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Essay/Term paper: Hate crimes

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Humanities Essays

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Hate Crimes

I. What are Hate Crimes
A. Definitions for Hate Crimes
B. Counting Hate Crimes
1. White Power
2. Black Power

II. Examples of Hate Crimes
A. Hate Crime penalties

III. Reasons for Hate Crimes

Even though Hate Crimes have been around in the past, and have been most
certainly been more violent in the past. Hate Crimes are most certainly still a
problem in today's society, but it is not dealt with the same violent manner as
previously performed in the past. There are still violent acts done out of hate,
but the battle has been a lot more words. Hate crimes are a serious problem in
today's society.

In this paper, three topics will be discussed. (1) What are Hate Crimes,
(2) Examples of Hate Crimes, and (3) Reasons for Hate Crimes.

Hate Crimes are crimes done out of severe anger, ignorance, and lack of
knowledge about other's ideas and beliefs. Racism is a belief that one or more
races is superior to others. Prejudice is prejudging others. "Gordon Alport, a
professor at Emeritus of Psychology at Harvard University and an expert at
prejudism defines prejudice as.. `a hostile attitude toward a person who belongs
to a group, simply because he belong to that group, and therefore presumes to
have the objectable qualities ascribed to that group'(Lang)23"

The most common way prejudice works is by stereotyping people, that is
putting everyone form the same ethnic group together and assuming they all have
the same negative characteristics or behave in the same way. This does not only
apply to ethnic groups but also applies to race, religion, and other minorities.

Hate crimes are so hard to count because it is not certain whether a
crime is being committed out of hate.

In 1989-1991, a study done by Southern Poverty Law Center in Birmingham,
Alabama, recorded an increase of hate crimes in those three years. The number
of murders went up 100%, Cross burnings went up 200%, and vandalism went up 50%.
These acts were said to be committed by a group of "skinheads" in the Ku Klux

Ku Klux Klan started out as a secret club in 1866, just after the war,
claiming "superiority of the southern white man." (Lang)20 Basically the KKK is
a group of extremist individuals stalking, intimidating, hanging, and hurting
anyone that was not a straight puritan white male. Many of nowadays extremists
stemmed form these "Knights" of white terror. (Lang)32.

Hate Crimes are not only against Races (Blacks, Whites, Hispanic,
Chinese...) they are also against religious beliefs, sexual preferences, and
other minorities in today's society.

There are what they call far left extremists and far right extremists,
and both have had there leaders. The far right extremists are the ones who want
change and want it now. They want to have Black power. Not equal rights for
all as preached by the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who was a minister that
spoke out for the equal right of African Americans. Far left extremists want to
rid the country of anything that is not "Pure" (the white Anglo/Saxon Puritan
Male. [Lang]24)

Here are a few of the many examples of hate crimes. In 1980 a man
shouted that he hated "fagots" and sprayed gunfire at a gay bar, killing two
patrons (Out Now). In Maine, a gay man was thrown to his death off of a bridge
by three teenagers, in 1984 (Out Now).
In June of 1982, Vincent Chin, a 27 year old Chinese/American was
fatally beaten with a baseball bat outside of a Detroit bar by two white
automobile factory workers who called him a "Jap" and blamed him for the loss of
their job in the automobile industry (Jost)8.

There are also laws against hate crimes and punishments that are
questionable. The question is "Should hate Crimes penalties be stiffened?" The
yes side of this argument says "enhancing a criminal sentence for any hate crime
in no way creates a thought crime or penalizes anyone's conduct based upon a
non-prescribable viewpoint or message that such conduct contains or expresses."

"In it's present form HR 4797 (Hate Crime Penalty Enhancement Law) is
unconstitutional has this both content based and view point based. It directly
violates the First Amendment of the Constitution. It violates the Due Process
Clause of the Fifth Amendment , because it is impermissible vague in several
respects giving inadequate notice of what it prohibits and inviting arbitrary
and discriminatory enforcement"(Gellman)17.

About one half of all americans(about 50 million to 60 million) own at
least one gun. More than half a million subscribe to survival or pre-military
magazines that are full of articles on survivalism, weapon use and guerilla
tactics(lang(69). Meanwhile paranoia is growing as the Budget Deficit
skyrockets, A.I.D.S epidemic threatens health and health care systems. These
times can cause fear, insecurities, frustration, and anger which in turn
inflames scapegoating and racial stereotyping and in turn results in resurgence
of racism.

Freedom of Speech is one of the most significant rights given to all
Americans but it is by far one of our biggest problems. The price we pay for
Freedom of Speech and the ability to talk our mind is that we have to tolerate
other person's beliefs and opinions.

In the final analysis, one can frankly acknowledge that hate is taught.
If each new generation were more tolerant of those who are different, perhaps
hatred and prejudice would someday disappear from our world. (Lang)155.


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