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Two-Thirds of Americans Report Hate Incidents Have Intensified Since 2016

Nearly 40 percent of incident perpetrators invoked Trump or alt-right

More than two-thirds of Americans say that hate incidents have intensified during the past two years, according to a new report released today by the Communities Against Hate initiative (CAH). 

The report, Hate Magnified: Communities in Crisis, documents where hate incidents occur, which communities are most likely to experience hate incidents, and what form those incidents most often take. CAH officials said the report findings underscore the need for better data collection, comprehensive policy reform, and widespread support for combatting hate incidents.

Hate Magnified authors analyzed results from a Hate Incidence Poll conducted by Washington-based firm brilliant corners, in addition to nearly 4,000 incident reports submitted to the CAH online reporting database. The report also noted that 73 percent of Americans of Middle East or Arab descent experienced hate incidents, with 59 percent of Hispanic Americans and 47 percent of African Americans reporting the same experience. Notably, nearly 40 percent of those perpetrating hate incidents invoked the name of an alt-right hate group, President Trump, or Trump-related rhetoric, according to database submissions.

“The data are clear: Hate is pervasive in America,” said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference Education Fund. “While we have made tremendous progress as a nation toward celebrating our diverse communities, the collected data are alarming and underscore there is more to do. Our recommendations outlined in the report emphasize the need for better data, better policy, and better rhetoric to combat and defeat hate in this country.”

Other findings include:

  • 21.5 percent of hate incidents occurred on the street; 14.55 percent occurring at a business location; and 13 percent in private residences.
  • 84 percent of respondents felt hate incidents were prevalent today in our country.
  • 66 percent felt that incidents or expressions of hate are getting worse across our country.
  • 18 percent of respondents experienced episodes of depression following hate incidents, highlighting the mental wellness implications of a hate-filled climate.

A wave of hate broke over the United States following the 2016 elections, affecting people from all walks of life across the country. Civil rights organizations and partners founded the Communities Against Hate (CAH) initiative to document stories and respond to incidents of violence, threats, and property damage motivated by hate in the United States. The effort is led by The Leadership Conference Education Fund, in partnership with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and other civil rights organizations. The historic coalition provides a safe place for survivors and witnesses to share stories of hate incidents through an online database and telephone hotline.

Communities Against Hate released their report in the wake of a spate of hate crimes and incidents throughout the country. In October 2018, a white supremacist murdered two African Americans at a Kentucky Kroger supermarket after he unsuccessfully attempted to enter an African-American church. Soon thereafter, the tragic shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue represented the deadliest attack against the Jewish community in American history. The killer’s vicious attack left 11 dead, seven injured, and sent Pittsburgh and the nation reeling. Another egregious hate incident against a gay Black actor in Chicago just this week proves these are not isolated incidents but rather stark examples of a greater epidemic our country must address.

The nationwide Hate Incidence Poll conducted by brilliant corners surveyed 800 adults, with oversamples of 200 African Americans, 200 Hispanic Americans, and 200 Arab American/Middle Eastern Americans. The survey was conducted by phone and online, starting on September 30, 2018, and ending on October 16, 2018, and requested information regarding individuals’ experiences with hate incidents or expressions of hate over the last two years.

Report authors also provide concrete recommendations that leaders, organizations, and the general public should consider in their efforts to make all communities free of hate. The interactive report can be found at hatemagnified.org.

Communities Against Hate (CAH) is a national initiative led by The Leadership Conference Education Fund in partnership with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and a diverse coalition of national organizations and neighborhood groups, aiming to document stories and respond to incidents of violence, threats, and property damage motivated by hate in the United States. As a historic coalition of diverse national organizations and neighborhood groups, CAH provides a safe place for survivors and witnesses to share stories of hate incidents through our online database and telephone hotline. For more information, visit https://communitiesagainsthate.org/.

The Leadership Conference Education Fund builds public will for federal policies that promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. For more information on The Education Fund, visit http://leadershipconferenceedfund.org/.


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