By Cash Michaels –
The level of murder, arson, and vandalism against certain racial, ethnic, or religious groups in and across North Carolina has risen so dramatically that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has decided to mount a public advertising campaign warning against the prevalence of hate crimes.
According to the FBI Office in Charlotte, incidents of hate crimes based on bias in North Carolina have exploded, up almost 50% from 2020. 185 incidents were reported by local law enforcement agencies in 2020; 273 were reported in 2021. A total of 310 incidents were reported in 2022.
Nationally, according to the FBI, reported hate crime incidents increased 11.6% from 2020 to 2021.
Incident Analysis of Hate Crimes in North Carolina
The nature of the latest hate crime incidents is so troubling—from bomb threats made against a synagogue in Durham recently, to racial slurs with a weapon yelled at a Black man in traffic—that the Charlotte FBI is launching its advertising campaign not only to bring awareness about the current status of hate crimes, but also encourage the public to report incidents of hate bias to the FBI.
It was only last May when President Joe Biden told graduates during a Howard University commencement ceremony in Washington, DC, that white supremacist hate is “the most dangerous terrorist threat” to the United States.
“No one should be targeted because of how they look, where they’re from, or any part of their identity,” says Robert M. DeWitt, special agent in charge of the FBI in North Carolina.” Hate crimes have no place in our country, our state, or our communities. We encourage victims to report hate crimes to the FBI. We are here to listen and to help.”
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has also been tracking an increase in antisemitic and white extremist incidents across North Carolina and the nation over the past five years, including the targeting of electrical infrastructures for attack, to white supremacist propaganda flyers being distributed in mixed-race neighborhoods.
For 2022, the ADL list of North Carolina cities reporting hate crime incidents included Raleigh with 20; Charlotte with 12; Clayton (9), Asheville (8); Greensboro (7); Durham (5); Cary, Smithfield, and Hendersonville (4 each); and Chapel Hill (3).
The FBI’s anti-hate crime ad campaign will include social media messages, as well as billboards in Charlotte, Raleigh, Lexington, and Laurinburg.
The FBI defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”
If you believe that you are either a victim of, or witness to a hate crime, please report it to 1-800-CALL-FBI, ( 225-5324) or submit a tip to tips.fbi.gov.