Hate Crimes

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Criminology
February 9, 2012

Our Nation’s Hidden Problems

It happens every day, people are made fun of, people are bullied and the bully-ers, and some people are just flat out victims of straight hate crimes that lead to death. “A Hate Crime is a criminal offense committed against persons, property or society that is motivated , in whole or in part, by an offenders bias against an individual’s or a group’s race, religion, ethnic/national origin, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation.” -IACP Definition. With the definition of a hate crime explained, hate crimes are offenses against society. The perpetrators have their eyes on not only a primary victim, yet everyone in the victims group – everyone perceived as different. The perpetrators impact not only the victims, group but society as a whole, breaking the bond that holds its people together. Victims are seen as different from what the “norm” of society needs in its everyday life. Actions from the perpetrator doesn’t happen very randomly, yet happens all around the world. What is an extremely interesting topic is hate crimes on the college campuses. I was somewhat surprised to see just how many incidents actually happen. According to Justice Department data, 12 percent of hate crimes take place on college or school campuses but the numbers don’t show how much occurs on university campuses. Officials also say that many of the racial or sexual incidents are commonly not reported. The most common hate crimes committed on a college campuses are racial bias, religious bias, and sexual orientation bias.

Now with a racial bias hate crime has many examples of people hating each other for being black, or brown, or even white. However with college kids, its not as simple as saying something like “You’re a Nigger,” or “You’re Cracker.” They have to put things to the extreme. Simple things are never good enough. At the University of Missouri-Columbia, there were cotton balls scattered outside the black cultural center. This might seem like a harmless joke to some people, yet to others it is one of the most hateful and devastating thing someone could do. As early as 1560’s slavery was brought into America from Spain. Blacks were treated as animals, were forced to do things that White people didn’t want to do because they thought that they were to good for it. One task that is commonly known that blacks did as they were slaves was “cotton pickers.” The thirteenth amendment, abolishing slavery, was passed by the Senate in April 1864, and by the House of Representatives in January 1865, however feelings that the white people had for blacks still did not go away.

Another example of a racial hate crime was done by a white fraternity sparked an uproar at the University of California San Diego when it sponsored a ghetto-themed “Compton Cookout” to mock Black History Month. There is a very fine line between hate crimes and stereotyping someone/many people. Almost every member of a stereotyped group is seen as an equal opportunity of everyone else in the group. A stereotype usually cannot be modified by contradictory evidence, meaning that no argument or evidence is compelling enough to change a hate mongers mind. Also, the the perpetrator is emotionally invested in believing the worst about the members of stigmatized group. Finally, the person who accepts the validity of a nasty stereotype isn’t simply trying to make sense of his world. More likely, he is looking for a convenient excuse to express hostility, to attack and victimize the people he despises. Stereotyping is more “accepted in society” because every single person has stereotyped before.

Religious based hate crimes are second most common in all of the hate crimes all over the world. More often than not Religious discrimination are usually acts of vandalism although personal attacks do occur. Of the religiously based hate crimes, attacks against Jews rose from 64% in 2006 to 68%...
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