Watchdog Calls For Congressional Investigation Into ‘Useless’ FBI Stats Showing Decline In Anti-Semitism

A watchdog group says recent hate crime statistics published by the FBI are “essentially useless,” and anti-Semitism, which the report says is declining, is actually surging in the United States.

Kenneth Marcus, chairman of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, called on the Department of Justice last month to correct the flawed data reported in the FBI’s 2021 hate crime statistics. Marcus said the unreliable data is a product of a change in how the FBI collects hate crime data.

“In my experience overseeing federal civil rights data collections, congressional committees have historically taken a keen interest in the completeness and accuracy of governmental information provided to the public,” Marcus told The Washington Free Beacon on Tuesday. “It is hard to imagine that a failure of this scope would escape the notice of congressional oversight staff.”

“I am hopeful that the Department of Justice and FBI will clean up this mess on their own,” he added. “If DOJ and the FBI do not fix this problem, however, by providing corrected and complete data to the public, we should not be surprised if Congress should get involved.”

An FBI spokesperson said that recent changes in how the FBI collects hate crime data impacted the 2021 crime statistics the bureau published last month. The statistics are missing data from multiple agencies across the country that did report data in 2020, so at least part of the drop in hate crimes reported would be due to missing data.

Marcus said the 2021 crime data is irreparably flawed because of the missing data.

“At a time of record anti-Semitic hate crimes, it is appalling that the FBI’s data-gathering has been so badly botched. The 2021 hate crimes data is essentially useless,” he said in a statement. “The problem is so bad that record-high levels of anti-Semitism appear in the official data as actual declines, because major jurisdictions didn’t formally report it. This massive failure has undermined the purposes of hate crimes data precisely when we most need the data. If the FBI doesn’t quickly correct this problem, congressional committees will need to ask some serious questions.”

Anti-Semitic attacks and other incidents in the U.S. reached a record high in 2021, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The ADL tallied 2,717 anti-Semitic incidents in the United States in 2021, a 34% increase over 2020.

The trend in anti-Semitism has been picked up by the White House. Second gentleman Doug Emhoff, who is Jewish, warned against an “epidemic of hate” during a White House roundtable on anti-Semitism last month.

“We’re seeing a rapid rise in antisemitic rhetoric and acts,” he said. “Let me be clear: words matter. People are no longer saying the quiet parts out loud — they are literally screaming them.”

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