New York is known as a state diverse in population with a vibrant culture, but unfortunately, hate crimes have been on the rise in recent years, statewide.

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According to the ADL Center on Extremism, white supremacist propaganda distribution accounts for 50 percent of extremist-related incidents statewide, and in New York City, the NYPD reports that hate crimes in the city have increased by nearly 75 percent in recent years.

Hate crimes are defined as criminal offenses motivated by bias against a person's race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or other characteristics. Although hate crimes are not something brand new, the recent spike in their numbers has become a cause for concern among law enforcement agencies, community advocates, and lawmakers.

This is why organizations like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) have been working on various programs and campaigns to combat hate crimes and promote tolerance and inclusion.

For instance, ADL offers a range of training programs, resources, and initiatives to educate professionals, educators, law enforcement officers, and youth on effective ways to combat hate and bigotry.

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services has developed a model policy on hate crimes, providing guidelines and procedures for law enforcement agencies to effectively respond to hate crimes according to New York State Penal Law §485.05 and New York State Executive Law §840(6)(a).

Additionally, Governor Kathy Hochul has announced various actions to prevent hate crimes, promote tolerance, and protect New Yorkers, building on existing hate crime prevention initiatives supported by significant grant funding.

Simply cracking down on offenders is not enough to prevent and reduce hate crimes. We need to educate people, raise awareness, and foster honest conversations to promote empathy, understanding, and respect among different communities.

Hate crimes in New York State are a big problem and the issue keeps getting worse but we can definitely do something about it. By educating people, building awareness, and bringing communities together, we can make society more respectful. Everyone deserves to feel safe.

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