Source: Religion News Service
(RNS) — Last month, after a gunman entered a Pittsburgh synagogue, yelled anti-Semitic hate speech and opened fire on the congregation, killing 11 people, many responded with a message that was both defiant and hopeful: “This is not the America I know.”
While I understand the intention behind such clichés, I also think it’s time for us to move beyond that and face reality. The massacre in Pittsburgh is, unfortunately, precisely the America we all know.
Today the FBI released its 2017 annual report on hate crimes in America, and the data is simultaneously astounding and unsurprising. Hate crimes are up for the third year in a row, with 7,175 reported last year, representing a 16.7 percent rise from the previous year, the second-highest increase since the FBI started tracking hate crimes.