Groups Work to Track Hate Crimes in TN

Incidents such as this fire in a church in Mississippi, where arson is suspected, are believed to be on the rise in the United States. (ProPublica)

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, there were 275 incidences of hate crimes against people or their personal property between 2015 and 2016, the most recent data available. But numerous reports from independent groups say hate crimes are on the rise.
One such group, in partnership with at least 100 media outlets across the country, is working to collect the data. Rachel Glickhouse with the Documenting Hate Project explained what they’ve been hearing so far.
“What they found is that, all over the country, kids are using either racist and anti-Semitic language to bully other students and also making reference to certain policies like ‘Build a wall’ or ‘Trump is going to deport you,’” Glickhouse said.
The Documenting Hate Project is a project of the progressive media website ProPublica. There are three-thousand hate crimes reported nationwide.
Glickhouse said the hope is that the data they collect can be used by policymakers to understand what’s happening in their communities, and where there are opportunities to enact change.
“We hope that in reporting on this issue and trying to get a better sense of data, that policy makers and stakeholders in this particular area can take action,” she said.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is required to collect data about hate crimes, but Glickhouse said more reporting is needed by local law enforcement agencies.