Colorado Public Radio’s Avery Lill reports:
A new report from the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management shows reported hate crimes in the state are again on the rise after declining from 2016 to 2017.
The state reported 185 cases of hate crimes in 2018, almost doubling the 96 cases in 2017.
Most of the crimes, 112, were based in racial bias. There were 32 victims of sexual orientation and gender identity bias, and 26 of religious bias. Anti-Semitic crimes continue to rise.
The most common hate crime offense was intimidation, followed by assault and then vandalism.
Although “increased collaboration” between law enforcement agencies to report hate crimes could be responsible for some of the increase, as Lill reports, it’s difficult to accept that nearly doubling the number of incidents from 2017 to 2018 can be fully explained by this. In particular, relatively new racist organizations like Identity Evropa (now known as the American Identity Movement) have been active locally planting stickers and racist literature near downtown areas and Colorado college campuses.
The most obvious conclusion to draw from this uptick in hate crimes since 2017 is the election of Donald Trump as President has empowered already hateful individuals to act on their beliefs. This conclusion is of course hotly disputed by Republican supporters of President Trump, which locally includes such reputedly anti-racist figures as developer Larry Mizel, Trump’s 2016 Colorado finance director who also serves as the chairman of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The Wiesenthal Center’s mission is to “confront anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism,” and promote “human rights and dignity.”
These words either have meaning or they don’t, right? Someone should ask Mizel–and insist on an answer.