Take One Guess Who’s The Most Targeted Group For Hate Crimes

A report sheds light on a disturbing trend in the wake of the Jacksonville massacre.

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This article is part of The Root Institute 2023 pre-event coverage.

Every time I write a story where I share that another Black person was a victim of a hate crime I get a comment that accuses me of being a “reverse racist” or someone that acts like hate crimes only happen against Black people.

Firstly, “reverse racism” is a myth. Secondly, while I don’t believe that hate crimes only happen to Black people, I do believe that they happen to them more than any other group, and I have the numbers to support that claim.


On Tuesday, a report released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University San Bernardino discovered that Black people were targets of 22% of all hate crimes reported in major U.S. cities in the last year, the most of any other demographic in the country.

So while that is a decrease from last year when Black people were targets of 31% of all hate crimes reported, I’m not lying when I say, “Black people have the largest targets on their backs.”


This comes as the whole country has had its eyes focused on the Jacksonville shooting, where a White man, 21-year-old Ryan Palmeter, shot three innocent Black victims at a Dollar General. It’s currently being investigated as a hate crime considering he had a swastika-emblazoned assault rifle and yelled racial slurs at the victims before fatally shooting them.

While the overall average of hate crimes against Black people in the country has fallen by an average of 6%, many major U.S. cities showed a significant increase, including New York City, Los Angeles, Austin, and Sacramento.


When it comes to states, five (New Jersey, Colorado, Texas, Utah, and Ohio) broke state records for hate crimes against Black people.

For those who question, “Is this a trend over the last few years?” No, it’s not.

According to Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, “Blacks remain the most frequent target not only for these extremist killers but have been the most frequent target for overall hate crime for every year since data has been collected, right up through our partial 2023 totals.”


So when The Root publishes all these stories about Black people being harassed, assaulted, and murdered simply because of the color of their skin, we’re not making this shit up. This is how it really is.