Hate Crimes

An analysis of the 7,160 single-bias incidents by bias motivation revealed that 54.7 percent were motivated by a racial bias, 17.1 percent were triggered by a religious bias, 14.2 percent were motivated by a sexual-orientation bias, and 13.2 percent of the incidents were motivated by an ethnicity/national origin bias. Nearly 1 percent (0.7) involved bias against a disability.
There were 5,190 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against persons in 2005.
Of the 3,109 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against property.
Of the 6,804 known offenders reported in 2005, 60.5 percent were white, and 19.9 percent were black. The race was unknown for 12.3 percent, and other races accounted for the remaining known offenders.
The majority (30.0 percent) of hate crime incidents in 2005 occurred in or near residences or homes.
If we analyze the above data we would find that in modern America racial bias form a greater cause for Hate Crimes and among those the White offenders were much more than the black ones, may be because the white possess an ancient sense of Supremacy.

This can be confirmed by the statistics provide by the Government of UK
Nationally, in 2006-07, police reported 5,619 hate crimes in which someone was injured, 4,350 hate crimes without injury, and 28,485 cases of racially or religiously motivated harassment. There were also 3,565 cases of criminal damage related to hate crimes. The typical hate offender is a young white male (most homophobic offenders are aged 16-20, and most race hate offenders under 30). The majority of hate crimes happen near to the victim’s home while they are going about their daily business, and an offence is most likely to be committed between 3pm and midnight. Most hate criminals live in the same neighbourhood as their victims.

One can encounter great similarities in the above statistics; this shows that under same of similar socio-cultural background, the structure of hate crimes is almost the same. But for India the Story is different, India forms a totally different socio-cultural background with regards to its European neighbours.

Causes that cause Hate Crimes
The roots of hate violence are broad, but most causes come back to one element in the end: fear. This fear is most often rooted in ignorance: fear of the unknown, fear of the “other,” fear of perceived competitors; all of these hold the potential to generate a violent reaction under the right conditions or rather wrong conditions. Prejudice is, at a basic level, instinctual. Many studies have been conducted to show that people habitually, instinctually are drawn to notice differences and similarities between themselves and others. This is a natural function of our desire to create order out of the chaotic world around us. But in comparing ourselves to others, we tend to label others’ similar attributes to be desirable and others’ dissimilar attributes undesirable. Soon we are judging whether a person is “good” (that is, we react positively to them), or “bad” (we react negatively). It is only a short jump for a stressed person from thinking “that person is bad because they are different from me” to “those people caused all my problems, and I’m going to do something about it.”[10]
The effort of groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, the White Aryan Resistance (WAR), Shiv Sena, and other ethnic groups, to preach violence against racial, religious, and other minorities continues unabated today. They have hate hotlines, computer bulletin boards, hate propaganda distribution networks, youth groups, street gangs, etc. active throughout the state, pumping out a steady drone of messages designed to transform the fears of the economically distressed, the paranoid and the ignorant into violent reaction. The recent lynching of UP youth in Maharashtra shows that India is no difference place. These kinds of crime are also rising in India. The North Indian is being thrown from every region of the country. These Groups function very systematically. They recognize very clearly the psychology of the issues they raise. This helps them to gain local support. They indoctrinate people to believe that minorities are a threat to their way of life, to their very existence, and that the only choice is to fight back in as violent a fashion as possible. What is more disturbing and dangerous is the rise and empowerment of hate groups such as Hindu Janjagran Samiti and Bajrang Dal. These issues which were once a concern of Sangha, have now gone out of its control. One other basic cause is politicians. Some political figures today are willing to fan the flames of bigotry in order to advance their own interests and careers. We have seen rampant examples in recent years of political campaign ploys that are permeated with racist and religionist connotations. The appearance that political figures and even some government leaders approve of these views gives them a coating of respectability that they do not deserve.

Economic causes
There are other causes too in earlier times hate crimes were because of lack of knowledge of other cultures, narrow mindedness but now the reasons have changed now they are economic. Economic insecurities. They feel they are left out of economic progress and left out of the political mainstream. There are millions of individuals who even at age 35 get nowhere in life. Their small business packs up or their promotions are denied. In an earlier time these bitter men would have become sadhus. Now, they get recruited to the cause of Hindu rage. The persistent perception of failure in a success-oriented society, the daily humiliation of being the loser when everyone around seems to be winning, the factory of glossy cultural products like ads and movies that scream “I have it and you don’t,” is creating armies of recruits to Hindu “rage”.

The thousands of underemployed or semi-employed youths who are perpetually available to be part of screaming “nationalist” mob against “minorities”, are not just protesting about Muslims: they are screaming out their own economic and cultural deprivation. Thus, the fashion show, St Valentine’s Day, the English-speaking “pseudo secularists” all the demonstrable symbols of the economy that are new and which appear successful, must be met with hatred and violence because “success” is the enemy. And this is not limited to Hindus and India only it is happening around the world, and with this growing economic recession it is bound to rise.

Hate Crime Laws
With rise in globalization we have seen a rise in hate crimes, especially in fast growing and extraordinary economies and in those nations which have traditionally been very diverse such as India and Unites States. So it’s high time when we should categorize Hate Crimes as a distinct category of crime and form strict rules in order to control them. Many nations have penalty enhancement acts which enhance the punishment in case of such crimes. The US has all together a separate category of crime.

The reason that we need a separate consideration for such types of crimes is that hate crimes cause greater individual and societal harm. In Wisconsin v. Mitchell, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously found that “bias-motivated crimes are more likely to provoke retaliatory crimes, inflict distinct emotional harms on their victims, and incite community unrest” As Blackstone said long ago, “it is but reasonable that, among crimes of different natures, those should be most severely punished which are the most destructive of the public safety and happiness.”

People do have their arguments against the legislation of such acts. The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously found that hate crime statutes which criminalize bias-motivated speech or symbolic speech conflict with free speech rights because they isolated certain words based on their content or viewpoint .Some have argued hate crime laws bring the law into disrepute and further divides society, as groups apply to have their critics silenced. Some have argued that if it is true that all violent crimes are the result of the perpetrator’s contempt for the victim, then all crimes are hate crimes. Thus if there is no alternate rationale for prosecuting some people more harshly for the same crime based on who the victim is, then different defendants treated unequally under the law, which violates the Constitution.

Moreover practically it is very difficult to prove a Hate Crime because they are not very much different from ordinary crimes, the only difference they are accompany is that of a hate speech which the criminal often gives before committing a crime.

4 thoughts on “Hate Crimes”

Comments are closed.