Hate crime reports in California surge to highest level in 20 years

Hate crimes in California have jumped to their highest levels in more than 20 years, according to the state’s Attorney General.

On Tuesday, officials said reports of hate crimes last year have increased 33%. The increase was attributed to racism and homophobia.

This follows an increase over the previous year in similar reports of hate crimes, particularly against Blacks, Asians and the LGBT community.

The Attorney General said hate crimes in 2021 targeting Black people represented the sharpest increase with 513 reported incidents, up 13% from the previous year. Hate crimes against LGBT people increased nearly 50% with 303 incidents. Hate crimes against Asian Americans had the highest percentage increase, jumping 178% with 247 incidents.

The Attorney General called the increases part of an epidemic of hate that was occurring during the pandemic, and warned it remains a threat.

More about the reported increase in hate crimes in California can be found here.

Opinion: No one aware of the U.S. political climate, where hate speech is normalized, can reasonably be shocked at the results of these statistics. As disturbing as these figures are, it’s a reminder that even in a blue state such as California, minorities are not insulated from hateful vitriol and abuse. Education and constructive dialogue must continue, as well as policy changes, to ensure hate crimes become unacceptable in society.

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