Hate Crime Laws Pros and Cons

Hate Crime Laws Pros and Cons

Hate crimes happen every day. People are abused or mistreated for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, their race, their background, their religion, their sexual preference and a host of other traits and characteristics. Hate crimes often are a result of fear, the idea of something being taboo, and misinformation. These sorts of crimes are often charged the same way that any other crime would be. Many feel, however the laws regarding hate crimes are too tough, while others feel they are not strict enough. Let us explore some of the reasons from both sides.

A strong argument for the needs for legislation regarding hate crimes is that having laws lets the general public know that there are groups who are vulnerable. It allows for those who are strong to stand up for those who are not as strong or who are at risk for abuse. Legislation allows for these people to be covered under the law from crimes against them regardless of a prejudice. The argument against this is that if the government focuses too much on those who have vulnerabilities, then those who wish to abuse them have an easier time find them because the government is so focused on making them an example of someone to protect. In effect, this makes them just as vulnerable for the focus being directed them.

Another strong argument for hate crime laws to be enacted and stay strong is that the laws are fair and need to be fair to everyone, regardless of race, religion other traits. Everyone is afforded the same rights as anyone else, and everyone should have the protection of those rights. The opposition to this is that hate crimes afford those in groups who are generally ostracized and abused to have “special rights” just based on their differences. If the laws are meant to be equal to everyone, no one should have special laws of any kind for any purpose.

Many feel that hate crime laws would reduce violence as a whole. If everyone is afforded the same rights and protection, then the crime level against certain groups would be reduced if criminals know that they will be charged with a crime for abuse, attacks or other forms of violence or prejudice over these groups. On the other hand, there are many who feel that crime will happen regardless and that those who are in these small groups of people that the government sets out to protect may, in fact, be turning the attention them causing more violence on them.

Each side brings up strong arguments. Valid points are being made. While it is everyone’s right to freedom, a right to the enjoyment of life, and the protection of the government, it is also wrong for the government to victimize people, even inadvertently. While the debate will forever go on, having this information, you can make a more informed decision when taking a stand for. Maybe one day there can be common ground.