The Pain of Hate Crimes
From what we have already established, hatred is painful to both the hater and the hated and the acting on that hatred through hate crimes is even more painful. They are addressed by this name because the crimes are based on the differences that cause you to hate someone. The reason that makes them that much more painful than normal crimes, is that the attacker’s intention is to deliberately make the person feel pain and make them aware of the fact that they are hated.
Hate crimes can be committed against anyone or group of people deemed to be different by a person or group of people who think themselves better and superior to those they are targeting. Here are some basses on which people can be hated and consequently hurt because of belonging to this group.
- Race or ethnicity, where people are targeted for coming from a different background and deemed to be less and deserving less and should be treated as such. The problem is caused when the haters think that the less are getting more than they deserve, and feel it should be taken away.
- Religion, this has been happening right from ancient times but is less common today. People are targeted for what they believe in and what name they call their God. It is fueled by the haters desire to convert everyone to his religion and of course the refusal by others to accept this.
- Sexual orientation, in this case heterosexuals will usually target homosexuals and bisexuals accusing them of being an abomination that should be purged from this earth. Some are so bitter that they will go ahead and attack these people both emotionally and physically trying to get rid of them.
- Disability, where people with any inability are targeted for being like that and ostracized from society. This is common especially for children born with disabilities and some times it is perpetrated by their own parents. They are shunned, and worse still, abandoned to fend for themselves, especially in under-developed nations where talk of witchcraft runs rampant.
- Class and social status, this may very well be the biggest cause of such crimes in our society today, where those from poor or not so rich backgrounds are targeted for having no money or whatever it is that gives status. It rarely takes on physical forms of violence and uses more subtle and destroying tactics such as mind games and verbal abuse.
- Gender, this is mostly targeted at women who are attacked simply because they are viewed as the weaker sex and can not effectively defend themselves. There have been some reports of men and some women who hate women enough to try and attack them and in some societies, women attack fellow women who simply stand up for their rights and what they believe to be true.
- Then there is the political affiliation, which in almost all cases will dissolve into violence at the smallest opportunity. Somehow, it seems that freedom and violence are linked and that for the former to exist the later has to be done. Almost all political differences are settled by people starting wars and calling each other anything from dictators, terrorists, anarchists, to insane men. The honest truth is that both parties are insane for involving innocent citizens in their political struggles.
The biggest pain arising out of hate crimes is not that the victims are hurt, that can happen to anyone, but rather that someone is deliberately hurting you because you are different from them. As one great man once said, “The problem is not that we are hungry and thirsty; the pity is knowing that someone wants you to be hungry and thirsty.”