California has released its annual “hate crime” report, and the media is eagerly pouncing on an opportunity to blame a statistically measured increase of race-based crime on Donald Trump. Reporter Tom Porter posted at Newsweek Wednesday morning: “Donald Trump and Rising Hate Crime Numbers: Is He Responsible?”
The number of racist attacks and other hate crimes in California has increased for the third year running -- and some experts are blaming President Donald Trump’s rhetoric for helping fuel the surge.
According to the annual report by the state’s Department of Justice released Monday, hate crimes in the state rose 17.4 percent from 2016 to 2017.
But the report, which can be downloaded from this page, fails to break down by the suspect’s race, only the victims, which is handy if you want to assume that all the hate crime suspects must be racist white Trump voters.
It is the third consecutive year hate crimes in the state have increased by double digits, after declining for six years. Taken across the three-year period, hate crimes have increased by 44 percent.
That “three-year period” evidently includes an increase in hate crimes from 2014 to 2015, which makes it unlikely to be Trump’s fault, given that he didn’t enter the presidential argument until June 2015.
According to the report, African-Americans were the most frequent target of hate crimes, with 27.6 percent of all offenses against the group. Gay men were the victims of 15.7 percent of crimes.
The Reverand Amos Brown, president of the San Francisco branch of the NAACP, said President Donald Trump’s incendiary rhetoric about immigrants and developing world countries was behind the surge.
Porter dutifully collected liberal talking points blaming Trump.
“Right around when the administration changed, we noticed an uptick at local, statewide and national levels of people reporting that they were victims of hate-related speech, and hate crimes,” Teresa Drenick, deputy district attorney for Alameda County, told The Mercury News.
Experts also pointed to the increased presence of extreme right-wing hate groups in the state as a factor in the surge.
Crime reporter James Queally took the same take on Tuesday for the Los Angeles Times, where an editor had the self-control to actually keep Trump’s name out of the headline: “Hate crimes rise in California for third straight year, state report says.”
Hate crimes increased across California for the third straight year in 2017, an uptick experts have blamed on President Trump’s vitriolic rhetoric toward minorities and the resurgence of hate groups in the state.
There were 1,093 reported hate crimes in California in 2017, a 17.4% increase, according to a report released Monday by the California attorney general’s office. Hate crimes have increased annually since 2014, jumping roughly 44% in that three-year span, records show.
The report, which relies on reporting from local police departments, may not even capture the entire increase. Earlier this year, a state audit found several large law enforcement agencies in California -- including the Los Angeles Police and Orange County Sheriff’s departments -- were not properly tracking hate crimes.
But while suggesting the numbers could be worse than measured, the LAT buried a possible reason for the sharp statistical rise:
....Levin said increased attention to the issue of hate crimes may have also played a role in the increase, as both victims and police departments are more cognizant of bias attacks than they may have been in past years....The surge comes at a time when hate crimes are also on the rise nationally. From 2015 to 2016, hate crimes reported in the U.S. increased by 4.6%, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report.
Neither article referenced a recent notorious California hate crime, in which a 91-year-old Hispanic man was beaten with a brick by a black mother who told him “Go back to your country.” Will that be put on Trump’s ledger of racist violence as well?