Saturday, June 15, 2013

Hate crimes and terrorism: a difficult call

NYC Hate Crime: Black man who pushed Korean man into incoming subway in custody - Philadelphia Jewish Conservative | "Although the crime was clearly black-on-Asian, there has been no word yet that the crime will be classified as a "hate crime."" The problem is that two people of different races can have hate and attack each other for reasons having nothing to do with race.

Even when the crime seems to be motivated by ethnic animosity it is often accompanied by more mundane crimes. For instance, this case in which four Koreans beat a Chinese man seems to have started because of ethnic hatred, but once you have beaten a guy, why not take his wallet? By the same token, if you are beating a guy and taking his wallet, why not call him a few names?

Should we count as hate crimes confrontations between youth gangs that happen to be of different ethnic groups? Cases counted as hate crimes directed at Asian-Americans seem to often be cases of high-school kids and gangs bullying one another.

Here is a website that tracks incidents of hate crimes against Asian Americans. The Southern Poverty Law Center has a widely followed map of hate crimes in the US. 

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