Statistics of anti-Semitism in US are misleading

Good serious comparison of the various datasets available. The observations regarding the limitations of ADL statistics also apply to B’nai Brith as to those on FBI data also apply to StatsCan complication of police reported hate crimes.

With respect to the National Crime Victimization Survey, the closest Canadian equivalent is the currently underway General Social Survey – Canadians’ Safety (GSS) which includes self-reported victimization, to be released winter 2020-21:

On Sunday, a Jewish man standing outside a synagogue was shot in the leg in what police are investigating as a possible hate crime. It was only the latest in a string of anti-Semitic attacks this year.

These attacks have brought in their wake headlines declaring “a spike in hate crimes” and “increased anti-Semitic attacks all across this country,” based on episodes like Sunday’s as well as data. Earlier this year, the FBI reported the largest increase in hate crimes since 2001, and the Anti-Defamation League reported that anti-semitic incidents rose by 57% in 2017.

As a result, a consensus has developed around the idea that hate crime and anti-Semitism are rising, and that Jews are no longer safe in the U.S. Leaders across the political divide agree.

But I’ve found myself skeptical of these claims of rising hate. Partly, this is because of a rather personal reason: Since moving to the US over a decade ago, I have never personally experienced hate or a hate crime.

But I was skeptical for a professional reason too. As a mathematician by training, I spent my PhD years working with messy crime data. And the truth is, it cannot be trusted at face value.

I couldn’t help but wonder if the data on hate crimes, especially those pertaining to the Jewish community, might have similar problems.

And it does. Big time.

To dig deeper, I looked at all the available data on hate crimes, which included incidents of hate by year, surveys, and reports. I sought out datasets, what are in their ideal form collected methodically year after year by faceless government statisticians. I also downloaded spreadsheets and mined the numbers myself.

What I found will probably surprise you: We have a real anti-Semitism problem in this country. But it’s not getting worse.

It’s important to keep in mind that hate crimes are not a leading cause of injury or death; in the same year 37,000 people were killed on the roads, and 2.3 million injured or disabled.

But you can’t compare hate crimes to road accidents; with a hate crime, like with terrorism, the victim is targeted because of their group identity, and the entire group feels threatened. Hate crimes select symbolic targets, such as community buildings, whose significance far exceeds their property value.

And research indicates that being in a targeted group is not just discomforting but can have a tangible effect how people behave. We know from Europe that attacks on Jews can trigger a wave of immigration to Israel, and it should not be assumed that the same cannot happen to American Jews.

Even more disturbingly, research on fertility data from 170 countries found that during waves of terrorism there is a decline in births.

All of this made me even more anxious to find out if there was actually a wave of anti-Semitism sweeping through America. So I sought out the two most frequently-cited sources of hate crime data: reports from the ADL and the FBI.

Let’s start with baselines. According to the FBI’s most recent data, 2017 saw 7,175 hate crimes nationwide, including 15 hate murders. Anti-Jewish hate crime incidents represented 13% of all incidents – 923 – coming in second only to Anti-Black hate crimes, which numbered 2,013 incidents.

There were also more anti-Semitic incidents than “anti-gay” crimes, for example. Most importantly for our purposes, because Jews make up just 1-2%of the US population, these numbers mean that the Jewish community is targeted by hate crimes disproportionately to its numbers by a factor of ten.

The ADL has been tabulating data on anti-Semitic hate crime for an impressive 40 years, and it receives data both from the police and the public. The ADL has built out a modern data center and has interactive online visualizations.

In its most recent audit, the ADL reported that 2018 had the third-highest number of incidents of the past four decades, with 1,879 incidents. The 2018 total is 48% higher than the number of incidents in 2016, and 99% higher than in 2015. Both 2017 and 2018 had far more incidents than typical for the previous eight years. This is, indeed, alarming.

However, these numbers should be taken with a mild dose of the proverbial salt. The problem with hate data is that only 20% of hate crimes are reported to the police, and, one suspects, even fewer to the ADL. So the statistics give just the tip of an iceberg; the majority of hate times are not included in this count.

This makes them somewhat unreliable. To rely on 20% of the data to determine if there is a wave of anti-Semitic hate crimes would be like looking at the top shelf of your fridge, and finding it overflowing, deciding that you need to buy a larger fridge (I would suggest looking at the other four shelves first).

And you can’t just compare the 20% of reported crimes each year to the 20% from last for the simple fact that the reporting rate is not a constant 20% of all crimes. Reporting goes up and down along with public concern. An increase in concern about hate crimes can increase the number of reports by the public, and even the number of police investigations, making more of the “iceberg” (or fridge) visible and inflating the numbers.

To put it plainly, if many people started to believe, fairly or not, that we are in the midst of a wave of hate, they would also start to report more hate crimes, making the data inconsistent with the past.

This is not to say that the jump in anti-Semitic hate crimes reported by sources like the ADL is a statistical mirage. But the reality is probably different from what the numbers suggest.

Independently of the ADL, the FBI has been reporting hate crime data since the 1990s through its Hate Crime database. It has developed impressive guidelinesto judge if a crime incident is indeed a hate crime, and its reports are available online. Surely, here we can expect to finally find deep databases processed by standard and reliable statistical methods!

But alas, the FBI’s numbers also need to be taken with a little grain of kosher salt. The problem is that crimes are generally reported to the local police department and not to the FBI directly, so the FBI’s data is only as good as the reports it receives.

In some states, less than 10% of the police agencies bother to report to the FBI at all, and likely only report the more severe crimes. As a credit to the system, the FBI provides consistent data that goes back to the 1990s, and thus is well-suited to recording if there are any national trends.

But charting the FBI data from 1996 to 2017 suggests that we are far from having achieved new heights of anti-Semitism. Rather, anti-Semitic incidents peaked in 1999 at 1,109 per year, then declined from 2008 to 2014, and have been trending up since then, reaching 976 in 2017.

As with the ADL numbers, the data quality is not great, thanks to under-reporting. But even taking that into account, we appear to still be well below the numbers of the 1990s.

Fortunately, there is another government crime tracking program that has been all but forgotten by the press: the National Crime Victimization Survey. Unlike the ADL and the FBI, who collect reports, the NCVS goes out to the communities and interviews some 160,000 people every year, asking them if they were victims of various crimes.

Because the NCVS uses a representative sample, it can reliably estimate the number of crimes in the entire country, including hate crimes. If there is a wave of hate in America, the NCVS would detect it in its survey.

In its most recent report, NCVS estimated that 204,000 hate crimes occur in the US annually, of which just 15,000 are confirmed by the police.

The NCVS also shows that hate crime rates have been steady every year since 2015, and were probably higher ten years ago.

There is no data specifically on anti-Semitism in NCVS, but if we assume per the FBI’s estimate that about 13% of hate crimes are anti-Semitic, then there are a staggering 26,000 anti-Semitic crimes every year in the US — 30 times more than reported by the FBI and 14 times more than the ADL.

What we can learn from these statistics is both good and bad. For all the problems of the last few years, there is no reason to fear a wave of hate, because the wave, if it exists, is a small one.

Today’s Jewish America has probably the safest existence of any Jewish community in history. In this generation, a Jew is much more likely to suffer a car accident than a hate crime.

But to believe naively in the American utopia is to ignore the truth: Hate is alive and well in America, and Jews are often the target of it.

Source: Statistics of anti-Semitism in US are misleading

Hate-motivated crimes down after peaking in 2017, but still higher than in 2016

The latest numbers from StatCan:

Following a 47% increase in 2017, the number of police-reported hate crimes in Canada was down 13% in 2018, from 2,073 incidents to 1,798. Even with this decline, the number of hate crimes remains higher (with the exception of 2017) than any other year since 2009, and aligns with the upward trend observed since 2014.

The year-over-year decrease was almost entirely a result of declines in Ontario. Nationally, the number of hate crimes targeting the Muslim population fell 50% after spiking in 2017 because of large increases in Ontario and Quebec. In 2018, there were also fewer police-reported hate crimes targeting Blacks (-12%) and fewer targeting sexual orientation (-15%). Hate crimes targeting the Jewish population accounted for 19% of hate crimes in 2018, down 4% from 2017. In 2018, non-violent hate crimes (-23%) declined more than violent hate crimes (-7%).

Police data on hate-motivated crimes include only those incidents that come to the attention of police services. These data also depend on police services’ level of expertise in identifying crimes motivated by hate.

For more information on hate crime, see data tables 35-10-0066-01, 35-10-0067-01 and 35-10-0191-01.

Quebec: Crimes haineux: «On ne voit que la pointe de l’iceberg»

Not unique to Quebec:

Les crimes et incidents haineux comptabilisés au Québec ne sont que la « pointe de l’iceberg » d’un phénomène beaucoup plus large, selon un chercheur rattaché au Centre de prévention de la radicalisation menant à la violence.

« C’est difficile à évaluer précisément, mais mon impression est qu’il y a quasiment 90 % du phénomène qui n’est pas mesuré », affirme Benjamin Ducol, responsable de la recherche pour le centre. Selon lui, cette sous-estimation fait en sorte qu’il est impossible de se fier aux statistiques pour comprendre l’évolution des crimes haineux au Québec, a fortiori pour intervenir efficacement pour les contrer et protéger les victimes.

Deux indices font dire à Benjamin Ducol que les crimes haineux sont massivement sous-estimés au Québec. Le premier est qu’il y a eu 489 crimes haineux rapportés à la police au Québec en 2017, ce qui veut dire qu’ils ne toucheraient que 0,006 % de la population. Or, en Angleterre et au pays de Galles, on a rapporté la même année 94 098 crimes haineux pour une population de 59 millions d’habitants, soit un taux de 0,16 %. C’est 27 fois plus que chez nous.

« Soit nos amis britanniques sont extrêmement haineux, soit on a un problème de mesure chez nous. » – Benjamin Ducol, chercheur rattaché au Centre de la prévention de la radicalisation menant à la violence

Pour en avoir le coeur net, son groupe de recherche a mené un sondage auprès de 1843 Québécois formant un échantillon représentatif de l’ensemble de la population. Résultat : 0,7 % des Québécois ont rapporté avoir subi un tel crime, un taux 100 fois plus élevé que ne le disent les statistiques officielles.

Sous-déclaration, sous-enregistrement

Que se passe-t-il ? M. Ducol estime que deux phénomènes sont à l’oeuvre. Le premier est le sous-signalement des crimes haineux. Pour toutes sortes de raisons, qui vont de la crainte de ne pas être cru à de mauvaises expériences passées avec la police, bien des victimes préféreraient se taire plutôt que d’aller cogner à la porte des policiers pour rapporter un crime.

« On sait qu’à Montréal, une des populations particulièrement ciblées par les incidents haineux est les travailleurs du sexe trans, illustre M. Duclos. Or, ce sont des gens qui ont énormément de conflits avec les autorités policières. On comprend qu’ils n’auront pas tendance à aller signaler une victimisation auprès de ces autorités », dit-il.

Les incidents haineux – des actes comme des insultes ou des graffitis haineux, mais qui ne correspondent pas à la définition de crimes – sont sans doute encore plus sous-déclarés, de nombreuses victimes jugeant qu’il ne vaut pas la peine de les rapporter. Le fait qu’une partie de ces actes se produisent en ligne les rend aussi plus difficiles à cerner.

Le deuxième problème est le sous-enregistrement. Lorsqu’une plainte est bel et bien déposée, il est loin d’être sûr que les policiers la catégoriseront comme un acte haineux.

« Il y a des pratiques variables, par exemple entre deux policiers qui n’ont pas la même sensibilité ou qui n’ont pas été formés de la même manière », avance M. Ducol.

Le Royaume-Uni s’attaque au problème

Le chercheur affirme que le Royaume-Uni est l’un des seuls endroits où on s’est rendu compte que les crimes haineux échappaient au radar des autorités et où on s’est attaqué au problème. Les policiers ont été formés et des campagnes publiques ont été lancées pour inciter les victimes à déclarer les actes.

Benjamin Ducol estime qu’il est urgent de faire la même chose ici. Il soupçonne toutefois que la volonté politique de le faire est faible.

« Un truc qui bloque certaines villes ou certaines institutions à mieux mesurer, c’est qu’elles ont peur qu’on vienne ensuite leur dire qu’il y a une hausse. » – Benjamin Ducol

« Imaginez qu’on commence à mieux mesurer [le phénomène] au Québec et qu’on trouve beaucoup plus de crimes haineux. Les gens vont dire : “Ah, le Québec ! C’est incroyable comme les gens sont plus racistes !” Alors que ça voudra peut-être seulement dire que la province a été meilleure, collectivement, à mesurer ces actes. »

Devant les vrais chiffres, serait-il plus difficile de soutenir qu’il n’y a pas d’islamophobie au Québec, comme l’ont affirmé par exemple le premier ministre François Legault et d’autres commentateurs ?

« C’est vrai qu’actuellement, on peut dire tout et n’importe quoi, tellement les chiffres sont mineurs », dit-il. Benjamin Ducol soutient par ailleurs qu’on ne peut pas non plus se fier aux statistiques qui montrent que les crimes et incidents haineux sont en forte hausse au Québec depuis quelques années (184 crimes rapportés en 2013, contre 489 en 2017).

« L’échantillon de base est tellement minime que ça ne veut rien dire, dit-il. La hausse, à mon avis, montre seulement un meilleur enregistrement des crimes haineux ». Selon lui, il est « presque absurde de publier des données quand on sait qu’elles ne sont pas représentatives ».

Le chercheur soutient qu’au bout du compte, de meilleures mesures des crimes haineux serviraient les victimes. « Prendre toute la réalité du phénomène permettrait concrètement de réfléchir à des mesures politiques et institutionnelles, dit-il. Notre sondage, par exemple, montre qu’une grande partie des actes a lieu dans l’espace public. Mon hypothèse est que le métro est propice à ce genre d’incidents. Si on le confirme, on peut alors faire des campagnes avec la STM, du genre : les crimes haineux dans le métro, c’est non. On peut cibler les actions. »

Source: Crimes haineux: «On ne voit que la pointe de l’iceberg»

Number of hate groups in U.S. rises to all-time high, watchdog says

Not surprising given the “enabling” language of the Trump administration:

The number of hate groups operating in the United States rose seven per cent to an all-time high in 2018, reflecting an increasingly divisive debate on immigration and demographic change, the Southern Poverty Law Centre said on Wednesday.

The SPLC, which has tracked hate groups since 1971, found 1,020 were operating in the United States last year, compared with the 1,018 record set in 2011 and marking the fourth consecutive year of growth.

The group’s annual report on hate activities blamed the rise in part on Republican President Donald Trump, whose administration has focused on reducing illegal and legal immigration into the United States.

“The numbers tell a striking story that this president is not simply a polarizing figure, but a radicalizing one,” said Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project, which released the new numbers.

White House has rejected charges of bias

“Rather than trying to tamp down hate, as presidents of both parties have done, President Trump elevates it with both his rhetoric and his policies.”

The SPLC defines hate groups as organizations with beliefs or practices that demonize a class of people.

The White House has repeatedly rejected charges of bias levelled at Trump, often citing the effects that a strong economy have had on minority communities. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report on Wednesday.

The non-profit said the growth of hate groups appeared to be prompting some who share their ideologies to take violent action. As an example, it cited Robert Bowers, who is accused of killing 11 worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue in October while shouting, “All Jews must die.”

The report also found the number of black nationalist groups rose 13 per cent to 264 in 2018, an increase the SPLC attributed to a backlash against Trump’s policies.

Some of the SPLC’s targets have criticized the Montgomery, Ala.-based organization’s findings, saying it has mislabelled legitimate organizations.

Earlier this month, the founder of the Proud Boys, a self-described men-only club of “Western chauvinists,” sued the centre for defamation over the hate group label. He contended the Proud Boys oppose racism, while the SPLC said it stood by its research.

Source: Number of hate groups in U.S. rises to all-time high, watchdog says

Canada’s 10 worst cities for hate crime

More details from the latest police reported hate crimes report:

Four out of the 10 Canadian urban areas with the highest hate crime rates are in the Greater Toronto Area or Greater Golden Horseshoe, Statistics Canada data supplied to Maclean’s shows.

Police services covering Hamilton, Peterborough, the York region and Guelph all recorded hate crime rates per 100,000 that put their cities among the top 10 highest in the country in 2017, the most recent year with statistics available. Hamilton, Ont. saw the highest rate of any jurisdiction in the region and the third highest in the country, at 16 incidents per 100,000 people.  

Several GTA/Golden Horseshoe cities were also among the country’s urban areas with the fastest-growing hate crime rates. In 2016, only one GTA/Greater Golden Horseshoe city—Hamilton—made the top 10 for hate-crime rates.

Barbara Perry, director of the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, said she wasn’t surprised.

“These are very active areas for the organized far right movement,” Perry said. “Their very visibility and blatancy, I think, over the past couple of years, has contributed to that normalization of hate, that normalization of negative sentiment directed at targeted communities.”

Maclean’s analyzed numbers from police services covering a population of 50,000 people or more in order to avoid large fluctuations in the hate crime rate caused by one or two additional incidents in small towns. The analysis is based on a more detailed version of the annual hate crime data posted publicly by Statistics Canada in late November.

The increases are part of a drastic nation-wide rise in hate crime, with Statistics Canada reporting 47 per cent more incidents from 2016 to 2017. The data captures only hate incidents that were reported to the police.

Statistics Canada did not release data showing the type of incidents or motivations broken down at the police service level. Nation-wide, the government agency reported 38 per cent of hate crimes were violent, with criminals most likely to target Jews, Muslims, Black people and people with marginalized sexual and gender identities.


Police services in the GTA/Greater Golden Horseshoe region contacted by Maclean’sconfirmed that national trends in hate crime motivations were mirrored in their communities. Superintendent Ricky Veerappan, who oversees the York Regional Police’s diversity, equity and inclusion bureau, said the force launched an anti-hate campaign in 2016 in response to rising negative sentiment towards Syrian refugees.

Veerappan said some of the large increase in police-reported hate crimes in the York region might be because of those outreach campaigns, in addition to an increase in the incidents themselves. “People are maybe a little bit more comfortable in connecting with the police, knowing the resources that are available, knowing the numbers to call and knowing members of our diversity unit are very accessible,” he said.

Josh Fraser, public information officer with the Guelph Police Service, said his force also participates in anti-hate public education campaigns. He noted that while Guelph’s hate crime rate of 11.8 incidents per 100,000 people is the eighth highest for any police service covering a population of 50,000 or more, 12 of the city’s 16 incidents were graffiti-related and seven took place on the University of Guelph’s campus.

“The year before it was 10 [incidents],” Fraser said. “I’m not trying to downplay it, but it’s six more. It’s not like it jumped from 50 to 100.”

Perry, the hate crime expert, said it’s important to remember that a handful of additional spray-painted swastikas reported to the police in a city like Guelph likely represents a much larger increase. She said her research and studies conducted by anti-hate groups suggest the true total number of hate crimes in Canada may be five to seven times greater than the official police-reported figure.

“It’s the tip of the iceberg,” she said. “There’s something real going on there.”

Source: Canada’s 10 worst cities for hate crime

Hate crimes reached all-time high in 2017, Statistics Canada says

 

The latest numbers from Statistics Canada, showing a substantial increase compared to previous years, most notably for religiously-motivated hate crimes:

The number of police-reported hate crimes reached an all-time high in 2017, largely driven by incidents targeting Muslim, Jewish and black people, according to Statistics Canada data released Thursday.

The federal agency said hate crimes have been steadily climbing since 2014, but shot up by some 47 per cent 2017, the last year for which data was collected. In total, Canadian police forces reported 2,073 hate crimes – the most since 2009, when data became available.

The increases were largely driven by incidents in Ontario and Quebec, Statistics Canada says. The agency said the increase may have been driven by more people reporting hateful incidents to police, although it says that many likely go unreported.

In the worst incident in the country, six Muslim men were shot to death and others were seriously injured during an attack on a Quebec City mosque in January 2017. This spring, 28-year-old Alexandre Bissonnette pleaded guilty, but said he was not Islamophobic and instead “carried away by fear and a horrible form of despair.”

Quebec reported a 50 per cent increase in the number of hate crimes in the month after the mass shooting, mainly driven by incidents with Muslims as the victims.

There was a record set in 2017 for the number of police-reported hate crimes in Canada. (CBC)

Police are also dealing with an increase in smaller incidents like hate-related property crimes.

Toronto police’s hate crime unit said it investigated 186 incidents — largely vandalism and graffiti — in 2017. In nearby Hamilton, police reported an 18 per cent increase in the number of what the force calls hate and bias incidents.

Overall, Ontario saw a 207 per cent increase in hate crimes against Muslims, an 84 per cent increase in crimes against black people and 41 per cent increase on incidents against Jewish people.

Alberta and British Columbia also reported increases in the number of incidents.

Community leaders call increase disturbing

Brittany Andrew-Amofah, of the Toronto-based Urban Alliance on Race Relations, said the increase in hate crimes is making communities feel less safe.

“It’s time for political leaders to unequivocally speak out against hate and intolerance and in support of a multicultural society where everyone feels safe to participate and contribute,” she said in a news release.

Avi Benlolo, President and CEO of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, issued a statement saying while the new statistics aren’t surprising, they are alarming.

“It’s disturbing to hear that hate crime continues to increase in Canada and that the Jewish community – a community that is integrated into the Canadian mosaic — is still victimized,” he said.

Black people major targets, StatsCan reports

Across Canada, black people remained the most common targets of hate crimes based on race or ethnicity. Some 16 per cent of all incidents involved black victims.

Two per cent of police-reported hate crimes involved Indigenous people, according to the report, but it suggests a large number of all victims — possibly as high as two in three — didn’t file reports with authorities.

Hate crimes account for 0.1 per cent of the more than 1.9 million non-traffic crimes reported by Canadian police services in 2017. The agency defines hate crimes as “criminal incidents that, upon investigation by police, are found to have been motivated by hatred toward an identifiable group.”

Source: Hate crimes reached all-time high in 2017, Statistics Canada says

Hate crimes in U.S. up 17 per cent in 2017, third consecutive year with increase

Latest numbers (Canadian numbers should be out shortly):

Hate crimes in the United States rose 17 per cent last year, the third consecutive year that such crimes increased, according to newly released FBI data.

Law enforcement agencies reported 7,175 hate crimes occurred in 2017, up from 6,121 in 2016. That increase was fueled in part by more police departments reporting hate crimes data to the FBI, but overall there is still a large number of departments that report no hate crimes to the federal database.

More than half of such crimes, about 3 of 5, targeted a person’s race or ethnicity, while about 1 of 5 targeted their religion.

Of the more than 7,000 incidents reported last year, 2,013 targeted black Americans, while 938 targeted Jewish Americans. Incidents targeting people for their sexual orientation accounted for 1,130 hate crimes, according to the FBI.

The FBI has urged local police departments to provide more complete information about hate crimes in their jurisdictions.

Of the more than 7,000 hate crime incidents in 2017, more than 4,000 were crimes against people, ranging from threats and intimidation to assault, to murder. More than 3,000 were crimes against property, ranging from vandalism to robbery to arson.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said the new figures are “a call to action – and we will heed that call. The Department of Justice’s top priority is to reduce violent crime in America, and hate crimes are violent crimes. They are also despicable violations of our core values as Americans.”

Whitaker said he was “particularly troubled by the increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes,” which are already the most common type of religious hate crime in the United States.

Anti-Semitic hate crimes rose 37 per cent in 2017. Anti-Islamic hate crimes declined 11 per cent last year, with 273 such incidents, the data show.

Source: Hate crimes in U.S. up 17 per cent in 2017, third consecutive year with increase

Trump visit to Pittsburgh after deadly synagogue shooting met with anger, protests

Appropriate reaction – can’t stoke the fires of hate and then deny moral responsibility:

President Donald Trump visited a grief-stricken Pittsburgh on Tuesday in a trip meant to unify after tragedy, but his arrival provoked protests from residents and consternation from local officials in the aftermath of the synagogue shooting that left 11 people dead.

The hastily planned day trip – which the city’s mayor urged Trump not to make – was executed with no advance public itinerary and without congressional and local politicians. Some had declined to accompany the president, and others were not invited.

Trump did not speak publicly during his brief trip, instead quietly paying tribute at Tree of Life synagogue by laying flowers for the 11 victims and visiting a hospital to see officers who were wounded in Saturday’s shooting. But Trump’s trip to the area so soon after the attack tore open political tensions in the largely Democratic city, as residents angered by Trump’s arrival protested even as the first couple tried to keep a low profile during the solemn, afternoon visit.

“The sense in the community is that they didn’t think this was a time for a political photo shoot,” said Rep. Mike Doyle, D, whose congressional district covers the Squirrel Hill neighborhood where the synagogue is located. “There are strong feelings in the community about him and the divisive nature of his rhetoric.”

Trump has faced charges in recent days that his harsh political tone and effort to stoke public fears about immigrants has fomented a rising right-wing extremism embraced by the man charged in the synagogue shooting and by the suspect arrested last week after a series of bombs were mailed to prominent critics of the president. Trump has pushed back, saying the media is responsible for the growing tensions across the country.

As the president touched down in southwestern Pennsylvania on Tuesday, almost 2,000 demonstrators assembled not far from where some of the shooting’s victims had been buried that day. The relatives of at least one victim declined to meet with Trump, pointing to his “inappropriate” remarks immediately after the shooting, when the president suggested the shooting could have been avoided if the synagogue had had an armed guard.

City officials said they were concerned about protests, which occurred on the same day as funerals for some of the victims, and were not involved in planning the visit – learning about it only when White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced it Monday.

The White House also declined to invite two Democratic officials who represent the area – Doyle and Sen. Robert Casey Jr.

“We received no call or any kind of correspondence,” Doyle said.

A spokesman for the city’s Democratic mayor, Bill Peduto, said he was invited to appear with the president but declined. Peduto had urged Trump not to visit Pittsburgh until after the funerals for the victims, saying, “all attention should be on the victims.”

The family of one of those victims – Daniel Stein, 71 – declined a visit with Trump in part because of Trump’s comments about having armed guards.

“Everybody feels that they were inappropriate,” said Stephen Halle, Stein’s nephew. “He was blaming the community.”

The White House said Trump spent about an hour Tuesday with the widow of Richard Gottfried, one of the 11 victims.

“She said that she wanted to meet the president to let him know that people wanted him there,” Sanders told reporters aboard Air Force One. Gottfried, 65, and his wife, Peg Durachko, had just celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary and were planning to retire soon.

Some residents said they welcomed the president even if it did anger some of their neighbors.

…..

The White House had asked the top four congressional leaders – House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., – to accompany Trump to Pittsburgh, but all declined, according to three officials familiar with the invitations.

Trump’s remarks and incendiary rhetoric in office contributed to the pushback his visit received before Air Force One touched down. Tens of thousands of people signed an open letter from a progressive Jewish group based in Pittsburgh saying he would not be welcome “until you fully denounce white nationalism” and “cease your assault on immigrants and refugees.”

About an hour before Trump arrived, more than 100 protesters jammed onto a street corner in Squirrel Hill, the predominantly Jewish neighborhood where the synagogue is located and many victims lived.

“This didn’t happen in a vacuum,” Ardon Shorr said. “There is a growing trend of white nationalism. And that has been enabled by Trump, who traffics in the kind of conspiracy theories that we know were foremost in the mind of the shooter last Saturday.”

“He refused to cancel his rally when it would have been the decent thing to cancel the rally,” said Jonathan Sarney, 72, referring to Trump’s campaign stop in Murphysboro, Illinois, held the same day the shooting occurred. “And now he’s coming to intrude on the funerals when it’s an indecent thing to do.”

Meanwhile, Barbara Kay remains largely in denial about the impact of Trump’s words and rhetoric in providing social license for others to express hate and the moral responsibility, if not direct responsibility, for such hate crimes: Barbara Kay: Trump’s rhetoric didn’t cause this massacre

StatsCan – Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2016 – Analytical Note

Given the government’s diversity and inclusion focus, StatsCan has vastly improved the analytical note on hate crimes, including age and gender data on those accused. While personally I prefer longer-term comparisons rather than year-to-year as in the above charts, this analysis is nevertheless helpful (StatsCan summary below):

  • In 2016, police reported 1,409 criminal incidents in Canada that were motivated by hate, an increase of 3% or 47 more incidents than reported the previous year. Accounting for the population, this amounted to a rate of 3.9 hate crimes per 100,000 Canadians in 2016.
  • The increase in the total number of incidents was largely attributable to an increase in police-reported hate crimes motivated by hatred of a sexual orientation (+35 incidents) or of a race or ethnicity (+25 incidents). Hate crimes accounted for less than 0.1% of the nearly 1.9 million police-reported crimes in 2016 (excluding traffic offences).
  • Police-reported hate crimes targeting sexual orientation rose 25% in 2016 to 176 incidents, compared with 141 incidents in 2015. These incidents accounted for 13% of hate crimes reported in 2016 and 11% of hate crimes reported in 2015.
  • Between 2015 and 2016, the number of police-reported crimes motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity increased 4% (from 641 to 666). In all, 48% of all police-reported hate crimes in 2016 were motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity. Much of this increase was a result of more hate crimes targeting South Asians (+24 incidents) and Arabs and West Asians (+20 incidents). Despite posting a decrease in 2016, crimes targeting Black populations remained one of the most common types of hate crimes (15% of all hate crimes).
  • Overall, 33% of hate crimes reported in 2016 were motivated by hatred of religion. Compared with 2015, the number of hate crimes motivated by religion decreased 2% in 2016 (from 469 in 2015 to 460 in 2016). Police-reported crimes motivated by hate against the Jewish population rose from 178 incidents in 2015 to 221 incidents in 2016 (+24%). In contrast, the number of crimes targeting the Catholic population fell from 55 to 27 incidents. Similarly, crimes targeting the Muslim population decreased 13% (from 159 incidents in 2015 to 139 incidents in 2016).
  • The provinces of Quebec and British Columbia, and more specifically Vancouver (+30 incidents), Québec (+29 incidents), and Montréal (+25 incidents), were the census metropolitan areas where hate crimes increased the most in 2016. The increases in Montréal and Québec are associated with a rise in hate crimes targeting the Jewish, Arab and West Asian, and gay and lesbian populations. The increase in Vancouver was primarily explained by a rise in hate crimes against the East Asian, Southeast Asian and South Asian populations.
  • Based on data from police services that reported characteristics of hate crimes, 43% of police-reported hate crimes in 2016 were violent offences. Violent offences included, for example, assault, uttering threats and criminal harassment. Overall, the number of violent hate crimes rose 16% from the previous year (from 487 to 563 violent incidents), driven by increases in common assault, criminal harassment and uttering threats.
    Crimes motivated by hatred of a sexual orientation continued to be among the most violent hate crimes. In 2016, 71% of these types of police-reported hate crimes were violent, compared with 45% of crimes motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity and 27% of hate crimes targeting a religion.
  • Non-violent offences made up 57% of police-reported hate crimes in 2016. Mischief, which includes vandalism and graffiti, was the most commonly reported offence among police-reported hate crimes and accounted for 41% of all hate crime incidents in 2016. Between 2015 and 2016, the total number of non-violent hate crime incidents fell 6%. In 2016, 73% of crimes targeting religion were non-violent. This proportion was 55% for non-violent crimes motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity. Conversely, hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation were less often non-violent (29%).

via Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2016

La haine gagne du terrain: Montreal Police statistics

Not terribly surprising that there would be an increase of hate crimes following the increase in irregular asylum seekers:

L’arrivée en grand nombre de demandeurs d’asile l’été dernier a déclenché une vague de crimes haineux encore plus grande que celle suivant l’attentat à la grande mosquée de Québec, a appris Le Devoir. Au mois d’août 2017, le Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) a retenu et classé dans le classeur « crimes haineux » 42 signalements — surtout observés sur les réseaux sociaux —, contre 31 en février. Au total, près de 250 crimes haineux ont été rapportés l’an dernier, pour une moyenne d’environ 20 par mois.

« On a vu une hausse en 2017, tant du côté des crimes que des incidents haineux, mais si on regarde seulement les crimes, oui, il y en a eu encore plus au mois d’août qu’en février », a affirmé Line Lemay, lieutenante-détective, chargée des enquêtes à la division crime, prévention et sécurité urbaine du SPVM. En ajoutant les « incidents » — desquels ne peuvent découler des accusations en vertu du Code criminel —, c’est toutefois en février, tout juste après la tuerie de Québec, que la police recense le plus de signalements haineux.

Selon Mme Lemay, le triste record de crimes haineux du mois d’août est dû à la grande attention médiatique portée sur les migrants, surtout d’origine haïtienne, qui arrivaient en grand nombre au Québec depuis les États-Unis. « On a pu faire le lien parce que ce qu’on avait comme événement au mois d’août et un peu avant, c’était l’arrivée des Haïtiens et des migrants qui provenaient massivement des États-Unis », a-t-elle indiqué. « Dès qu’on a des événements très médiatisés, on le voit qu’il y a une polarisation [des idées]. Ça se reflète sur les réseaux sociaux. »

Mais les personnes d’origine haïtienne n’ont pas été visées plus que d’autres. « C’est vraiment parti dans tous les sens, a-t-elle dit. [Les crimes haineux], c’était autant l’extrême droite qui émettait des opinions qui pouvaient s’avérer des menaces que des gens de l’extrême gauche qui répondaient à ça. »

Montée de la haine

Le Centre de prévention de la radicalisation menant à la violence constate aussi cette tendance, car, fait nouveau, sur les 166 appels reçus pour signaler des crimes et incidents haineux, surtout à l’endroit des musulmans, une vingtaine provenait de personnes de l’extrême droite qui tenait un discours raciste au sens large. « Les messages étaient dans un contexte où il y avait un certain discours politique et idéologique. Du genre, le Québec est une société blanche, on n’a pas besoin d’eux », a souligné Herman Deparice-Okomba, directeur général du centre.

« Beaucoup de propos haineux. J’en ai vu beaucoup », estime pour sa part Anastasia Marcelin, une bénévole qui a beaucoup aidé les migrants cet été et qui s’est présentée dans Montréal-Nord comme conseillère pour Projet Montréal. « Sincèrement, je n’ai pas aimé comment ça s’est passé. […] Je peux comprendre le ressentiment de certaines personnes lorsqu’ils sont tous arrivés », dit-elle en faisant allusion à la vague de demandeurs d’asile. Mais ce n’était pas une raison pour menacer quiconque. « Des gens insultaient [les migrants], disaient que c’était des esti de chiens sales. « Allez-vous-en chez vous ». Je supprimais des commentaires sur ma page [dans les réseaux sociaux] », témoigne-t-elle.
Serge Bouchereau, porte-parole du Comité d’action des personnes sans statut, parle d’une quantité « sans précédent » de commentaires et propos haineux. « C’est toujours la même chose. On entend : « Ces gens-là viennent voler nos jobs, on devrait les foutre dehors », dit-il. Mais aucun de nos demandeurs d’asile ne nous a rapporté avoir été menacé physiquement. »
Surtout sur Internet

La lieutenante-détective du SPVM a en effet constaté que la plupart des crimes haineux provenaient d’Internet et des réseaux sociaux. « Assurément, il y a une tendance », a-t-elle indiqué. Selon M. Bouchereau, il y a là un « déversoir » pour les opinions de chacun qui parfois dépassent les bornes. « Surtout avec l’arrivée de Trump aux États-Unis, ça a décomplexé certaines personnes », analyse-t-il. « Cependant, c’est quand les propos haineux sont jugés par un tribunal qu’on peut les considérer réellement comme des crimes. »

Les crimes haineux sont passés de 158 en 2016 (de mars à décembre) à près de 250 pour toute l’année 2017. Quant aux « incidents » haineux — soit une parole agressive par opposition à une menace de mort ou des oeufs sur une mosquée par opposition à une roche qui brise une vitre —, le SPVM en a recensé 173 en 2017, contre 160 l’année précédente (de mars à décembre 2016).

À quelques jours du 29 janvier, alors que sera commémorée la tuerie de la grande mosquée de Québec, la division des crimes haineux de la lieutenante-détective Lemay est sur le pied d’alerte. « On va suivre ça de près et voir si la commémoration a une incidence », dit-elle. À son étonnement, cela ne semble pas avoir eu d’impact jusqu’ici.

via La haine gagne du terrain | Le Devoir