Hate crimes, sometimes known as bias motivated crimes, occur when a victim is targeted just because of his or her race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, nationality, age or gender. Bias motivated crimes affect entire communities and should demand high priority within schools, families and law enforcement agencies.
People who commit these race motivated crimes fear people that are different. Because of our countries diverse population, we must attack this epidemic. Ignoring the situation could lead to severe community tension. Hate crimes put communities at risk of serious social and economical consequences.
These crimes have damaging psychological effects on its victims; it can ruin a victim’s self-esteem and identity. It could also instill fear to an entire targeted group, they could worry they are the next victims.
During the past two centuries, some of the more typical examples of hate crimes in the United States include, lynching of African Americans, cross burnings to drive black people out of predominantly white neighborhoods, assaults on white people traveling to black neighborhoods, assaults on gay and lesbian and transgender people and the painting of swastikas on Jewish synagogues.
Concern about hate crimes has become more and more important with policy makers at all levels of government, and the United States has recently acted out in response. On October 12, 1998 Matthew Shepard, a 21 year old gay man, was beaten to death and left for dead hanging from a fence post, because of his sexual orientation. The Senate passed the Matthew Shepard act as of 7/21/09, to assist states, local jurisdictions and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes.
While this is a big step in the right direction that the United States is trying to do something about bias motivated crimes, preventative measures can be implemented in many different ways. Children are like sponges, they absorb knowledge like a sponge would water. They are a product of their...