Some communities, like the immigrant community, don’t feel safe turning to the police for a number of reasons, including a cultural distrust of law enforcement or legal status. This means that police statistics on hate crimes and bias incidents are not always accurate. The Hate Index provides an anonymous way to report hate incidents that is more community-oriented and hopefully be more accurate.
Developed by the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, the site’s goal is to collect all of the incidents of hate that have occurred since the Presidential election. According to their website: “Our goal, amid rising reports of scrawled swastikas, chants of “Build the wall!” and hijab-grabbing, as well as attacks on Trump supporters, is to add to the public accounting of hatred-in-action by giving our audience a searchable database of incidents during this extraordinary period of American history.”
Users can look through hate crimes by type, victim, perpetrator, and location, which is especially important for those looking to see what crimes are happening in their home states. At the time of writing, there are currently 51 incidents listed for New York state, with seven from Long Island, including the swastikas found at Nassau Community College. They are currently pulling from news reports but feature reports from their self-reporting function.
The “Your Story” feature allows people to report hate crimes anonymously, as to better see what it is happening. The index takes into account the gender of the victim and perpetrator, their religion, and their ethnicity. While the index does ask for an email address, it is only in case more details are needed for the classification.
As they continue to update the site and add more stories to the record, they want to be as transparent as possible for those using the site as a way of gauging what’s really happening in communities across the country.
Here is a link to the form to report a hate incident: https://hateindex.com/yourstory.