A new study has found that hate crimes against Latinos in California continues to grow. According to Hate Crime in California, hate crimes against all minorities in California have increased since President Trump’s 2016 campaign. The study was conducted by the office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in conjunction with four justice centers. The examples of the increased hostility against Latinos in California are easy to come by. There was the elote street vendor who had his cart thrown over by an upset pedestrian. An LA Times writer was yelled at in a park for speaking Spanish to her child. A 92-year-old grandfather was attacked with a piece of concrete while being told to go back to his country.
Hate Crime in California shows that while hate crimes in the U.S. have increased in the past year, California in particular has seen a 17 percent jump in hate crimes against all minorities. For Latinos, there was a 51.8 percent increase in hate crimes since President Trump won the presidency. The report also shows that violent hate crime offenses have increased 12.1 percent in the Golden State.
Some people blame the increase of hate crimes on the rhetoric from President Trump demonizing the Latino community.
“There is a rhetoric, and we’ve actually witnessed some of this coming from the administration,” Maria Hinojosa told NPR about the hate crime increases. “So when you have members of the administration, including the president, calling specifically Latino/Latina immigrants infiltrators, vermin, animals, then I’m sure there are many people who say, well, wait a second – us, too. And how do you challenge that?”
Studies have shown that Latinos in particular do not report crimes regularly out of fear of the police and deportation. Some police officers have even threatened undocumented people with deportation if they report crimes that have been committed against them. Which means, the 52 percent figure reported by the Justice Department is probably a lot lower than it would be if Latinos reported crimes committed against them.
“Right around when the administration changed, we noticed an uptick at local, statewide and national levels of people reporting that they were victims of hate-related speech, and hate crimes,” Teresa Drenick, deputy district attorney for Alameda County, told The Mercury News.
You can read the entire report about California hate crimes here.