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Hate Crimes Essay, Research Paper

Fear, anger and frustration. These are three themes that run throughout all hate groups.

Most hate groups form during times of economic hardship or social change. Certain groups of

people begin to blame another group for the reason of a major social or economical change.

After the Civil War, the South suffered from both economic hardship and drastic social

change. For centuries, the south had relied on slaves to harvest crops at plantations. When the

slaves were freed, the plantations weren?t being worked on anymore, causing the owners to loose

a lot of money. When this happened, six former Confederate soldiers started a hate group called

the Ku Klux Klan. During the post-Civil War era, the Klan was very popular among southern

whites. Their ignorance was feeding the fire that blacks were the root of their problem, when in

reality the white?s ignorance is the root of their own problems.

The Klan has since died down and risen numerous times with the start of many social

changes such as the women?s rights movement (1920?s) and the civil rights movement (1960?s).

Another large and devastating hate group is the neo-Nazis. These working-class people

blame all immigrants for taking jobs away from the whites. Their ignorance pushes them so far

as to violently attack and kill blacks, Jews, Hispanics, Asians, and homosexuals.

Hate crimes can happen anytime, anywhere. In a small Texas town of Jasper, Texas, 3

white men are under heavy guard after being accused of a murder of an innocent man. Shawn

Berry,23, Lawrence Brewer,31, and John King, 23, allegedly members of the extremist Aryan

Brotherhood, dragged a black man to his death behind a pick-up truck, ripping his body to

pieces. James Byrd, Jr., a 49 year-old, former vacuum cleaner salesman disabled by an arm

injury, was walking home from a party celebrating the wedding of his niece, when he was picked

up by the three white men, who offered him a ride. According to Berry, who informed on his

two companions, they drove to an isolated wood, and King was alleged to have said that he was

?fixing to scare the s**t out of that n****r.? James Byrd was beaten and kicked by the three

white men. Seemingly unconscious, he was chained by the ankles to a hook on the back of the

truck, which then pulled him about two miles along a narrow, winding asphalt road. His

belongings, a wallet and keys, were scattered in his wake, along with dentures and parts of his

body. The torso was found in a creek. Close by, empty beer cans were scattered on the grass.

James Byrd?s head, neck and right arm were discovered a mile away.

Hate crimes are not always committed against minorities. In Las Vegas, two Anti-Racist

Action members were murdered. According to reports in the Las Vegas Review-Journal and

from Anti-Racist Action in Columbus, the bodies of Daniel Shersty, 20, and Lin Newborn, 25,

were found in the desert 150 yards from each other. The bodies were located in an area of the

desert known for a place where Nazis target shoot. The two men were murdered in execution

style slayings.

Sometimes these horrible crimes occur within one?s own family. On the night of March

5, David and Bryan Freeman decided it was time to act. Time to act on the new beliefs they had

learned. Time to prove to their new friends that they were real soldiers of the racial war they

were told was coming. On that Sunday night, hate came to the Freeman house. The boys, ages

15 and 17, ambushed their mother in the downstairs hallway, stabbing and clubbing her until she

died. Then they went upstairs and did the same to their dad while he lay in his bed. Their little

brother Erik, 11, was asleep when the older brothers entered his room and beat him to death as

well.

What would make people commit such horrendous crimes such as these? Why don?t you

ask Mark Thomas, a fascist organizer who operates a ?ministry for racists? in eastern

Pennsylvania. It was at this ?Aryan Nations of Pennsylvania? where the Freeman brothers were

taught by Mark Thomas that it was O.K. to hate. The brothers, along with hundreds of others

attended a Hitler Youth Festival last April where Mark Thomas taught them weapons skills on a

rifle range and other things of the sort. As a self declared reverend, Mark Thomas teaches a

twisted religious known as Christian Identity, which says that anyone that disagrees with white

supremacy is a traitor and must be destroyed.

Mark Thomas is a hatemonger who has encouraged the kind of violence that David and

Bryan Freeman displayed. The following is a quote from a recent Thomas document entitled

Statement of Purpose: ?The abortionists are professional murderers of children and will continue

to ply their satanic trade until God?s judgment is executed and their lives are taken. The

homosexual movement is immensely powerful and will continue to grow and corrupt our

children unless its leaders are put to death. Politicians who seek to disarm White Americans will

succeed unless courageous people who understand the meaning of the right to keep and bear

arms rise up and begin to shoot them. If nobody is willing to take up arms against tyranny, then

there is no purpose to even having a movement.?

Imagine the Freeman brothers sitting in a circle with other kids, very serious, being

taught this stuff. To understand the Freeman murders is to glimpse into the future. There will be

more like this.

On the good side of things, there ARE ways to fight racism and hate crimes. The easiest

thing to do is to speak out. Let yourself be heard. Don?t be afraid to express how you feel. Not

speaking out against racism and hate crimes is almost as bad as committing the crime yourself.

On July 17, in Brentwood, PA, the KKK tried to hold a rally. A total of 13 Klan

members, in full costume, stood on the street corners distributing racist, anti-Semitic literature in

an effort to reruit new members. A few people, mostly teen took the handouts, but a much more

common response during the Klan?s 1-hour stay was what a woman who drove by and responded

to their chants of ?white power? with ?White trash is more like it.? Another female motorist

yelled, ?Get out of here. We don?t want you?. ?Get a life? another man screamed. A woman

walking her daughter home from the community swimming pool told them to take their robes

off. ?Your a bunch of freaks? she said as she walked past them.

In another incident about 200 anti-Nazi demonstrators gathered outside of the home of

Jonas Stelmokas, who was once a member of a Lithuanian police force which helped Nazis kill

Jews during World War II. The demonstration marked the 67th anniversary of the beginning of

the Holocaust.

If you want to get involved in the fight against racism and hate crimes you can contact

STU (Stand To Unite) or ARA (Anti-Racist Action). Both groups are essentially the same thing

with a few minor differences. STU is an organization whose goal is to stop hatred and ignorance

like racism, sexism, homophobia, ect. Wether their actions be in the form of rallies or protests,

educating ourselves and others, uniting through social events, or by offering sympathy and

support to those affected by hate and hate crimes, their goal remains the same.

ARA is about taking direct action against the problems that lie in front of us today and

organizing to make a real change for tomorrow. Not changes that have the same problems

resurfacing with different people getting the short end of the stick, but solutions in which people

make the decisions that effect their lives and help build ?an anti-authoritarian egalitarian

society?. Anti-Racist Action is a multi-racial, anti-sexist, pro-gay organization dedicated to

fighting oppression in all it?s forms through direct action. ARA activists have been involved in

many struggles across the United States and Canada, ranging from shutting down Ku Klux Klan

rallies across the country; to developing civilian patrols, called Copwatch (to fight police

brutality); from working to free political prisoners; to defending clinics from anti-choice attacks.

ARA PRINCIPLES OF UNITY

1) Fight against racism, sexism, homophobia, imperialism, and other forms of oppression.

2) No reliance on the cops or the courts.

3) Non-sectarian defense of arrested anti-fascist organizations.

4) Same time, same place direct action against fascist mobilizations.

So don?t just sit there, do something. Exercise your freedom of speech and contribute to

the struggle against racism and hate crimes in your community.

To contact Stand To Unite write to:

Stand To Unite

PO Box 7382

Doylestown, PA 18901


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