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Hate:The worst word

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What is hate? According to Merriam-Webster’s Pocket Dictionary (2006) hate is intense hostility and aversion (p. 156). When someone commits a violent crime against another does this “intense hostility and aversion” not apply ubiquitously? Hate crime law assumes that only the “commonly accepted hate” should find importance when trying a perpetrator. Hate crime laws affirm the ever-present prejudices in an age where it must cease. Hate crime laws remain brutally wrong because it causes the legal system to paint a picture of prejudices. We need a socially progressive legal system that sees all violent crimes as hate crimes.

The first recorded hate crime occurred in 1922 (Brooks, 2009). During this time society accepted segregation, racism and general prejudice as common practice. Because of this fact, the people of America must have seen hate crimes as a gift from above. Coming from no prosecution whatsoever, for those who murdered and raped minorities, to extra punishment, seemed like a brilliant idea. But now that we live in a world where fair treatment has become realistic, we need to move on from the 1920s.

If minority groups want equal rights and justice, we cannot promote hate crime legislation. This causes inequality because special treatment arises and the legislation causes society to believe that violent crimes are only hateful when done unto particular minority groups. The courts are saying, “These minority groups deserve hate, or at least the recognition of hate, more than anyone else.” With this attitude, overcoming social inequalities throughout minority groups remains near to impossible.

Each year the FBI compiles loads and loads of statistics concerning hate crimes (FBI, 2009). This compilation transposes prejudices into mathematics and serves no other purpose. From giving percentages of “number of single-bias incidents that were racially motivated” to the number of American Indians being offenders, this list simply affirms arguably the most ridiculous component of today’s society- prejudices. How can we accurately measure these statistics (they even have a caution against using this data for ranking different groups and cities)? Gathering these statistics lacks any ground because we would have to jump inside the perpetrators head to know the exact cause (especially when the FBI boils the math down to one single, itsy bitsy bias).

What are these numbers doing to society? We have always been taught that numbers and statistics reign supremely over our lives, and they stay infallible. Statistics like these ruin this general truth. Tricking society is all these numerals are good for. They trick us to believe people harm others based on a single bias, minorities need special treatment, certain groups find legitimate superiority to others, numbers can characterize entire groups, and countless other false presumptions. The government needs to defenestrate these ridiculous statistics along with all hate crime. We need to move forward away from this conceptual error.

Prejudices should remain rooted in the past and stay back there. With hate crime legislation sticking around, society cannot reach this goal. It reaffirms the idea that minority groups deserve special treatment, extra hate, extra recognition of this hate, and little mathematical figures to fit into. With an issue like this, we must connect with realism and come to the conclusion that this method just cannot work. Stand against hate crime legislation if you stand against prejudice behavior.





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