Hate Crimes Name: Institution: Abstract Hate crimes are crimes of prejudice and hatred. Also called race hate or bias motivated crimes, they occur when perpetrators target victims based on their perceived relationship with specified social groups (Finn & Taylor, 1987)…
The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) first investigated hate crimes in the era of World War I with the advent of the activities of the Ku Klux Klan attracting public attention. Hate Crimes Introduction With a history longer than the United States itself, hate crime has rapidly been gaining increasing concerns among policy makers, both in the United States and many other countries. There are documented examples in modern day United States and Europe of groups that threaten and harass perceived minorities in stereotype style. Religious and racial biases have been the key factors inspiring perpetrators in the United States (McDevitt, Levin & Bennett, 2002). This paper will address the issue of hate crime in the United States. Question One According to a research conducted among victims, police officials and the offenders themselves, profiles of hate crime perpetrators are grouped into four key classes based on the offenders’ motivation (McDevitt, Levin & Bennett, 2002). First, there are offenders who take part in hate crimes purely for the thrill or excitement. Secondly, there are those who believe they are acting in defense of their territory. The third class is the one with a life mission to eliminate groups they perceive to be inferior or evil from the world. The forth class comprises of offenders who act in retaliation to other hate crimes against themselves or a member of their group. Results of the research indicated that hate crimes motivated by thrill and excitement were the most common (McDevitt, Levin & Bennett, 2002). The perpetrators blamed their actions on boredom as they moved around gay bars, minority neighborhoods or temples in search of victims. The targets were picked because the perpetrators perceived that the targets were in some way radically different from them (McDevitt, Levin & Bennett, 2002). Further studies indicate that while hate groups are a grave threat to the society, majority of them do not belong to structured hate groups (Jacobs & Potter, 1998). It was also established that more than 50 percent of them are below the age of 25 years, with yet a considerable number under 18 years old. Question Two Although members of minority groups are at greater risk of falling victims to hate crime, anyone else in society may be targeted. Victims of hate crime may be institutions, individuals, society or a business. Irrespective of the motives of the attackers, victims are always targeted not for who they are but rather, for what they are perceived to be (Finn & Taylor, 1987). The attacks are aimed at the whole community of the identified target group. Most people find themselves victimized basing on religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity and race or ethnicity. On religion, violence and bias against Arab and Muslim Americans got to its peak following the happenings of September 11, 2001. Furthermore, because of lack of knowledge, Sikhs have been targeted mistakenly as Muslims (Jacobs & Potter, 1998). Another group of victims is occasioned by sexual orientation. A 2007 report by the FBI recorded more than 1,400 hate crimes against gays, lesbians and bisexuals in the United States. The same report recorded that people with disabilities are between five to 10 times more likely to be victims of hate crimes than those without disabilities. 62 and 20 hate crimes against people with mental and physical disabilities respectively ...
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