Why hate groups and hate crimes are in the rise?

It amazes me how the land of enforced zero-tolerance law, democracy, freedom and political correctness is still exposed to hate crimes. Such place should have the lowest number of hate crimes. However, what is good about the US is that it is the land of numbers and statistics as well.

The number of groups whose ideology is organized against specific racial, religious, sexual or other characteristics has risen steadily since 2000, when 602 were identified, the [Southern Poverty Law] center said… In 2011, the center tracked 1,274 of those groups, up from 824 the year before. [Source: NYT]

Hate Groups in the USA 2000 - 2011

I wonder what actions the US took or is going to take to reduce these numbers and equally important to study why hate groups are in the rise?

The following are three shocking crimes the nation is talking about:

A 32-year-old Iraqi mother of five who was found severely beaten, by her 17-year-old daughter in their home, next to a threatening note saying “go back to your country” died on Saturday March 24th. [Source: yahoo]

A more controversial [hate] crime took place in Florida where a 17-year-old black teen was shot dead by a neighborhood watchman. The incident has turned questions about race and guns into a national debate. [Source: latimes]

This week, three white Mississippi men pleaded guilty to federal hate crimes in connection with the 2011 beating death of an African-American man. Anderson, 47, died after he was beaten and run over by a truck driven by Dedmon, who was part of a group of seven white youths who decided to “go f**k with some niggers” after a night of partying and drinking, law enforcement officials have said, quoting some of the suspects in the case. [Source: cnn]

As much as we like to brag about loving and practicing freedom of speech but sometimes not taking action against a hate group may lead to such crimes or at least may cause unfavorable consequences.

10 thoughts on “Why hate groups and hate crimes are in the rise?

    1. Very sad, indeed! The problem is racism is every where. So far, I can’t say I have seen a culture that is not poisoned with racism.
      At least America acknowledges it by such statistics.

  1. Well written thanks.
    I do believe one of the reasons reports of hate crimes are going up is that more people are being empowered to report them by realizing their rights. No one should be bullied because of race or religion or anything but it used to be accepted as a part of ‘growing’ up’. Thankfully, this is not being accepted anymore.
    I read your blog because I’ve been trying to process this poor Iraqi woman being killed. still sad and baffled, I hope they find this animal .

  2. All people are racist or sexist to one degree or another. We all feel a distaste that may even border on hatred for someone. Most of us, thankfully are able to sublimate those thoughts and overcome those negative emotions. I believe this makes us better people.

    As a ‘transplant’ from USA to Jordan I feel I have some insight on that problem. I struggled with it for many years, but now as an ‘outsider looking in’ I can see it in a different way. I think one of the biggest problems in the USA is the easy availability of guns. The entire culture seems to be built around guns. The pro-gun groups hold up the Second Amendment right to bear arms as though it were writ in stone by God himself when he passed the laws down to Prophet Moses. Television programs, movies, books, magazines almost invariably involve at least one scene in which the characters shoot at, injure or kill each other.

    They are inundated daily with guns, but rarely does any of the media deal with the consequences of killing another human being. It looks so easy and is a quick solution to just about any problem. Does your neighbor wear hijab? She’s probably a terrorist; kill her! Is your neighbor part of a different racial group? He is inferior to you; kill him! Is your neighbor or relative homosexual? He is an abomination; kill him!

    It’s different here. First, guns are quite difficult to obtain legally. But there is something here that runs deeper than strict gun control. I’ve seen it firsthand. People here appear to be more accepting of others, either in spite of the differences or because of the differences. I’m not sure which it is, or it may be a bit of both. Part of that, I believe is the practice of the Islamic religion. Let’s make a comparison here. Christian clerics frequently condemn and judge members of ‘other’ groups, religions, races, etc and claim that God does hates them so they should, too. They make pronouncements in the name of God that any knowledgeable person who reads their own holy books would know instantly God never said. Until now, I haven’t seen or heard that in Islam. Is it in Qura’n? Yes. Then it’s true. No. Then it’s not true. Period. People don’t speculate on what is in the mind of Allah, what he would say in such and such a situation, or any of the things you see and hear Christians doing on a daily basis… and quite publicly!

    Is Islam the answer? Quite possibly. I’ve no religion at all, so I can’t say for sure. Perhaps it is the one basic practice of Arab people that transcends bigotry and hatred. The practice of hospitality. This may very well be the answer to all the ills of the world. Every man is viewed as a brother and must be treated well. By the same token, every man can expect to be treated as a brother by others he meets. This hospitality is far better than and superior to any religion and very possibly makes us more acceptable to our Creator.

    1. I traveled to Syria three years ago and was treated very very well. I agree that the Arabs are very hospitable. I remember looking at my arms to see if I morphed into a goddess.🙂

      That being said, I wonder if I would have been treated as well if I were from Southeast Asia or Africa. I hope I would, but I don’t know. I’ve heard some Arabs are quite racist. Maybe the Jordanians and Syrians aren’t though. 🙂

      I think Christian clerics are wrong to condemn others. They are not truly following Jesus if they don’t love their enemies and do GOOD to those who hate them. Those who say to kill someone for being a terrorist or homosexual are following Satan’s wishes, not Jesus’. Thankfully there are many Christian leaders who know this and follow this. I’m sorry you apparently have not seen those types.

      As for our love for guns … I don’t know that that makes us hate; it just makes it more lethal if our hatred leads to a violent confrontation. But I’ve heard of people in other countries who kill their own family members for the sake of honor. I somehow think it’s worse to kill your own flesh and blood – your children!!! – than someone you perceive as your enemy.

      So I really think all nations have good and bad people.

      1. Susanne, thanks for coming back and sharing your thoughts. Yes, racism exist in the Arab world even in Jordan and Syria. You can read my answer to Jim on his blog:
        http://olbigjim.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/hatred-racism-bigotry-etc/
        Until now I don’ have an opinion regarding gun control I heard both sides and I agree with them both. Both have good points.
        I also always say that every culture has its good and bad. But it is much easier to find the bad in other cultures than ours.
        Thanks to you, Jim and Brett for making this post looks intelligent and alive🙂

        1. True words Jaraad, we Americans have a saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” We tend to romanticize other cultures and compare our own unfavorably. Good and bad exist everywhere and there’s no escaping that fact. For all my negativity, I should say that there are a great many things about my native country that I admire, just as there are many things I admire here in my new Jordanian home.

    2. Big Jim, Tanks again for this insightful comment. I wrote my comment in your blog to extend the discussion with more people.

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