Hate crimes are crimes motivated by prejudice against the victim's race, color, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation. Anyone can be the victim of a hate crime, so long as the attacker is motivated by a characteristic named in the jurisdiction's hate crime law, such as religion.

In 1990, the U.S. Congress enacted the Hate Crime Statistics Act, 28 U.S.C. § 534 (2000), which mandated that the government collect statistics on crimes motivated by bias against race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or national origin. It was the first federal government effort to quantify hate crimes. Because of this legislation, each year the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) collects statistics from state and local law enforcement agencies around the United States. The FBI report on hate ...

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