The Clarion-Ledger, 10/28/8

The number of hate crimes rose to more than 9,000 in the United States last year, but not one took place in Mississippi – if you believe the statistics released Monday by the Justice Department.

In fact, Mississippi was the only state to report zero hate crimes. That doesn’t mean, however, that no hate crimes took place.

“We have given Mississippi an ‘F’ on reporting hate crimes,” said Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.

The center also gave an “F” to Alabama, Georgia and Hawaii. States scoring an “A” include Michigan, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

“It used to be the South was minimally reporting, and now some of the states have the highest grades,” Levin said.