“If you look at state-by-state comparisons, you’ll see states … the Northeast region reports hundreds of hate crimes yearly,” said Jack Levin, a leading hate crime expert at Northeastern University in Boston. “Does that mean there are more hate crimes in Massachusetts than in Mississippi? Absolutely not.”
Massachusetts reported 346 hate crimes in 2011.
But FBI numbers don’t accurately depict the scope of the problem, Levin and other experts said. That’s because the agency relies on voluntary reporting.