Essay on The Laramie Project

Words: 1301
Pages: 6

Bethany L. Coderre Theater-3 Ms. Kewley Hate Crimes After reading “The Laramie Project” your left with so many questions, ideas and emotions. The play is a series of interviews (reenacted exactly as they happened) to give the audience facts and true statements so that they can form there own opinion. The play takes place in Laramie Wyoming, after the “hate crime” that left 21 year old Matthew Shepard fighting for his life that ended soon after all because the fact that he was gay. Hate is a feeling and hate crime is acting on that hatred, but what exactly is a “hate crime”? What makes it so different from any other crime? Isn't all crime hate crime?

“People would like to think that what
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Don’t fall for it.”

Now whether or not hate crime laws violate the right to freedom of speech all depends on who you ask and what you think. Some might say “criminalizing the hate, however, will not eradicate it from our society, criminalization instead will only further segregate minorities and jeopardize first amendment freedoms.” While others might believe that “individuals remain free to express any view about race,religion, sexuality or any other topic. It is only when they act on their prejudices...” Now its easy to see the points in both sides of the argument because its obviously horrible for someone to go out of their way to hurt someone just because of who they are, but on the other hand isn’t it just as bad when someone just hurts an Innocent person for no reason?

In 2010 there were 6,624 single bias hate crimes that took place that year. 47.3% of them were due to race, 20% religious bias and 19.3% because of sexual orientation. “1995-2008, the period for which there is complete data. We then totaled the crimes for those 14 years in each category and calculated what percentage of all hate crimes against persons they represented. There were 15,351 anti-homosexual hate crime offenses during those years, for instance, which amounts to 17.4% of the total of 88,463