The phrase hate crime first appeared in 1985: John Conyers, Barbara Kennelly, and Mario Biaggi published Hate Crime Statistics Act. In 1989, an article by John Leo Hate Politics was published. Interestingly that one of the first works of hate crime was devoted to violence against gays and lesbians. In the early 90-ies of the last century, the term hate crime acquired legal nature, including legislative acts. Especially violence motivated by racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia (hostility towards homosexuals) was the subject of criminalization. For example, in the United States groups that commit hate crimes included neo-Nazis, skinheads and the Ku Klux Klan.
In fact, a crime motivated by racial, national or religious hatred or enmity (hate crimes) has always existed. It is enough to remember numerous religious wars, crusades, inter-ethnic conflicts, massacres, and persecution on the grounds of anti-Semitism. Generally, from the very beginning of the mankind there was suspicion and dislike towards others and foreigners that sometimes led to feuds and fights.
However, since the second half of the 20th century, hate crimes have acquired the character of an acute social problem. There are at least two explanations to that. Firstly, with the development of civilization, liberalization and humanization of human relations, the population of developed countries has been particularly sensitive about any manifestations of xenophobia and persecution on the grounds of national, racial or religious hatred, as well as homophobia, hostility to any population categories (poor, homeless, disabled, prostitutes, and so on). Political correctness, which is often ridiculed, is actually a manifestation of a truly human tolerance, worthy of respect.
Secondly, one of the negative consequences of globalization is the rise in xenophobia worldwide. Globalization has accelerated the migration, mixing of races, ethnicities and cultures, religions and customs. This in turn leads to a mutual misunderstanding, irritation about others’ manners, customs, habits, lifestyle, and so on. Now, xenophobia and intolerance in all its forms is a serious threat to the existence of individual societies and humanity as a whole. Today’s rate of hate crimes is staggering, and their number increases dramatically even in traditionally tolerant and democratic countries.
On the animal level, xenophobia and hate crimes arising from it have natural roots. But humanity is a civilized society, the main feature of which is overcoming self-suppression of intolerance to another and development of tolerance.
The phrase hate crime first appeared in 1985: John Conyers, Barbara Kennelly, and Mario Biaggi published Hate Crime Statistics Act. In 1989, an article by John Leo Hate Politics was published. Interestingly that one of the first works of hate crime was devoted to violence against gays and lesbians.