Texas reported its highest number of hate crimes in 30 years, according to FBI hate crime data released on March 13.
Texas law enforcement agencies reported 542 hate crimes to the FBI in 2021, the latest year for which data is available, surpassing the state’s previous record of 486 hate crimes in 1992.
Of the hate crimes reported in Texas in 2021, 61% were motivated by racial bias. Of the 330 racially motivated crimes, the FBI classified 142 as anti-Black hate crimes, the most of any group. The second most prevalent form of bias was sexual orientation, with the FBI reporting 104 hate crimes. Religious bias accounted for 53 of the FBI reported hate crimes, gender identity accounted for 26 and disability for 16 hate crimes.
San Antonio reported the most with 64 hate crimes, Houston reported 48 hate crimes, Dallas reported 28 hate crimes, Austin reported 28 and Fort Worth reported 11.
Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy underscored the history of hate crime in North Texas in a column last year, reminding his readers how Fort Worth icon Opal Lee and her family were subjected to hate.
“(Lee) doesn’t talk about this often. But on Juneteenth 1939, when Lee was 12, a white mob stoned and then smashed her family’s home on East Annie Street because that was a white neighborhood,” Kennedy wrote. “More than 80 years later, Lee is a powerful force for good in her Riverside neighborhood and her city. She has gained recognition throughout the nation as the little Fort Worth activist who staged a 2016 “walk to D.C.” to promote celebrating Juneteenth.”
Only last year, a Texas man was convicted of a hate crime for attacking an Asian family he thought to be responsible for the COVID-19 virus. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Race is not the only motivation for people committing crimes of hate. Three Texas men used a dating app in 2021 to target gay men so they could carjack, kidnap and commit other crimes. They received prison sentences ranging from 11 years to 22 years.
“The FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program defines hate crime as a committed criminal offense which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias(es) against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity,” the database says.
The data are derived from National Incident-Based Reporting System reports voluntarily submitted to the FBI. Statistics are based on data received in 2021 from 1,012 of 1,197 law enforcement agencies in Texas.
Here’s a look at how the latest hate crime numbers in Texas compare to the past 30 years:
1991: 95 hate crimes, with 56 motivated by racial bias and 28 by religion
1992: 486 hate crimes, 387 motivated by race and 59 by sexual orientation
1993: 417 hate crimes, 335 motivated by race and 48 by sexual orientation
1994: 365 hate crimes, 286 motivated by race and 60 by sexual orientation
1995: 326 hate crimes, 247 motivated by race and 52 by sexual orientation
1996: 350 hate crimes, 278 motivated by race and 62 by sexual orientation
1997: 338 hate crimes, 249 motivated by race and 55 by sexual orientation
1998: 301 hate crimes, 216 motivated by race and 59 by sexual orientation
1999: 263 hate crimes, 181 motivated by race and 57 by sexual orientation
2000: 287 hate crimes, 189 motivated by racial bias and 50 by sexual orientation
2001: 436 hate crimes, 326 motivated by racial bias, 55 by sexual orientation and 54 by religion
2002: 343 hate crimes, with 260 motivated by racial bias and 50 by sexual orientation
2003: 290 hate crimes, 205 motivated by racial bias
2004: 297 hate crimes, 204 motivated by racial bias
2005: 264 hate crimes, 165 motivated by racial bias
2006: 243 hate crimes, 168 motivated by racial bias
2007: 242 hate crimes, 176 motivated by racial bias
2008: 247 hate crimes, 166 motivated by racial bias
2009: 165 hate crimes, 111 motivated by racial bias
2010: 174 hate crimes, 115 motivated by racial bias
2011: 153 hate crimes, 83 motivated by racial bias
2012: 175 hate crimes, 97 motivated by racial bias
2013: 142 hate crimes, 88 motivated by racial bias
2014: 158 hate crimes, 91 motivated by racial bias
2015: 191 hate crimes, 107 motivated by racial bias
2016: 179 hate crimes, 104 motivated by racial bias
2017: 184 hate crimes, 107 motivated by racial bias
2018: 405 hate crimes, 261 motivated by race, 57 by religion and 51 by sexual orientation
2019: 408 hate crimes, 254 motivated by race, 67 by sexual orientation and 40 by religion
2020: 406 hate crimes, with 285 motivated by race, 66 by sexual orientation and 29 by religion