It comes as no surprise to communities of color that the amount of hate crimes reported to the FBI increased by 17 percent last year. Without a doubt, the racist and bigoted rhetoric emanating from the Trump administration has fueled the flames of hate and division in our nation. For at least the last 25 years, African Americans have been the most frequent victims of hate crimes, and with the flood of #LivingWhileBlack incidents that occurred this year, we have seen that hate crimes, hate speech and the general culture of intolerance and implicit bias are not exclusive to the extremist communities – they have become an inextricable hazard in the daily lives of Black and brown Americans. And when the leader of the free world refers to himself as a Nationalist, refuses to denounce hate groups, and appoints a cabinet which works tirelessly to reverse our civil rights protections, the FBI’s findings should be received as a warning for a nation headed towards peril.
NAACP will not sit idly and watch these numbers rise. We know that one life lost because of hate is one life too many. We will continue to support legislation that seeks to curb and punish racially driven acts of violence, and we will continue to call out the perpetrators who fuel these acts with their words, actions, and policies.