About Hate Crimes and Bias-Motivated Incidents
Impact of Hate Crimes and Bias-Motivated Incidents
- The victimized individual and community feel degraded and scared, and live in fear and anxiety.
- Feelings of distrust manifest and/or worsen between members of the perpetrator's community and members of the victim community. Depending on the incident and how it is handled, sometimes the victimized community's mistrust extends to law enforcement officials, university administration, and other seemingly culpable parties.
- Hate crimes and bias incidents can escalate into widespread conflict, civil disturbances, and even riots.
- Hate incidents cause long-lasting individual and institutional damage that may never be repaired or is slow to repair.
Types of Hate Crimes/Incidents *
- Defensive or Reactive Hate Crimes
Perpetrators of this type of crime are motivated by a triggering event or incident that requires them to "protect" their interests. Perpetrators tend to target the group or person who they perceive as a threat to their interests, or a contributing factor. Typically perpetrators of this crime have no prior history of bias-motivated behavior; rather their actions are based on fear of losing their communities or opportunities.
Example: Homophobic graffiti is spray painted on the walls of a residence hall floor after the university decides to convert one floor of an all-male residence hall to a living and learning community for gay students.
- Impulsive or Thrill Hate Crimes
These crimes are typically perpetrated by assailants who are looking for some "fun." Perpetrators seek out members of a particular group (or a location where members of a particular group frequently meet) to harass.
Example: Two Jewish students are assaulted by a group of ten White males as they leave their place of worship.
- Premeditated or Mission Hate Crimes
These crimes are rare but receive the most media attention as they generally involve known hate groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan. Perpetrators of these crimes are on a mission to eradicate the world of a certain group (e.g. all African Americans) or groups of people (e.g. everyone who is not White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) who they believe are socially and/or morally responsible for and/or contribute to society's ills. They believe that it is their divine order to fulfill the mission even if it means sacrificing their own lives as part of the process.
Example: A member of the Aryan nation perches at the top of a campus building just before a large lecture dismisses and shoots at every African American, Hispanic, and Asian person leaving the building.
* Note that while this section refers to "hate crimes," the information provided herein applies to hate crimes and incidents. The term "hate crime" is used for the sake of brevity.