Essay on The Issue Of Hate Crime

1689 Words Dec 10th, 2016 7 Pages
In the ten days following the 2016 United States presidential election, the Southern Poverty Law Center, a prominent civil rights and legal advocacy organization, recorded almost 900 incidents of hate-motivated harassment, intimidation, or violence in the United States. This “outbreak of hate” was primarily directed toward ethnic, racial and religious minorities, and perpetrators often invoked President-elect Donald Trump’s name during their assaults. These incidents were self-reported, thus it is likely that they represent only a small portion of all election-related hate crimes that occurred in the immediate aftermath of November 8, 2016. So what is a hate crime, why were there so many after the election, and what motivates people to act in such a cruel and seemingly irrational way? Hate crime is generally classified as an act of violence where the perpetrator targets the victim for belonging to a specific social group, which can include ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability status or gender; more broadly, hate crime can be defined as a crime driven by prejudice. Predominant narratives on the causality of hate crime focus on their psychological state of the perpetrators, characterizing their motivations as “thrill-seeking,” and sadistic. However, I think that this is a dated perspective that holds limited value in the twenty-first century. In this paper, I will argue that similarly to the violent actions of terrorist groups or ethnic insurgents, hate…

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