Hate Crimes In America Hate Crimes In America Did you know that people with blonde hair have low I.Q.s? Or that people less than five feet tall are more likely to spread a disease? How about that people with brown eyes are really worshipers of Satan? That did not sound very logical, did it? No, you know that people with blonde hair can be as smart or as unintelligent as the next person, that short people are not necessarily better hosts to disease, and that people with brown eyes can believe in whatever they want.
Some people, on the other hand, would say these things made perfect sense when applied to a different race, religion, ethnic background, gender or sexual orientation. The idea of prejudice is as old as Mans time on Earth, that someone who is different just is not as good. When a person thinks like this, it can clutter their judgement.
They start to see others, different from themselves, as not even human let alone equal. Violence often ensues.When that happens, we have a hate crime. A hate crime does not necessarily have to be a physical violent act.
Words and threats can be just as damaging on an emotional level as a physical blow is to the head. Laws have been passed to prevent these actions, however, year in and year out there are hate crimes against different groups running into the thousandsand those are just the reported incidents. The most common variety of hate crimes is committed against the African American community. Acts of violence and hatred against Blacks have been seen throughout history. The earliest forms of hate groups often led these attacks, and groups of old are still present today, such as, the Aryan Nations, and the Ku Klux Klan (http://sociology.
ucdavis.edu/classes/grattetHate Crimes Class Site/Hate Groups.html).Although not thriving as they had in olden times, these groups still exist and have strong followings in many different places. Today, because of their lack of popularity amongst broad-minded people, hate groups have changed the way in which they present their ideals.
All too often, hate groups try to pass off their outlandish beliefs as a truth of religion. Using quotes from the Bible and other religious texts and twisting them to fit their image (http://sociology.ucdavis.edu/classes/grattetHate Crimes Class Site/Hate Groups.html). They also attempt to draw the youth of communities.
During a time when teenagers are confused, and feel exiled, they can come upon a web site of pro-Aryan content and easily be swayed. As a teen there is a need to belong, and there they can feel as though they do belong to something much larger than they are. It seems as simple as the sky being blue, These people are like me, and they believe these things.
It does not cost me anything, all I have to do is agree with them. That is where it begins. After years of subtle, and some not so subtle, brainwash a teen can become an adult who would do anything for what they now believe to be truth.The idea that anyone who is not Caucasian and does not believe whole heartedly in Christianity, becomes the enemy. In the muddle an entire race can be downcast, and it was once. In a time when ignorant people were in control African American slavery was an everyday event, beating was practically expected, and they were treated as nothing more than the mule or the dog. As time progressed people realized their ways of thinking were wrong and slowly began to change what had always been.
Still, in our day and age, Blacks face racial discrimination all the time. It does not seem as apparent, after the Civil Rights Movement, many people believe everything to be fine and well. This concept is far from the truth.There were, and still are, Whites who treated Blacks as objects, and degraded them at any opportunity. Hate crimes against blacks have been some of the most brutal of any hate crimes. Beating, hanging, and burning, have all occurred as recently as 20 years ago. Churches of gospel, or more commonly churches whose members are prominently African American, are attacked on a regular basis.
Churches have always been the most important independent institution in the Black community, and those who would attack African Americans have often attacked their churches (http://www.civilrights.org/kef/hate/). In the year of 1995 there were at least 73 churches which were burned with hateful intent (http://www.fbi.gov/vcr.htm).
The destruction of a religious symbol is nothing to gasp about in comparison to the things done to the Blacks themselves.On December 7, 1995, two African American residents of Fayetteville, North Carolina, were brutally and senselessly murdered by three soldiers who apparently identified themselves as neo-Nazi skin heads. Police said the soldiers were looking for Black people to harass and shot the victims as they were walking down the street. A federal investigator later said, This [crime] gives new meaning to the definition of a hate crime, (http://www.
civilrights.org/kef/hate/). This is an example of the animal brutality a person can treat other people with. This loss of life was completely needless, and exceedingly senseless in the eyes of logic.The mere threat of such an act is enough to send many people out of their homes, their towns, and sometimes their states.
On Friday, March 29, 1996, an African-American woman named Bridget Ward and her two daughters moved into a home in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Bridesburg (http://www.civilrights.org/kef/hate/). Late that night, Ward heard young people marching down the street, chanting, Burn, motherf–, burn. The next morning, Ward, who worked as a nurse’s aide, found racial slurs smeared on her house, ketchup spilled on the front sidewalk and back porch, as well as an oily liquid splattered in the rear. Police patrol was stepped up on her block, and the department’s Crisis Prevention and Resolution Unit, which regularly handles racial incidents, investigated the crime.
Ward continued to be racially harassed, including a letter threatening her and her children (http://www.civilrights.org/kef/hate/). Five weeks after she moved to Bridesburg, Ward announced her intention to move away.This type of harassment can be typical in dominantly White neighborhoods of small towns, or places in the South. In Fairfax County, Virginia, an affluent community near Washington, D.C.
, in 1993, a 41-year-old Black woman heard the doorbell ring at the home where she was house-sitting. When she looked out the window, she saw a cross burning 10 feet from the front door, (http://www.civilrights.org/kef/hate/).
In the year of 1995 there were 2,988 incidents of hate crimes against Blacks ranging from vandalism of property to cold-blooded murder (http://www.fbi.gov/vcr.
htm). As racism is such a long running thread in our history, you might not have been surprised to find that African Americans are the most targeted group of people.What may surprise you is the second highest form of hate crimes are committed against the Jewish.
When you think of the persecution of Jews you might very well remember things such as the Holocaust during World War II, between 1939 and 1942 (Gaynor, p. 781-782). During those years Hitlers genocide program had been responsible for the massacre of over 6 million Jews (Gaynor, p. 781-782). The number is almost too large to fathom; its the equivalent of killing everyone in Chicago, Illinois (Almanac of World Facts).
Jews were pulled from their lives, separated from their families, humiliated, forced to work in labor camps and then were killed when they became obsolete workers. Death came in a number of ways including lethal gassing and incineration (Gaynor, p. 781-782). The entire crusade was in an effort to wipe out a group of people which Hitler, and his Nazi followers, felt to be intellectually inferior, as a whole.
This block of history is completely denied by some people, and for others it can fuel the flames of hatred.In the present day, Jews are still largely discriminated against. Followers of the Aryan nation believe solely in Christianity. Views shared by many Aryans are that of the Bible related stories (http://www.kkk.com). Believing that Jews are really the descendants of Cain, who murdered is own brother, Abel (New American Bible). In that sense, anyone who is Jewish becomes their natural born enemy.
Individuals take this too literally and they often act out violently. It is more difficult to tell who is Jewish and who is not in comparison to whom is Black. However, facial traits of Jewish heritage are often used to judge whether or not a person is Jewishdespite the poor accuracy of such systems.In this case, there can be victims who are not actually Jewish but are still beaten or attacked merely for looking Jewish. For the people who are indeed Jewish there is far more violence. They are recognized by the usual everyday activities like going to synagogues or during the holiday seasons for celebrating Hanukah. As with Blacks, Jewish places of worship are swooped down upon by hate groups.
In 1995, Phoenix, Arizona, the crime of vandalism erupted. A Maltese Cross, SS lightning bolts, Dirty Jews go to Auschwitz, Sieg Heil, and a swastika were spray painted on the Temple Beth El Congregation.Temples and synagogues are often sitting ducks for pranks and vandalism by youth neo-Nazis and other groups. Adults, sometimes, show more hatred in their actions than younger followers, in those instances their actions can lead to death (Biskup, p.
112-113). Their examples can push youth to for more dangerous extremes (Biskup, p. 112-113). On August 19, 1991, a traffic accident in Crown Heights, Brooklyn resulted in the tragic death of seven- year old Gavin Cato and injury to his cousin, Angela (http://www.civilrights.
org/kef/hate/). The driver of the car was part of Grand Rebbe Menachem M. Schneerson’s motorcade.The Grand Rebbe was a religious leader of Lubavitch Hasidic Jews. A riot followed for over three days during which crowds roamed the streets yelling Get the Jews and Heil Hitler.
Jewish owned homes, cars and other property were attacked and or destroyed. Yankel Rosenbaum, an Australian scholar, was stopped by a gang of twenty youngsters who yelled Get the Jew. Rosenbaum was assaulted, stabbed, and left bleeding on a car hood (http://www.civilrights.
org/kef/hate/). He died. Things such as this are in the extreme of disturbing.The fact that a majority of the local town participated in an anti-Jewish campaign is enough to show that even today the hatred still runs deep.
There were an estimated 1,068 hate crimes committed against Jews in 1995, with a total of 1,236 victims a portion of whom died as a result (http://www.fbi.gov/vcr.htm). These numbers are startling, they compare with the number of African Americans attacked, rating second, and they show no physical attributes to tell people that they are Jewish.
The group of people with the third highest rate of hate crimes against them is somewhat knew to the prejudice scene in comparison to African Americans and Jews. Homosexuals have not experienced slavery, or mass genocide, however, they are still one of the most targeted groups that fall under hate crime laws.Many people say that part of this is that homosexuality is a choice. In actuality, it is not.
Psychological studies were done on people who believed themselves to be gay and until the 1970s homosexuality was classified as a mental disorder brought on by an early childhood stress, or perhaps a poor relationship somewhere along …