Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The squeaking wheel gets the oil.

Who's concerned about the steep rise in anti-Jewish violence and vitriol? Who is willing to notice that today's anti-Semitism is rising in direct proportion to the cultural influence of Islam?


Doughlas Remy said...

Gil, have you authenticated this chart? I found it on both the Gateway Pundit site and Michelle Malkin’s blog site, and they both linked to as their source for it. But IBDeditorials has pulled the page where they had posted it, for some reason. Gateway Pundit is not a reliable source, as I think I showed earlier in reference to the Kevin Jennings story.

Has there in fact been a “steep rise in anti-Jewish violence and vitriol?” (I guess you are talking about the U.S., since the chart shows U.S. figures.) I went to the FBI site for hate crimes statistics in 2004, 2007, and 2008. Assuming that your 2006 pie chart is reliable, I see a modest decline in anti-Jewish violence, from 69.43% in 2004 to 66.1% in 2008. Maybe you are referring to longer-term data.

The pie chart shows incidents of hate crimes by religious motivation in 2006. But religion-based hate crimes were less than a fifth of the total. I found the FBI figures for a more recent year, 2008, during which 17.9 percent of these crimes were motivated by bias against religion and 17.6 percent were motivated by bias against a particular sexual orientation. (In 2% of those cases, heterosexuality was the orientation.) When you compare the number of Americans who profess a religion (about 90%) to the number who self-identify as gay or lesbian (about 3%), you have to conclude that victimization of gays and lesbians occurs at a much, much higher rate (about six times the overall rate).

Granted, the FBI’s figures probably under-represent the actual numbers of hate crimes in the U.S. The Southern Poverty Law Center claims FBI estimates are seriously flawed by under-reporting. If this is true, then the actual figures are even more disturbing.

Do you have any proposals for addressing the disproportionate rate of hate crimes against gays and lesbians?

Doughlas Remy

Doughlas Remy said...

Gil, just to clarify a couple of things:

First, the reason I brought in the FBI statistics on hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation bias was that you seemed to be making the point that the numbers are important and that we should perhaps be far more concerned about anti-Jewish hate crimes than anti-Islamic ones because of the numbers. Please correct me if I misunderstood you.

If numbers are so important, then we should be more concerned about hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation bias than those motivated by religious bias, because the percentages (of total hate crimes for 2008) were almost the same (17.9% and 17.6%, respectively) for both groups. Why “more concerned,” then? Because gays and lesbians represent only about 10% of the U.S. population (about 3% self-identifying as such), whereas about 90% of Americans profess some religion. This means that the likelihood of a gay or lesbian person being targeted is about six times that of a religious person.

The other point that I just briefly alluded to is that the chart you’ve provided is not respectable, and if you’ll look at it closely, you’ll see that for yourself. It cherry-picks data to suggest that there is a declining trend in anti-Islamic violence. We all know that such violence spiked shortly after 9/11. Well, take a look at the chart again. You’ll notice the line begins in 2001, at what was probably the top of the spike. This is not an honest way to represent data. Anyone interested in the truth about anti-Islamic violence in this country would want to see a chart covering at least the six years before 9/11 and the six following it.

Rick said...

I have to agree with Doughlas. Your intellectual dishonesty in not including the rate of change in anti-homosexual hate crimes in this post which is solely about comparing the rate of change in anti-Islamic to anti-Jewish hate crimes is frankly stunning. I think it should also be obvious to anyone that you also do not include statistics on hate crimes to quantum physicists. How remarkably insensitive. I won’t even get into the obvious fact that you did not include hate crimes against me, which is obviously the world’s smallest minority group. Do you have any idea how that makes me feel?

And before you jump to any more incorrect thoughts, never mind conclusions, Gil, I believe it was established earlier that it is impossible for me, as a fellow adult engaged in conversation about topics of serious import, to make silly or sophomoric comments. If you do not think so, I am insulted and therefore right.

I would also like to congratulate Mr. Remy on his promotion to Executive Editor of this blog.

Rick F.
PS See y'all tomorrow!