United States / 05-09-2012
Calif. hate crime reports drop 4 percent in 2011
The number of hate crimes reported in California dropped 4 percent last year, according to a report released Tuesday by the state attorney general's office.
There were 1,060 hate crimes reported in 2011, down from 1,107 in 2010.
Nearly six in 10 were based on the victim's race, ethnicity or national origin. The 587 crimes reported in 2011 were 26 fewer than the previous year.
Nearly a third were aimed at blacks. Crimes against Hispanics have dropped nearly 44 percent in the last 10 years, despite a bump in 2010 that experts attributed to the national debate over an Arizona law targeting illegal immigrants.
Hate crimes based on sexual orientation accounted for 23 percent of the overall total in 2011, though reports dropped 12.5 percent to 244.
Nearly 17 percent of hate crimes were based on religion. Religion-based crimes remained relatively steady from the year before, with about two-thirds targeting Jews.
In 2011, of the 201 religion-based hate crimes reported to the state Justice Department, 132 were committed against Jews.
Antisemitism appears to be the crime that will not die. It dates back to pre-Christian times, where religious leaders in 3rd century B.C. Alexandria singled out Jews for persecution as did Antiochus IV Epiphanes, emperor of the Seleucid Empire, which encompassed much of what is now called the Middle East.