Hate Crimes In America.
Hate crimes are crimes represent the bias motivated crimes when the criminal commits crimes in order to hurt a particular social group against which she/he has a bias (King, 142). Typically hate crimes are crimes done against certain social groups based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, political preference, nationality, or affiliation. While other types of crimes are typically committed because the criminal wants to satisfy his/her interests, hate crimes are committed because the criminal wants to do damage to a representative of a certain social group without pursuing his/her personal goal or interest. Hate crimes clearly partition people into different warring groups that are supposed to have and fight each other regardless of consequences. Despite the fact that the modern society fully understands the causes of hate crimes and educates its citizens against bias-motivated criminal activities, hate crimes are still present. The following essay explores hate crimes in America, their nature, trends and prevalence as well as presents some solutions towards combating hate crimes.
Hate crimes because being emotionally charged take many forms and shapes. They can range from physical or verbal assault, abuse, battery, insults, offensive letters, writings as well as bullying, stalking or harassment of the victim. Throughout history, hate crimes existed around the world. For instance, in the early years of Christianity, the Romans persecuted Christians and killed them. During the Dark Ages, the Holy Inquisition persecuted all non-Christians. Hitler during his reign always wanted to eradicate what he considered to be “subhumans”, i.e. Jews, Gypsies and Slavs. During the same time periods Americans wanted to eradicate “krauts” and subsequently the Charlies, “Monkeys” and all other dehumanized and demonized groups. In fact bias charged crimes permeate the whole history of the USA, starting with the merciless eradication of the native Americans who just like American farmers wanted to own land. Subsequently, when the native Americans gave up most of the coveted land to white Americans and were pushed to the reservations, the blacks, became the target of hate criminals because of their skin color and race (Levin , 135). Unlike the native Americans, the blacks, who were more numerous, did not want to give up their rights and in fact did everything possible to change the situation in order to obtain their freedom, equal opportunity and equal rights.
Hate Crimes and organizations
The white organizations such as “Knights of White Camellia” or “Ku Klux Klan” were the centers where hatred towards a particular group, the blacks, was nourished and the members were trained to hate and commit crimes against the blacks. By the same token, white Americans have always considered females to be inferior to males and therefore, females were always refused equal pay, equal promotion opportunities and other goodies that males received. Historically, it seems that Americans despite claiming their country to be the freest in the world, have always endorsed social stratification and hate crimes that enforced the stratification at all levels possible (Levin, 193). The modern trends with respect to such crimes illustrate the overall tendency of Americans to blame a certain social group for all the problems that take place in the USA. In the past the blacks were labeled as criminals, so they were segregated in schools, organizations and even neighborhoods in order to stay apart from ‘civilized’, good and honest whites. When the blacks managed to obtain the desired freedom through the Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity and other legislation, the hate crimes towards the blacks became disorganized (since organizations that originally sponsored hate crimes against the blacks were outlawed). The Cold War period and the state propaganda nourished hate towards the Russkies, the Reds, and The Commies. The period of McCarthyism and “red scare” when people were discriminated against based on suspected/alleged approval (let alone support of) communism, clearly illustrates the state-sponsored hate crimes (Behrens, 190). Certainly, encouraged by the permissiveness of the state, Americans attacked the labor union members for the alleged relationship to communism. During the Vietnam war and the Korean War, the Asians were the target of various racial crimes.
During the most recent US war on Terrorism against the Rogue States and the Axis of Evil, such crimes were committed against the Muslims, Arabs and Islam supporters even if they have absolutely no relationship with terrorist organizations. The Latinos that come to the USA in great numbers in pursuit of American Dream are currently experiencing the effects of hate crimes simply because they appear to compete with the Americans for jobs and a decent place under the sun. At present Latino females are labeled as ‘loose’ while Latino males are frequently labeled as ‘drug dealers’ and criminals (Winters, 65). As a result Latino population experiences tremendous verbal pressure and assaults, let alone provocations and physical attacks, especially in the southern US. It appears that the government is indeed interested in demonizing its political, local or foreign enemies while the general populace blindly follows the modern trends and expresses its dissatisfaction and anger on the poor racial, ethnic, sexual or other minorities (Herek, 73).
The solution to the hate crimes in the USA is uneasy simple because it is hard to break stereotypes of people who have always considered people to be different because of the race, gender, sex, age or other factors. While the government on one hand does everything possible to create a legislation that protects all minorities from hate crimes it has double standards by demonizing the external and internal enemies. The US citizens also appear to be torn apart by the need to remain loyal to the country, i.e. to fight its enemies wherever you see them as well as stay within the legal framework, i.e. not engage in any illegal activity against the minorities (Perry, 76). Unless the US government becomes more responsible to stops making allegations that some particular groups are causing crime increases, drug dealing, or loss of jobs one will not see a reduction in hate crimes in the USA. The current economic crisis is likely to create even more hate crimes against the foreign minorities who agree to work for less and thus outcompete American labor force. To avoid the increase in hate crimes, it is absolutely necessary to enforce anti-discriminatory laws, as well as carry out massive state propaganda that all people in the USA regardless of the skin color, race, country of origin, or political preferences are a big family working together for the good of America (Jacobs, 108). The modern trends will likely contribute to more hate crimes aimed at foreigners working and studying in the USA because they are viewed as competitors for a decent place under the sun.
To summarize, hate crimes are emotionally-charged, spontaneous, and biased illegal activities directed to do damage to certain social groups (usually unprivileged minorities). Racial crimes in the USA have a long history dating back to the period of slavery. Throughout the US history the hate crimes were fed by government propaganda and allegations that some groups always wanted to damage the USA, its freedom, democracy and prosperity. People are brought up with that propaganda that slightly changes from decade to decade yet always has a scapegoat. Throughout the USA history, hate crimes were committed against the blacks, native Americans, gays, women, Krauts, Japs, “monkeys”, Charlies, Asians in general and commies (all those coming from the former USSR). At present, most hate crimes are conducted against the Latinos and the Arabs/Muslims/Islamists who appear to be the cause of most US contemporary problems. Hate crimes polarize the society and contribute to numerous inefficiencies that reduce opportunities and deny freedoms to the unprivileged demonized social groups. It damages not only individuals, their families, values and way of living but also the US society as a whole, which can no longer be considered a beautiful mosaic of different people. To reduce hate crimes, it is not only necessary to continue proper anti-discriminatory education in schools but also to oblige the politicians to remain politically correct and responsible. It is necessary to solve the problems rather than to label people, create new stereotypes and biases or search for the scapegoats. It is necessary to abandon the existing double standards and to turn to congruent, rational and impartial government message that would unite people regardless of their differences.
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