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Hate on display in new string of high-profile crimes

Hate crime string
Hate on display in string of high-profile crimes 02:19

WASHINGTON -- LeBron James is now playing in the NBA finals, but basketball isn't the only thing on his mind during a week in which hate has been on display in places like Washington, Portland and Los Angeles.

"Racism will always be a part of the world, a part of America," James said. 
When LeBron James speaks, the world listens. At an NBA championship press conference, James responded to his L.A. home getting spray-painted with the"N-word."

"No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, you know, being black in America is tough," James said.

It's one of many recent crimes that have become more public and brazen.   

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On Wednesday, someone left a noose at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the "segregation" exhibit.

"A noose is not something that is simply a symbol. It really is something -- to me -- that symbolizes loss," said historian and museum director Lonnie Bunch.

"I'm a historian, so one thing I know that as America has evolved and improved, race is still a major factor in America," Bunch says. 

Hate crimes like this are on the rise, up six percent in 25 of the largest cities in 2016, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University. African Americans are the most common target of hate crimes -- nearly 30 percent, according to the FBI. 

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In March, James Jackson got on a bus from Baltimore to New York City to target black people. He ended up killing 66-year-old Timothy Caughman for no other reason.

And lately, several videos have gone viral, showing people spewing hateful speech on a daily basis.

"My hope is a museum like this ultimately is a place that allows America to find common ground, maybe understanding, and maybe just maybe a little bit of healing and reconciliation," Bunch says.  

The noose at the museum was the second such incident on Smithsonian grounds in less than a week. On Saturday, a noose was found hanging from a tree at the Hirshhorn Museum. The cases are still under investigation. 

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