Discrimination and Hate Crimes

opinionated Essay
1229 words
1229 words

From what I have identified on hate crimes in my research, the top two motivations for hate crimes are based on race and sexual orientation, “In 2010’s FBI report, of the 7,690 reported incidents, 48. 4 percent of the crimes were racially motivated attacks, with sexual orientation bias coming in second at 19.1 percent.” (DL Chandler,2010) Two of the best examples of these crimes are the James Byrd and Mathew Shepard cases in 1998. These crimes prompted the enactment of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act that was signed by President Barack Obama in 2009. Although the crimes are both very horrific and morbid acts in their own right, they were based on different types of hate racial and homophobia. The James Byrd Case was racially motivated and done by three guys that all had lengthy criminal records, two of them had close affiliations to the KKK, Arian Nation as was evidenced by tattoos on their bodies at the time of the arrest. The second Mathew Shepard case was based on homophobia by two guys that were also known bullies that befriended him and then took him to a remote field and tied him to a fence and robbed and beat him and left him for dead, he was found alive but only to succumb to his injuries 6 days later. In this paper I will concentrate on the James Byrd case.
Case Details :
On June 7, 1998, Jasper Texas, James Byrd, a 49 year old Black was walking down a road and offered a ride by three men( all three where white), Byrd knew one of them men, Shawn Berry, but things went horribly wrong after the men beat Byrd with a bat and then chained him by the ankles and drug him behind a truck for over three miles over rough rural roads . “Forensic evidence suggests that Byrd had been attempting to keep hi...

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...chology of Prejudice and Discrimination, Second Addition
DL Chandler (2012)Racist Murder Of James Byrd Jr. Took Place On This Day In 1998, retrieved from
Human Rights Campaign (2014)Hate Crimes Timeline, Retrieved from :
CNN(1999) Closing arguments today in Texas dragging-death trial, Retrieved from
CNN(1998) 3 Whites indicted in dragging death of black man in Texas, Retrieved from:
Elliot R. Smith, Charles R. Seger, Diane M. Mackieh,(2007). Can Emotions Be Truly Group Level? Evidence Regarding Four Conceptual Criteria. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 2007, Vol. 93, No 3, 431-446. Retrieved from

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the top two motivations for hate crimes are based on race and sexual orientation. the james byrd and mathew shepard cases in 1998 prompted the enactment of the hate crimes prevention act.
  • Explains that james byrd, a 49-year-old black man, was beaten and chained by three men, all white, over rough rural roads. he died after his right arm and head were severed.
  • Explains that the case is typical of prejudicial motivated murders and was prosecuted as a hate crime in the courts of texas. brewer and king were white supremacists, based on their affiliations with groups that held the same beliefs.
  • Opines that the murder is racially motivated and fits several theories of racism and prejudice, but two theories that come to mind are intergroup emotions and in group behavior.
  • Analyzes how the theory states that when an individual identifies with a group, that in-group becomes part of the self, thus acquiring social and emotional significance.
  • Opines that this crime and the theories that were discussed are definitely a lesson for society in the tolerance of individuals of all types.
  • Opines that the murder of james byrd jr. took place on this day in 1998.
  • Explains that 3 whites were indicted in dragging death of black man in texas.
  • Explains that emotions be truly group level? evidence regarding four conceptual criteria.
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