An Argument in Favor of the Hate Crime Law in the United States
The hate crime laws focuse on protecting the citizens against the prejudice crimes that are motivated by violent acts and hostility. Although there are variances in the state laws, the penalty that is subjected to individuals who are accused of these crimes is usually severe. The jurisdiction has outlined the measures that should be undertaken by the political class in an attempt to mitigate these crimes in the society. The massive struggle for political superiority, embodied by the politicians, has resulted to hate crimes in the society. The hate crimes are usually related to an individual’s religion, ethnicity, gender identity, nationality and disability.
The hate crime bill was enacted in 1994 by the federal government, and it allowed federal prosecution to be undertaken on individuals who interfere or injure other people because of their race, nationality, or religion. The bill was later reviewed by President Obama, following the inadequacies and limitations of federal jurisdiction on hate crimes. In supporting this bill, the federal government enacted counterpart bills – law enforcement act and violent crime control act – that ensured the culprits of hate crimes were convicted accordingly. Currently, the hate crime law is vested as one of the vital components of fighting crimes across the United States. The bill has incorporated crimes that are motivated by gender identity, disability, and sexual orientation (Jacobs & Potter, 2010).
In my opinion, the hate crime law provides an elaborate identity of politics, and how it manifests itself in the vast areas of law. The law is a socio-legal category that enhances the individuals in a given jurisdiction area to exercise peaceful activities (Hulse, 2007). The government attempt to induce anti- discrimination paradigm, imminent in the society, to the federal criminal law has generated immense anomalies and cruxes. For instance, the perpetrators of the hate crimes have been channelled to minority groups in the society (Bergman & Berman, 2011). Equality has not been achieved, as stringent measures have not been applied to ensure that all sorts of citizens are subjected to equal treatment across the society. In addition, the underlying conduct, barred by the law, has been subjected to punishments, both criminal and civil.
Hate crime laws are based on protecting religious institutions against criticism. This has been the principal source for critique by scholars. Although some of the religious faithful zealots may be characterized by hateful and violent acts, the hate crime law is aimed at protecting religion. Those who object to religious slander and atrocity were subjected to law and order. It is clear that the main objective of introducing the law was to ensure that the society is protected, especially considering religious doctrines, from the political atrocities affecting the religious sectors.
However, it is clear that the incline to the religious instincts posits the society to differentiate between what can be termed as acceptable ‘hatred’ by the courts of law (Gerstenfield, 2010). Some of the comments from other religious beliefs may be enunciating the reality of other individuals’ tradition and culture. Therefore, the court has the mandate to ascertain the relevancy and the components of hatred in the society. Indeed, what one individual may perceive to be hatred, another person may reckon to be the societal norm.
Ideally, the hate crime laws’ beneficiaries are the religious sectors. For instance, in the case of Israel and Jews, – the first beneficiary of the law – the government ensured that the “Holocaust Deniers” were prosecuted according to the outlined laws and legislation (Gerstenfield, 2010). This included both the journalists and scholars who refused to accept the fact of Holocaust during World War II. As such, the bill will be oriented against the scholars who have unpopular expressions or ideas, and which tend to incite the population. Religious doctrine being believed to be true and dependable, the bill restricts an individual from debating against the contents of religious teachings – either Islamic, Hindu or Christianity. The philosophers are at a major risk as they cannot air the views concerning some of the teachings in the Holy Book.
However, upon implemented and coordinated in solemn manner, the gravity of religious exploitation will not be felt. The countries that had formerly enacted the bill claimed that it was bias. For instance, an English blogger was charged by the court after he complained that Muslim immigrants were committing heinous crimes and violent acts against mankind (Stout, 2009). The court determined that the claim was a slander and it was against the rules outline in the hate crime law. Meanwhile, the Muslim immigrants continued to carry placards with violent threats meant for the Europeans who were insulting Islamic religion. The English blogger was threatened by the Islam, including death threats, and the court perceived it to be not an issue.
In conclusion, hate crime law can be beneficial in the society, as it mitigates hate speech that would have otherwise caused mayhem. However, the legislation should not be biased and equality should be vested across all the sectors. Christians or Muslims should not use the law as an avenue to victimize other people. Changes should be made in the act in order to ensure that the Canadian issue is not going to happen in the United States.