On November 14, 2016, the NY Times published an article about hate crimes in which it deliberately misled its readers in several areas.
The article entitled “U.S. Hate Crimes Surge 6%, Fueled by Attacks on Muslims,” sought to continue a NY Times narrative that Trump supporters are white racists and xenophobes. In this article, it chose to do this by emphasizing certain facts, redirecting the reader, and omitting some statistics completely.
All crimes are terrible, and hate crimes are particularly noxious. If America wants to confront them with solutions, it needs to review them honestly.
The Focus on Muslims
The title of the article focused on the rise in hate crimes against Muslims, as did the article itself. While there was a significant jump in the anti-Muslim attacks, an average Muslim in 2015 was still 50% LESS likely to be attacked than an average Jew (257 attacks against an American Muslim population of 3.3 million, versus 664 attacks against 5.8 million American Jews).
The Times did say that Jews were the most frequently attacked religious group, while blacks were the most targeted race – in the article’s seventh paragraph. However, it then sought to redirect the reader to the significance of the anti-Muslim attacks:
“Blacks were the most frequent victims of hate crimes based on race, while Jews were the most frequent victims based on religion, according to the F.B.I. data. But the increases in attacks on these groups were smaller than the rise in attacks against Muslims and transgender people.”
Hey reader! Over here! Focus on Muslims and transgender attacks! That’s the real story, not the groups that are subject to the most hate crimes! Never mind that the total number of attacks against Muslims and transgender people COMBINED was LESS THAN HALF of the number of attacks against Jews.
For over a year, the Times has called out Donald Trump and his supporters as being racists, homophobes and xenophobes. The Times told all of its readers to fear the local radical right much more than radical Islamic terrorism in articles throughout the year. This article began:
“WASHINGTON — The F.B.I. reported Monday that attacks against American Muslims surged last year, driving an overall increase in hate crime against all groups.
The data, which is the most comprehensive look at hate crime nationwide, expanded on previous findings by researchers and outside monitors, who have noted an alarming rise in some types of crimes tied to the vitriol of this year’s presidential campaign and the aftermath of terrorist attacks at home and abroad since 2015.
That trend appears to have spiked in just the last week, with civil rights groups and news organizations reporting dozens of verbal or physical assaults on minorities and others that appear to have been fueled by divisions over the election.”
This is complete editorializing by the Times. The FBI report gave a statistical analysis and breakdown of attacks that occurred in 2015. The report did not get into speculation about what drove people to commit the crimes. It certainly did not cover November 2016 when the report was solely about 2015.
The Times seemed to further add support for its rationale of blaming Trump, by stating “Attacks against Muslim Americans saw the biggest surge. There were 257 reports of assaults, attacks on mosques and other hate crimes against Muslims last year, a jump of about 67 percent over 2014. It was the highest total since 2001, when more than 480 attacks occurred in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.”
For the Times, Donald Trump equals September 11 for Muslim Americans.
Yet, if one were to scratch the surface, it would be clear that the number of attacks against Muslims has up-and-down years. For example, hate crimes against Muslim Americans spiked in the early Obama years compared to the George W Bush years. Under President Bush in 2008, there were 105 anti-Muslim attacks, which jumped by 52% to 160 attacks in 2010 under President Obama. Such attacks also jumped 15% between 2013 and 2014, well before the rise of Trump.
No Mention about the Offenders
The Times did not discuss other statistics from the FBI report, such as the ethnicity of the offenders.
In 2015, whites were twice as likely to commit a hate crime as a black American. Consider that there are over five times more whites than blacks in the US. That means that black people disproportionately are committing hate crimes (if all people are as likely to commit a hate crime, it would suggest that there would be roughly five times as many white offenders as black offenders, not two times).
The trendline about the offenders of hate crimes is also important to highlight, but dismissed in the Times.
In 2001, white people committed 4.5 times more hate crimes than black people (5,149 versus 1,157). That difference is more in line with what would be expected by the larger white population.
However, the New York Times did not report on the alarming trend of black people committing a growing and more disproportionate share of hate crimes, because it undermined the paper’s narrative that white Trump supporters are the bigots and “deplorables.” Shining a light on the SHRINKING number of white attackers (2,657 in 2015 versus 5,149 in 2001), went against the liberals view of the world.
The reason that independents and libertarians are abandoning the Democratic Party is liberal’s blind adherance to a narrative that has no basis in facts. How can such a party hope to arrive at solutions to society’s ills if it will not honestly look at the world as it is?
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