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Hate Incidents - The Scourge of University Campuses

05 Aug 2019

A 2018 inspection done by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shows an uptick of hate crimes in campuses across the United States of America that disturbs the public. Campus police departments’ reported 280 hate crimes in 2017 alone. This was an increase from 2016, which the FBI reported 277 hate crimes, and 2015’s report of 194 cases. Even more concerning is the fact that one of these hate crimes led to a motivated killing in the United States for the first time in more than a decade.

Richard Collins III, an African-American Army lieutenant from Maryland, was close to graduation in May of 2017 but was brutally killed. The murder of Collins is just one of many killings that are trending upward across campuses in the United States of America.

Additionally, 2016 data from the United States Department of Education showed a 25% increase in campus crimes, compared to the year before. These statistics only seem to spike upward, as well. Out of the 280 hate incidents across campuses in 2017, 15 ended in killings based on this motivation.

These hate incidents, however, are a slow and calculated process for hate-activist groups like white nationalists. Hate crimes can include but are not limited to hate crimes, hateful speech, uncivil conduct, and conduct that is prohibited under anti-discrimination policies, bullying initiatives, campus handbooks.

In a survey done by the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAEED), 84% of participants reported being a hate crime victim at the hands of white institutions, 54% had been the object of hateful speech in their direction, and 64% of participants encountered hate crime paraphilia with Nazi or racist literature.

This supports an Anti-Defamation League document that spoke to literature hanging on campuses was one of the most concerning issues that face colleges and universities across the United States of America in the 21st Century. From the statistics, the biases do not seem to be stopping anytime soon because of a 77% increase in propaganda from white-supremacists in the 2017-2018 school year.

Furthermore, an Uncivil, Hate and Bias Incidents on Campus (UHBIOC) survey was performed by the Fund for Leadership, Equity, Access, and Diversity (LEAD Fund). This survey had major contributions from the Stop Hate Project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The Lead Fund’s goal was to survey the hate incidents across American campuses, think about the problematic results, and create and implement solutions to fix this problem.

With this particular survey, the UHBIOC found that 3 out of every 4 contributors had experienced a hate crime over the last 2 years. Of the 75%, 38% spoke to the fact that these hate incidents had occurred at least once every semester on campus. The remaining percentages were as follows: 16% of hate incidents happened once per year, and the remaining 13% happened every single month.  

The UHBIOC had a group of 69 individuals recorded with 29% being male and 67% being female. Racially, 44% identified as Black, African, and/or African-American, 38% choose White and/or Caucasian, and 11% were either LatinX and/or multi-diverse. Of the 69 individuals, 87% had some type of advanced college degrees like a Master’s or Doctorate.

From the survey’s findings, the LEAD Fund found that 23% of schools with hate crimes had less than 5,000 enrolled students and 31% of colleges had an enrollment of 5,000 to 10,000 students. On the other hand, only 15% of schools with over 45,000 students had documented hate crimes.

But, the question remains: What are the hate crimes motivated by? Though there are many bias types, the FBI has seen 8 specific hate crimes:

  1. Anti-Asian
  2. Anti-Black
  3. Anti-Hispanic/Latino
  4. Anti-Islamic
  5. Anti-Jewish
  6. Anti-Multiracial
  7. Anti-White
  8. Anti-LGBTQ

Specifically, the FBI reported Anti-Black, Anti-Jewish, and Anti-LGBTQ biases were the most prominent.  

Strategies, like the one implemented by the University of Florida in 2017, found that stopping hate incidents is an option. For example, the university stopped Richard Spencer, a white-supremacist, from touring at their university, protecting the lives against harmful rhetoric. With some speaking out against this move, as it pertains to the 1st Amendment, the university felt confident enough to denounce any harmful activities against students, staff, and employees.

Other universities and colleges are looking to create easy-to-use tool kits that allow individuals to report harmful incidents through a hotline or online application, as well as advertisements against anti-hate speech and abuse across campuses.

Teams are even popping up around the country, as student leadership teams look to investigate hate incidents on their campuses to help engage, support and encourage students who have been attacked or mistreated a part of a hate incident.  

For the newest reports on hate incidents at campuses across the United States of America, check out information and surveys from the Anti-Defamation League, LEAD Fund, AAEED, U.S. Department of Education, and FBI.