Hate Crimes On the Rise

October 22, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On October 22, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that, "The number of hate crimes reported in Los Angeles County and in California is rising. The increase in itself is alarming, and our concern is compounded by recent acts such as the destructive, hate-filled vandalism last month at the West Valley Hebrew Academy, a Jewish school in Woodland Hills. Analysts, however, note that the elevated hate crime figures may be due as much to increased awareness and reporting as an increase in bigoted acts. To begin reducing the scourge of hate crimes, we need to further examine their causes. People often ask after an egregious, bias-motivated rampage, 'Why did that person do that? Where did he or she learn to hate like that?' This is why the theme 'Why Do People Hate?' was chosen for the next town hall meeting of the San Fernando Valley Hate Crimes Alliance. Groups such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ) have conducted surveys of the American public on the subject of race relations, bigotry and anti-Semitism. The findings of these and similar studies are basically the same. As individuals and groups acquire more education, as they climb in socioeconomic status and as they increase their contact with those 'different' from themselves, they are apt to be more tolerant."