The Story of a Girl who was a Victim of a Hate Crime

The photo I choose is that of a Victoria Islamic Center mosque in Victoria, Texas, taken on January 29, 2017. The mosque was part of a hate crime act committed against the Muslim community who resided in and around the small city of Victoria. The photo shows the aftermath of the fire and investigators inspecting the scene. The mosque was burned by a man who had so much hate for the Muslim community he decided to torch it down. As you can see in the photo it was completely burned down without the chance of being saved. Not only did he burn down the mosque he burns down their holy worship place. The house of worship were Muslims gather together to pray and congregate. The photo shows how only the based on the mosque survived. The building was destroyed.

According to CBS NEWS article, Perez goal was to cause destruction and damage to the Muslims living in the part of Texas. Perez also was told that if the community raised funds to rebuild he would burn it again. He scared the lives of all the Muslims. Some people who fear another attacked has decided to abstain from attending any holy services. The impact the actions committed by Marq Vincent Perez did exactly what he intended to do. The photo is important to the study of Anomie Theory or also known as the Strain theory. The reason of the important is to pinpoint the similarities as how Perez tried to imitate the entire community instilling fear with the act of violence. Perez could have suffered from stressed or upset with how the Muslims living in his community. If he never achieved anything in life after high school that could also have an effect. Only experience negatives have resulted in violent and deviance behavior in individuals.

Per the Oxford Bibliographies in regards to the Strain theory, “Strain theories state that certain strains or stressors increase the likelihood of crime. These strains lead to negative emotions, such as frustration and anger. These emotions create pressure for corrective action, and crime is one possible response. Crime may be used to reduce or escape from strain, seek revenge against the source of strain or related targets, or alleviate negative emotions. For example, individuals experiencing chronic unemployment may engage in theft or drug selling to obtain money, seek revenge against the person who fired them, or take illicit drugs to feel better.” Initially founded by the work done by Emile Durkheim and have been further developed by Robert King Merton, Albert K Cohen, Richard Cloward, Lloyd Ohlin, Neil Smelser, Robert Agnew, Steven Messner, and Richard Rosenfled. Robert Merton strain theory revolves around sociology and criminology. He empathizes how society has certain goals outline and put pressure on individuals.

The main question the theory asked in regards to Merton was why is or better yet why was the crime rate different among different societies levels. Per, Assessing Messner and Rosenfeld’s Institutional Anomie Theory: A Partial Test. Criminology, it is said that “In Crime and the American Dream, Messner and Rosenfeld contend that culturally and structurally produced pressures to secure monetary rewards, coupled with weak controls from noneconomic social institutions, promote high levels of instrumental crime. Empirically, they suggest that the effects of economic conditions on profit-related crime depend on the strength of noneconomic institutions. This investigation evaluates this proposition with cross-sectional data for U.S. states. In brief; the nonlinear models show considerable, indirect support for Messner and Rosenfeld’s institutional anomie theory, revealing that the effects of poverty on property crime depend on levels of structural indicators of the capacity of noneconomic institutions to ameliorate the criminogenic impact of economic deprivation. The implications of these findings are discussed.”

As per the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Hate Crimes, hate crimes are the highest priority of the FBI’s Civil Rights program, not only because of the devastating impact they have on families and communities, but also because groups that preach hatred and intolerance can plant the seed of terrorism here in our country. The Bureau investigates hundreds of these cases every year and works to detect and deter further incidents through law enforcement training, public outreach, and partnerships with a myriad of community groups. Criminal behavior has been studied and has baffled psychologist and society for hundreds of hundreds of years. Research has been done to show the relation of criminal acts such has hate crimes being committed and have could line the Anomie Theory.

The weakness with the Anomie Theory is that its focus is on those of lower income, lower standing in society individuals. So basically, speaking it specializes in lower class members of the community. Its goal is to show the correlation between the deviance behavior of the individual and the crimes committed due to the factors surrounding their lives. Mental and health aspect is taken into consideration. It goal is to try and set some time of understanding between the two. What we experience as norms in society also go on to affect the individuals. The national Uniform Crime Reporting Program or UCR can provided statistics regarding the amount of crimes that have been reported. Wealth is something everyone wants and one of the main goals in regards to this theory. The pressure put on individuals makes them become criminals. And growing up in lower income neighborhoods is like the peanut butter to jelly. They go hand and hand. One could see how the opportunity to commit crime for self-gain to accommodate or fit into society idea of what is socially accepted. Sadly, it’s a cycle the continues. The poor get poorer and the richer only get richer. Another issue with the Anomie Theory is the fact that is also too broad. It does not specify just one thing it is too general. It also does not pin point exactly what is the main cause or focus.

Anomie Theory or General Strain Theory has undergone many advancements done by different individuals. It has been successful in linking criminal behavior such as hate crimes to those individuals of lower income resources. Those who live in the sketchy side of the neighborhood. Those individuals who fall into this group commit crimes to gain a better since of accomplishments as mention they wish to meet the norms put on us by society.

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The story of a girl who was a victim of a hate crime. (2021, May 31). Retrieved October 7, 2022 , from

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