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SPLC's "The Year in Hate" misled about FBI hate crime statistics

Earlier this month the Southern Poverty Law Center - a group indirectly linked to the Mexican government - released a report entitled "The Year in Hate", which continued their attempt to shut down debate about immigration matters. Per the AP:

The law center's report contends there is a link between anti-immigrant activism and the significant rise in hate crimes against Latinos in recent years. According to the latest FBI statistics, 819 people were victimized by anti-Latino hate crimes in 2006, compared with 595 in 2003.

However, on the same day as the SPLC's report was issued, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) offered this press release:

When examined responsibly, the FBI hate crime data show a dramatically different story than the one the SPLC portrays. First, in order to suggest an artificially large increase in the raw number of hate crimes, the SPLC selects 2003 as its base year, one of lowest years on record for hate crimes against Hispanics. If one compares the number of hate crimes between 1995 (the earliest report available on the FBI's website) and 2006 (the most recent statistical year available), one would see that the number of hate crimes has increased only 17 percent... But even this is not the whole story. The SPLC conveniently forgets to index the raw hate crime data with the population, a step always taken by the FBI to more accurately depict an increase or decrease in crime. Thus, when one indexes a 17 percent increase in hate crimes against Hispanics with a 67 percent increase in the Hispanic population between 1995 and 2006, it becomes clear that the rate of hate crimes against Hispanics has in fact dropped dramatically -- by about 40 percent.

Charting the numbers over time - bearing in mind to compare apples with apples - is left as an exercise, but I'm willing to take FAIR's word for it.

Now, here's a partial list of those who've spread the SPLC's misinformation:

* Bill Richardson, in his endorsement of Barack Obama ("I have been troubled by the demonization of immigrants--specifically Hispanics-- by too many in this country. Hate crimes against Hispanics are rising as a direct result...", link)

* The Associated Press' David Crary ("Hate Crimes Linked to Immigration Debate", 3/9, link)

* Casey Woods of the Miami Herald ("Anti-illegal immigration groups grow in Florida", 3/31, link)

* Bruce Tomaso of the Dallas Morning News offers "Study finds hate groups on the rise, fueled by anti-immigrant sentiments" (link), but provides this commendable note: "A word of caution: The Southern Poverty Law Center has done courageous, important work over the years, but... [t]he center is sometimes accused of inflating the numbers in its studies of hate groups and hate crimes... to justify its own fight against those forces."

* An unknown writer from the publicly-funded VOA News offers "Report Links Anti-Immigrant Sentiment in the US to Rise in Hate Groups" (link)

* ThinkProgress (3/10, link)

* Deborah Bulkeley/Deseret Morning News ("Utah groups listed in racist-hate report", 3/11, link)

* WITN ("Study: 28 Hate Groups In NC, Including Greenville", 3/10, link)

* DiversityInc Magazine ("Hate Groups in America Surging: New Southern Poverty Law Center Report", 3/10, link)

* Bob Lowry/Huntsville Times ("Number of hate groups increases", 3/11, link, admits that their claims were based on "incomplete FBI statistics")

* Jayme West/KTAR ("Report: Hate Groups Growing in Arizona", 3/18, link)

* Scott Michels of ABC News ("Hate Crimes Tied to Immigration Debate?", 3/10, link)

* Mark Bullock/WSFA ("SPLC Report: Immigration Debate Fueling Hate Groups", 3/28, link)

* Sam Wood/Philadelphia Inquirer ("Study says number of U.S. hate groups rose", 3/11, link)

* Unrelated to the current SPLC report, on 12/5/07, Amy Goodman hosted Mark Potok of the SPLC (link). Apparently based on preparation he'd given her, she made the now-familiar claim: "New FBI statistics suggest anti-Latino hate crimes have risen by almost 35% since 2003.". Potok also noted that, "Well, basically, it's an anecdotal report. The FBI statistics, like all hate crimes statistics, are extremely shaky. But the direction that things are going in is obvious."

Mon, 03/31/2008 - 11:46 · Importance: 14

Mon, 03/31/2008 - 22:21
Fred Dawes
www.myspace.com/freddawes1776

The FBI Is only a tool of dismantling our human and civil rights. just buy guns and stop and look around and you will see some rat looking at you in the dark corners of this non nation. the FBI Is told what to say and what to call a race hate Crime right now the new enemies of race freedom is the young white male and when the pigs have 60 percent of all young white males in prison it will have done its part in mass race holocaust. Buy Guns make friends and fight back against the real enemies of freedom. it is up to the young to live in freedom and under real laws or live inside some monkey cage. ask what do you want?

Mon, 03/31/2008 - 23:58
Kim Bailey

I noticed on the Dallas Morning News blog site that all comments were pro-illegal immigrant. Then I read that the blog owner will not post a comment without approval.

Tue, 04/01/2008 - 01:44
Fred Dawes
www.myspace.com/freddawes1776

Yes Kim Bailey we have become a real police state just a matter of time before people who are not one with the system will be question about any thing that person write and reads or put down on a blog site and if you talk against any government leader it will be called radical ideals and terrorist lover or just good old being a rebel and off to prison and mass torture for any who get out of line, its not ridiculous its happening right in front of people now but yet people are way to full of BS To see it. Buy Guns be free and make friens and fight but against the new world order which is just old muslim ideals.

Tue, 04/01/2008 - 02:49
eh

_I noticed on the Dallas Morning News blog site that all comments were pro-illegal immigrant._ It's a religion blog. TLB will have to work harder if it wants to make the list. More hate dude.