What classifies as a hate crime
P1. Criminals all have different motives for committing crimes. They commit crimes out of necessity, greed, revenge, or even mental illness. In 1968 a Statue was created that made it a crime to use or threaten to use, force to willfully interfere with any person because of race, color, religion, or national origin and because the person is participating in a federally protected activity, such as public education, transportation, employment… etc. Hate crimes are many times tricky because people do not get convicted for hate crimes. People are tried for the crime they committed (assault, murder, robbery) and if discovered that the crime was motivated by any kind of prejudice this may allow the court to extend the sentence of the person being tried. However it is left to the jury to find the motivation of the crime unless the suspect openly admits his motivation. The hate crime statue is a great thing because targeting a group of people for their race religion or sexual preference is terrorism. So it is counterintuitive that a country fighting terrorism is participating in terrorism many times on a smaller scale but not always.
P2.The New York Times reports hate crimes and incidents in a section called “This Week in Hate.” One of the articles was about Rejpreet Heir a young women born in Indiana who was riding the subway when she was verbally assaulted by a man. He began by asking her if she knew what United States Marines had to see and go through for this country because of people like her. The man was clearly referring to the conflicts going on in the middle east involving ISIS and other terrorist groups that identify with the muslims religion. Heir has brown skin and resembles someone who might be of middle eastern descent, which is why the man targeted her. The then proceeded to say that she did not belong in this country saying “I hope you get sent back to Lebanon.”
P3.There are many things wrong with what this man did such as targeting a random person to take out his frustration for the issues happening today. Heir did not initiate the man she was just taking a ride on the subway, she was targeted by the man’s prejudice. However what I find the most counterintuitive is that this man is wrongly discriminating and harassing someone who is part of his group. Just like the white man, Heir is an American citizen who was born in America, which is something the two have in common. In the middle east a radical group of Muslims by the name of ISIS are killing people who don’t follow the extreme beliefs that they do. Although not as severe in a sense the man was doing the same thing by publicly humiliating this women.
P4. By law that incident was not considered a hate crime punishable by prison its simply one of thousands of discrimination acts that happen daily. However one can argue that although the act was not physically violent it was verbal and mental abuse. Heir was publicly embarrassed for something she absolutely nothing to do with her. She has to deal with the mental damage done by the words he said. She felt rejected by her own group of people as she is an American and another American was excluding her from the group labeling her as Lebanese while the people around simply acted as bystanders and did not come to her aid. Although no violent acts were caused the man was clearly motivated by his own prejudice.
P5.That however is not always the case there have been many times when people have crosses the line of verbal abuse. In Phoenix AZ a homosexual couple moved into a neighborhood. In the months following their move they experienced a number of break ins, and vandalism to their property. However no arrest were made and no one can actually prove that the crimes committed were motivated by prejudice. However one can assume is motivated by hate if these acts vandalism are not a regularity in the community. The police department has just allowed this to keep occurring because there is no solid proof of this being a hate crime. It is just another instance that shows how difficult it is to classify a crime as a hate crime.
P6. In the first couple of weeks of President Trump being in office reporting of hate crimes have surged. Trump received much of his support for his views on immigration stating that immigrants bring crime to America. In reality immigrants commit less crime than native born American citizens. However his promises of building a wall, deporting millions and closing our borders gained him a tremendous following. While in offie we have seen that his immigration policies and remarks have been ineffective and he ended up doing more harm than good. Now prejudice is at a high and demonizing the people we live with is tearing apart our country not growing us together. It is almost as if people are afraid of minorities becoming the majority which is still far from happening so they begin to spew hate and prejudice to avoid that happening.
Hate crimes are very real and relevant especially in todays world. Although a good statue is in place a better one needs to be presented. One that makes it easier to differentiate hate crimes, because hate crimes are a form of terrorism the same issue that we are fighting for overseas. ISIS killing innocent people who don’t follow their muslim values is the same as attacking a hispanic person who may be an American Citizen simply for not being white or for being hispanic. It happens everyday in America, minorities being attacked it is not publicized because its not a good look for the country but it does indeed happen.
North, Anna. “When Your Commute Includes Hearing ‘You Don’t Belong in This Country’.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 24 Mar. 2017. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.
“Hate Crime Laws.” The United States Department of Justice. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.
Soros, George. “George Soros: When Hate Surges.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 16 Mar. 2017. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.