Hate crime

Essay by bethybaby95High School, 11th gradeB, May 2012

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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 happened to Matthew was an exception to the rule, but it

was an extreme version of what happens in our schools on a daily basis." (Laramie Project,47) This

quote shows how people are going through hate on a daily basis and it sucks that the only way to get

peoples attention was for something as tragic as Matthew Shepard story. The term "hate crime" was

given the name in the 1980's by journalists that were trying to describe a number of incidents directed

towards Jews, Asians and African Americans. The federal Beureo of investigations defines hate crime

as "a criminal offense committed against a person, property, or society that is motivated, in whole or in

part, by the offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national

origin." The word "hate" is defined as "intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger,

or sense of injury" or "to feel extreme enmity towards."

The acts of a hate crime include rape/sexual assault, physical assaults with weapons, verbal or

physical harassment, vandalism/robbery...