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What is Hate Crime?

Meaning of Hate Crime

Hate crime is a legal infraction, be it a homicide, violence, a crime, injury or any other criminal action against a person whose motivation was the feeling of hatred towards that person within their group characteristics, such as gender, sexual orientation , ethnicity, nationality, regionality, religion, disability, etc.

The hate crime , although committed against a person, is aimed at attacking and violating the group to which that person belongs.

What motivates hate crime is prejudice that breeds discrimination and intolerance, which can lead to more serious violence.

The hate crime can be understood as a crime against a group and not against a person because what generates the feeling of hate in this sense is not the individual, but the characteristics of the group to which that person belongs.

Therefore, the hate crime is an action aimed at attacking the group and using any member of the group. Its intention and effect are the feeling of insecurity of all the people who belong to the attacked group.

The feeling of hate that motivates the attacks is closely related to the historically and socially constructed prejudices against social minorities.

Social minorities are considered groups that do not have full access to citizenship and are marginalized due to the historical and social, economic and political circumstances of a place or nation.

These prejudices can also lead to the creation of stereotypes that have the function of maintaining discrimination against certain social types.

It can be considered that some social groups that suffer hate crimes may be in situations of genocide because they receive dehumanizing treatment from state and official health institutions, they suffer discrimination that leads to the death of many people.

Transsexual people are an example of a group that finds itself in this situation.

To understand the sentiment that hate crimes can generate, one can turn to Bauman’s interpretations of a ” return to the tribe .”

The author’s idea in this regard is that humanity, despite globalization , the most fluid and permeable borders and the constant exchange between countries, continues to search for old ideas about the security of States.

The exchange of capital is not as scary as the exchange of people . In this way, people are discriminated against and distanced for being who are not ” us “, who are the ” others “.

Hate crime is thus based on the aggression of a person for their difference, which is transmuted into discrimination and a binary opposition, of what is right and what is wrong, of what is good and what is bad, of us and of others.

The hate crime is motivated by the hatred of difference, as if the problems raised in a general way reside in it and the generic solution is also found in the elimination of difference and repression, which leads to violence.

The hate crime, for not accepting plurality, is incompatible with democracy and human rights.

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