The 2016 election season and its aftermath have been marked by hateful rhetoric against Latinos, African-Americans, Muslims, Jews and other ethnic and religious groups.
While it’s crucial to report on these incidents, the lack of comprehensive and reliable data prevents us from understanding how widespread this phenomenon actually is. The civil rights organization Southern Poverty Law Center received more than 1,000 reports of hate crimes in the month after the election, but it’s not clear if this indicates a durable national trend.
Meanwhile, the FBI is yet to release the 2016 hate crime statistics. In 2015, the Bureau reported 5,850 hate crimes, a number that is likely undercounted since it’s based on voluntary contributions by state and local law enforcement agencies.
Understanding our most vulnerable people is crucial to understand the current state of our democracy. That’s why ProPublica created Documenting Hate, a project that gathers news outlets across the country to investigate hate crimes and bias incidents. GroundTruth is one of them.
Over the next couple of months, we will report on acts of prejudice and help collect reports to create a national database of hate crime and bias incidents. Documenting Hate will combine data analysis, social media news gathering and investigative storytelling to fulfill its purpose.
And you can be a part of it. If you have suffered or witnessed a hate crime or incident, we want to hear your story. You’re welcome to tell us what happened by filling this form. If you’ve heard about a hate crime in the news or from someone you know, you can also share the details with us. We understand that this is sensitive information, and we appreciate you sharing your story with us.
Your information may be shared with partner newsrooms and civil rights organizations that are working with us, but will not be sent to the police.
For stories, news and updates about Documenting Hate, follow the project’s Facebook page and Twitter. At GroundTruth, please contact reporter Giulia Afiune (gafiune [at] thegroundtruthproject.org) or executive editor Kevin Grant (kgrant [at] thegroundtruthproject.org).