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Hate Crimes

Provides print and electronic resources on the topic of hate crimes.

About Hate Crimes

Charleston South Carolina church shooting. The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 defines a hate crime as a crime in which the victim is targeted because of his or her “actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.” Some legal scholars believe that a more precise term is bias crime, as many crimes motivated by personal hatred are not related to prejudice against any racial or ethnic group. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that nearly six thousand hate crimes were committed in the United States in 2015. Almost 60 percent of these crimes were motivated by a racial or ethnic bias, while crimes motivated by religious and sexual orientation bias each accounted for about 20 percent of the hate crimes committed. (Opposing Viewpoints)

Narrow the Topic

  • How has social media fueled or prevented hate crimes?
  • Are hate crimes against the LGBTQ community on the rise?
  • Do conservative religious groups promote hate crimes?
  • Do hate crime laws endanger freedom of speech?
  • Should hate speeches be banned from the Internet?
  • Should victims of hate crimes be able to sue their attackers?
  • Should hate speeches be protected by free speech laws?
  • Discuss examples of hate crimes (ex. vandalism/bombings of churches or synagogues)?
  • Are militias tied to hate crimes?