On Monday the FBI released its annual report on hate crimes in America.
The FBI tracks hate crimes committed across the nation regardless of whether or not each state has a hate crimes law on the books.
The report shows the FBI recorded 10 hate crimes in Arkansas in 2019.
All told, the only two states with fewer hate crimes than Arkansas in 2019 were Wyoming and Alabama.
The ten states with the highest number of hate crimes, according to the FBI, were:
- California (1,221)
- Washington (664)
- New York (618)
- Texas (560)
- Michigan (495)
- New Jersey (478)
- Massachusetts (441)
- Ohio (428)
- Colorado (257)
- Arizona (254)
These states led the nation in hate crimes despite the fact that all ten of them have hate crimes laws on the books.
High-profile hate crimes have been committed in different states despite state hate crimes laws. For example, on August 3, 2019, a gunman targeted minorities in an El Paso Walmart despite Texas’ hate crimes law, and on October 27, 2018, a gunman opened fire at a Pittsburgh synagogue despite Pennsylvania’s hate crimes law.
All of this seems to indicate hate crimes laws are not effective at deterring hate crimes.
This week Senator Jim Hendren (R – Gravette) and Representative Fred Love (D – Little Rock) filed S.B. 3 to enact hate crimes legislation in Arkansas.
But the experiences of other states shows that hate crimes laws like S.B. 3 just don’t work. We all agree that something needs to be done, but passing a hate crimes law simply isn’t the answer.