OC Hate Crime Report Shows Hatin's Up!

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Hate crimes against gays, lesbians, blacks, Jews and Latinos were up in Orange County in 2011, according to the OC Human Relations Council's 20th annual Hate Crime Report.

Similar crimes dipped from the previous year against whites, Muslims and Asians/Pacific Islanders, the same survey found.

Overall, reported hate crimes rose 14 percent over 2010's totals, the gender of most haters was unknown, and most hating took place in public.

"Even as we have made strides in intergroup understanding, the fears brought on by uncertainty in the economy, changing demographics, and international turmoil can result in more of this bias-related crime," explains Carol Turpen, chairwoman of the OC Human Relations Council, in the introduction to the report you can read here: 2011 Hate Crime Report.

There were 64 hate crimes reported in 2011, compared with 56 in 2010. Of those reported last year, 30 were racially or ethnically motivated, about 25 percent targeted someone over his/her perceived religion and those against members of the gay/lesbian community rose to 7 from 5 in 2010.

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Those numbers are small for a county with a population exceeding 3 million, but Rusty Kennedy, the longtime OC Human Relations Council executive director, notes in an email, "it is important to recognize that each hate crime included in the report represents one of our neighbors who was targeted simply because of some aspect of their being--their ethnicity, religion, race, sexual orientation or ability."

It's also important to recognize unreported hate crimes happen every day.

The report was released today at the Santa Ana offices of OC Human Relations after an introduction by Commissioner and Irvine Police Chief Dave Maggard, whose law enforcement agency was among many countywide that contributed data.

The council since 1971 "has worked to build bridges of understanding to promote a vision of our community where all people are valued and included and our diversity is realized as a source of strength," according to its website.

Learn more at www.ochumanrelations.org, www.facebook.com/ochumanrelations or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WeAreOneOC.

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