Essay about Hate Crime Victimization

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The word victim can be used to refer to a number of people who are affected by negative actions of others which are not related to any personal responsibility of their own. “An examination of U.S. history will reveal that a significant proportion of murders, assaults, and acts of vandalism and desecration were fueled by bigotry” (Karmen, 2013, p. 350). Hate crime victimization is a very prevalent and serious issue that exists amongst our society today that is often used to demonstrate a form of hate towards a particular group of people; primarily minority groups. “Although each state employs a different definition of hate crime, most statutes include groups singled out on the basis of race (such as African Americans or Asian Americans), …show more content…
2). In other words, bias crimes do not only affect the victim, but they also affect the victim’s immediate community as well as their community as a whole.
1. The Dimensions of Hate Crimes
The first characteristic of these crimes that is present in these incidents is known as the victim interchangeability. “Interchangeability means that any individual who possesses, or is perceived to possess, a specific trait that can be selected as a target” (McDevitt & Sgarzi, 2003, p. 190). Hate crime victims are chosen based on an actual or perceived status of which they have no ability to change such as race. The second characteristic of these crimes is known as the capacity for secondary victimization. This dimension of hate crimes involves the intention of affecting a wide range of the targeted population as a whole, and not just the specific target(s) at hand. Examples of this would be certain acts such as a cross-burning initiated by the Ku Klux Klan or a painting of a swastika on a building. The third characteristic of hate crimes is that they possess immutable characteristics which play a critical role in predicting the repercussion of hate crime victims. For example, because it is impossible for an African-American…

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