According to a report issued yesterday by the Bloomington Human Rights Commission, the number of hate incidents reported in the city over the past fiscal year was down from the preceding year. Commission director Barbara McKinney says 25 reports were received locally between July of 2006 and June of 2007, compared to 31 incidents the year before. She says she’s not sure of the reason for the decline.
The Commission has been tracking the incidents of hate for the past 17 years. McKinney says it’s important to monitor such episodes, if for no other reason than to avoid a sense of complacency.
McKinney says eight of the reported hate-based incidents reflected a bias against African Americans, while six indicated prejudice based on sexual orientation. Others were grounded in religious bias, and two, she says, were difficult to classify. McKinney says the report also documents three episodes in which police officers were the object of offensive language.