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A report by The Leadership Conference Education Fund highlights a significant increase in hate incidents and crimes during presidential election years.

The report features a section titled Anti-Hispanic or Latino Hate Crimes, which goes through a historic recount of hate crimes specific to that demographic in the last two decades and lays out a series of concerns around the political climate during the 2024 presidential campaign.

The report's summary states:

"Each of the last four presidential campaign cycles has shown an unmistakable pattern: Reported hate crimes increase during elections. And while not all hate crimes and hate incidents are committed by white supremacists, as this paper outlines, white supremacists have been particularly active during the last four presidential elections. From the mainstreaming of hate and the failure of social media platforms to adequately address disinformation, the current climate is rife with opportunities for the trend of increased hate to continue into the 2024 election — unless action is taken."

The main source consulted for the study was the FBI's hate crime data report. Its latest batch, released in October 2023, revealed the highest number of reported hate crimes since the FBI began publishing data in 1991. However, since law enforcement agencies are not required to report these sorts of crimes, the study is quick to point out that such statistics fail to grasp the true dimensions of hate crimes in the country and concludes that "the reality is much worse."

When it comes to Latino hate crimes, the study reveals a harsh reality. "Anti-Latino and anti-immigrant rhetoric has become increasingly prevalent as mainstream news outlets, public officials, and — most recently — digital and social media platforms alike have scaled the perpetuation of hate and bias towards Latinos."

The study goes on to signal out Trump's 2016 campaign as a one of the biggest factors to accentuate this trend of hate against Latinos in recent history.

"Anti-Latino and, specifically, anti-Mexican rhetoric was a central part of Donald Trump's campaign for president in 2016. Indeed, he set the tone of what to expect during his announcement speech in 2015 when he referred to Mexican immigrants as 'rapists' and 'drug dealers'. This racist rhetoric continued throughout his presidency and contributed to devastating violence against Hispanic and Latino communities."

The study offers a series of additional insights about Latino hate crimes in recent history:

  • In 2018, the Hispanic and Latino communities experienced the highest number of reported hate crimes in more than a decade.
  • In 2019, 23 people were killed and more than 20 were injured in a mass hate crime in El Paso, Texas. This remains the deadliest attack on Latinos in the United States in modern history.
  • The 2022 FBI data showed the highest number of anti-Hispanic hate crimes ever reported — a 6 percent increase from 2021 to 2022.
  • This follows a 35 percent increase in anti- Hispanic hate crimes from 2020 to 2021.

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