Reviewing hate crimes in 2018

The investigative journalism outfit ProPublica has a large-scale “Documenting Hate” project that involved collaborating with about 160 news rooms across the country and they have issued a report summarizing what they found about the state of hate in American in 2018. It is not good. Here is just a sample.

Since we launched the project in January 2017, victims and witnesses of hate incidents have sent us more than 5,400 reports from all 50 states. We’ve verified nearly 1,200 reports, either via independent reporting or through corroborating news coverage. We’ve also collected thousands of pages of hate crime data and incident reports from hundreds of police departments across the country.

Univision’s Jessica Weiss identified dozens of harassment incidents at Walmarts and other superstores. Walmarts often act as “de facto ‘town centers,’” and people of color end up getting targeted, such as being told to go back to their country or to speak English.

Education Week’s Francisco Vara-Orta examined hate incidents in schools, which affect black, Latino, Muslim and Jewish students. He built on previous reporting our partners had done to analyze patterns, finding that hate speech, both written and spoken, was the most common occurrence, while the largest number of reports happened the day after the 2016 election. Swastikas were the most common hate symbol; the most common words were the n-word, various versions of “build the wall” and “go back to [foreign country].”

We’ve received hundreds of reports about swastikas, and one report ended up going national after WNYC’s Arun Venugopal broke the story of anti-Semitic vandalism in a Columbia University professor’s office. The professor, who researches the Holocaust, said it was the second time her office had been vandalized. WNYC also reported that one of New York City’s top civil rights officials was targeted in a hate incident, but when she reported it to police, they allegedly discouraged her from making a report.

It is interesting that Walmarts are seen as a kind of new ‘town center’, a gathering place for the people in a community. I have not stepped into a Walmart for many, many years because of their predatory business practices that were a major topic of conversation at one time before Amazon superseded it as the main retail corporate villain that was bankrupting small businesses.


  1. says

    The federal government is committing hate crimes. What else do you call it when judges keep overriding White House directives for being racially or religiously motivated?

    ICE is a hate crime.

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