Hate crimes surge for third straight year

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For the third year in a row the number of hate crimes reported in the U.S. rose, that’s according to a new FBI report. 

“My primary experience is with the transgender community and I’ve heard all kinds of stories from acceptance to outright violence,” Zoyer Zyndel said. 

“Unfortunately it’s not a surprise. A lot of us who have been paying attention have seen this coming,” Rabbi Rick Winer from Temple Beth Israel said. He attributed a large part of the problem to high tensions across the U.S.

“When our leaders use hateful rhetoric it filters down,” Winer said. 

His synagogue, Temple Beth Israel, was a recent target after a community wide vigil following the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue. 

“After this amazing event we had bringing people together to recognize diversity — and it was probably the greatest showing I’ve seen of diverse religious representation — sometime that evening someone tore down a a piece of our sign, the word that says “Israel,” Winer said.

Police said it was a hate crime. 

The study found in 2017 more than 58 percent of all religion based crimes were anti-Semitic.

While data showed many forms of hate crimes are on the rise, the study also noted an increase in reporting agencies.

Zoyer Zyndel, a trans activist, said it can be encouraging to see more accounts of these crimes. 

“Folks who are being attacked for whatever demographic they belong to are coming forward to report it and say something to the police and the media and so that knowledge of hate crimes is more well known,” Zyndel said. 

Winer said his community will remain positive. “There are plenty of people, if you care to look, you will find the messages of care and unity instead,” he said. 

Find the FBI study at the link below:
https://ucr.Fbi.Gov/hate-crime/2017

There will be a day of remembrance for transgender lives lost to violence or suicide at 6 p.m. Friday Nov 16 at Fresno State’s North Gym. 

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