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Sean Pearl Miss Ediger Sophomore English 11-16-11 Hate Crimes Over the past few years there

has been a big debate going on. Whether or not hate crimes are necessary in the United States. Hate crimes are ridiculous and need to be stopped. Just the first word in them sounds incredibly inhumane. Hate, a very strong word that is combined with the word crime. These crimes must be stopped and furthering the extent of hate crimes would be one way to do this. Imagine that you are sitting at work when you receive a phone call telling you that your child has been harmed. The shock and parental instincts alone can drive a parent into a frantic state. But when they discover that their child has been intentionally hurt, and that the reason they were hurt was because of their race. Well, you can imagine how scared, hurt, upset, and helpless they feel. This crime described above is known as a hate crime. A Hate Crime is defined as an act of prejudice against a person or property of a victim because of their race, sexual orientation, religion, disability, nationality, gender identity, and gender. As you can see its a pretty broad field of crimes. But this is because hate is such a broad field and can be spread out in so many different ways. The Hate Crime Legislation protects in seven different ways and includes: race, religion, nationality, gender (male, female, or intersexual), disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The hate crime legislation was passed on October 28th, 2009 (Robinson). There are many people who do not support the legislation at all. These people do not fully understand the extent that hate crimes affect Americans. Hate crimes not only attack a

person physically, but they attack them mentally. Its like telling them that they are worth less than human life. These crimes are hateful and inhuman. The goals of a hate crime are to express hatred against a random member of a certain community and to spread fear throughout the community the victim is a part of. The goal in itself is horrifying. These are people that are being targeted. Even worse, not people that they know, but random strangers. Why would anyone attack someone they dont even know just to spread fear to a community they dont even know. These people that do not support the legislation clearly do not understand the extent of the crimes at all. They claim that there will be hate speech charges will be filed. This has yet to happen because of the Constitutions second amendment of freedom of speech (Robinson). Hate crimes, left unchecked could destroy the very fabric of the United States of America. These crimes are destructive upon society. They cause fear, harm, and grudges upon certain people. These grudges could lead to more hatred, ignorance, and more hate crimes. This is why the hate crimes provision was created. This measure was an effort to create a thought crimes class of crimes that would require prosecutors to provide evidence the crime was thought of ahead of time. This would change many things in criminal justice including sentencing of crimes that would normally get a slap on the wrist. During the beginning of his term President Obama even admitted to his support of the bill. From 1998 to 2007 the FBI had recorded reports of more than 77,000 hate crimes. That would be 8,556 recorded cases a year. This wouldnt even include the countless number of cases that were not recorded due to fear. They also saw in their reports that crimes based on sexual orientation were on an upward trend. Meaning that crimes committed based on someones sexual orientation were becoming more and more common. Based on the information above I think its safe to say that these crimes are becoming more and more out of control (Hulse).

Hate crimes are a terrible, terrible thing to commit. They strike fear into communities and to individuals. And they cause harm to innocent people trying to go about their daily lives. The people that commit these crimes are ignorant and hateful. They think they need to harm individuals that are different because they do not understand them and refuse to learn to understand them. That is why the hate crime legislation is important to lock away those who commit them and to prevent others from committing them.

Works Cited
Hulse, Carl. House Votes to Expand Hate Crimes Definition. 9 October 2009. 9 November 2011 <www.nytimes.com/2009/10/09/us/politics/09/hate.html>. Robinson, B. A. Hate Crimes In the U.S. 30 January 2011. 9 November 2011 <www.religioustolerence.org/hom_hat1.htm>.