Hate Crimes in New Jersey
"...Until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." These powerful words were uttered by Martin Luther King in the midst of the racial unrest in the 1960's. During this time period many people of the black race were affected with discrimination of all sorts. Now-a-days, crimes once driven solely by hatred for one's race now stem from opposition to one's religion, gender, disability, or sexual orientation. In a study done in 2009 by findthedata.org, statistics show that New Jersey actually has the second highest number of hate crimes reported following only New York which has a population of roughly 10 million more than New Jersey. According to the 2008 FBI Uniform Crime Report New Jersey had the highest number of reported hate crimes per every million. It was the only state to range in the 80-90 percentile. Hate crimes in New Jersey are increasing by the year.
The dictionary defines a hate crime as "any of various crimes... when motivated by hostility to the victim as a member of a group (as one based on color, creed, gender, or sexual orientation)." It can be difficult to distinguish a hate crime from other crimes. Usually, a hate crime is detected by a background investigation of the accused person or eyewitness reports of the crime. In some cases, circumstantial evidence shows the intent of the accused. As stated on www.religioustolerance.org, a study of gay, lesbian and bisexual adults showed that 41% reported being a victim of a hate crime after the age of 16. Assuming that 5% of all adults are homosexual or bisexual, this would mean that about six million of them had been victimized during their lifetime out of a total group population on the order of 15 million Americans. However, only about 1,200 hate crimes were actually recorded by police per year. One is forced to conclude that almost no hate crimes are reported to the police by gays and lesbians. These statistics are horrifying and...
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