In today’s society, hate groups and hate crimes are growing rapidly. Hate groups are organizations of individuals whose “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics” (Southern Poverty Law Center, 2019). These characteristics include race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and ethnicity. Hate groups can also cause hate crimes towards individuals. Hate crime is a violent act motivated by prejudice towards a particular group of people. People who experience hate crimes are mostly insulted because of their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. Hate crime groups have been around for decades. Many of these hate group organizations included the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi, white nationalist, black separatist, and neo-Confederate. These groups caused violent acts towards people of a particular group that brought up the death toll. For example, the Ku Klux Klan was an American white supremacist group that mainly targeted African-Americans. They assaulted and murdered African-Americans by lynching. Another popular hate crime group in history was the neo-Nazi. The neo-Nazi practiced many of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany’s hatred towards the Jews. They believed that Jews were an inferior race and a threat to the German community. Hate crimes Hate groups and hate crimes affect many people in society such as minorities, the LGBT community, and.
Hate groups are formed everywhere today and hate crime is occurring everywhere. “Each year, across America, an average of 250,000 people are victimized by hate crimes” (Southern Poverty Law Center, 2019). Almost every hate crime case involves violence and in some cases, the offender has a weapon. According to The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR), there were 7,120 hate crimes incidents involving 8,496 offenses. However, this only includes agencies that submitted incident reports. Many hate crime incidents are left unnoticed because victims are reluctant to report them to police. Minorities such as Latinos don’t report hate crimes because of the threat of deportation (Center for Public Integrity, 2019). Minorities experience hate crime daily because they are mostly immigrants, they are fearful of reporting such incidents to law enforcement because they feel like nothing can be done and it will cost them their status of being in America. Another group of people that are hesitant of reporting hate crimes is the LGBT people who experience this on a daily basis because of their sexual orientation. LGBT people cases are “left unspoken because of a chronic distrust between the community and the police”(Center for Public Integrity, 2019). Their cases usually aren’t prosecuted as hate crimes when they are reported.
According to FBI: UCR 48.6 percent were victims of crimes motivated by their offender’ anti–Black or African American bias. On June 17, 2015, in Charleston, South Carolina there was a mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. This was a hate crime church shooting. The perpetrator, Dylan Roof is a white supremacy/nationalism that hates black people. He believed that black people are animals and they know nothing. He murdered them because of their race and his hate toward them. Before the shooting Roof wrote, “How could our faces, skin color and body structure be so different, but our brains exactly the same.” People who are part of a hate group view themselves better than others of a particular group. They feel that they are not meant to be equal. He was charged with 33 federal counts of hate crime and murder. Overall this act affected people who attend church, the church is supposed to be a safe haven but people are starting to feel unsafe attending church. After this shooting, many churches were visited by law enforcement to secure the safety of attending church.
The LGBT community has also been affected by hate crimes/hate groups because of their sexual orientation. Today there are many hate groups which are the Anti-LGBT. These groups links “homosexuality to pedophilia, claim that same-sex marriage and LGBT people, in general, are dangerous to children, homosexuality itself is dangerous”(Southern Poverty Law Center, 2019). Hate groups act violently towards the LGBT community causing them to have fear and sometimes making many of them to keep their sexuality a secret. Most of the perpetrators are homophobic or transphobic. Being gay, bisexual, lesbian, etc is looked down upon and causes an extreme amount of hate crime across America and other countries. In 2017 alone, 1,445 LGBT biased hate crimes were reported to the FBI. The U.S Department of Justice has prosecuted hate crimes that involved beatings, robberies, slurs, profanities, and fatalities targeting LGBT individuals (Center for Public Integrity, 2019). In Detriot a man was charged with fatally shooting three people, he targeted his victims because they were gay or transgender. According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs 88 homicides of L.G.BT. people from 2012-2015. India Clark was a black transgender woman who died due to a hate crime. She was beaten and shot in Tampa, Florida by Keith Gaillard who was part of the Anit-LGBT hate group.
People of religious/ethnic groups also experience hate crimes, according to FBI: UCR in 2017 1749 people were victims of anti-religious hate crimes. 58.1 percent were Jews, 18.6 percent Muslims, 4.3 percent Catholics, etc. Their places of worship can be vandalized, clothing like hijab can be damaged, and they experience much physical assault. A Muslim woman was attacked while delivering food for DoorDash. Her hijab was ripped off her head and used to choke her, she was targeted because of her race, ethnicity, and religion. Muslims in this country has been targeted, hate groups who target against them feel like they are all terrorists and don’t belong in America. Many religious communities are working together to try and stop such hate crimes. They are rallying against the burning of the mosque, bomb threats, and the vandalization of Jewish cemeteries.
In 1968 congress passed its first federal hate crime law, enforced by the Department of Justice. The law 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” also “crime to use, or threaten to use, force to interfere with housing rights because of the victims race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” (Justice.gov, 2019). The Church Arson Prevention Act was also passed to protect churches from any damages. Hate crime is a criminal defense in 46 states including the District of Columbia. Anybody who violates a hate crime law can face up to one year, or both, only in some cases. However, not all states include sexual orientation part of the law: Alabama, Idaho, Missipi, Montana, and North Carolina. Based on this, that’s why there’s a large amount of LGBT groups facing hate crimes, due to the fact that nothing can be done. The only time it becomes a problem is when weapons are involved, but the slurs and threats continue.
Many groups like the LGBT community, Faith-based, and laws are joining forces to put an end to hate crimes. The best way to stop hate crimes is to always report the incident and support the victims. The more cases that are reported, the better it will be to find solutions to the problem. Victims of hate crimes often feel alone and afraid to speak out. It’s the community’s job to help them seek help and contact law enforcement or the media.
Hate groups and hate crimes are growing drastically over the years. People who commit these acts are motivated by prejudice and feel the need to harass people of a particular group because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. About 250,000 people experience hate crimes each year. Many hate crimes also cause death among victims. The LGBT community is starting to reach its highest for hate crimes. People like law enforcement are trying their best to work out a solution to stop such an act. I believe that hate groups and hate crimes are something that’s meant to happen. There are some people out in the world who take out their anger on others. From experience, I lived in a place where there were so many hate crimes and because of that, my country ended up dealing with war for a few years. I feel like people have to understand that we are all the same no matter our race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.
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