hate crimes :: hate is a global issue
by Lauren Dean
In Augusta, Mich., burning crosses and vandalized vehicles terrorize
two black families.
In St. Louis, an Asian refugee is killed by a black youth.
The victim was sitting in his car in his own yard.
At a high school in Suffolk County, New York, white students distribute
fliers promoting white supremacy.
These acts, along with thousands of others, are examples of the many
hate crimes committed every day.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service,
hate crime is the violence of intolerance and bigotry. It is intended
to hurt someone because of his or her race, sexual orientation, ethnicity
or religious beliefs.
Hate crimes are widespread. In 1996, the FBI received reports of more
than 10,706 hate crimes from state and local law enforcement agencies,
according to the CRS.
Many people believe hate crimes are merely random acts of violence, but
this is not true. They occur daily, in every state and many cities.
In 1999, a 19-year-old Jewish boy, Sasezley Richardson, was shot and
killed on his way to his friend's house.
In Toronto, a Jewish police officer, Joel Ginsberg, came to work one morning
and found swastikas painted on his office building windows.
And while hate crimes committed against minorities receive vast amounts
of media attention, there are still hundreds of crimes committed against
the majority, according to an article on NewsMax.com.
For example, two homosexuals sodomized and killed 13-year-old Jesse Dirkhising
In 1999, a gunman murdered seven people in a Fort Worth Baptist Church
and shouted, "I can't believe you believe this junk!"
Although hate crimes affect everyone, certain groups are targeted more
than others. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program, in
2002, there were almost 3,000 hate crimes committed against blacks, compared
to 891 committed against whites. In that same year, there were more than
1,000 crimes committed against Jews, although there were only 38 committed
Hate shows no boundaries, and no one is immune. While some groups are targeted
more than others, these statistics and stories illustrate that hate is a global
issue that affects all of us.