The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has released their annual report on hate crimes for 2018, which found that the rate of hate crime murders was the highest that it’s been in 27 years.
According to the report, 24 people were murdered last year in crimes motivated by prejudice and hate, including the 11 people fatally shot during the October 2018 mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue. According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), this total is the highest recorded by the FBI since it first began tracking hate crimes in 1991.
As for non-fatal hate crimes, there was a very slight drop from last year—7,120 versus 7,125.
While the majority of hate crimes were motivated by race, ethnicity, or ancestry bias (59.6 percent), 16.7 percent were motivated by sexual orientation bias—most of which were anti-gay male (726 of 1,196)—and 2.2 percent were biased against gender identity. Both rates increased since 2017; that year, 15.8 percent of hate crimes were based on sexual orientation and 1.6 percent were based on gender identity.
The number of hate-motivated incidents against transgender and gender non-conforming people also increased by about 40 percent between 2017 and 2018, from 119 to 168.
“As our culture grows more and more divisive, fueled largely by an anti-LGBTQ White House, a permission slip has been given for some Americans to act on their worst instincts and to target others,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a press release. “This report should sound an alarm that we must all do better to create a country where marginalized communities are safe and protected against hate violence. Violent hate crimes against LGBTQ people are a pervasive issue that needs to be addressed by politicians and law enforcement in a bipartisan and urgent way.”