Big jump in youth bias offenses in New Jersey

Director of state Division of Civil Rights faults political discourse and bias learned in school, citing examples of what she calls systemic racism

Reported hate crimes are on the rise across New Jersey and officials are calling it an alarming trend. In the last year alone, the highest number of youth bias incidents has been recorded since the state began collecting data 25 years ago.

Rachel Wainer Apter, director of the Division of Civil Rights in the state attorney general’s office said that “… part of how we got here is by failing to address the ways in which many of the institutions that shape our country have a long legacy of excluding, oppressing and degrading people of color, religious minorities, immigrants, women, LGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities.”

State leaders say the spike is due to better reporting, but they also tell correspondent Michael Hill that in the last few years hate has been brought out of hiding.