A hate is defined as any wrongdoing committed against a specific person or group. It can be any type of prejudice, hate crimes are most times directed at a person or group of individuals because of their religious beliefs, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, or any of many other significant characteristics that may make them stand out in a crowd. The history of hate crimes is long lived. This type of things has been going on since ancient times, like the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire (“Background on Hate Crimes”). We tend to do the same thing to each other here in the United States. There is a hate crime committed every hour in the United States. Half of the crimes that are committed are by people between the ages of 15 and 24. The number are staggering but true, 7,254 offences were reported in 2011 alone (“Background on Hate Crimes”). Among these violent offences the races, religion, and sexual orientation of the victims varied. At least three were African American, Caucasian, gay, and/or Jewish. There is even one crime daily committed against someone that is Latino (“Background on Hate Crimes”). This is unacceptable and it has to stop.
I grew up in Georgia and the people here are very familiar with hate crimes. I came to live here in 1991 at the age of 12. I was used to life in the North were everybody was basically the same. After a few weeks of getting use to Fort Gaines, I decided to take a scroll through downtown. Before leaving the house my grandmother gave me the “rundown” on the white folks in this town. She basically told me the dos and don’ts on how I should act in case I was confronted by one of them. I must say her instructions did not sit well with me. I realized that she was just trying to keep me safe because she had to live I fear of these people for many many years. My grandmother knew her granddaughter all too well. She knew if someone black but especially white gave me the slightest funny look something smart was going to be said. I had to understand that I was new in town and different. Although it was the early nineties people in this town still acted like we were living in the time of slavery. During my years here I have heard many times in many different conversations that the KKK was still present in this area. They are known for numerous hate crimes all through the South. The KKK is one of the larger groups that thrive on committing hate crimes against African Americans. They often took pride in their killings and would take a life just to make a statement to others to fear them. The KKK would get dressed in their white robes and hoods just to ride through southern towns and terrorized the African Americans that lived there. The KKK even marched in Washington D.C and murdering both blacks and whites with impunity. It was around this time in 1980 when the hate crime legislation was introduced in the House and the Senate. The necessary action did not come about until 1990, when the Hate Crimes Statistics Act was passed. This allowed The FBI to track hate crimes. It was almost twenty years later in October of 2009; the Hate Crimes Prevention Act was put into effect. This act gave the Department of Justice the power to investigate and prosecute bias –motivated violence. However, more than 7,000