Racism in Hamilton

Hamilton, Ontario City Hall Sign

Whilst racially motivated hate crime rates aren’t the strongest indicators of racism in Hamilton because they are under reported, they help quantify the experiences many communities in Hamilton face.

A 2014 City of Hamilton Citizen Committee Report sampled Hamilton agencies and educational institutions.  The Report showed that the most common forms of racism and discrimination to which Hamilton agencies reported were systemic racism (100%), racial slurs (83%), harassment (67%) and physical violence (50%). Educational institutions reported systemic violence (100%), racial slurs (100%), vandalism (100%) and harassment (50%) as the most common forms of racism and discrimination.

Data from Statistics Canada showed that in 2016, Hamilton had the highest rate of police-reported hate crimes in Canada (Moro, T. 2018). According to the data, 26 percent of reported hate crimes targeted Black populations and 27 percent targeted Jewish populations (StatsCan, April 2018).

The Hamilton Police Service 2017 Hate/Bias Crime Report showed that there was an 18% increase in race-based incidents reported from 2016 to 2017. It also showed a 33% increase of reported hate/bias motivated incidents targeting the Black community from 2016 to 2017.

 

The top three communities in 2017 which reported incidents of hate//bias were Black (60%), South Asian (15%) and Arab/West Asian (10%).

Hate Crime

Definitions:

Hate/Bias Crimes:  Includes any criminal offence where there is information to illustrate that the offence was motivated solely, or in part, because of a bias or prejudice, based on the victim’s race, national or ethnic origin, language colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other similar factor.  Includes all Hate Propaganda offences.

Hate/Bias Incident (Overtones):  Includes any incident that involves hate or bias towards any member of the public because of their race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender or expression, or any other similar factor.  These incidents cannot be proven to have been motivated solely or in part because of the person’s bias/prejudice towards the victim, but include some type of racial overtones (i.e., the use of racial epithets/ odious remarks).

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