Worlds & Time

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hate Crimes Challenge

Here's a challenge for American Elephant or Renaissance Guy:

What is a hate crime?

Use your own words to describe what hate crimes legislation does, what effects it is intended to prevent or create and why we need them.

I may have to ask clarifying questions to determine if you've actually got the right idea.



  • Hate crimes are also known as bias-motivated crimes, the latter being a much more accurate and useful term, in my opinion.

    They are crimes that are perpetrated based on the victim's membership (or assumed membership) in a particular group. [This is proably my biggest cricism of them. They make certain victims "more equal" than others.]

    There are two subcategories that are sometimes labled hate crimes. The first involves existing crimes, such as assault or murder, that were motivated by bias. The second involves speech or other form of expression that is deemed as offensive or as inciting violence. [I totally disapprove of the second category, and apparently you do too.]

    Four kinds of hate crimes laws have been enacted in different places: laws that add harsher penalties to an existing crime, laws that define specific activities as hate crimes, laws that provide for civil actions against perpetrators, and laws that require law enforcement agencies to categorize and catalog hate-crime incidents.

    How did I do?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:44 PM  

  • Good. I'm surprised that you took the time to research it, and I'd probably be interested to know your source. It doesn't sound like your typical style of writing.

    The second category that you mention is usually not the way the term used in the United States but you are absolutely correct that I also disapprove of it.

    As for the four kinds, you'll notice that only two provide for harsher criminal penalties and both do require actual actions to violate the law to be prosecuted. Nothing to violate the first amendment.

    Congrats RG, you've surprised me in a good way. If you want to continue, you want to make up a situation under which hate crimes legislation would be enforced as a further test to see if you understand the research that you've done?

    By Blogger Spherical Time, at 8:02 PM  

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