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Hate Crimes

The issue of hate crimes has greatly affected the way in which people interact. A hate crime is defined as any act of violence or verbal slashing of a person based upon race, religious belief, or one’s sexuality. There are several other grounds for determining a hate crime depending upon guidelines in written laws. Hate crimes are said to have originally derived from the unjust treatment of Jewish cultures during the Holocaust in World War II. Slavery of African Americans in the early to mid 1900s has also been deemed a cause of hate crimes.

The issue of hate has completely engulfed the media with questions and proposed answers on how and why some of these ungodly acts could have taken place. The media believes that the hate is not ascribed but learned through a person’s upbringing in certain environments. Other factors that influence this prejudice way of thinking include status in society, religious practices, and competition in the job market. In recent attempts by congress, strict laws and consequences have been passed to discourage hateful harm of another human being.

Recently, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany led a 200,000-person march in memory of victims of concentration camps. The 71/2-mile human chain raised large banners against racism and large green balloons reading, “No to Neo-Nazis. ” Paul Spiegel, head of Germany’s Jewish community, spoke out against conservative politicians that suggested that minorities adapt to a culture they were unfamiliar with. (Article 1) The Christian Democrats, party of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, has spoken out in opposition to immigrants with new proposed laws in mind.

The party’s leader, Friedrich Merz, suggested that immigrants adopt Germany’s “Leitkultur. ” The term is believed to fuel the prejudice and racism that is already existent with minority hate crimes. (Article 2) Despite numerous laws and advancement against racial discrimination, there are still several issues of hateful acts against Hispanic and Jewish cultures. Groups such as the Ku Klux Klan serve as a basis to the ideology of white supremacy and anti-Semitism. Recently, several white supremacists have been arrested for threats on anti-hate group officials.

Alexander James Curtis and Michael Brian DaSilva were arraigned in federal court with felony charges of a two-year hate crime spree against Hispanic and Jewish Politicians. Both politicians had spoken out against unjust treatment of minorities in the past. (Article 3) The ideology of the Ku Klux Klan has also appeared in Moscow recently as former member David Duke spoke against “world Zionism” and preached of expulsion of dark skinned people. The slogan of the Ku Klux Klan, “Glory to Russia” and “White Power” is still evident the crowd in Moscow. (Article 4)

Aside from the rise in racial discriminative acts, hate crimes against homosexuals pose as the one of the largest problems in recent news. With the current rise of gay and lesbian marriages, many individuals are protesting that this action is not acceptable and in violent ways. Police and Congress have their hands full sending out large task forces and passing laws to put a stop to harmful protests. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force declared October 19th “National Hate Crimes Call-In Day. ” The focus is to lobby the leaders of the House of Representatives to enact the Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA).

This act would allow sexual orientation and gender to be protected under federal hate crimes law. (Article 5) The issue of hate crimes has also been a key factor of this year’s presidential election. Vice President Al Gore and Texas Governor George W. Bush have different ideas on the topic and legislation to counteract it. Gore has made the issue a top priority by promising to enforce the executive order of sexual orientation discrimination in federal employment and to grant same-sex couples the same benefits as marriage. George Bush has said that he disagrees with granting special rights for gay and lesbian people.

As far as employment is concerned, Bush has yet to comment. (Article 6) Hate crimes have become an extremely controversial topic in today’s society. Every day, a large number of individuals are directly affected, both physically and mentally, by narrow-minded people. Hate has become a major detriment to civilization from historical roots brought forth by Nazis, slave owners, and bigots of the Ku Klux Klan to present-day violent acts against homosexuals. Congress has tried to “silence the violence,” but how can the laws begin to change this oppressive act before a major war breaks out? When and how will the hate stop?

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