Following on the heels of what authorities suspect was a hate-fueled murder a Southern California mountain community, the latest report by Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism (CSHE) shows that three of the largest percentage increases in reported hate crimes in major American cities in 2022 were against members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Those findings and more will be presented Friday, Aug. 25, by Brian Levin, director of the non-partisan center, when the California Commission on the State of Hate meets at Sacramento State. While the meeting, open to the public, will be in person at Sacramento State, it may also be accessed on Zoom. The commission’s meeting agenda is available on its website.

The commission meeting begins at 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time, with a community forum to follow at 12:30 p.m. Levin, who also is a member of the commission, will present the center’s report in the 10:30 a.m. session. He will also share historical data on how hate crimes rise during presidential election years. The presentation will be his last official act as the director of the center he founded 24 years ago as he retires from the post. Steven Merrall will oversee the center beginning immediately.

The latest study by the center analyzed hate crimes reported to police in 42 major U.S. cities, and showed that such crimes increased 10% in 2022; another sample of 16 states showed an increase of 16%. The 10 largest cities in the report showed a greater jump, up an average of 22%, “setting a second consecutive modern annual record, while smaller cities yielded more mixed results according to analysis of the latest official preliminary police data,” the center reported.

“In CSHE’s 2022 multi-city hate crime survey, the greatest percentage increases were directed toward those: of ‘other race/ethnicity,’ up 94%; followed by anti-LGBTQ (Mixed Group), up 52%; anti-Gender nonconforming – which covers people in drag, up 47%, anti-Jewish, up 29%, and anti-Transgender up 28%,” the report said.

Release of the center’s latest report -- which will be made available online next week on the center's website -- comes soon after the Aug. 18 fatal shooting of Laura Ann Caldwell, who flew a rainbow pride flag outside her Lake Arrowhead-area clothing business. A San Bernardino County Sheriff's report says she was shot by a man who had made “several disparaging remarks about a rainbow flag that stood outside the store before shooting Carleton.”

Levin said, “We must powerfully condemn root to branch the vile bigotry and violence that so brazenly targets our LGBTQI brothers and sisters and those like Laura, who love and care for them. At a time when our research shows horrifying increases in attacks against the LGBTQI community, Laura’s beautiful life stands as a moral counterweight and beacon of the enduring resonance of ally-ship and love.”

Levin, who stepped down from teaching in the CSUSB School of Criminology and Criminal Justice and was the California State University 2020 Wang Family Excellence Award recipient, has long been a sought-after expert in hate crimes and extremism, testifying before Congressional and state legislative bodies on the topic; sharing his expertise with local, regional, national and international news media; and presenting at professional conferences and civic and community groups.

That was in addition to his research for the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, established at CSUSB in 1999. CSHE examines the ways that bigotry, extremism, terrorism – both domestically and internationally – deny civil or human rights to people because of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other relevant status characteristics.