. According to the agency, more than half of the hate crime offenders were white.
Attacks targeting Black Americans rose by more than 800 incidents to 2,755. The data released showed that bias against Black Americans made up the largest category of hate crime offenses pertaining to race with 56% of those crimes motivated by anti-Black bias.
The Black Lives Matter movement brought many of the issues still plaguing Black Americans to the forefront last year, but marches began getting pushback from members of law enforcement as well as far-right organizations.
Hate crimes against Asian Americans rose 70% when compared to 2019. The increase is a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, Republican lawmakers constantly blamed China and Asian Americans for the spreading of the virus. Former President Donald Trump even referred to the virus as the “Kung Flu” on several occasions.
Despite the issues the pandemic created for Asian Americans, the actual number of reported incidents (274) were quite low when compared to the number of crimes against Black people.
The numbers are likely to be a vast undercount because law enforcement agencies aren’t required to submit their data to the agency for the report. Currently there are more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies and more than 3,000 do not submit data to the FBI.
Attorney General Merrick Garland noted in a statement Monday, the data does not account for the crimes that go unreported.
“These hate crimes and other bias-related incidents instill fear across entire communities and undermine the principles upon which our democracy stands. All people in this country should be able to live without fear of being attacked or harassed because of where they are from, what they look like, whom they love or how they worship,” Garland said.