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Hate Crimes in America

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Hate Crimes

In America

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. Hate crimes and groups are seen as a major problem by a large number of the population, including the government.

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 were not 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. After the Civil War, 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 whites ignorance is the root of their own problems. The Klan has since died down and risen many 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 the 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 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 terrible crimes like 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 that kind. 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

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