FBI Stats Show Increase In Anti-Sikh Hate Crimes
India-West Staff Reporter
WASHINGTON, DC – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has just released its annual report on hate crimes across the country and it reflects an increase in anti-Sikh hate crimes. In 2021 it documented 214 incidents.
“The hate crimes numbers released by the FBI paint a sobering picture of the experience of the Sikh American community,” said Kiran Kaur Gill, Executive Director of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF). “Unfortunately, we saw a dramatic increase in the number of incidents where Sikhs have been victims. However, we also saw increased efforts by the Sikh American community to come forward, report these incidents and advocate for change and resources at the local, state, and national level.”
In 2021, the FBI transitioned to a new voluntary reporting system, the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). At least 22% of law enforcement agencies across the country, including those in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Phoenix, did not report any incidents to the system. SALDEF expects that these numbers will be revised and cautions against drawing any conclusions about a drop in the total number of hate crimes across the country.
“The transition to a new reporting system compounds problems with underreporting. Thus, we must remember that the number of hate- and bias-motivated crimes and harassment shared today is far lower than what people experience in their day-to-day lives,” clarified Gill. “With the continued threat of white supremacist ideology, it is important that Congress and state legislatures across the country make serious investments in anti-hate/bias programs, including cultural and linguistically appropriate victim services.”
SALDEF in a statement said, “The collected data is alarming and highlights that there is more work to do.”