March 23, 2001    





How do you feel about legislation regarding hate crimes?

People who commit hate crimes should be severely punished. There is no reason and no excuse, in any point in time, for one person to commit a crime against another in the name of hatred.

Angela, 16
, SC    USA

I just typed a whole lot about this subject, but I erased it. I really don't know how I feel about most types of legislation. I just know hate crimes are bad.

Karen, 21
, IA   USA

sounds good to me. . . I don't really like Nazis or white supremacists too much either. . .

mothmc, 36
Los Angeles

i feel that there HAS to be laws regarding hate crimes. it is a VERY serious issue. no one should have to be frightened they are going to be hurt becoz of who they are. this is america, it is supposed to be a melting pot, meaning that anyone can live freely here, regardless of what color, religion, sexuality, etc. they are.

Jenn, 18
, MI   USA

I think people who commit hate crimes are easier to catch and should be punished less than someone who commits a random act of violence since they were kind enough to save us tax dollars which would have been spent on a dragged out and possibly fruitless investigation...seriously though, this is thoughtcrime legislation and I'm totally against it.

Alias Irrelevante

I am not sure. I think one needs to be careful before accusing and trying to second guess/think what another person was doing to determine if it was a hate crime in the first place. It seems like it can turn into another "thing" that can be argued over by lawyers and the fact that a crime was committed (whether a hate crime or not) could be placed secondary.

Janet, 42
E. Brunswick
, NJ   USA

It's a shame that we need legislation in order to make people treat each other with respect.

Laura, 36
, MA    USA

I think a legislation for hate crimes is very important. Nobody should have to suffer from hatred. We should have established these legislations after the dragging death of the man in Texas. After the deaths of Matthew Shepherd and Teena Brandon. Nobody deserves to hated because of race, creed, religion and sexual oreientation. we protect people from racism and discrimination...why don't we protect them from sexual orientation discrimination.

Anjel, 19

I think people get confused when discussing hate crimes. A crime against a  minority isn't by nature a hate crime. A hate crime is a crime against a minority motivated by their known or assumed association with that minority.  Hate crimes legislation is very neccesary. The victims of hate crimes are not just those that have been physically attacked, but the members of the minority group that the victim was attacked for being. Hate crimes are both a physical crime against a person and an act of terrorism against an entire group of people. More crime deserves more punishment, and the government should take a moral stand against violence, terrorism, and the tyranny of hate and for the underrepresented people of this nation.

Eric, 18
Beverly Hills
, CA   USA

The issue raised in today's question is a complicated matter. Basically, I feel that "hate crimes", are no less evil than other crimes--but neither are they more evil. By the way, "love crimes" exist. They are known as "crimes of passion".  They are also evil.

Jill, 60

Its very important that hate crime laws be strictly enforced. It MUST be emphasized that society does NOT tolerate such behavior, that these prejudices are NOT acceptible!

Tracy, 24
Ocean City

I heartily disapprove of hate crimes, but I am not convinced that an extra level of punishment should be imposed because of the motivation. John Doe is just as dead if he is murdered for the sake of his wallet as he is if he is murdered for the sake of his skin color.

Jane, 60
West Linn
, OR    USA

I do know that crimes motivated by extreme racism, bigotry and hate I find much more calculated and horrible than similar crimes motivated by greed, anger, stupidity and rashness. All I can think of is that poor black man dragged behind the pickup truck by three racisists in Texas until his body was ripped to pieces. That kind of action can only be motivated by extreme hate and lack of humanity.   However those who sit by, or are too afraid to do anything and go along I perhaps the worst of all.

Felicia, 35
, MA   USA

think there should definately be legislation against them. zero tollerance. Look at what happened to Matthew Shepard.

Jaden, 21
Brampton, Ontario  CANADA

This will probably be an upopular answer, but, in my interpretation of that question, I do not agree with legislation specifically in regard to hate crimes. I mean, murder is murder, point blank, and I do not think the fact that it is a hate crime should make one type of murder worse than another. I mean, the only considerations to be taken into account is if it is premeditated, or a moment of passion kind of thing. (Keep in mind-I am defining hate crimes within the narrow prism of murder of somebody because of their racial/ethnic, or sexual preferences.

As far as everything else, I will be honest and say that I do not have the information to answer that.

Mick, 30
, IL    USA

Yesterday / Tomorrow