Hate Crimes in America

explanatory Essay
3640 words
3640 words

Hate Crimes in America

Hate crime is not a new phenomenon. Hate crimes have been prevalent in society for as far back as one can document it. In the United States alone, racial and religious biases have persisted for centuries. Even from the time that the first settlers landed in America, hate crimes have existed. The westward-moving English settlers were perpetrators of hate crime against the Native Americans. The Know Nothing Party in the 1850s held extreme anti-Catholic sentiments. Some whites, later in history, took part in bloody dealings and lynching of African Americans. The Ku Klux Klan performed cross burnings to intimidate the African Americans and other religious affiliations that it had biases of hatred towards. In 1968, Congress first passed a hate crime statute during a time a frightening racial violence. This was the first step toward the hate crime statutes that our law holds today (Wessler v-3 May 2000).

This paper is intended to give a clear definition of a hate crime, according to the United States government, to provide examples and statistics of hate crime, and insight into state and federal laws pertaining to the enforcement or documentation of hate crime in America.

Hate crime is defined in the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990 as “crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, including where appropriate the crimes of murder, non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, aggravated assault, simple assault, intimidation, arson, and destruction, damage, or vandalism of property.” The 106th Congress also stated that the “prominent characteristic of hate crime is that it devastates not just the actual victim and that victim’s famil...

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...mes Under American Law. Harvard

University Press: Cambridge, 1999

National Center for Victims of Crime. “Hate Crime.” Online.

San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. “Hate Crimes Unit.” Online.

Wessler, Stephen. “Promising Practices Against Hate Crimes: Five State and Local

Demonstration Projects.” Hate Crimes Series #2. Center for the Study and

Prevention of Hate Violence. May 2000.

Wessler, Stephen. “Addressing Hate Crimes: Six Initiatives That Are Enhancing the d

Efforts of Criminal Justice Practitioners.” Hate Crimes Series. Center for the

Study and Prevention of Hate Violence. February 2000.

Wisconsin v. Mitchell. 113 USPQ 2194. U.S. Super. Ct, 1993.

42 US Code. Sec. 13981.

18 US Code. Sec. 245-47.

In this essay, the author

  • Describes how rodney king, an african-american man, was viciously beaten in the middle of a city street in broad daylight by three los angeles police officers.
  • Describes how james byrd, jr. was brutally beaten, tied to a truck, and dragged three miles to his death. the perpetrators were all members of white supremacy.
  • Explains that the attorney general shall acquire data about crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.
  • Explains the violence against women act, which states that all persons within the united states shall have the right to be free from crimes of violence motivated by gender.
  • Explains that 18 u.s.c. 245 has instilled prosecution of a hate crime if the crime was motivated by race, religion, national origin, color and the perpetrator willfully injures, intimidates, or interferes with.
  • Explains that hate crimes have been prevalent in society since the first settlers landed in america.
  • Explains that matthew shepard, 21, was abducted by two young men, tied to a fence, and beaten to death. his homosexuality was the motivation for crime.
  • Explains that hate crime activists were happy with the hate crimes statistics act of 1990 even though the law gave no legal action for hate crimes, because of several factors.
  • Explains the catch in the law is that the two restrictions must be a pair. one cannot use this law to enforce hate crime even if purposely singled out because of race, religion, national origin, or color.
  • Explains that the campus hate crimes right to know act raises awareness of hate crimes on university campuses by requiring campus security to collect and report hate crime according to categories of prejudice, including sexual orientation.
  • Reports that 537 active hate groups were identified in the united states by the southern poverty law center.
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