Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952415 | Print ISBN: 9780761926498 | Online ISBN: 9781412952415| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Brian S. MacNamara
Hate crimes are defined as those criminal acts in which the perpetrator was motivated by bias against the victim based on the victim's religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. Criminal acts motivated by hatred are not new: the Romans persecuted Christians, the Nazis committed crimes primarily against Jews but also against Gypsies and other religious or ethnic minorities, and acts against African Americans due solely to their skin color have been a common occurrence in the United States from colonial times and continue, to a far lesser extent, to the present. A resurgent interest in bias-motivated crimes began in the 1980s. After the sensationalized murder of a controversial radio talk show host, Alan Berg, in Denver, Colorado, in 1984, which exposed the prevalence of white supremacist groups, and the unprovoked 1986 attack on three African Americans in the white New York City neighborhood of Howard Beach, hate crimes, once ...