There is so much going on in the world today Vivaldi hate crime specifically among African-Americans within the United States. I hate crime involves don’t harassment or physical form to an individual or group of individuals and it is motivated by prejudice against one’s race, religion ethnicity, sexual orientation or even disability. What is it a hate crime that I would like to focus on would Trayvon Martin in Florida. It was felt that Trayvon Martin was killed nearly because he was black. This tragic accident demonstrates the p prejudice in the form of racism that continues to exist and could lead to a deadly consequence. Hate crimes have impacted society in many ways. There are two hate crimes and I’ll be focusing on, they are related to race and disability. Hate crimes come in many forms.
An individual’s or group of individuals’ race inspires the majority of hate crimes in America. A race hate crime is a crime committed based on a person’s race or national origin. An example of a race hate crime can be seen with the recent Trayvon Martin’s murder. On the evening of February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17 year old African American teenager was shot and killed near his home by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Florida. Since Martin’s death, and the revelation of more details, the case has drawn national outcry and sparked hot debate over the current racial tension in society. According to Weinstein Martin, a Miami native that was visiting his father in Sanford at a house in a gated Sanford community, the Retreat at Twin Lakes, that evening Martin walked out to the nearby 7-Eleven to get some Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea. On his return trip, he drew the attention of Zimmerman, who was patrolling the neighborhood in a sports-utility vehicle. Zimmerman reportedly called 911 to report ‘a real suspicious guy.’ It is thought by millions across America Zimmerman labeled Trayvon simply because he was a black male wearing a hoodie.
Evidence that supports the perception of racism in this case is the 911 phone call from Zimmerman that states, ‘This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or some-thing,’ Zimmerman told the dispatcher. ‘It’s raining and he’s just walking around looking about. Now he’s coming towards me. He’s got his hand in his waistband. And he’s a black male…Something’s wrong with him. Yup, he’s coming to check me out. He’s got something in his hands. I don’t know what his deal is…These assholes, they always get away.’ Minutes later Zimmerman and Martin were spotted “wrestling” on the ground. According to witnesses, they heard screams then a single shot. After the single shot, Martin laid dead from the gunshot. It is felt that Zimmerman killed an unarmed teen that was on his way home from the store with a bag of Skittles and an Arizona Tea. The Trayvon Martin case is just one of many cases that show racism as a hate crime in the recent years.
Race crimes are not just committed by a single person but also by groups such as “supremacy groups.” Supremacy groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and Black Panthers. The Ku Klux Klan, also known as the KKK or the Klan is a white supremacy group that exists even today in America. The KKK was founded in 1866 in Pulaski, Tennessee. The main objective of the Klan was to op-pose black people gaining rights during the Reconstruction era that followed the American Civil War (Swarbrick). Throughout the decades since being founded, the KKK has been known to participate in hate crimes against blacks. Especially during the 1960’s civil rights movement. During this time, many blacks were threatened, beaten, murdered or lynched during this period by the Klan.
Swarbricks stated that “When the Civil Rights movement began in the 1960’s, a new wave of Ku Klux Klan violence began. Flashpoints in the KKK’s violent history included Mississippi, where three civil rights leaders were slain and Birmingham, Alabama, where a church was bombed, killing four young black girls”. Not only did the KKK kill but they also would set crosses on fire in front of the homes of blacks. The KKK would resort to anything to bring harm to the black communities in America that would keep them oppressed and feeling inferior. In regard to racism, there aren’t just the white supremacy groups. There were black supremacy groups as well. One of these groups was the Black Panthers. The Black Panthers party was founded in 1966 in Oakland, California.
During the 1960’s, the Panther’s fought for the civil liberties of black Americans. The fight and struggle of the Black Panthers resulted in deaths and shoot-outs with police. There were many hate crimes with the Black Panthers and the police that resulted in the deaths from both sides. The most notable case was that of Huey Newton who killed a white police officer in 1967. The Newton case resulted in three mistrials (Black Panther 2011). These two supremacy groups committed many hate crimes because race. Both of these groups provide examples of what hate crimes against race is about and how negatively it impacts society.
Racism is not the only hate crime. Furthermore, disability hate crimes exist in America. Sadly, a person’s disability is target for many hate crimes.” In September 1997, local police investigated an alleged sexual assault that had occurred behind a grocery store in Massachusetts. A 21-year-old woman with mild retardation reported that she had been duct-taped to a tree and molested, then sexually assaulted in a parked van and again in an empty building. The police arrested a 60-yearold local drifter and charged him with indecent assault and battery on a mentally retarded per-son, a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison (Brian T. McMahon).” The theoretical bases for bias and prejudice are no different for disability than for other targeted groups (Chesler). Individuals with disabilities may be more vulnerable and the victims of a hate crime and are more likely to be victims of other violent crimes. These individuals are more likely not as able as others to protect themselves from hate crimes. That makes it an advantage for a person to commit a crime on a person with a disability.
Not only is there violence against people that have mental retardation, but also those with learning disabilities. Individuals with learning disabilities have become one of the latest concerns for being targets of hate or other violent crimes in the US. For example, the case of “Steven Hoskin, who had a learning disability and was killed by three people. During this his horrific murder, he plunged to his death from a viaduct after being forced to swallow 70 paracetamol tablets (Gillin).” This demonstrates how a helpless disabled person fell victim to a horrible hate crime. Many disability hate crimes go unreported each year. Tasks force such as the Learning Disability Task Force that helps to prevent such hate crimes. Disability crimes are caused for a variety of reasons. Some individuals are targeted because they are helpless and unable to protect themselves. Individuals with learning disabilities face a great potential of becoming a victim of hate crimes. Children and adults with learning disabilities are picked on and even battered. Disability hate crimes prove how cruel some individuals or groups in the American society can be.
Hate crimes takes many forms. No one is exempt from falling victim of a hate crime. These crimes impact the everyday lives of the American society. Three forms of hate crimes are may result because of one’s race, bullying, and disability. Many individuals are victims of these hate crimes daily. Race hate crimes are crimes committed based on a person’s national origin. A person falls victim because of the color of their skin. Trayvon Martin’s murder is an example of a hate crime based upon race. He was thought to be up to no good because he was black and wearing a hoodie. Both or one of these factors (being black and/or wearing a hoodie) are stereotypical in nature and are the basis of racist perceptions.
Bullying as a hate crime impacts the American society. Research shows how that gays, lesbians and transgendered individuals are the most bullied. The case of Tyler Clementi demonstrates how he was bullied by his roommate and this resulted in his committing suicide. Cyber bullying is a new wave of hate crime among young America. Technology is being used widely to bully teens and kids each day. Individuals with disabilities are vulnerable to becoming victims of hate crimes sometimes during their lives. In addition, individuals with learning disabilities are also subject to being victims of hate crimes.
Almost any anywhere in America, on any given day and at any given time, an individual becomes the victim of a hate crime because of his or her race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and/or disability. Hate crimes in any form has a significant impact on the individual, families and the American society as a whole.