BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Saturday’s attack on the Jewish community is the deadliest in U.S. history, but hardly isolated.
The numbers show that reports of anti-Semitic hate crimes and hate crimes in general are climbing nationwide and in Maryland.
Hidden biases are coming out of the shadows across the country, exemplified in a sharp uptick in bomb threats, social media threats, vandalism, and anti-Semitic rallies.
“The rising number of anti-Semitic incidents that we’ve seen have been more property based,” said Howard Libit, with the Baltimore Jewish Council. “It’s graffiti. It’s a sign being marked up. It’s a broken window. It’s walking into a neighborhood and finding swastikas painted on cars. Things like that.”
Libit says bias often surfaces in the form of vandalism, but Saturday brought the deadliest attack on Jewish Americans in the nation’s history.
“It’s almost beyond comprehension,” Libit said.
The Anti-Defamation League reports a 57 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents nationwide last year compared to 2016.
That’s the biggest spike since 1979, and those incidents occurred in every state for the first time in seven years.
In Maryland, attacks were not limited to religious institutions.
In Crofton, two teenagers were arrested for hanging a noose outside a middle school.
Posters plastered on the University of Maryland campus read “America is a white nation.”
Those appeared months after a white UMD student allegedly stabbed a black college student while he was visiting campus.
Richard Collins died days before he would have graduated from Bowie State.
It’s one of the most violent of the 398 hate crimes Maryland State Police recorded in 2017.
Jonathan Greenblatt with the ADL says a polarized environment is fueling the problem.
“We see people bringing a kind of toxicity into the political conversations that we’ve never seen before,” Greenblatt said.
The ADL also reports that online attacks against Jewish Americans have risen during the midterm elections.