The FBI has released its 2012 list of hate crime statistics, and much of the data clashes with the leftist narrative that America remains besieged by increasing amounts of anti-black racism and anti-Muslim bigotry. Yet the greater issue involves more than who is committing what crime against which entity covered by hate crime statutes. Hate crime statistics, and the law that prompts their collection, have promoted yet another expansion of federal power at the expense of states and localities.
Before getting into the numbers, the FBI explains that the Uniform Crime Reporting Program defines a hate crime "victim" not just as an individual, but as "a business, an institution, or society as a whole." Moreover, a hate crime itself is defined as an offense "against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation." In 2012, there were there were 7,164 hate crimes. The "victim" breakdown reveals that 55.4 percent of those crimes are perpetrated against persons, 41.8 percent against property, and the remaining 2.8 percent against society at large.
Overall, the number of hate crime incidents has declined somewhat between 2011 and 2012. In 2011, the FBI recorded 6,222 hate crime incidents, compared with only 5,796 in 2012.