How poverty and hate crime go hand-in-hand in America

A gunman opened fire and killed nine people during a service at an African-American church in Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday night, in what police say they believe is a hate crime.

As the Post’s Chris Ingraham shows in a series of charts, hate crimes remain tragically persistent in the U.S.. While the number of active hate groups in the U.S. has declined in recent years, the overall rate of hate crimes has held steady. African-Americans are the group most likely to be affected by racially motivated hate crimes.

Determining why hate crime occurs and how to prevent it is a difficult and sensitive subject. But data from the Southern Poverty Law Center suggests that there is a connection between hate crimes and poor economic conditions. Ingraham’s chart above shows a positive relationship between the number of active KKK chapters in a state and the percentage of state residents living in poverty.

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