“The scale of under reporting is massive, tragic and has tremendous, devastating consequences in our communities.” ~ Suman Raghunathan, Executive Director of South Asian Americans Leading Together
There are 954 hate groups in the United States this year, including 21 in Colorado, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s annual report that tracks extremist groups. That’s 37 more than the previous year.
Another study produced by South Asian Americans Leading Together suggests people perceived to be Muslims or of Middle Eastern descent are disproportionately targeted. Their report “Communities on Fire” estimates under reporting of hate crimes could be as high as 40 – 1.
One of the authors of the report and SAALT’s executive director Suman Raghunathan contends the heated and combative rhetoric being expressed by the political sector plays a role in the escalation of incidents, which hasn’t been this high since 2001, in the immediate wake of 9/11.
She told KGNU’s Robin Ryan that as many as one in five, or 20% of those committing these crimes are reported to have referred directly to the president, and or his policies during the attack.
Information about hate crimes is available at a website maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation offering state by state data and while in the case of some states, more than 1,000 participating agencies issue less than 100 reports.