Victimology (Hate Crimes)
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The FBI report on hate crimes in 2013 reveals the addition of bias against gender and gender identity as categories under hate crimes. This addition to the list of bias categories expresses a slight shift in the way hate crime is received by law enforcement agencies. Another slight shift visible in this report is about including hate against Arabs as a sub-category under the race and ethnicities section.
Hate crimes can be fueled by political instability, economic upheavals and severe stereotyping by media. CITATION NCh12 \l 1033 (N Chakraborti, 2012) This has visibly been the case for Muslims and Arabs since 9/11. Hate crimes against Muslims and Arabs saw a rise all over the world as terrorism rose and media stereotyping took hold. CITATION IAw17 \l 1033 (I Awan, 2017) However, as we see the shift in the FBI report we understand the growing responsibility in addressing this particular facet of hate crimes.
Rediscovering the term ‘hate crimes’ has a lot to do with an influx of these crimes in the age of electronic media. Although media has always played a part in instigating the creation of the ‘other’, electronic media does it faster. CITATION BPe01 \l 1033 (Perry, 2001) Therefore, a rediscovery of hate crimes as a criminal category was bound to happen in this day and age of greater awareness regarding one’s right to safety and equality as a citizen. This also relates to the fact that there is now clear activism around further expanding the conventional reactions to hate crimes. CITATION Mas10 \l 1033 (Mason-Bish, 2010)
In the context of policy and scholarship around hate crimes, I support a maximalist approach. It is a widely accepted idea that a hate crime that is similar to another crime committed with a different motivation, is considerably wearier on the victim. The trauma attained from a hate crime can transcend that of the crime itself as the intent is also harmful in itself. CITATION Pau15 \l 1033 (Paul Iganski, 2015) It is therefore imperative that in order to obtain a just world, we have to push for stricter legislation around hate crimes.
BIBLIOGRAPHY I Awan, I. Z. (2017). ‘I will blow your face off’: Virtual and physical world anti-Muslim hate crime. British Journal of Criminology, 362-380.
Mason-Bish, H. (2010). Future challenges for hate crime policy: Lessons from the past. In N. Chakraborti, Hate crime: Concepts, policy, future directions (pp. 58-77). Cullompton: Willan.
N Chakraborti, J. G. (2012). Reconceptualising hate crime victimization through the lens of vulnerability and ‘difference’. Theoretical Criminology, 499-514.
Paul Iganski, S. L. (2015). Hate Crimes Hurt Some More Than Others: Implications for the Just Sentencing of Offenders. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1696-1718.
Perry, B. (2001). In the Name of Hate: Understanding Hate Crimes. London: Routledge.
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