Hate Crimes are most certainly still aproblem in today’s society, but it is not dealt with the same violent manner aspreviously 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 intoday’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 ofknowledge about other’s ideas and beliefs. Racism is a belief that one or moreraces is superior to others. Prejudice is prejudging others. “Gordon Alport, aprofessor at Emeritus of Psychology at Harvard University and an expert atprejudism defines prejudice as. .
`a hostile attitude toward a person who belongsto a group, simply because he belong to that group, and therefore presumes tohave the objectable qualities ascribed to that group'(Lang)23″The most common way prejudice works is by stereotyping people, that isputting everyone form the same ethnic group together and assuming they all havethe same negative characteristics or behave in the same way. This does not onlyapply 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 acrime 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 numberof 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 KluxKlan.
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 isa group of extremist individuals stalking, intimidating, hanging, and hurtinganyone that was not a straight puritan white male. Many of nowadays extremistsstemmed 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, andother 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 wantchange and want it now. They want to have Black power. Not equal rights forall as preached by the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
who was a minister thatspoke out for the equal right of African Americans. Far left extremists want torid the country of anything that is not “Pure” (the white Anglo/Saxon PuritanMale. Lang24)Here are a few of the many examples of hate crimes. In 1980 a manshouted that he hated “fagots” and sprayed gunfire at a gay bar, killing twopatrons (Out Now). In Maine, a gay man was thrown to his death off of a bridgeby three teenagers, in 1984 (Out Now). In June of 1982, Vincent Chin, a 27 year old Chinese/American wasfatally beaten with a baseball bat outside of a Detroit bar by two whiteautomobile factory workers who called him a “Jap” and blamed him for the loss oftheir job in the automobile industry (Jost)8.
There are also laws against hate crimes and punishments that arequestionable. The question is “Should hate Crimes penalties be stiffened?” Theyes side of this argument says “enhancing a criminal sentence for any hate crimein no way creates a thought crime or penalizes anyone’s conduct based upon anon-prescribable viewpoint or message that such conduct contains or expresses. “(Tribe)17″In it’s present form HR 4797 (Hate Crime Penalty Enhancement Law) isunconstitutional has this both content based and view point based. It directlyviolates the First Amendment of the Constitution. It violates the Due ProcessClause of the Fifth Amendment , because it is impermissible vague in severalrespects giving inadequate notice of what it prohibits and inviting arbitraryand discriminatory enforcement”(Gellman)17.
About one half of all americans(about 50 million to 60 million) own atleast one gun. More than .