A hate crime is any crime which is targeted at an individual due to prejudice or hatred towards the individual’s disability, religion or belief, language, race or ethnicity, transgender identity, or sexual orientation. A hate crime can be committed against an individual, an institution, a business or even society. It’s committed to harm, intimidate or terrify the targeted individual as well as the individual’s group. In hate crimes, the victims have done nothing to warrant such acts of crime, except for the fact that they are who they are. To learn more about hate crimes, let’s look at a few examples.
One of the most well-documented hate crimes is the Holocaust. After the Nazis ruled Germany in 1933, they began to feed the nation with the propaganda that the Germans were the superior race and inferior Jews were a threat to their supremacy. Other groups that were targeted were the Poles, Gypsies, Russians, Communists, homosexuals, the disabled, Jehovah Witnesses, and Socialists. At that time, there were some 9 million Jews living in Europe. Under the “Final Solution,” the Nazis murdered approximately 6 million Jews of Europe by 1945. Millions of other people were also murdered during the Nazi’s reign of terror, based on nothing more than their race, religion, nationality, disability or sexual orientation.
Another major hate crime was the murder of Emmett Till, a 14 year-old boy from Chicago, in 1955. On August 20, 1955, Emmett had traveled to Money, Mississippi, to visit his relatives. Hanging out with his friends on August 24th, Emmett, an African-American, showed them a picture of his girlfriend, a white girl. In jest, they challenged him to talk to the white woman who was working at a store. Coming from Chicago, Emmett didn't know about the gravity of segregation laws in Mississippi so he took up the challenge and went into the store to make a pass at the woman, wolf whistling at her as he departed. On August 28Th, Roy Bryant, the woman’s husband and J. W. Milam, his half-brother, made their way to the house of Emmett’s relatives and took Emmett away. Three days later, Emmett’s battered, naked corpse was discovered in the Tallahatchie River, and both Bryant and Milam were charged with kidnapping and murdering the boy. On September 23, the all-white jury declared both of them innocent.
Some other major hate crimes are the lynching of Leo Frank, rape and murder of Brandon Teena, ethnic cleansing is parts of Africa, the killings of Charles Moore and Henry Dee, and the 911 attacks. Now, let’s look at some hate crime statistics.
Hate Crimes by Bias
According to a report released by the FBI in 2009, there were a total of 6,598 single-bias hate crimes.
Types of Hate Crimes against Persons
In 2009, 4,793 hate crimes were committed against persons.
Types of Hate Crimes against Property
In the same year, 2,970 hate crimes were committed against property.
Race of Offenders
Location of Hate Crimes
Everybody should do their part to prevent hate crime. Here are some resources about hate crimes and more.
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