Analysis of Hate Crime in the United States

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Updated: Mar 14, 2023
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Hate crime is defined by the state law as one that involves threats, harassment, or physical harm and is motivated by prejudice against someone’s race, skin color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation or physical or mental disability. Sociologist have identified several ways in which hate can be manifested. These include physical attacks, property damage, bullying tactics, insults and threatening phone calls, emails, text messages, instant messages, or letters.

Many of the crimes that are committed are not simply a robbery of wealth but are committed against someone or a group of individuals that are different from their attacker. These types of acts are deemed as hate crimes. Hate crimes are criminal actions whether someone tend to harm or intimidate others.

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“The date of passage of the first hate crime statute is debatable, since some of the state civil rights statutes passed in the 1960s and 1970s could be regarded as hate crime laws, and since there are numerous definitions of hate crime. According to some experts, the first state hate crime statutes were passed into law in 1981. Since then, the federal government and all but one state has passed pieces of legislation addressing hate crime in some way.” (Shively, 2005).

“The term “hate crime” came into use following World War II. The Nazis institutionalized hate crimes in their systematic attempts to exterminate European Jews. In the United States, lynching was an extreme for of the hate crime, characterized by the unauthorized execution of an individual, often for no specific reason.

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Many African Americans were lynched in the U.S. well into the 20th century. Due to the devastating impact that hate crimes have on families and communities, they are the highest priority of the FBI’s Civil Rights program. Hundreds of those cases are investigated every year through the Bureau who works to detect and deter further incidents through law enforcement training, public outreach and partnerships with community groups (Hate Crimes. 2019, February 13). In the 20th century, hate crimes have attracted public attention as migration patterns are resulting in a world that is more racially, ethnically, culturally, socially and religiously mixed. There were anti-Jewish hate attacks in European countries by 2023 more than at any time since World War II.

Hate crimes in the United States have deep roots in American history and culture ” Racial hatred continues to be a motivation for hate crimes in the United States (Healing the hate). According to the FBI, in 2010, of the more than eight thousand reported hate cries, almost half (48%) were race related and 7% were directed towards African Americans. Jews, Hispanics, Islamic followers and homosexuals are also experiencing hate crime in the United States. Victims experienced significant psychological effects due to hate crimes. They experience a high level of distress, including depression and anxiety.

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Analysis of Hate Crime in the United States. (2019, Apr 18). Retrieved from