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The sixties and seventies were a turbulent time in this nations history; the very framework of the government was throbbing with injustice. We were a nation at war both abroad and with ourselves. Biased people filled streets throughout the country, determined to succeed at their task of ridding the United States from the evils that the Jews, blacks, homosexuals, and handicapped created. These acts still continue today, there are thousands of instances of verbal, physical, and emotional abuse each year. One common misconception today is that with the demise of the Ku Klux Klan, the organized hate groups also disappeared. This would be wonderful, but as long as there are differences in this country there will be hate.
Differences are the gas in hates car or the bullets in hates gun, without them every-one would get along (Church). Just as the KKK had thrived during the turmoil of the Civil Rights movement, as did the White Aryan Militias during the Vietnam war. The United States was influenced by England's rise in hateful demonstrations starting in the sixties during the free love movement. As America started to face ideological divisions, like Great Britain had, Adolf Hitlers teachings of extreme hatred spread through cities and towns and finally rested in peoples minds (Church).
Hitler preached hatred of mainly blacks and Jews (Mckissack, 152), but also homosexuals and other minorities. A hate crime is a crime that is committed against a certain race or group. The causes for hate crimes are endless. A parent is an influential voice that often molds a childs mind towards hate, as are the children at school. Peer pressure is another prominent source for the spread of hatred (Church). However, in this day and age with the rapid growth of technology it is now much easier to disperse the white supremacist ideas to complete strangers.
This is accomplished mainly through web sites, but there is also a record label, Resistance Records, that promotes racism (Anti-Defamation- Deafening). As a society, we must help stop or at least prevent hate crimes. If we cant stop or prevent them, there is no telling how terrible they will get. One way that people have found to do this is by bankrupting hate groups.
In Morris Does book Hate on Trial: The Case Against Americas Most Dangerous Neo-Nazi he discuses the twelve and a half million dollar verdict he won against Tom Members and his White Aryan Resistance group (Morris). Hate crimes are toxic in our community and everywhere. According to the American Civil Liberties Union 81. 3 per cent of all people searched by officers who made more than ten searches along I- 95 were minorities (Lamberth, 2001). In just the last few years alone the country has been shook by several violent hate crimes. The chains clinked against one another when James Byrd Jr.
was being fastened to the back of a pick-up truck on June 7 th, 1998. It wasnt for another two and a half miles that the driver, John William King, stopped, and this was only after Byrds arm and head had been ripped off. What was his crime? The colour of his skin was off... it was simply too dark (All). Later that very same year in October two men claiming to be gay lured Matthew Wayne Shepard, a gay college student, to his death.
He was tethered to a fence, beaten, and pistol-whipped, all the while pleading for his life. As hypothermia set in his attackers left. He was found later that day, originally mistaken for a scarecrow, by a bicyclist. His face was smeared with blood, except for where the tears had washed it clean (Matthew).
Violent acts are committed against blacks and homosexuals, but the Jews are also a major target. The ultimate example of this took place during the summer of 1999. On August 10 th Buford ONeal Furrow Jr. calmly walked up to a Filipino-American Mailman and asked him to mail a letter before shooting him dead on the spot. This was only after he open fired on a group of kindergartners walking with their teacher in a Jewish community center.
When asked why he did this Furrow replied that he wanted it to be a wake-up call to America to kill Jews (Anti-Defamation- Summer). At what moment does one human being assert superiority over another? Is it right for any-one to take natural selection into their own hands? Hate groups are a frightening new prospect, no matter who you are. The White Aryan Militias must remember that the First Amendment gives them the freedom of religion and speech for their hate, but nowhere does it give them the right to hurt.
Sources: All 3 White Supremacists Found Guilty in the Dragging Death of James Byrd, Jr. in Texas. [Online] Available < web December 30, 2001. Anti-Defamation League. Deafening Hate: The Revival of Resistance Records. [Online] Available < web November 27, 2001. Anti-Defamation League. Summer of 1999: A season of hate. [Online] Available < web Audit/Summer 1999.
html> , November 27, 2001. Church, Adam. Personal interview. 18 December 2001. Lamberth, John. Report of John Lamberth, Ph. D. : Individual Troopers Who Made 10 or More Searches Along the I- 95 Corridor and the Numbers and Percent of Blacks and Minorities Searched. [Online] Available < web December 12, 2001.
Matthew Wayne Shepard: Funeral for gay hate-crime victim brutally murdered. [Online] Available < web December 1, 2001. Mckissack, Patricia and Fredrick. The Civil Rights Movement in America: From 1865 to the Present. Second edition.
Childrens press. Chicago. October 1991. Morris Dees video online speech. [Online video clip] Available with Real Player, < web TV/ 5475 MorDeeVoiHop.
rm> , December 17, 2001.
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Research essay sample on Anti Defamation League Civil Rights Movement