Hate Crime Essay

Stephanie Reno
JUS-110 Crime and Criminology
June 23, 2013
Richard Baranzini
Hate Crimes
Originally people used the term “hate crime” to explain a vicious action or crime that was committed against someone or their belongings because of real or perceived differences in race, color, origin, or religion. This expression grew as crimes inspired by bias and prejudice received nationwide attention sometime in the 1980’s. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance defines viciousness against minorities as “xenophobic” or “right-wing” violence in Germany, where neo-Nazi activity was practiced (Ochi, n.d). Great Britain and France call it “racial violence”. “Hate crimes” are evident all over the world and throughout history.
Nowadays, the phase “hate crime” is used to define vicious actions where the offenders may not only be driven by just variances in a person’s race, color, or religion, but also factors like sexual orientation, gender, or disability. For instance, in 1999 when 60 women were physically and sexually assaulted in Central Park people believed the attacks to be gender-based crimes. States like Oregon have even added legislation that bans discrimination for a numerous of characteristics from political association to marital status (Ochi, 2007).
Since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 lawmakers and activists have worked to enact hate crime legislation. In fact, the United States Congress approved the first laws to ever outlaw violence trying to stop someone from partaking in any government activity because of race, religion, color, or national origin in 1968. Then in 1981, the Anti-Defamation League released their ideal set of laws against hate crimes, which included the prosecution of hate crimes based on an individual’s sexuality. Not long afterwards, the District of Columbia and forty states followed by adapting the same laws. Then in 1994 the biggest development to hate crime laws was made when the Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act...