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Should Hate Crimes Be Handled With Special Consideration?

1480 words - 6 pages

Around the World we have always had a history of hate crimes based on national origin. In Germany it was the Holocaust and the hate towards Jewish people, here in America we’ve had a history of hate against African American people now it seems that hate towards other races such as Latinos and Middle Eastern races are becoming more apparent. It's also obvious that, while Americans are always in a hurry to close our most unpleasant chapters, unfortunately, anti-Semitism is alive and well in a lot of parts of our society, whether we like it or not.
The fight for women’s rights in America started before the 1920s but big changes weren’t made until the 1960’s and 1970’s. The women's movement ...view middle of the document...

Current federal law permits prosecution of hate crimes committed on the basis of the victim’s race, color, religion, or national origin while the victim was engaged in a federally protected activity such as voting or attending school. Sociologists and social psychologists have long wrestled with the concept of prejudice; they have been unable to agree on a single definition. One point of consensus is that there are many kinds of prejudice. An individual can be prejudiced in favor of something such as his or her religion or prejudiced against something such as someone else's religion. We all have prejudices for and against individuals, groups, foods, countries, weather, and so forth. Sometimes these prejudices come from experience, sometimes in fantasy and irrationality, and sometimes they are passed down to us by family, friends, school, religion, or one’s culture. Some prejudices such as anti-Fascist are considered good, but other prejudices provoke strong social and political censure such as, racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny. There is a great deal of confusion about what constitutes an acceptable opinion or preference for example if someone says, "I prefer to attend a historically black college," or "I oppose Zionism and a Jewish state," and what constitutes unacceptable, abhorrent prejudice. Since hate crimes are fueled by prejudices we need to have certain guidelines to follow as to what is considered prejudice. If someone commits a crime against someone just because they don’t like that person then this may not be considered a hate crime. But, if the same crime is committed and the person doing the crime is hurting that person (their body physically or their property) because they dislike that persons race, religion or sexual orientation than this would constitute a hate crime.
Most states have statutes that constitute what a hate crime is and sets guidelines for punishments if one commits a hate crime. Almost all states have some form of penalty-enhancement hate crime statute which increases the sentence if the crime was motivated by the victim’s actual or perceived personal characteristics.
In Nebraska, Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 28-110 (2010) states A person in the State of Nebraska has the right to live free from violence, or intimidation by threat of violence, committed against his or her person or the destruction or vandalism of, or intimidation by threat of destruction or vandalism of, his or her property regardless of his or her race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability. Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 28-111(2010) Imposes additional penalties on any person who commits one or more of the following criminal offenses against a person or a person's property because of the person's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability or because of the person's association with a person of a certain race, color, religion, ancestry, national...

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