In the Name of Hate: Understanding Hate Crimes

In the Name of Hate: Understanding Hate Crimes

In the Name of Hate: Understanding Hate Crimes

In the Name of Hate: Understanding Hate Crimes

Synopsis

Hate Crimes. The mere phrase sends shivers down the spine of every individual. Matthew Shephard, Billy Jack Gaither, Columbine, Jonesboro - this laundry list of hate is the frightening reminder that such crimes are a sad fact of life in the world today. In The Name of Hate is the first book to offer a comprehensive theory of hate crimes and offers an expansion of the legal definitions that most states in the US hold. Barbara Perry provides an historical understanding of hate crimes and also examines the misrepresented inter-ethnic violence including the Asian and African-American community.

Excerpt

The twentieth century appeared to close much as it had opened—with sprees of violence directed against the Other. The murder of Matthew Shepard, the dragging death of James Byrd, the dozens of school shootings, and the murderous rampage of Benjamin Smith all stand as reminders that the bigotry that kills is much more than an unfortunate chapter in United States history. Racial, gender, ethnic, and religious violence persist as mechanisms of oppression. It is a sad commentary on the cultural and social life of the United States that a book such as this remains timely as we enter the twenty-first century. The dramatic cases cited above are but extreme illustrations of widespread, daily acts of aggression directed toward an array of minority communities. I use the term communities purposefully here, since these acts are less about any one victim than about the cultural group they represent. Hate crime is, in fact, an assault against all members of stigmatized and marginalized communities.

Hate crime—often referred to as “ethnoviolence”—is much more than the act of mean-spirited bigots. It is embedded in the structural and cultural context within which groups interact (Young, 1990; Bowling, 1993; Kelly, Maghan, and Tennant, 1993). It does not occur in a social or cultural vacuum; rather, it is a socially situated, dynamic process, involving context and actors, structure, and agency. Ethnoviolence emerges within a network of enabling norms, assumptions, behaviors, institutional arrangements, and policies, which are structurally connected in such a way as to reproduce the . . .

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