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Hate crime happens when someone targets another because he/she belongs to a certain membership or group. It may be a social group defined by a race, nationality, or issues such as class. This kind of crime is biased on motivated violence like assault or murder, based on personal characteristics such as different color. Hate crime mainly is regarded to criminal acts motivated by biasness against things like color. The incidents associated with this crime involve insults or offensive graffiti. A hate crime law intends to prevent violence motivated by biasness, and they are different from other laws that fight hate speech.
Hate crime laws act on the penalties that are related to conduct that is under various laws, while laws associated with hate speech criminalize speech. The perpetrators of hate crimes use explosives, and weapons. They vandalize the victims’ property and use verbal threats to instill fear in them. They leave them vulnerable to more attacks, and the victims may feel helpless alienated. When the perpetrators of hate crimes are not prosecuted, their crimes weaken the community around them.
Hate crimes have various negative effects on victims such as affective disturbances, where the victim’s identity is destroyed, therefore affecting his/her self-esteem. Hate crimes also affect targeted groups, who are generalized by terror. It could also have an effect on vulnerable groups such as have ominous effects on small groups who associate themselves with the targeted groups. Hate groups in the world are many and are still on the rise. They include the Neo-Nazi, Blacks, and the Christian Identity. Crimes that have been motivated by hate crimes rise at a high rate, not by pathological rantings but through the mainstream of a particular society.
Hate crime laws are in various categories such as laws that define a specific act motivated by bias, and laws that create a civil cause of action for particular hate crimes. In America, racist anti-black kind of bias is the most reported type of hate crime. African-Americans are the largest minority, while the Hispanics are the largest. Over the recent past years, almost 8000 hate crimes have been reported, which were motivated by bias against the black people. Other reported bias motivations were against the anti-Gay, anti-Asian, among other groups of people.
In Belgium, there have been reports of hate crimes motivated by racism; have been on the rise for a long time. In 2003, a law was established which penalized crimes involving discrimination against race, sex, civil status, among other issues like color. In Bulgaria, hate crimes associated with racism are on the rise as well as against xenophobia. The country has now established a law that punishes those who perpetrate racism in the country.
One movie whereby hate crime is best revealed is ‘Hate Crime’ which was produced in 2005. In this movie, Robbie Levinson and his colleague encounter hostility while with their neighbor known as Chris Boyd who is the son of a preacher. On one evening, Trey takes a walk accompanied by their dog and they do not return home. Chris and Robbie are then blamed for Trey’s disappearance and they are suspected to be perpetrators of this crime. Robbie is helped by unlikely sources to carry out a dangerous plan without help from the authorities. They uncover secrets that turn lives of many people and bring the perpetrator to face justice, without regard of the consequences he has to face.
This movie focuses on the dark side of religion and shows the extent to which hatred of gays disrupts the lives of people. This movie provokes the viewer’s thoughts and shows a perspective of how people bash out the gay in the society, and especially the Christians such as Pastor Boyd.
One theory that is associated with hate crime is the gender identity and sexual orientation theory. This theory defines a psychological cause that predisposes an individual to hostility toward a victim of a certain gender or sexuality. This theory shows that the individual accounts hate crimes focusing on behaviors that lead to aggression and actions of violence to the victims. It clearly defines this kind of hate crime as a result of prejudice. In today’s society, heterosexuals are hardly attacked, yet bisexuals are attacked and face discrimination.
This theory addresses the rate of biasness in the society of individual prejudice, among the heterosexuals. It shows that there are many cases of hate crimes among them, yet they are not addressed due to shame and fear that nobody will take them serious of being victims. This theory raises awareness in the society that this group of people need to be protected and a law should be established top punish those who go against it. A policy that is designed to cover for this kind of hate crime is the Anti-Defamation League which is drafted to enhance penalties on hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation. This law is against criminal activity of people victims perpetrating assault to other people who belong to a different sexuality. The criminal is subject to suffer a stiff sentence.