Hate crimes are spiking across the state and reaching levels that haven’t been seen since 9/11.
In southern Alameda County last year, four hate crimes were reported in Union City, one was reported in Newark, two were reported in Hayward and seven were reported in Fremont, according to the 2021 Hate Crime in California Report released late last month. There were 91 in the county as a whole, of which 56 were referred to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
A hate crime is a crime that is committed against a person or property, in whole or in part, because of their identity, whether it is because of their ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, or ability level.
Reported hate crime events in the state increased by 32.6% between 2020 and 2021, from 1,330 to 1,763. Reported hate crimes against Black people remain the most prevalent and increased 12.5%.
Reported hate crimes against Asian people also skyrocketed, jumping 177.5% from 2020 to 2021, while reported hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation bias increased 47.8%.
“(Last month’s) report undeniably shows that the epidemic of hate we saw spurred on during the pandemic remains a clear and present threat,” Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a June 28 statement. “In fact, reported hate crime has reached a level we haven’t seen in California since the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11. As our state’s top law enforcement officer, I will continue to use the full authority of my office to fight back. We will keep working with our local law enforcement partners and community organizations to make sure every Californian feels seen, heard, and protected. While there is no single solution, it’s up to all of us to heed the call, because when our communities feel empowered, they come forward. Now, more than ever, it is critical that we stand united — there is no place for hate in California.”
A few days ago, the state awarded $30.3 million to 12 organizations to provide services to survivors of violence and facilitate measures that would prevent hate. That included $2 million for Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus and $2,562,727 to Asian Health Services.
“It comes as no surprise that as the flames of hatred and bigotry have been stoked in our society, acts of cowardice and violence have increased at an alarming rate,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement. “In California, we are investing millions to prevent this hate from taking hold in our communities. We simply will not tolerate intolerance.”