It has been 14 months since we placed our Black Lives Matter signage on the front of our church and nearly as long since we placed the Stop Asian Hate signage.
In case it seems like that’s been long enough, it hasn’t. Unfortunately, this was confirmed last week when statistics came out that showed an alarming increase in the rate of hate crimes in our country over the last year.
The figures, released from the FBI, revealed the highest rate of hate crimes in the U.S. since 2001 (following the September 11 attacks).
While Asian Americans make up a small number of the overall hate crimes victims reported, that number has increased by 76% over the last year!
The racial group bearing the brunt of the majority of hate crimes remains black Americans who account for 50% of the total number of hate crime victims.
Hate crimes are not confined to race and also include perpetrators targeting people because of their gender, gender identity, religion, or disability.
About half of all hate crimes are classified as intimidation while 27% are simple assaults and 18% are aggravated assaults. 55% of perpetrators are white and 21% are black.
It is believed, however, that hate crimes are among the most under-reported of all crimes. This is especially true within the Asian American community. Convictions are rare.
So as much as I would love to celebrate the removal of our signs because they are no longer necessary, it turns out that they are more needed than ever.
The life and dignity of every one of God’s children is precious. All of us matter and all of us are treasured and counted as holy expressions of the divine. Yet there are those among us who are treated differently and targeted for abuse because of their race. FCC’s commitment to those communities continues because their lives do, in fact, matter. They matter just as much as everyone else’s even though they are not treated as if they do.
These statistics bear out the fact that while “racial reckoning” has allowed us to progress forward on these issues, we still have a long way to go.