Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Hate Crimes in the USA - 2008

The FBI reported the following hate crimes involving actual physical violence in the USA in 2008:

Against Catholics, just for being Catholic:
1 Aggravated Assault, 3 simple Assaults.

Against Protestants, just for being Protestant:
3 Aggravated assaults, 3 simple Assaults.

So we're looking at 10 victims who were violently attacked, just for being Christian.

Much has been made of this in the Catholic Press.
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, said the increase may be due to the Church becoming more vocal on life issues such as abortion and homosexual unions.

As the Catholic bishops take a stronger stance, he said, it filters down to the laity, and as more traditional Catholics become more vocal, they become targets for those who disagree with them.

“Unfortunately, it spills over into violence,” he said, adding that it’s just going to get worse before it gets better.

To put this in context though...

Muslims suffered the following injuries, just for being Muslim:
5 Aggravated Assaults, 30 simple assaults. 35 people. Three and a half times as many.

Jews suffered the following injuries, just for being Jews:
25 Aggravated Assaults, 58 simple Assaults. 83 people. Over eight times as many.

As for non-Trans gay people:
5 Murders, 6 rapes, 232 Aggravated Assaults, and 501 simple Assaults. 744 people raped, murders, or violently attacked.

Data on Trans people wasn't kept - until the recent Federal Hate Crime laws were passed, the FBI wasn't allowed to count hate crimes against trans people. But we know just from newspaper reports that at least 19 were slain.


RadarGrrl said...

Oh, the poor poor persecuted!

Next year, the stats will be out for trans folk too, and you can bet that they're going to be somewhat higher (!) than those of the poor downtrodden christians. Higher still once the stats are reduced to per-capita figures.

Maybe it's time to bring back arenas and lions.

Hazumu Osaragi said...

Add to that the percentage of the population that is 'being' Protestant, the percentage of the population that is 'being' Catholic, same for Muslim, Jew and other religious subdivisions.

Now, these are all categories you can choose to be, and you can choose to change (though you can't choose which one you are born into.) More on this, later.

Without looking up supporting statistics, It seems a good bet that finding a Protestant to whang on is pretty easy, if you're in the mood to assault a Protestant and by extension all Protestants.

Catholics are rarer in the population, but still not hard to find, although some other religious groups (such as any with Dominionist leanings) avow great animus towards Catholics. So we have a situation of slightly reduced availability, but a heightened potential for assault by those who specifically target Catholics.

Jews and Muslims are more of the same, but with smaller numbers in the population, yet a larger pool of those with animus towards those groupings. And within the group who share animus towards Jews or Muslims (or, usually both,) is a larger potential for individuals who will welcome opportunities to assault, such as verbally/physically assaulting a chance person wearing a yarmulke or forms of hijab, and those who will deliberately target members of the group for violence.

Now, proceeding to the sex-diversity alphabet (LGBT), we have a similar situation of sub-groupings. However, those sub-groupings are seen differently by those who hate.

Although there are no statistics, a thoroughly masculine-appearing man who prefers sexual intimacy with males seems to have a lower likelihood of being assaulted for his sexual preference than a man who can be classified as a 'twink'. And the chance of being randomly chosen for assault increases as mannerisms and dress are more and more perceived as not-masculine. The same continuum is in force with women, 'Lipstick Lesbians' being much less likely to be randomly chosen for attack than 'Diesel Dykes'. For those who hew to the standard presentation for their gender though, being 'outed' can raise their potential as a target, depending on how many people become aware of their Gay or Lesbian status.

So it seems to me that the polar opposite to the situation with Protestants and hate crime is the situation with Transgenders and hate crimes. Here we have a population that is few in number even compared to the Gay/Lesbian population, yet the statistics suggest that population is the mother of all hate-magnets. Considering the likely audience that will read this,

I'll just close this particular thought by mentioning that we just had our biggest TDOR ever, with over 100 'honorees'. There is some question as to what role better reporting and classification had in the jump in numbers. But whether you look at it by acts alone or per capita of the referenced population, it still is 'way too many.

The Protestants and Catholics are 'victims'... Yeah. right.

P.S., it might be fun to take the current statistics for LGBT and extrapolate them to the Catholic and Protestant populations. Are there any websites with unmoderated comments where Protestants or Catholics are crying VICTIM! over this report?

Anonymous said...

How about assaults against cops or members of a gang? Then there are women, you left out that one compaired to street walkers. Your numbers are very useless unless the conditions are equal. How about teens or old people, city folk or farmers?


Zoe Brain said...

WH - you appear to miss the point of crimes of terror. Which is a better name than "hate crimes".

How many crimes against little old ladies are there that are purely motivated by the fact that they are little old ladies - rather than them being seen as "easy meat" for a robbery?

How many crimes are there against farmers because a large political or religious group thinks that farmers should be exterminated, or driven out of the area?

I've noticed an alarming trend of assaults on red-headed people, children in particular, simply because they have red hair. All red-headed people in those areas are starting to become afraid that they will be next, regardless of other circumstances. Now the total number of assaults is still <10, but if it increases, then there would be a case for making them a protected class too.

Because such crimes, if not dealt with more severely than the usual background rates applicable to everyone, always increase, and increase, until there is a real problem, often with law enforcement agencies and prosecutors complicit in committing them.

in theory, everyone is treated equally. In practice, it's often the popular County Sheriff who's the ringleader of the mob burning a cross on your front yard, with the local Judge providing the materials.

Under those circumstances, Federal intervention is required. You don't have to go back further than 50 years to find this problem is endemic when it comes to racial persecution. And local law authorities accounted for 12%, 1 in 8, of the perpetrators of terrorist acts against gays.

Now one thing I did miss out, that should have been put in the original article. There were 10 Christians who were assaulted and hurt just for being Christian. That's 10 too many. One would be too many. Just like the two who were assaulted for not being Christian, for being agnostic or atheist, were two too many.

That the USA has a serious problem with racism is illustrated by the figures on race-based crime. 326 anti-white crimes of violence, including one rape; and 968 anti-black crimes of violence, including one murder.

Battybattybats said...

This is one of those short and immensely powerful blogposts that can have a great impact.

Thankyou Zoe.

Hazumu Osaragi said...

I found this religious-oriented site, The URL page has their demographic data for various religions, as well as ethnic groups and, interestingly, GLBT, Gay men, Lesbian women and Bisexuals (no separate category for Transgender -- In fact they spell out 'Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual' after "GLBT", leaving off an explanation for the "T".)

Using their percentages, I 'blew up' the reported statistics for GLBT by the ratio between their reporting of the total GLBT population (1.51%) and their reporting for Catholics and for Protestants:

Against Catholics, just for being Catholic (24.5 %)
81 Murders, 97 rapes, 3,764 Aggravated Assaults, and 8,129 simple Assaults. 12,072 people raped, murders, or violently attacked.

Against Protestants, just for being Protestant (53 %)
175 Murders, 210 rapes, 8,143 Aggravated Assaults, and 17,584 simple Assaults. 26,133 people raped, murders, or violently attacked.

When those groups approach those numbers of reported assaults, we can talk about not needing hate crime laws. Not before.

Laserlight said...

RadarGrrl, your consistent contempt/hate for anything labelled "Christian" reduces the value of your opinion. If you can't be tolerant, in spite of your fears, then you've got no moral right to expect other people to be tolerant of you.
In addition, it's bad tactics. If you're not willing to, say, take Zoe's word that "I know some real Christians, decent people and willing to help", then how are you going to get allies among them? If you don't get people among your enemies who will see your point of view, how do you expect to change their point of view? If you insist on seeing an enemy, how are you going to be anything other than an enemy?
I've known people for whom the opportunity to play the martyr is more attractive than the opportunity to win; but you've always struck me as being smarter than that.

Laserlight said...

Zoe, any reason for limiting it to the USA? Your Google-fu is strong--can you get reasonably reliable reports that include, say, Nigeria, India, China, etc? Or at least Oz?

Zimbel said...


This is a particular annual report done by a U.S.A. federal agency. Note that there are significant collection problems, particularly among certain demographics (see Table 14 and note that number of sizable cities reporting no hate crimes - well below what one would expect given their demographics). While this is better than nothing, the thing to note is that these numbers are minimums. Table 12 also makes this fairly clear, particularly if you're also familiar with the demographics in the states in question.

Laserlight said...

Zimbel, I'm just pointing out what applies in the US doesn't necessarily apply in Oz, Britain, France, China, Morocco, India, etc.

RadarGrrl said...

@ Laserlight:

Maybe I've been reading far too much PHB, but there's so many incidences of religious leaders, mostly in, but certainly not limited to, the United States that are openly advocating anything from barring LGBT from marrying or holding a job, or using a washroom to imprisonment and outright execution. I don't see too many progressive christians standing up and telling these asshats to STFU...maybe they need to start before I'll give any of them the benefit of the doubt. It's not just christianists either...the semitists and the islamists can be just as bad, if not worse. When all of these people cease condemning me for just being who I am, maybe I'll cut them a little more slack.

Religion is a choice; we are all born atheist. I wasn't afforded any such choice in being under the LGBT umbrella. Yet I'm the one being condemned.

RadarGrrl said...

While you're at it, Laserlight, have a look at this. These so-called christians would cut me, and everybody like me, down without pity. Why the hell should I afford them any sort of charity whatsoever? By their silence, moderate christians are essentially enablers. Fuck Godwin...this is EXACTLY what Hitler tried to do...scapegoat us, try to curtail our rights, then ultimately herd us into prisons and shoot us all down. Fuck that! Reading this particular article makes me absolutely livid!

Zoe Brain said...

Laserlight - I can't even get good figures for the USA. Some jurisdictions refuse to co-operate with the FBI and always report 0 hate crimes against GLBT people.

In at least one, there is an ordnance that forbids the local police from co-operation.

As regards Uganda - and Radargirl, you better read this one too - have a look at the Christian psychologist Warren Throckmorton's blog.

He specialises in treating people with SSA - same sex attraction. He originally was engaged in something like reparative therapy, but when that didn't work, helped people accept who they were, and helped those who genuinely wanted to change any way he could.

He has been waging a one-man Christian resistance against these "Christian" groups responsible for doing so much harm. He's been vilified and excoriated in the US Gay press, but has done more actual good that all of them put together.

He used to hang around with NARTH and the rest. But when he saw what they actually were, disassociated himself from them. This has caused him much professional harm, he's been ostracised by the "christian"s as much as by the gays.

I don't agree with all his views: but he has true integrity. There's FAR more like that in every church than you think.

Unfortunately... there's far more who are not like that than laserlight thinks. You've been exposed to them more than he has.

Right now, the situation in Uganda is dire. Even the Catholic church has not protested against this law, that would, inter alia violate the sanctity of the confessional as regards "homosexuality".

Two 15 year old girls who kissed each other on the mouth would both be executed - and if anyone saw them, and did not report it within 24 hours, they would be liable for 5 years jail.

While Exodus Ministries has backpeddled a bit, saying that they didn't actually mean such laws to be enforced, Obama's spiritual advisor Rick Warren has said that he "doesn't want to interfere" after pumping in millions into Uganda in support of the people who formulated this bill.

Various evangelical groups, notably "The Family" have stated that Uganda is just the beginning of a resurgence in family values that they wish to spread back into Europe and the USA.

RadarGrrl said...

While you're all at it, add this story to the pile, and remember that this was the guy Obama chose to preach at his inauguration.

Laserlight said...

> there's far more who are not like that than laserlight thinks.

No, I'm QUITE aware.
I'm merely pointing out the incongruity of demanding tolerance without giving any.

RadarGrrl said...

Let me get this think I should be tolerating, not only the prison guards watching the camp, but the local villagers who know what's going on but won't lift a finger to do anything about it? Fuck that. We have a declaration of war on the table. All bets are off.

Zoe Brain said...

RG - *some* of the local villagers are helping, doing what they can.

Be careful about lumping everyone together. It must be incredibly galling for those who live by Christian principles to be lumped in with those faux-christians who are everything they're against.

We who have suffered injustice have no excuse for being unjust to others.

It's just as wrong as us being lumped in with NAMBLA and the Folsom St Fair crowd. Or 1 in 20-60 Catholic Priests.

Please, don't let your indignation at the injustice others have done make you become a mirror-image of Fred Phelps.

You do have a point though - it's not the Jihadis who are the problem, it's the many Muslims who refuse to oppose them for fear of being seen as Un-Islamic.... and the same thing applies to Christianity too. For Evil to triumph, it is only necessary that good men do nothing.

Let's not criticise the many Muslims who are doing what they can, sometimes endangering their own lives. And let's not criticise those Christians who really, genuinely *do* practice this whole "love thy neighbour" bit, they live it, they don't just profess it.

We might wish they were a little louder, but perhaps in their local area they are speaking volumes. We may wish there were more of them - but then so do they.

"I'm merely pointing out the incongruity of demanding tolerance without giving any."

Exactly, and doing so calmly and politely. He has a point. So have you.

RadarGrrl said...

I have to say, Zoebie, that I'm not hearing much of anything from the moderate christians, and let me tell you, the silence is deafening.

Zoe Brain said...

You're not hearing it because it's not being reported. It doesn't fit anyone's lede.
The Relgious Right's MSM supporters don't want it publicised, as it undermines their "Christians vs the Damned" message.
The Moonbat Left's MSM supporters don't want it publicised, as it undermines their "Religious Fundie GOP Nutjobs" message.

I admit though, that there's far too little of it. That makes it all the more important that we provide support to those who are standing up in Jesus' name for Humanity and Compassion, and not rabbit on about "invisible sky policemen" and all the rest. We should be tolerant, just as we claim the right for tolerance. They've shown it. The ball's in our court.

I'm sorry if this isn't all black-and-white, us and them, but it's not. And I would hope that I have more in common with people like laserlight, despite our many differences in theology, than I have with some of my less tolerant supporters.

Not you, I might add, RG. You've just had more crap to deal with than most, so "your experiences colour your opinions".

I wish the two of you could meet. I think you'd find out that the world is not quite so harsh as you've found it to be.

Battybattybats said...

This is a very important point.

There are churches that HAPPILY marry GLBTI folk! There are churches that have OUT GLBTI Ministers!

Their religious liberty is abused by the imposition over them by other churches religious beliefs being imposed by an abuse of secular government which needs to be unbiased to support religious liberty.

This exposes the hypocracy of the 'religious liberty' arguments against Human Rights especially pertaining to GLBTI issues. The reality is some fight for religious tyranny of their faith over everyone else. But it seems reasonable to people when they hear 'religious liberty' and then don't think any further about it or hear about the rest of it.

So forcing everyone to rememeber that religious liberty covers all religions equally in order to be valid is a potent meme. It shows the lie in the haters arguments and uses the same argument of religious liberty more potently in favour of equality and human rights.

The athiests best friends are logically also all oppressed religious minorities. Same with GLBTI and on and on it goes. Most people have forgotten what human rights equality liberty and justice are about and so have lost the yardstick to measure objective right and wrong by. Time to remind them.