A Hate Crime is “a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in a part by an offender’s bias against race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity”(United States FBI). What the Hate Crime Law does is punish criminals who target a person because of the victim’s race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability. Supporters of the hate crime law believe these laws should be in place because hate crimes aren’t simple acts of violence. Committing a violent crime for the reason that you hate a person’s race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, or disability status I believe shouldn’t be allowed. According to The FBI statistics, it states “there were 5,796 incidents of hate crime involving 6,718 offenses and 7,164 victims nationwide”(“Hate Crime Laws”). Instead these crimes have the potential to inflict more damage on not just the intended victim, but the community the victim belongs to that can relate to the crime. Due to possible previous discrimination encounters, hate crimes can have a longer lasting effect than simple, “average” crimes. Supporters believe after the aggressive hate crime is done the victim ends up going through psychological issues and is traumatized because they fear of going through it again.
While Jesse Larner is adamant, he fails to recognize the flaws of his arguments against Hate Crime Laws. Larner also seems to be blind to the true pain that is caused by the crimes these laws aim to curb. He doesn’t recognize that while a hate crime is like any other crime, in a basic sense, it can have much more scarring effects. In the article “Hate Crime Laws: Punishment to Fit the Crime,” Michael Liberman responds by arguing about Jesse Larner’s article “Hate Crime/Thought Crime” by stating that the motivation of hate crime is nothing compared to other crimes. Liberman says himself that “hate crimes are message crimes” because the crime is based on the perpetrator targeted strikes on the victim’s body, and mind of a specific person, or group of people within that culture(81). Whether it is race, sexual orientation, or religion, these types of crimes cause ripples in communities, and can disturb the physical, and mental aspect of a person. The hate crime law protects the victim by severely punishing the perpetrator to make sure that they understand it is not okay to assault someone because of their characteristics. The perpetrator will learn that there are going to be people you don’t like in this world but you are going to have to just deal with it, if not they will spend time in prison.
Hate crimes laws are needed, and rightfully so. Having them in place allows the world to be aware of the issues that stem from hate crimes. They put on display the fact that these crimes aren’t just random acts of violence but rather more violent “messages” to express anger or hatred for the victim and systematic attacks on a person based off something that’s a part of the victims very being. Supporters believe someone should not be attacked for being who they are and decide to be open about it. In the article U.S Hate Crime Laws Robinson states that, “The victim and the perpetrator are typically strangers. The crime not directed to simply one person; it is intended to target and intimidate the victim’s entire group” the hate crime law is necessary because it protects those who are in need of protection. You are allowed to speak your mind, there is no crime against that. Perpetrators take advantage of the first amendment, Freedom of speech by committing a criminal act to express their opinion and feelings. On the other hand, committing a criminal act to preach your feelings and stating your point is not tolerated. The Hate Crime Law protects those who want to walk around being proud of who they truly are.
In B.A Robinson’s article “U.S Hate Crime Laws,” she believes that out of all the minority groups, that the LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgender) group is protected more than anything. In today’s society, due to all the supporters the LGBT group has, they feel safe to be open and who they are. There’s only one problem, there are still homophobic and very religious people in this world. Therefore there is constant “Gay Bashing”, bullying, verbal, physical, and sexual assaults towards the LGBT community (Robinson). Homophobic and very religious people commit hate crimes to preach what they believe in toward this community thinking they could change the victim and make them become what they believe in. According to Robinson’s article she explained that there was “An interview of gay, lesbian and bisexual adults showed that 41% reported being a victim of a hate crime after the age of 16.” Almost 50% of the LGBT community were victims of hate crimes which makes them live in constant fear because they can’t be accepted for who they are.
Hate crimes are an extreme priority among civil rights programs, and are taken very seriously due to their sensitive nature. Whether the crime was committed due to hatred or something different it is still a criminal offense so the perpetrator regardless will receive punishment. Not only are these crimes targeted, but they have to the ability to impact vast groups of people. The Hate Crime Law helps not only the victim but as well as the families and communities feel safer and protected. The FBI is thoroughly involved in helping investigating these crimes doing so alone, or even joining up with other forms of law enforcement to weed out, and neutralize such acts going as far back as World War 1 to do so. The FBI as well helps out with Hate Crime Working Groups to make sure these crimes don’t occur as often as they do. To make sure the crime itself is a hate crime the FBI goes through numerous of steps through those cases since hate crimes are worse. So if you believe it’s nearly impossible to determine whether a crime that was committed is a hate crime, the FBI goes through extensive measures to determine it is.
Despite the debate, and opposing views of many Hate Crime Laws are a necessity. They play an impactful part in the reduction of a psychological terror plaguing the world. The implementation of these laws is critical to allowing groups of tortured souls to feel safe, and good about themselves without fear of prosecution. Also it allows these targeted individuals or the communities they belong to make an attempt at moving on from their damaging past. It offers something along the lines of a “sigh of relief”. Many victims of a hate crime tend to experience psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and feeling helpless because they can’t change their characteristics. Without these laws the damage inflicted by these biased crimes would be insurmountable, and could lead to catastrophic occurrences. In a world like this, everyone needs to feel protected because these laws are just a part of a justice system.