Hate Crimes

CLP Current Event: May 7, 2019

Hate crimes are on the rise. What’s causing the increase? Learn more in this week’s CLP Current Event!

Brought to teachers by Susie Marcus, CLP consultant, with CLP staff.

News Sources

Uncertainty over creating another class of hate crimes to protect homeless, by Caille Millner, San Francisco Chronicle, May 3, 2019
“Gipson is also right about the ways in which homeless people are uniquely vulnerable to targeted violence.
People who live between four walls enjoy the protection of the state when it comes to their property; when the police confiscate homeless people’s belongings, no one bats an eye.”
CLP: Some graphic and disturbing descriptions. Very important topic, but please use with caution.

Hate crimes skyrocket in NYC as overall crime drops: NYPD, by Stephanie Pagones and Natalie Musumeci, NY Post, May 2, 2109
“The data ‘should serve as an important reminder to all of us that we must continue to be vigilant in the face of hate,’ Bernstein said. ‘No one should ever have to live in fear that they will be attacked, harassed or targeted because of their faith. New York is no place for hate.’”

Shooting at Poway Synagogue Underscores Link Between Internet Radicalization and Violence, by Keegan Hankes, Rachel Janik and Michael Edison Hayden, Southern Poverty Law Center, April 28, 2019
“Before the attack, Earnest posted what he described as an “open letter” on the white supremacist-friendly forum 8chan, according to NBC News. The man accused of murdering 50 Muslim worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March also uploaded a statement before the shootings. And like the alleged New Zealand terrorist, Earnest’s statement was steeped in white supremacist tropes and inside jokes commonly shared in their online communities, based upon Hatewatch’s analysis of the document.”

Number of Hate Crimes and Hate Incidents On Rise Around The World, by Latoya Dennis, WUWM, March 19, 2019
“All across the world people are grappling with how to deal with hate crimes. Fifty people were killed last week in New Zealand after someone opened fire at two mosques. It’s in the aftermath of such heinous crimes that questions such as how and why and when will this end are the most prevalent.”

Questions to Consider

  • What is a hate crime?
  • What is bias? Does it rise to the level of a crime?
  • Why do hate crimes carry severe punishments? Should the punishment be increased?
  • What is a “protected class”?
  • If hate crimes are increasing, what would explain this rise in violence?
  • Should categories which are protected against hate crimes be expanded e.g. homeless, transgender, police
  • How does hatred spread? Is the internet a tool for haters?
  • Can the internet be a tool for combating hate?
  • What responsibility do social media providers have in blocking hate speech?
  • What action can citizens take?
  • How important is the reporting of hate crimes incidents?
  • Why are mosques, churches and synagogues being attacked?
  • What security measures can targeted institutions take? What is the cost both financially and psychologically of guarding places of worship?

Background and More

Factors fueling the rise of hate crimes, by KUSI Newsroom, KUSI News, April 30, 2019

Why prosecuting hate crimes can be difficult, by Eric Levenson, CNN, October 31, 2018

Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide, Southern Poverty Law Center, August 14, 2017

Lesson Plans

Responding to Hate and Violence, Anti-Defamation League
CLP: Grades K-12

Discussing Hate and Violence with Children, Anti-Defamation League

Lesson Plan: Hate Crimes, Texas CTE
CLP: Grades 10, 11, 12

Constitutional and Legal Connections

Learn About Hate Crimes, The United States Department of Justice

Do Hate Crime Laws Violate the First Amendment, by Ave Mince-Didier, Criminal Defense Lawyer

Oregon Connections

In Oregon, a Murder Conviction Adds to Calls for Tougher Hate Crime Punishment, by Adeel Hassan, The New York Times, April 26, 2019

Oregon Considers Changing Its Hate Crime Laws to Collect Better Data, by Katie Shepherd, Willamette Week, March 12, 2019

Oregon Hate Crimes

Oregon State Social Science Standards

8.8 Evaluate information from a variety of sources and perspectives.
8.17 Examine the development activities of political parties and interest groups and their affect on events, issues, and ideas.
8.21 Analyze important political and ethical values such as freedom, democracy, equality and justice embodied in documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
8.26 Examine a controversial event, issue, or problem from more than one perspective.
HS.27 Examine functions and process of United States government.
HS.30 Analyze the roles and activities of political parties, interest groups, and mass media and how they affect the beliefs and behaviors of local, state, and national constituencies.
HS.33 Explain the role of government in various current events.
HS.35 Examine the pluralistic realities of society (e.g., race, poverty, gender and age), recognizing issues of equity, and evaluating need for change.
HS.59 Demonstrate the skills and dispositions needed to be a critical consumer of information.
HS.60. Analyze an event, issue, problem, or phenomenon from varied or opposing perspectives or points of view.

We the People Lesson Connections

Middle School, Level 2

  • Unit 5, Lesson 23: How does the Constitution protect freedom of expression?
  • Unit 6, Lesson 29: What are the rights and responsibilities of citizenship?
  • Unit 6, Lesson 30: How might citizens participate in civic affairs?

High School, Level 3

  • Unit 5, Lesson 29: How does the First Amendment Protect Free Expression?
  • Unit 6: What challenges might face American constitutional democracy in the Twenty-first century?