Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Jack Levin & Jack McDevitt
The term hate crime first appeared in the late 1980s in response to a racial incident in the white, working-class Howard Beach section of New York City, in which an African American man was killed while attempting to evade a violent mob of teenagers shouting racial epithets. Originally employed by journalists and politicians, the term was used soon thereafter by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a number of other law enforcement agencies across the United States to characterize any criminal offense motivated either entirely or in part by the fact or perception that a victim is different in socially significant ways from the perpetrator. The term hate crime can be misleading, because it implies incorrectly that hatred is invariably a distinguishing characteristic of this type of offense. Although it is true that many hate-motivated crimes involve intense animosity toward the victim, many others do not. Conversely, many offenses Limited ...