Does America need a federal hate-crime law?.
According to the United States Department of Justice, "Hate crime is the violence of intolerance and bigotry, intended to hurt and intimidate someone because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious, sexual orientation, or disability." (5).
Many think hate crimes are acts that are committed today, but these crimes held an important part in world history. The Nazis" killing of the Jews was a hate crime. The Holocaust was manifested by hate and that hate was carried out by killing those that were hated. .
There are many hate crimes that aren't even noticed. The public hears the stories that result in death or severe assault. One such story is the Matthew Shepard case. Here was a young man that was having problems with his sexual orientation. He knew that he was gay, and only wanted to live his life without fear. He went out one evening and was friendly to a couple of men at a bar. Matt was unaware that these men were homophobic. The men took him to a place, tied him to a fence and beat him to death. The media publications on the Matthew Shepard case were unbelievable.
Then there was the case of Arthur Carl Warren Jr., a homosexual man from West Virginia. What happened to him was just has horrendous as Shepard's. He was beaten and kicked to death by two 17-year old boys. He was then laid out on the ground and run over by a car many times. But why then wasn't this case as important as Shepard's? Could it be that the perpetrators were minors, or is it a cover-up by local law enforcement officers, or was it the law itself? West Virginia does have hate crime laws, but this state's law does not have a law for sexual orientation as documented by the Anti-Defamation League. (2).
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Department of Justice, the majority of victims were racial prejudice. This accounted for 46.2 percent of all hate crimes.