Mrs. Armbeck-Hughes and Mrs. Garman
6 April 2012
The Rundown on Hate Crimes
The Anti-Jews were standing outside of a synagogue chanting “kill the Big Noses” while Jews were inside having prayer. The term “Big Nose” is a stereotypic term used against Jews, making fun of their big noses. Verbal abuse is the first step to hate crimes. People who commit hate crimes should be tried with the highest charge possible and if found guilty, the most cruel sentencing possible. DEFINITION AND LAWS
Based on the definition of hate crimes and current laws, hate crimes should be tried as a more severe offense. People often underestimate the meaning of the term “hate crime”. A hate crime is “motivated by discrimination against race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation or physical/mental disability,” . Threats, harassment and physical harm are all examples of hate crimes. “This provides for the establishment of central, respiratory for the collection and analysis of information regarding criminal offenses against a person because of the person’s ‘race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability’,”. The original law for a hate crime was enacted to protect people against bias/hate crimes, “which are motivated by hostility and animus against a protected class,” . The hate crime law was created after a Wyoming teenager, Matthew Shepard, died in October of 1998 after being kidnapped and severely beaten. Another reason the hate crime law was expanded was because of an African-American man being dragged to death in Texas in the same year. “On October 28, 2009, the federal hate crime law is now expanded to include crimes motivated by a victim’s gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability,” . Additionally, the penalty that a person receives, if guilty as charged, varies depending on what state in which the crime committed takes place. Equally important, “With the signing of the Matthew and James Byrd, Jr. hate crimes prevention act by President Obama on October 28, 2009, the federal hate crime law is now expanded to included crimes motivated by a victim’s gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability,”. In summary, it is against the law to commit a crime because of one’s moral values and/or beliefs. CAUSE AND EFFECT
Communities and citizens inside the community can be affected by hate crimes, which is another reason why hate crimes should be tried as a higher offense. For example, “When the largest society is faced with gay and lesbian experience, the more violent segments of that society often react in very heinous ways by bashing back,” . Additionally, it could cause segregation in the community. Some people will stay in their comfort level, making them anti-social when it comes to new people. In other words, those who are comfortable with their own kind end up developing a hate feeling towards those outside of their kind. Victims of harassment may be labeled, which will result in a loss of self-esteem. When hatred increases, animosity towards a group of people also increase, this leads to hate crimes being formed. Hate groups could be formed due to them not wanting to agree with other’s moral beliefs. They could also be upset about the United States being diverse, hoping the USA will have some type of restrictions when it comes to what races can do what in the country. For instance, “if skulls are equally valuable, as the first line of the Declaration of Independence says they are, then why don’t all skull crackings deserve similar sentences?” . In addition, people, whose moral beliefs differ from people in hate groups, get scared of being in certain locations. They also become fearful of hate crimes, hoping that they will never become a victim of one.
Society has to teach our children not to hate because children are our future. “People who commit hate crimes are usually younger, making dumb decisions....
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