Hate Crimes in the USA Motivated by Religion, Racism and Vandalism
A familiar issue facing the United States of America is hate crimes. In the U.S. there have always been certain levels of racism and hate against what people see as different. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a government institution that tracks all the reported hate crimes in the United States, hate crime violence hit a sixteen-year high in the U.S.: There were 4,571 hate crimes against people. That means at least 4,571 people were discriminated against and harmed physically and/or mentally in 2018. (Donaghue “FBI: Hate Crimes . . . “)
According to the FBI, “A hate crime is a crime typically involving violence that is motivated by prejudice on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, or other grounds.” (ibid) In the U.S hate crimes are continuously increasing. While hate crimes motivated by race and religion are still prominent, hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation and gender are steadily increasing.
Hate crimes goes against what America is all about and the American dream. People want to live in America because of the freedoms we have and the “equality” here. They want to be treated as equals and have the freedoms that we as Americans share, and they should be able to. However, there are some Americans who don’t like anything that seems different to them and they treat those people that aren’t “normal” to them terribly. A hate crimes doesn’t necessarily need to include murder or attempting to hurt people, in fact, a lot of hate crimes include vandalism of the property or emotional damage. These might not seem as much of a problem as violent crimes, but it is still violating people’s rights as Americans and is morally incorrect.
With the rise of hate crimes in the United States, it is important to know about the different motivations behind them. Often, the motivation behind hate crimes is people being scared of what seems different or weird to them, like religions, sexual orientations, and race. By understanding the motivations behind hate crimes the FBI and other institutions can focus on educating people about the groups targeted in hate crimes and helping people to see they are nothing to be afraid of.
Many of the hate crimes in the U.S used to be against the Muslim religion and people of Islamic descent. Hate crimes against Muslims have been declining in recent years, but they still happen. The reason they used to occur so much more frequently is because of the attack on the United States of America on September 11, 2001. A terrorist group named al Qaeda used planes to take out the World Trade Centers in New York City. (Lopez: “A New FBI…”) The people in al Qaeda are from the Middle East, where the Muslim religion is prominent and there are a lot of Islamic people. After the attack, many United States citizens began to be afraid of Middle Eastern people and started to assume that everyone who looks or talks like they are from the Middle East were terrorists. A lot of people today are still scared of Muslims. I think a lot of Americans grow up with a fear of Muslims because their parents lived through the attack and cultivated an environment of hate against them.
However, some people are able to realize that just because someone is of Middle Eastern descent means they are automatically a terrorist or out to attack us. But there are some that continue to live in fear of Muslims and despise them. In 2001 there were 93 cases of hate crimes against Muslims, the total number of victims in these 93 attacks was 296 victims. The number of attacks against Muslims declined a lot in the next couple of years but in 2010 they started to increase and were higher for a couple of years. Then all of a sudden in 2015 and 2016 the number of hate crimes went way up. The number in 2015 went up to 91 from 56 in 2014. The number then climbed to 127 in 2016. In 2015 there were 120 victims in the attacks and in 2016 there were 144 victims. Those numbers weren’t anything compared to the 2001 victim count of 296 (Kishi: “Assaults Against Muslims…”) but it is still disgusting and terrible. There may be a slight fallacy in the data shown because not all hate crimes that happen get reported. But what we do know is what the FBI goes off of and we did our research with.
After a ton of research, the only reason I could find for the increase in crimes against Muslims is President Trump’s views on immigrants and the rhetoric he uses to describe the “invasion of immigrants” as he calls it. People had been hearing all of the negative comments President Trump made in the election process and it caused them to become riled up. (Lopez: “A New FBI…”
The fact that our own President’s election caused hate crime rates to go up is concerning. Trump doesn’t promote hate crimes but he does come across as racist. If even our country’s leader is discriminating against other races then it would make sense that we all have some racial prejudices. We need to focus on ourselves and not listen to what the media and politicians are saying, and we need to realize we are all equal.
An example of a foiled attack happened in Kansas: 3 men planned to bomb the apartment building where some Muslims from Somali were worshipping in a makeshift Mosque. They were stopped and turned in before they were able to carry out the plan. There is another incident where one California man had set fire to the Dur-Al-Quam Mosque on March 24, 2019 and no one caught him. But then a month later the same guy went to the Poway Synagogue with an assault rifle and opened fire on the congregation. He killed one person and injured 3. (Hate Crime Case…) There are many more stories like these. It is terrible and needs to stop. The fact that innocent people were murdered should make people realize how big of a problem hate crimes are and maybe we should all contribute to trying to stop them. The Muslim religion isn’t about terrorism. There are some terrorists that are Muslims but that doesn’t mean all of them are. America has a lot of legal, law-abiding Muslim citizens in our country and we need to respect them.
There are also hate crimes involving religions other than Muslim. One challenge I think that Morgan High faces is how the majority of students are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS). I don’t think anyone at our school has done a hate crime involving LDS and non-LDS people, but the same principle with not judging applies. I think all of the LDS kids including me could do a little better at not right off the bat judging other kids if they aren’t LDS. If you just get to know the kids that seem different to you then you will most likely find out they aren’t that different after all.
One type of hate crime that is on the rise in hate crimes against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community. I don’t necessarily agree with or support that lifestyle but I don’t go against it. I don’t really care about it, they can do as they want and it isn’t my place to judge them. But some other people in the United States feel otherwise. According to the FBI, there is an increasing number of hate crimes against LGBT. In 2018, 20.4% of the hate crimes in the U.S were against LGBT people. (It didn’t actually have a specific number I just added up anything to be considered LGBT and got 20.4%. But it is still accurate because I did the calculations and looked at all the categories.) “Crimes targeting the LGBT community increased by about 6% from 2017, and the FBI reports a significant increase in hate crimes motivated by gender identity bias.” There was a total of 184 hate crimes against LGBT in 2018. (Donaghue “FBI: Hate Crimes…”) The FBI reports that the highest targeted group is transgender women of color. They say that they are in the most danger because they fit two of the groups that are often targeted in hate crimes. Although they might be the highest targeted group they don’t have the most crimes against them. Gay men actually had the most hate crimes against them in 2018.
(Fitzsimons: “Nearly 1 in 5…”) There were over 1,300 hate crimes against the LGBT total. That is ridiculous, they should be free to do as they wish. People shouldn’t be judging them in the first place, then if they take it to the point of a hate crime that’s outrageous. The fact that people are taking their fear or hate of what is different to the point of committing crimes and some even murdering people isn’t right.
Another type of hate crimes is against other races. On November 4, 2019, a Milwaukee man threw acid onto a Latino man’s face; giving the man second-degree burns to his face. The victim’s name is Mahud Villalaz; he was born in Peru and he now is a legal U.S. citizen as of 2001. The attacker, Clifton Blackwell, accused Villalaz of invading the United States even though Mahud Villalaz has been an American citizen for years. He claimed that Mahud Villalaz “parked too close to the bus stop.” He yelled at Villalaz about how he was “invading his country and wasn’t obeying his countries laws.” Villalaz moved his truck trying to avoid a conflict but Blackwell continued to yell at him and insult him. Villalaz decided to confront Blackwell about it. He explained to Blackwell that it was as much his country as his. They continued to argue for a while when Blackwell suddenly pulled out a bottle of battery acid that he had for some reason and splashed it on him (police later found a lot of acid in Blackwell’s house). This was considered a hate crime by Milwaukee’s Mayor Tom Barrett. Clifton Blackwell will soon be sentenced.
This is one of the more serious hate crimes against people of other races or religions. The percentage of the number of hate crimes in the United States is going up every year,” here were 7,120 hate crime incidents involving 8,496 offenses” Said The United StatesDepartment of Justice. This is not good for the United States because if we push out people of other races it can cause bitterness from other places. Not all Americans are racist. Actually, a low percentage is racist. People need to realize that even though they are a different race, they are still humans and that they should be treated equally. People usually are racist because of the way that they were raised and the people that have influenced them. They have gone through the steps needed to become a citizen of the United States so they should be treated like every other United States Citizen, 13.7% of U.S. citizens are Foreign born. After the attack people have been scared to even go outside of their house, this shouldn’t be the case people should feel good about going outside, and feel safe, even if they are a different race they should be welcomed into our country. We need to make a greater need to make a bigger effort to stop racism and enforce bigger laws against it; so that people won’t be racist and that we can all feel safe. We can’t completely get rid of racism but we can try to decrease the number of crimes against people of other races.
Another incident happened on November 27, 2018, when a Utah man walked into a tire shop and hit 3 Mexicans with a metal pole and sent two of them into the hospital. He said that he wanted to kill some Mexicans and that they were invading our country and that they need to go back to where they came. The man was charged with violent hate crimes and was sent to prison. The two men that were sent to the hospital recovered. This could have been a lot worse than it was even though it was already a bad thing that happened. The man was super angry and they think that he was drunk when this incident happened. He claimed that the Mexican Mafia was after him. We aren’t able to actually confirm that he has dealt with the mafia before but he claims he was, Said USA Today. These 3 men weren’t at all affiliated with the Mexican Mafia but he attacked them anyway. In a later interview when he was explaining that he was in it with the Mafia he said: “they are all the same”. When he said this he was saying that all Mexican people are “bad people” or part of gangs and such. This was something that people should be trying to stop and preventing people from doing it. People were then scared to even go to the store because they thought that it could be a group of people trying to target people of other races. Even though there isn’t a large amount of violence towards people of different races we need to stop because it is bad and will make people mad.
Vandalism can also be considered a hate crime. People vandalize stuff And cause damage to other people’s stuff. The “Bean” in Chicago was vandalized on July 2, 2019. The boys were later arrested for their actions. People come from all over the world to see The Bean, so when people vandalize it, it will make people mad and some vandalism can never be undone, People need to respect what others have and know that they don’t have the right to go and ruin people stuff if they feel like it. Vandalism is bad and people need to stop it. It can make things look ugly and can decrease the value of a house or places in the area and not make people want to go there. People try to make vandalism seem better by saying “It’s just how people try to express themselves”. But people can express themselves in other ways that aren’t damaging things around them and that is safe for them that can’t express themselves. People who vandalize usually vandalize someone they hate so this is considered a hate crime.
The number and percentage of hate crimes in the United States are increasing and we need to make these numbers decrease; make a safe place for people to live where they feel like they can go do what they want. In our county we stand for being free, so when people dont feel free, its not a good thing. “59.6 percent of the victims were targeted because of the offenders’ bias against race/ethnicity/ancestry.20.6 percent were victimized because of bias against religion.15.8 percent were targeted because of bias against sexual orientation” said The FBI. The percentages keep going up and need to stop. We can help stop these numbers from going up by not Being racist and seeing everyone as a human and not diffrent.
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