Hate Crimes: The Rising Tide of Bigotry and Bloodshed

Hate Crimes: The Rising Tide of Bigotry and Bloodshed

Hate Crimes: The Rising Tide of Bigotry and Bloodshed

Hate Crimes: The Rising Tide of Bigotry and Bloodshed

Synopsis

Hate Crimes - violence aimed at individuals because they are members of a particular group - were once considered the rare illegal actions of a small but vocal assortment of extremists who thrived on hating minorities. No more. Hate crimes have been sweeping the nation-- and the world, occurring in even the most unlikely of places. Whereas college campuses at one time epitomized the lofty principles of tolerance, diversity, and idealism, they have now become the repositories of hatred and division. Hate is hip on campus, as evidenced not only by the popularity of racist and misogynistic music, but by the recent rash of attacks against blacks, women, Asians, Latinos, Jews, and gays. Levin and McDevitt, both leading experts on hate crimes, show how the campus of hate has become a microcosm for the world at large and document its trail of prejudice and bigotry in our society and throughout the world.

Excerpt

Over the past few years, the number of attacks against people because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnic origin has increased at an alarming rate. Historically, immigration and economic hardship have inspired racial tension and violence. A few years ago, hate crime was literally a black-and-white issue, usually involving white perpetrators and black victims. Today, we see a significant increase in black-on-white attacks. Other contemporary conflicts reflect the growing friction generated by the increasing diversity in our society.

America's racial and ethnic diversity increased more dramatically over the past decade than at any other time in history, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Today, nearly one in every four Americans claims African, Hispanic, or Native American ancestry, and ethnic enclaves exist even in remote rural communities. This new diversity enriches our culture and challenges stereotypes about what it means to be an "American." But it also complicates race relations.

Compared with the overwhelming problems associated with the illegal drug epidemic and gang-related vio-

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