Ignorance, pride, hatred and a disregard for the wellbeing of others in society. These are the seeds allowing the roots of activities promoting racial discrimination to sprout. Out of that, comes the growth of a fearful social epidemic, in which uneducated persons put their destructive thoughts and viewpoints into action. These criminal activities have been dubbed "Hate Crimes" and have plagues society as far back as one can remember. Hate Crimes, in varying degrees, can consist of something as minute as a derogatory comment, to something as serious as an act of murder. The common thread is that the offence was committed because of the victim's ethnicity or race. Hate Crimes violate the human rights of society, and rob minorities of the dignity and respect they deserve. Everyone is entitled to live free from discrimination and harassment. However, this entitlement is infringed upon when Hate Crimes are committed. (Mandel, 11)
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a controversial approach to protecting the rights of citizens. Section 2 outlines the fundamental rights and freedoms of all peoples in society, in an attempt to ensure the protection of all civil liberties. However, in many cases, these freedoms can act as loopholes, clearing offenders of the hate crimes they continue to commit, posing a threat to the livelihood of minority communities in Canada. (Dickinson,146)
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication; (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.
The freedoms, as stated above serve as a controversial gray area', in which Section 2 of the Charter can be manipulated and bent' to serve as both offence and defense in the judicial reasoning of crimes based on racial prejudice.
Freedom of Association...
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