ADL decries rise in U.S. hate crimes against Blacks, Jews and gays
FBI records 7,783 bias-motivated incidents in report for 2008; ADL calls for more preventative action.
The Anti-Defamation League on Monday decried a rise in hate crimes in the United States against African Americans, Jews and gays, documented in an annual report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
"Hate violence in America is a serious national problem that shows little sign of slowing," said Robert G. Sugarman, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, in a statement. "The annual FBI report on hate crime statistics provides a chance to assess the scope of the problem."
The FBI recorded 7,783 bias-motivated incidents in the report for 2008 - the highest total since 2001, including the highest number of crimes directed at African Americans, Jews, and gay men and lesbians since 2001.
In the wake of the report, the U.S. Jewish organization called for a coordinated campaign to prevent, and respond effectively to "criminal violence motivated by bigotry and prejudice."
"While the increase in the number of hate crimes may be partially attributed to improved reporting, the fact that these numbers remain elevated - particularly the significant rise in the number of victims selected on the basis of religion or sexual orientation - should be of concern to every American," the statement added.
"With data comes awareness and accountability - which must lead to action. Too frequently we have seen that failure to address bias crimes can cause an isolated incident to fester and result in widespread community tensions."