Table of Contents
In all three articles, this shows my contrast that it’s maintained that violence is not a solution and human dignity should always be upheld regardless of a person’s identity, culture and orientation. That remains to be the most significant of human rights.
Article I: Stop the Hate
Alana Baranov’s (2016) view on hate crimes is that it starts with a spark and it can grow out of proportion. Hate speeches do not only lambast one individual, but the whole group he represents; sparking an even bigger defense system that may involve violence. She claims that one should not stop the hate with hate. It creates a cycle of vengeance and perpetuates hatred. Thus, the Hate Crimes Working Group has stepped in to educate people about the dangers of provoking hate crimes by coming up with laws that make acts of hate unacceptable. These initiatives are meant to be carried out with awareness campaigns starting from influencing young people to learn from history’s lessons of hate’s repercussions on mankind in order to build a brighter and more love-filled future.
Baranov reminded readers of the dehumanizing effects of the Holocaust and genocide. Her suggestion is to nip the suggestion of hate in the bud, meaning people should be vigilant in calling out anyone who makes a negative, prejudicial comment against someone. For some, it may start as a joke meant to offend someone as well as the group he represents. She says this is also known as “identity crimes” because it hurls pain and destruction at one’s identity. She advocates respect and acceptance of diversity, and not to tolerate slurs and racist remarks. People need to look beyond differences and uphold each other’s dignity despite the negativity that may prevail around them. This can significantly help in healing from the wounds of the past and not to further aggravate it by replenishing it with more pain due to hateful actions and words.
Article II: Crime Laws Defined in Stop the Hate Presentation
Farmer (2016) defined what hate crimes are, so that people may better understand hate crime laws. He differentiated hate crimes from bias incidents, with the former being crimes motivated by hatred towards a certain population, and the latter, an act not involving a crime even if it is perceived as offensive. This distinction helps in evaluating acts of violence against others, whether through actions or words. Additionally, it assigns the appropriate fines and punishments, such as prison terms to each deemed as a hate crime. Hate crimes are those meant to hurt others because of their differences from the offender such as the victim’s gender orientation, disability, race, etc. and is mostly considered discrimination. Towards the end of the article, Farmer mentioned the need to also check into bias incidents, as perhaps these could lead to hate crimes, if not suspended from the onset. The author encourages sessions discussing hate crime prevention so that more people can understand its devastating effects on the human spirit.
Article III: Hate Crime Laws: Are Hate Crime Laws Effective
The last article from Issues and Controversies (2019) questions the effectiveness of Hate Crime Laws. Hate crimes in this article are defined as crimes motivated by the offender’s bias against the victim’s “race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender or gender identity”, which echoes the two other articles’ inferences that such crimes are very discriminatory and prejudicial. This article is lengthier than the other two, detailing findings about hate crime, such as the percentages allotted to categories of biases that motivated the crimes. As of 2017, it was found that the greatest motivator is racial discrimination, followed by religious differences then sexual orientation. Some hate crimes are motivated by the offenders’ biases against gender identity, gender, and disability. The rise in the prevalence of hate crimes have been attributed to the presidencies of Obama and Trump, and these are debated upon by their respective followers. However, the focus of the article was on hate crime laws such as the Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA) which was passed by Congress in 2009. Such laws advocate severe punishment for crimes motivated by discrimination against the victim’s race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. However, there are also people who question it, because it penalizes the offender’s right to free thought and speech.