Through history you hear of major crimes committed out of the hate for a certain culture or race or maybe even sexual orientation. These crimes are now considered a “Hate Crime” since 1968 after the murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay college kid murdered in Wyoming (Abrams, 2009). A Hate crime is “a crime criminal offense committed against a person, proper tot society that is motivated, in a whole or in part, by offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin” (Schmalleger, 2012). Forty-one states and the District of Columbia have laws against hate crimes.
This means that if bias is involved, a crime such as vandalism, assault, or murder is also a hate crime, and the penalty is more severe than it would be otherwise. Some people commit hate crimes because they may not like difference, they are victims of a hate crime themselves or they feel that if they belittle someone else they are superior. (Siasoco, 1999) In 1990 George Bush signed the Hate Crime Statistic Acts which mandates a statistical tally of hate crimes. In 2009 there was a report of 6,604 hate crimes reported including three murders across the United States. According to the FBI charts 49% of the hate crimes were due to race, 18.5% sexual orientation, 17.7% religion, 13.5% ethnicity and 1.2% disability (Schmalleger, 2012).
Through history two of the most targeted hate crimes that have had the biggest outcome on history would be religious and racial hate crimes. With racial hate crimes you have hate groups that target certain race. For example there is the Ku Klux Klan, one of the biggest racial hate groups in the US. The Ku Klux Klan also known as the KKK is a “racist, anti-Semitic movement with a commitment to extreme violence to achieve its goals of racial segregation and white supremacy” (League, 1913) known for targeting African Americans. The murder of James Byrd Jr was one of the most known hate crime cases. Three white men in Jasper Texas dragged J Byrd alive behind a pick-up truck along an asphalt road that eventually killed him.
When they were done with the dragging Byrd’s remains were found in 81 different places. Since two of the white men were known as supremacist the murder was labeled a hate crime. The KKK had many other Hate crimes back in the 1900’s but for the most part they aren’t the main concern of Hate crimes. That brings us to religious hate crimes. One of the biggest hate crimes in US history would be 9/11. Almost 3,000 people died in this religious act of violence. This attack was caused by an international terrorist group known as Al Qaeda; “radical Islamic terrorist organization that endeavors to implement Islamic laws in the governments of mostly Muslim nations” (Laura Hayes, 2007).
This group was created to destroy any government that does not follow Islamic laws, as Brad Hirschfield says “religion drove those planes into the building” (Hirschfield, 2011). This terrorist group devised a master plan and destroyed two of the biggest buildings in the U.S, and it would have been more if passengers didn’t take control of the third plane. This religious hate crime became the downfall to the U.S but the uprising of the world paying attention to Al Qaeda’s terrorist attack.
Although this attack wasn’t known back then as a hate crime it can be considered now as one of the biggest hate crimes in the world, back then they called it Genocide. Apart of World War 1 was the holocaust and the bullies was the Nazi’s. The Nazis were people who followed a man named Adolf Hitler; they were all members of the National Socialist Party in Germany. They had a specific idea of a “perfect person” and wanted to create a perfect Germany.
They terminated anyone that did not fit into their “perfect person” description. The Nazi’s mostly targeted Jews and would send them to concentration camps where they would be killed in an inhumane way. This Hate crime could be under religion and race. The Nazi’s terminated millions and didn’t stop until they were defeated by allies.
In conclusion Hate crimes aren’t what they use to be but still increase each year. Right now race and homosexuality mainly targeting gay males are the highest hate crimes out there (Schmalleger, 2012). To think of people murdering people just because they are different in some way or out of pure hate is an outrage. Also the religious battle between countries that are turning into hate crimes has to be stopped in a non-violent way or it will be leading to another world war or worse genocide.