Marginalized population relation with the mainstream culture
The meaning that the term ‘marginalized’ covers have expanded over these 40 years, beginning in the 1970s. It first began to consist of the meaning to portray the experiences of people living on the fringes of mainstream America during the social revolution in the 1970s, gradually changing its meaning to represent the minorities in society. This comprises of various cultures and populations, such as LGBTQ, racial/cultural minorities, those in poverty, or with some form of physical or mental disabilities. This term also represents individuals who just can not manage to fir into the main culture and suffer the consequences with significant disparities for them.
The History of Hate Crime in the US
A research conducted by the FBI has traced the history of hate crime as far back as World War I. A statement made by the former US president Lyndon B Johnson, who signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, ‘Those who are equal before god shall now also be equal in the polling booths, in the classrooms, in the factories, and in hotels, restaurants, movie theatres, and other places that provide service to the public.’, has changed history. Since then, segregation was outlawed and created the basis of the ‘American Dream’.
Legislation in the US
After the civil rights era dating back to the 1960s, multiple adjustments were made to the law, with each states having their own hate crime laws to better play against ‘a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias’ (FBI, 2019). However, such acts as hate speech are not considered a crime in the United States, despite the fact that they are in Canada or the European Union which both are also regions that have similar issues in relation.
The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act signed by former President Barak Obama in 2009 is so far the most comprehensive model of federal protection. Nevertheless, in reality, the vast majority of noticed hate crimes that take place in the United States go through prosecution in the state courts. As stated above, the state laws differ depending on the states, such that the motivating factors of hate crime are narrowed down in some while others do not even have hate crime laws. These legislation statuses are playing a role in the current situation of hate crimes in the US in reference to the article above.
Sean Bell, 23, received 50 shots, in an unarmed, helpless state after the bachelor party, slain on his wedding day. He had a fiancee he loved, with two daughters that he adored from the bottom of his heart. Pautre-Bell, Seans’s fiancee, while expressing sympathy to those who have lost their children in similar situations where the victims were killed by the cops in an unarmed state says “I don’t know what it’s like to lose a child, but I know what it’s like to lose the father of my children.”.
Bell’s mother, Valerie, still bursts out in tears out of the blue which she calls her “Sean Bell Moments”. Bell’s father, William shares about Valerie that “She’ll start bursting out in tears without talking or saying anything. I ask her what’s going on and she just says, ‘Oh, I’m having a Sean Bell-moment.’ That’s a mother who lost her son.”
William Bell, was with his son at the club when the incident happened. Whenever another news of another killing by the police breaks in, the vivid image of his son dying in his car comes back and takes over his mind. He says that every time it happens, he falls into insomnia where he can not sleep for a few days, becoming afraid of going to sleep as he then sees his son getting killed. He then says, ‘I don’t care, people say you have to get over something, but that you can’t get over. . . It’s too much.’ The sorrow and anger of the victim’s family will not weather forever, stained in their hearts.
Hate Crime in Modern Society
The most recent statistics available are from 2017, where the reported numbers of hate crimes were 7,100. However, it is proper to say that these statistics are lacking validity. In fact, it is not compulsory for the local police departments in the United States to report their numbers to the federal department, resulting in some regions not sending anything at all. Hawaii, for example, is one of those regions making it obvious that the hate crime data collection process hasn’t been entirely effective, making us question the reliability of the data.
Nevertheless, the hate crimes survey conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics allows an estimation of up to 250,000 crimes a year (Glickhouse, 2019). Again in 2017, 87% of the data sent to the FBI from the police agencies reported 0 hate crimes (Glickhouse, 2019). 15 hate-related crimes were found in 10 cities which reported to have had no hate crimes after reviewing over 2,000 police records.
“The current statistics are a complete and utter joke”, says Roy Austin, a former general in the Department of Justice’s civil rights division. It is extremely difficult to prove that the defendant’s intention was based on a personal bias, making it more than difficult to prosecute hate crimes. An investigation held by ProPublica has shown statistics that there were less than 10 prosecuted cases out of approximately 1,000 hate crimes cases in Texas over the 5 years from 2010 to 2015.
Several cities including Boston and New York have specified units where they are dedicated to providing expertise to structure solid pieces of evidence for successful prosecutions. This is still not the case in many places where the local police are still in charge to attend the hate crime cases.