In order to eradicate hate crimes, it is important to understand the nature of hate crimes. Hate crime is generally defined as "an attack on an individual or his or her property (e.g., vandalism, arson, assault, murder) in which the victim is intentionally selected because of his or her race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, or sexual orientation" (U.S. Dept. of Education [USDOE], n.d.). Hate crime is a serious problem as thousands of hate crime incidents are reported every year. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] (2004), there were 7,649 reported incidents of hate crime in 2004, with more than half of those incidents were related to racial discrimination. These crimes mostly involved anti-black bias, while a small percentage was based on anti-white bias. Some of the reported hate crimes are based on religious discrimination, sexual orientation bias, ethnicity and even disability bias (FBI, 2004). Racial discrimination remains to be the biggest issue related to hate crimes.
Already there are several programs that have been developed for schools and communities to help avoid the incidence of hate crimes. ...
Studies also show that people who commit hate crimes are not mentally ill, although they generally exhibit anti-social and aggressive behaviors (DeAngelis, 2001). They also tend to show discriminative and violent behaviors, so it could be possible to prevent a hate crime by discouraging bias and violence in the school. This could be done by teaching students that subtle forms of discrimination such as offensive name-calling, stereotyping, group exclusion are hurtful and could lead to head crime incidents (USDOE, n.d.). Since profiled perpetrators of hate crimes are generally not mentally ill, it is possible to appeal to feelings of empathy. Students should also be taught a way of dealing with conflict in a non-violent way. It could start in minor ways such as painting over graffiti and forming discussion groups on how to express disappointments and frustrations in a non-violent manner.
DeAngelis (2001) reviewed several studies made on hate crimes and found that the tendency to commit hate crimes is rooted on stereotypes that people make on other people or groups of people that are outside their own group. It is always difficult for people to understand other cultures who come to dwell in their society, especially when they have not heard anything about those other cultures. When this happens, people tend to generalize, instead of seeing the "different" people as individuals. This attitude can be seen in how typical Americans see people who migrated from other countries. This difficulty in adjusting to "group outsiders" is more serious in young people who are at that stage where they have a need to belong and leave out people who are different. All of these issues have to be elaborated and discussed in