A young gay man is beaten, tied to a roadside fence, and left to perish. A 49-year-old black man is knocked unconscious, chained to the back of a pickup truck, and dragged to his death. Mississippi, 1935? No. Laramie, Wyo., and Jasper, Texas, 1998. According to the Montgomery, Ala.,-based Southern Poverty Law Center, hate crimes in the United States are on the rise, due in part to Web-savvy hatemongers and doomsday prognosticators who feed on millennial uneasiness. Mark Potok, the center’s director of publications and information, will present data and conclusions from the 1998 Intelligence Report, an annual hate-crimes registry. Potok will speak at 7 p.m. at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place SW. Free. For reservations call (800) 400-9373. (Elissa Silverman)