Hate Crimes in America

Hate Crimes In America

Did you know that people with blonde hair have low I.Q.s? Or that people less than five feet tall are more likely to spread a disease? How about that people with brown eyes are really worshipers of Satan? That did not sound very logical, did it? No, you know that people with blonde hair can be as smart or as unintelligent as the next person, that short people are not necessarily better hosts to disease, and that people with brown eyes can believe in whatever they want. Some people, on the other hand, would say these things made perfect sense when applied to a different race, religion, ethnic background, gender or sexual orientation. The idea of prejudice is as old as Mans’ time on Earth, that someone who is different just is not as good. When a person thinks like this, it can clutter their judgement. They start to see others, different from themselves, as not even human let alone equal. Violence often ensues. When that happens, we have a hate crime. A hate crime does not necessarily have to be a physical violent act. Words and threats can be just as damaging on an emotional level as a physical blow is to the head. Laws have been passed to prevent these actions, however, year in and year out there are hate crimes against different groups running into the thousands…and those are just the reported incidents.
The most common variety of hate crimes is committed against the African American community. Acts of violence and hatred against Blacks have been seen throughout history. The earliest forms of hate groups often led these attacks, and groups of old are still present today, such as, the Aryan Nations, and the Ku Klux Klan (http://sociology.ucdavis.edu/classes/grattetHate_Crimes_Class_Site/Hate_Groups.html). Although not thriving as they had in olden times, these groups still exist and have strong followings in many different places. Today, because of their lack of popularity amongst broad-minded people, hate groups have changed the way in which they present their ideals. All too often, hate groups try to pass off their outlandish beliefs as a truth of religion. Using quotes from the Bible and other religious texts and twisting them to fit their image (http://sociology.ucdavis.edu/classes/grattetHate_Crimes_Class_Site/Hate_Groups.html). They also attempt to draw the youth of communities. During a time when teenagers are confused, and feel exiled, they can come upon a web site of pro-Aryan content and easily be swayed. As a teen there is a need to belong, and there they can feel as though they do belong to something much larger than they are. It seems as simple as the sky being blue, “These people are like me, and they believe these things. It does not cost me anything, all I have to do is agree with them.” That is where it begins. After years of subtle, and some not so subtle, “brainwash” a teen can become an adult who would do anything for what they now believe to be truth. The idea that anyone who is not Caucasian and does not believe whole heartedly in Christianity, becomes the enemy. In the muddle an entire race can be downcast, and it was once. In a time when ignorant people were in control African American slavery was an everyday event, beating was practically expected, and they were treated as nothing more than the mule or the dog. As time progressed people realized their ways of thinking were wrong and slowly began to change what had always been.
Still, in our day and age, Blacks face racial discrimination all the time. It does not seem as apparent, after the Civil Rights Movement, many people believe everything to be fine and well. This concept is far from the truth. There were, and still are, Whites who treated Blacks as objects, and degraded them at any opportunity. Hate crimes against blacks have been some of the most brutal of any hate crimes. Beating, hanging, and burning, have all occurred as recently as 20 years ago. Churches of gospel, or more commonly churches whose members are prominently African American, are attacked on a regular basis. Churches have always been the most important independent institution in the Black community, and those who would attack African Americans have often attacked their