Crime Prevention: Putting a Stop to Hate Crime

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Hate crime has been a major issue all the around the world and affects not just an individual but society as a whole. Hate crime could be defined as a series of harmful events committed against a person or group based on religion, skin color, social status, gender, disability or any other characteristic. The first forms of hate crime can be traced back to the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire used to prosecute groups due to certain religious beliefs. Hate crimes have been around ever since World War I.

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Adolf Hitler, leader of the Nazi party, was one of the most infamous leaders in history for hate crime acts. During his leadership, he demanded every Jew to be executed only because they did not follow his idea of a perfect community. Due to this, many Jews were poorly treated and/or executed. World War II then initiated after the invasion of Poland in 1939 (William L. Shirer, 2009). One of the biggest accomplishments after World War I and World War II was The Civil Rights Act of 1964 which ended discrimination. In 1968, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson, with the help of congress, passed the first federal hate crimes statute which made it illegal to threaten or hurt a person due to any specific race, color, religion or national origin (The United States Department of Justice, 2019). When the 80s came by, it became more of an important issue when journalists from different schools were describing a group of incidents targeted towards Jews, Asians, and African Americans.

Many immigrants, residents, and nonresidents in the Hispanic community fear the outcome of hate crime towards them. Hispanic Immigrants fear that this specific issue is targeted towards them because they are not American citizens. Blending in with society has been one of the biggest obstacles for them. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, “more than one in five suspected hate crimes victimized Latinos.” This data explains how severe the hatred towards this community has grown. During the same study, assault, robberies, and even murder were the primary attacks against them.

One of the most common instances of hate crimes are the ones targeted against the Hispanic community in the United States. Throughout the years, many Hispanics have immigrated to the United States and have encountered various obstacles as they adapt to their new surroundings. Many of these obstacles include not speaking English, having an accent, or simply not being U.S. citizens, which can limit their opportunities. These characteristics can lead to discrimination and unfair treatment. Hispanics are judged and stereotypically profiled, mocked, and continuously degraded in countless ways. Countless communities feel intimidated which stops them from going to the police and reporting these problems. This has become an issue because society is raising kids and teaching them that this is acceptable behavior. Children are not mature enough yet to understand what is right and what is wrong. What is considered funny to one might be really hurtful towards another.

In recent years, hate crimes have raises attention from the government and police enforcement. There are many support groups and organization who support those who have felt threatened by the hate actions of our current society. There are many ways these act can be solved. However, these solutions are still under planning as they are very expensive and would take years of research.

One possible solution is education. Bailey Morrison proposes to educate children from a young age, and promote the idea that every person should be treated the same and that nobody deserves any disrespect (2019). According to the statistics, hate crimes increased all around schools from 2017-2018 academic year ( Morrison, 2019). The article introduces a series of ways students can be educated towards this matter. It started by bringing “tour buses” on campuses to host a series of interactive games, the writing of empowering messages, decorating doors, and properly training faculty members (2019). All these education methods taught students about the importance of diversity, addressing these issues, expressing emotions and frustrations in passive ways, and the acceptance of other cultures. Because there are so many education methods all around The United States, this method would take years to approach. Even though stopping hate crimes starts from education the younger generation, it requires a tremendous change from the government since public schools are broken down at the level of each state. Another aspect of increasing the education is engaging in the community. As the Southern Poverty Law Center asserts, engaging and participating in different clubs is part of educating the community (2017). According to their studies, 3 year old kids are aware of racial differences and by the age of 12, it is impossible for them not to understand the stereotypes held towards other cultures. SPLW has a Teaching Tolerance program that offers free online lessons about civil and human rights and cross social boundaries. In contrast, educating students and young adults is an important key on stopping hate crimes. However, dealing with the education system requires a long time since not everybody has the same education opportunities.

The second solution is the use of surveillance cameras. Olivia P. Tallet suggests the installment of surveillance cameras around neighborhoods that show a high hate crime incident report. Knowing someone is watching every hour of the day makes people feel safe when walking around on their own. If people know they are being watched, crimes all around the world will stop. Tallet discusses a family who was having problems with their next door neighbor after being shot with a pellet gun. The incident was taken into court and advised the family to install a camera outside their home to prove the act of hate crime. The camera was reviewed and all the threats made by the neighbor were brought to light. Many victims should be more aware about what constitutes a hate crime and why they should report it (2019). This solution involves a court case that could have not been proved unless the surveillance cameras were installed. This does not automatically mean that people are going to stop these crimes. However, It gives a community a feeling of safety. Surveillance cameras are the most reliable way to stop hate crimes against the Hispanic community. In a real world, this could not work since there will be a great need for financial support from the government. It could also create a need for privacy as people would feel their government is interfering with their daily lives. Which why surveillance cameras are currently only installed in public places or private residences.

The third solution is to create more initiatives and or laws that will protect Hispanic immigrants against any kind of discrimination. In comparison to the other solutions, this solution goes beyond the community itself. Michael Shively proposes several ways to reduce the amount of hate crimes by advising different ways laws could be stronger. It is impossible to find a solution to a problem that has not been proven to exist, which is why a study of the reason and the origin on hate crimes targeted against Hispanics was done. The study was composed of two phases. The first phase is gathering and analyzing data. He decided to collect information to prove this theory by “Using key national databases ( UCR, NIBRS, and NCVS), he found an increase of Hispanic hate crimes since 2000’s with a low number of incidents reported” (Shiverly, 2014). Most of these crimes were caused due to stereotypes or years of hatred towards a certain community (2014). By looking at specific places where there has been a risen of hate crimes, it is believed law enforcements should get involved and offer help by responding with the appropriate measures. For this study, he selected certain regions where hate crimes have increased, the number of hate crimes and specific variables such as race, ethnicity, nationality (Shively, 2014). The second phase is the conduction of surveys, focus groups and interviews. Most immigrants are afraid of reporting these crimes because they are afraid the law will not protect them. Fortunately, it is prohibited for any police enforcement to ask about their legal status when reporting a hate crime. Shively suggests police officers need to provide a better understanding of the terminology or hate crime concepts since many Hispanics are unable to identify these trends. The government should also increment the amount of officers that speak different languages or provide interpreters or translators to those in need (2014). This solution does not require any new laws. On the contrary, offers solution to current laws and provides a better understanding on why the system is failing. This solution is significant because it shows a complete study on the increase of hate crimes towards the Hispanic community based strictly on data, statistics, and years of observation. The study was well developed and thought of with enough information to supports the findings. Also, all the research has provided him with enough proof to support the increase of hate crimes in the Hispanic community and the need to solve the problem.

According to Jason Marsden stronger laws that protect discrimination is considered as the possible solution for hate crimes against Hispanics. The power of the law and government play one of the most important roles in this issue. Recents events have shown that creating more initiatives and/or laws that will protect Hispanic immigrants against any kind of discrimination could be the start of a community where everyone feels safe. The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act gives the government the power to be more involved in any case targeted at a person due to specific characteristics such as race, skin color, religion, economic background and others (Marsden J, 2014). It also gives the Department of Justice the authority to train the police on how to stop hate crimes. The government has the authority and the opportunity to further investigate hate crimes with the support of funding and assistance provided by the government. The study propose by Michael Shively is likely to work well because his research shows that hate crimes can be stopped with the appropriate police help. In addition, the implementation of stronger laws is expected to make the Hispanic community feel they live in a safe environment. This solution is very short-term, so it is more recommended than the other solutions. The installment of surveillance cameras would require financial help from the government that would require years to be approved. Even though education is one of the most valuable things for students, this problem goes beyond the education system. Immediate action is necessary towards Hate crimes targeted against Hispanics. Even though Interfering with the laws and the way hate crime reports are conducted by police enforcement would require a lot of political support, it is the most well grounded and statically support solution.

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Crime Prevention: Putting a Stop to Hate Crime. (2020, Jul 01). Retrieved from