NEW yORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch came to Harvey Milk High School in Manhattan to discuss the growing trend of hate crimes in the United States.
"So much of what we see in terms of hate crimes, or bullying, or the bias stems from ignorance, it stems from fear," Lynch said. "Because if groups don't understand each other and if different people don't have a way to talk to each other and to communicate, the misunderstandings will still continue."
Lynch looked to assure the diverse mix of students and educators that LGBTQ rights and civil rights will be protected during the presidential transition.
Ethan, a student at the school, expressed legitimate concerns. Estimates show a 31-percent increase in hate crimes in New York City alone since the presidential election.
The issue hits close to home. An NYPD officer was allegedly harassed by a man last weekend because of her Muslim faith. This issue was also the focus of a recent speech by the attorney general at a mosque on Monday.
"When one of us falls, we all have to step up. Without regard for our own safety, without knowing what lay behind that curtain, everyone went to help," Lynch said at the mosque. "When one of us is threatened, we all have to speak out regardless of the discomfort it may call upon us."
The FBI reported a 67 percent increase in hate crimes against Muslims in 2015. In the weeks since the election, police departments and civil rights groups across the country have documented hundreds of incidents targeting Muslims, blacks, Jews, Latinos, immigrants, and the LGBTQ community.