In case an individual intentionally decides to select a victim based on his/her national origin, sexual orientation, race, gender, color, ethnicity or religion, then he/she is committing a hate crime. People who commit hate crime come from diverse races and background therefore it is not limited to a specific ethnic group. Hate crime is a term that has been coined to differentiate a crime committed due to political reasons, anger or jealousy from criminal acts due to prejudice. Groups of people who commit hate crimes normally practice different activities, ideologies and have different membership but have a single thing common; they normally use violence to hurt people they have little understand about. Most of the hate criminals believe they are messengers of God in making their victims understand that they are doing what is contrary to God’s teachings or simply doing something that wrong from their own point of view (Garofalo, J., 1997). Several cases of hate crime have been reported since time immemorial and other are still being reported with the recent one being the attack of the gay club which left 50 people killed and several others injured. Type of hate crimes include: gender; nationality; sexual preference; religion; and race.
According to the FBI, most of the hate crimes committed in the United States mostly targets the blacks. They usually dubbed the anti-black attacks. Spanish are the largest minority group in the United States followed closely by the African Americans. According to the FBI reports, 8000 hate crimes were committed in the year 1995 and 3000 of them were due to biasness towards the African Americans (Green, D. P., Glaser, J., & Rich, A.,1998). Other victims of hate crimes in the United States are Hispanics, Jews and the members of the GLBT.
Most of the people who commit hate crimes are driven by a feeling of being threatened by a certain group of persons which then cause to develop a feeling of anger towards that particular group of persons (Peterson and Parrott, 2007). For instance, most of the anti-blacks attacks were fueled by the fact that the blacks started to become more productive at a supersonic speed that their white counterparts did not anticipate. They started to start offering stiff competing in educations, sports and job places making them a threat to the white automatically because they were used to seeing them as servants and not competitors (Green, D. P., Glaser, J., & Rich, A., 1998). This is the same reason behind the hate crimes that the Nazis committed against the Jews in Germany. However, this reason behind hate crimes does not apply to anti-gay hate crimes because they do not pose any threat to the straights. Another reason why hate crime offenders commit the act is because they want to show the victim that their choices and actions are against God’s teachings and is wrong according to the offenders (Garofalo, J., 1997).
Hate crimes can be minimized through exposing and denouncing the potential perpetrators. Each and every individual be it a family member, a friend or a college who realizes that one is planning to execute a hate attack should report to the relevant authorities in order to arrest the situation because it occurs. Elected leaders and community leaders and even church should lobby for peaceful existence among his/her members. They should avoid biasness and never discriminate against any particular group of persons. Finally patents and teachers should teach children to embrace unity among them (Green, D. P., Glaser, J., & Rich, A., 1998).
- Parrott & J. Peterson. (2007.) What motivates hate crimes based on sexual orientation? Mediating effects of anger on antigay aggression. Aggressive Behavior
Garofalo, J. (1997). Hate crime victimization in the United States.
Green, D. P., Glaser, J., & Rich, A. (1998). From lynching to gay bashing: the elusive connection between economic conditions and hate crime. Journal of personality and social psychology, 75(1), 82.