Hate Crimes And The Determination Of What Exactly A Hate Crime

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The focus on hate crimes and the determination of what exactly a hate crime is, has changed overtime. Society recognizes hate crimes with the victims being those of a minority statuses. A hate crime is defined as a crime, usually involving violence, that is influenced by racial, sexual, or other prejudice. If a white woman was raped and murdered because she was white, it’s most likely that she would be referred as a rape victim rather than a hate crime victim. If a woman from the LGBT community was raped and murdered because she was trans, she would most likely be considered a victim of a hate crime. Should legislation should be reformed to include the distinction that only those of minority status or those perceived as minorities, be victims of hate crimes, absolutely not. It would appear more discriminatory to make a law that is reformed only for those of a minority. A lot of what is seen as a hate crime is generated by the media. This is because the media promotes stereotypical images of minorities. The news mostly shows crimes involving African Americans, making them look like criminals. A lot of tv shows and movies view gay men as feminine and lesbians as more masculine. This not only enhances the public’s negative view on minorities but it also creates a single image that when people think about a specific race or sexual orientation, the only thing they think about is that specific stereotype. Minority status isn’t about population but, it is about power. The perception of minority groups is often misconceived because many think that since there are more whites than blacks or more openly straight people than openly gay people that those groups are ultimately minorities. Yes, maybe in most circumstances white people do ha... ... middle of paper ... ...on, that legislation should not be reformed does not take away from the importance of hate crimes against minorities. “Federal statutes define the term ‘hate crime’ as ‘a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim… because of the actual or perceived race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person” (Lewis, 2014, p. 23). This definition doesn’t point out any specific race, religion, gender, etc.. Hate is defined as extreme or ardent dislike. For legislation to decide who can be hated against and who can’t, is unequal to all individuals. Legislation reforming the distinction that only those of minority status or those perceived as minorities, be victims of hate crimes is promoting stereotypes. Laws should not be recognizing stereotypes one individuals, they should be enforced to do the opposite.

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