The United States is experiencing a steady rise in hate crimes going into the 2020 presidential election, according to a new report on extremism and violence in the U.S.
The report — released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino — details data on reported hate crimes throughout the U.S., as well as extremist murders.
The report, titled “Report to the Nation: 2019 Factbook on Hate & Extremism,” also records 2018 as the year with the largest number of anti-Semitic killings to date.
“Hate crimes continue to incrementally rise, interrupted by declines and big spikes,” Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism director Brian Levin told TPM.
The report compiles data collected at the city level for hate crimes as well as extremist activity, providing what Levin described as a “proxy” for information around the country.
Levin found that American cities are experiencing decade-high rates in hate crimes, after an eight percent increase in 2018 compared to the previous year.
The rise is occurring amid a broader decrease in crime and homicide rates, with white nationalists and far-right extremists continuing to be the “most ascendant” group behind violent extremism, the report found. The “overwhelming majority” of extremist domestic homicides in 2018 were committed “by white nationalist/far right sole assailants who attacked around the mid-term elections,” per the report.
“The overwhelming majority of declining extremist domestic homicides in 2018 were by white nationalist/far right sole assailants who attacked around the mid-term elections,” the report reads.
The data on hate crimes comes from 30 U.S. cities, assembled to provide a top-down view of the situation. Fourteen out of the 30 experienced decade-high rates of hate crime occurrences last year.
Levin pointed out that some effects like better reporting in certain jurisdictions might skew the data in various places, though the trend remains consistent. Extrapolated to the rest of the country, the data he compiled would make 2018 the worst year for hate crimes since 2001.
Read the report here: