Hate crime is one of the worst forms of crime in the world with the United States topping the list. It spans back to the era when the United States fought the civil war and experienced discrimination thereafter meted towards the minority races up until the mid twentieth century and the rise of the civil rights movement. Factions still exist within the country, which have the same feelings as previous generations. These go on in extreme situations to commit these so called hate crimes. Such an individual has certain characteristics that distinguish them from other criminals (Perry, 2009). The obvious candidate would be the outspoken type.
These include the skinheads, cemetery desecrators, and the extremists that usually hide their identity behind organizations claiming purity. These people usually claim to have a divine purpose and behave as though they are rational in their actions. Oddly, though, they are not the only ones that share the blame as the culprits. Normal citizens subjected to permission to hate fed by misinformation and stereotypes may fall in the same category of hate criminals unknowingly, Perry (2009). This is how genocides and holocausts became so successful in the first place. Not by rogue groups, but ignorance and consent of the masses.
According to Chakraborti and Garland (2009), the victims of hate crimes typically have an undesirable attribute that separates them from the rest, according to the perpetrators of hate crimes. These criteria mainly focus on the person’s race, or religion. The other attributes include the sexual orientation of the individual being the other main issue. These three form the basis of discrimination in most settings. The race discrimination of the individual counts in settings where it is risky for minorities like prisons. Religion also counts, for example, Muslims experience harassment now and again because of their terrorist stereotype. Unique sexual orientation like homosexuality also gets unnecessary discrimination in many parts of the United States.
Causes and effects
The causes of hate crimes border on the profile of the criminal in the first place. The reasons for the hate crime are based on the feeling of ignorance and fear of the person, according to Boyles (2000). Superiority over the individual in that the victim is of a lower class may also be another reason. For example, one of the contributing factors to racism is social and economic status. Many people gauge the status of others from their financial state. Therefore, people or rather races in the minority that has a higher percentage of people occupying the lower social class form the largest statistic of victims of discrimination. African Americans and Hispanics as, well as other minorities, may find themselves in this bracket sometimes.
The results from these hate crimes affect the innocents in both factions. For example, during the time of the civil rights movement, the African Americans struggled quite a bit to get a foothold in the door to freedom (Boyles, 2000). To have people remind them of the earlier days would be to poke the wound with salt. This would result in animosities from both sides and revenge actions for transgressions committed. This course of action, if left unchecked, could turn severe and draw battle lines for civil unrest.
The interesting bit is that the communities now have the means and power to protect themselves. Thus, if they decided to retaliate, the odds are that they will cause a lot of damage. Community policing has so far proven to be a workable solution to this menace. This is done by identifying the most capable members within and training the on how to identify perpetrators and how to act in the event that they strike (Chakraborti and Garland, 2009). The school system should also have a system whereby, awareness is spread in the curriculum. For instance, currently, the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC) runs an institutional-based program that promotes tolerance and understanding of the people’s diversity.