Bullying and Hate Crimes span the range of young and old, from a quiet little Amish town in Ohio to technology driven, cyber bullying, hatred filled junior high school kids. Why does it happen? Why can’t people just allow each other to go about their lives in peace? Let’s begin Addressing Hate Crime and Bullying Issues.
No one is born with feelings of hatred toward entire groups of people for no apparent reason except that they are somehow different from themselves. The hate comes from within an attackers own personal bias, and not from actions on the part of most victims. Hate crimes are a result of learned attitudes and behaviors, observed violence toward strangers, being mimicked.
Statistics: At least eight black people, three gay people, three Jewish people and one Latino person is a hate crime victim, (based on reported hate crimes only), every single day in America.
Definition: According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, The USA’s “Hate Crime Statistics Act” (28 U.S.C. 534), defines hate crime as “crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, gender or gender identity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.” When an offender uses hate language, leaves hate symbols behind, or police officials confirm an incident as a hate crime – the victim’s report is classified as a hate crime.
Story: On June 27, 2014, strange events began to occur through-out a quiet little Amish town in Geauga County, Middlefield, Ohio. Four or five white men, wearing masks, driving together in a small silver-grey 4-door car, began to attack random Amish people riding in their horse and buggies. The attacks began after 11:00 PM on a Sunday night. A young couple was pursued down the road at high speed but the couple managed to escape. A short time later, in another part of town, two men were heading back to their family home in their horse and buggy. They were suddenly and unexpectedly attacked with baseball clubs. The brutality injured both male cousins, one left with leg injuries, and the other sustained injuries to his elbow.
Local police rushed to the crime scene where a number of Amish shops were vandalized and robbed. Sheriffs say that the masked suspects targeted this area because they expected no repercussions from these meek people. Local law enforcement have worked to keep this community free from hate crime for years. The community is outraged. There is camera footage of the masked men.
Three men and a juvenile were heard bragging about many incidents of hate crime activity in the Amish community. It turns out there were more attacks than previously reported. The suspects said they couldn’t even count how many. They had gotten away with another series of attacks on June 22. People sickened by what they were hearing called the Sheriff.
The four hate criminals were arrested and arraigned immediately, their bail bonds were set at $75,000.
In 2013, sixteen people were arrested and convicted of hate crimes against the Amish in Ohio. The attacks included forceful hair cutting and beard cutting of Amish men. This is an act of cultural humiliation. The sentences included that all convicts were imprisoned in separate facilities, in various states. This group of convicts are all appealing the separation, saying, “This sentence violates their constitutional rights and amounts to “cruel and unusual punishment”.”
Who commits Hate Crimes?
This story is significant because it illustrates how many hate crime groups are very aware of their own rights, yet have no empathy for the rights of other human beings. This is a consistent theme amid all kinds of registered hate groups in the United States. Many of the leaders of these organized hate groups are intelligent, know their rights and understand the law. These are people considered dangerous for the impact they have over our country’s youth, through propaganda and the internet. They essentially teach others to hate, and give weight to the hateful ideologies of the members of their websites.
FBI Statistics show most commonly reported hate crimes are racial or ethnic in origin. Forty-eight percent of hate crimes are motivated by racial prejudice. Most recently, within the last five years, 100 murderous hate crimes in America, were connected to registered users of one internet website. It is visited most often by white supremacists. This website is monitored closely because it is frequented by our nations’ most deranged and deadly offenders. It is identified as a white power website. Parents should be aware, it is charged with inciting extremists to commit some of the nations’ worst, most deadly, hate crimes during the last twenty years.
The Alabama based “Southern Poverty Law Center reports 1,800 registered members log onto this one site daily, and more than half are from outside the USA. The website creator, Stephen Donald “Don” Black, a former KKK leader in Alabama, is quoted as saying, “We’re reaching tens of thousands of people who never before had access to our point of view.” Chilling!
These hatred spreading groups are cloning themselves around the United States:
- The KKK presently has 163 registered groups
- Neo Nazi’s – 143 active groups
- White Nationalists – 128 groups
- Racist Skinheads – 126 groups
- Christian Identity – 37 groups
- Neo Confederates – 36 groups
- Black Separatists – 115 groups
- General Haters – 191 groups
What are hate groups?
The SPLA follows the activities of hate groups in the U.S. Their lists are based on “groups with beliefs and practices that attack of malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.
Base information on hate groups is gathered from “the group’s own publications, website pages, citizen and law enforcement reports, field source and news reports.”
There is a second list, “The Patriot Groups”. These groups define themselves as opposed to “The new world order.” They advocate and adhere to extremist, anti-government doctrines and engage in conspiracy theories widely considered to be groundless.
The greatest attack risks are typically “lone wolf” sympathizers, not necessarily active members, but regular website visitors, influenced by the group’s message. Often writing their own simulated manifesto and then carrying out heinous criminal acts.
Hate Crimes Against Gays and LGBT Community: In October, 1998, two men tied up a gay student of the University of Wyoming. Matthew Shephard was hung on a fence, beaten severely and left to die. He was found the next day, but died in the hospital five days later from severe head injuries. The attackers are in prison for life with no chance for parole. This horrific example of famous hate crimes was used to establish the Matthew Shephard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes prevention Act.
Three gay men were beaten and robbed in October 2010 in Bronx, New York. Their attackers were a gang going by the name of “Latin King Goonies”. The gang leader is serving 14 years in prison.
The Southern Poverty Law Center monitors active hate groups in the U.S.A. Since 2000, there has been a 56 percent rise in active hate groups. This increase in cloned hate groups is believed to be a response to President Barack Obama’s election to office and the country’s economic downturn.
From the period of 1995 through 2012, SPLC tracking of hate crimes by type.
The SPLC Reports classified the average number of hate crimes to have occurred by types, every year as follows:
- Racial Hate Crimes – 3,979 per year
- Anti-religious — 1,382 per year
- Sexual Orientation – 1,210
- Ethnicity, nationality – 951
- Disability – 52 per year
- Multiple biased – 5
The state of Kansas has a history of some terrible incidents of death and violence created by hate groups but they only have five registered and active known hate groups. Some states do not report their statistics to the SPLA, for example:
The Crew 38 – racist skinheads in Wichita, Kansas, KKK – Loyal White Knights, Midland Hammer skins, National Socialist Movement, Neo Nazis of Lansing, and an activist anti-LGBT group in Topeka, the Westboro Baptist Church.
Racial Hate Crimes:
There has been a long history of racially motivated hate crimes, some were so heartbreaking they served to motivate legislation to change laws and increase punishments to abruptly reduce these horrible crimes.
Story: In January 2014, the grand jury returned a federal indictment against a man with no conscience. Conrad Alvin Barrett, age 27, was charged with violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
Barrett of Katy, Texas, was held in custody pending criminal proceedings for punching an elderly man in the face causing him to crumply to the ground, unconscious. Barrett recorded himself on his cell phone while attacking this old man. He then showed off several copies of this video to others. His language, self-identification and racial slurs became part of Barrett’s indictment. Barratt laughed on the video and ran to his car while shouting, “Knockout!”
The victim was punched with such force that his jaw was broken in two places, and he needed several days in the hospital. Barrett said the reason he attacked the old man so violently was because of his race and color and because he wanted to do a “knockout”. In the several copies of his self-video, Barrett made several distasteful remarks and sarcastic jokes.
If convicted, Conrad Barrett faces a statutory maximum of ten years in prison and a $250,000. Fine.
Of the existing 1,007 active and registered hate group in our country, this is the breakdown of facts where they are based.
- California – 77 active hate groups
- Florida – 58
- Texas – 57
- Georgia – 50
- New Jersey – 44
- New York – 42
- Pennsylvania – 41
While racial hate crimes against blacks have been reduced during 2012 through 2014, anti-religious and anti-sexual orientation crimes are on the rise. The FBI reports that 78 percent of all anti-religious hate crimes victimize member of the Jewish population of this country every year. From there the percent drastically drops between other religious affiliations. Protestants report 4.0 percent hate crime attacks per year. Catholics 3.0 percent and against Muslims in the U.S.A., who deal with 2.0 of the hate crime attacks in this country.
It is very hard for most people to understand how anyone could believe that violence toward any people who are seeking God, and everything that religion means to character development, charity and forgiveness would be a benefit or acceptable in the eyes of any God. There is no rational explanation for using religion as a reason for attacking human beings.
When Kids Bully and Commit Hate Crimes:
Story: An eighth grader swim team athlete, named Omid Babakhani, was attacked in the school hallway at the Hannah Beardsley Middle School in Crystal Lake, Illinois in February, this year. The 13-year old reported that he heard someone call out from behind him, “Hey, Persian!” Omid walked away, but a slur and insult about his mom followed. Then his juvenile attacker put Omid in a headlock. He was slammed to the floor and his schoolmate began punching him in the head. Both of Omid’s collarbones were broken in the attack which made his arms useless.
His eighth grade attacker is in custody at Juvenal Hall, awaiting felony hate crime and aggravated felony assault charges to be brought against him. Omid is facing the possibility that his competitive swimming future may be ruined by the broken collarbones, but he is appreciative of his community’s support and encouragement.
Transgender Children in School:
Recently, a group of 300 transgender young people were surveyed. The finding was that almost 90 percent of transgender school aged children are harassed in their schools. The presence of transgender kids became an issue in schools when administrations struggled with determining which restroom these kids should use. Their anatomy is contrary to their gender choice, so would it be healthier for everyone if they used the restroom of their chosen gender, or the restrooms that provided anatomy specific accommodations. The critical issue was the child’s safety in the bathroom situation as well.
Zoey, a transgender girl, born with male anatomy, reports cruel treatment from schoolmates. Even the “good kids” in her school make fun of her. They pretend to be her friend and ask personal questions, only to use them against her in gossip.
Kids faced with their personal transgender experiences also suffer from, “gender dysphoria”. This is a persistent unhappiness, and discomfort with the feelings that they are not the gender they were assigned at birth. They experience an internal gender affinity that is directly contrary to their external anatomy.
The Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, CA, treats between one to five new transgender kids every week. The estimated number of adult transgender Americans is about three-quarters of a million people. As kids come out as their chosen gender younger, the number of transgender people is increasing.
A research group concerned with studying the impact of family relationships and acceptance of LGBT kids. The FAP found 100 behaviors families used when they hear that a child is LGBT. With great detail, behavior studies have brought new light on how to deal with the impact of varying degrees of acceptance in the family on the health and mental health of a LGBT young person.
Dealing with their own internal struggles and beliefs and awareness makes LGBT kids at risk for self-hate, suicide, drug abuse and sexual disorders. When their revelation to their families about their true sexual identities is accepted with low levels of rejection, these kids are more likely to love and accept themselves. This group of LGBT kids were only half as likely to use illegal drugs as kids with families that showed moderate levels of rejection.
LGBT youth from families that showed high levels of rejection to their teen’s revelation, were three times more likely to be at risk for behaviors that resulted in HIV infections and SDT’s. They were more than eight times more likely to commit suicide than moderately rejecting families.
LGBT people have several advocacy organizations intent on gaining equal rights. This group has a website with resources that educate how to combat hate crimes. The site posts legislature initiatives, new stories and hate crime educational FAQ’s. Parents who help their LGBT kids find these type of organizations early on, improve their child’s well-being and quality of life.
Where do Hate Crimes Occur most Often?
According to the San Diego Division of the FBI Hate Crimes Statistical Report, 32.6 percent of hate crimes happen in or near homes. Another 18.3 percent occur on freeways, alleys, streets or roads. Hate crimes in schools or colleges number up to 8.3 percent of hate crimes each year. Five to six percent of hate crimes happen in parking lots, garages or drop lots. Temples, synagogues, churches, or mosques see about 4.1 percent of hate crimes. The FBI offers resources, articles and training for local law enforcement, community groups, minority and religious organizations to reduce civil rights abuses.