Anti-Jewish, anti-LGBTQ hate crimes spiked in 2022
Why it matters: The rise in anti-Jewish hate crimes came as the Center for Countering Digital Hate found bigoted speech had surged on X, formerly known as Twitter, since Elon Musk's takeover and Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, repeatedly posted antisemitic messages on social media.
By the numbers: An analysis by Axios of FBI data released Monday found that the number of anti-Jewish hate crimes jumped 36% in 2022 from the previous year.
- Anti-LGBTQ bias crimes rose 19% in a year, and anti-gay hate crimes involving just gay men increased 13%.
- Anti-Latino hate crimes went up 6%, and anti-Black bias crimes edged up 4%.
Yes, but: Anti-Asian hate crimes fell dramatically — by 34% — as fears over the pandemic subsided.
- Asian Americans saw major spikes in bias crimes during the pandemic as some people falsely blamed them for COVID-19.
What they're saying: "The rise in hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community is both shocking and heartbreaking, yet sadly, not unexpected," Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, said in a statement.
- HRC said a "constant stream of hostile rhetoric from fringe anti-equality figures" is leading to more violence against LGBTQ people.
Zoom out: The FBI reported a 6.9% increase in hate crimes from 2021 to 2022. More law enforcement agencies reported those crimes to the FBI last year.
- The top reported bias crimes in 2022 were anti-Black for race/ethnicity/ancestry bias, anti-Jewish for religious bias, and anti-gay (male) for sexual orientation bias, the FBI said.
- Law enforcement agencies nationwide reported more than 3,400 anti-Black hate crimes in 2022 — the largest of any category.
Between the lines: The FBI data confirms an earlier report from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, which predicted significant increases in hate crimes in 2022.
- Most of the nation's 10 largest cities had major jumps in hate crimes last year, the report said.
The intrigue: The jump also comes as Twitter has become significantly more toxic since Elon Musk's takeover, having loosened some limits on hate speech, such as ending a rule prohibiting deliberate misgendering, Axios' Ina Fried reports.
- The Anti-Defamation League published a report in May that found over 5,000 examples from February of "virulent antisemitism from 2,173 accounts" on Twitter after accounts were reinstated under free speech advocate Musk's direction.
Yes, but: Brian Levin, the recently retired director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, tells Axios the FBI data still has significant holes because some states, including Florida, do a poor job at collecting stats.
- "We still have vast geographic deserts in places like the South and the Mountain states. So we probably have even more hate crimes."
Flashback: October marked the fifth anniversary of the attack at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue, the deadliest assault on Jewish people in U.S. history.
- Eleven people were killed and six were injured at the Pittsburgh synagogue on the morning of Oct. 27, 2018, when a gunman stormed the building. The attack brought more attention to the nation's rising antisemitic violence.
What's next: Levin said anti-Jewish hate crimes have increased dramatically after each news-dominating Middle East conflict in the past 30 years and he worries that anti-Jewish bias crimes will jump even more because of fighting in Israel and Gaza.
- He worries that 2023 will see a massive increase in anti-Muslim and anti-Arab hate crimes because of the images out of the Middle East and "bigoted rhetoric" on cable news channels.