The history of hate crimes of african americans and how it became a controverial issue today.

Essay by deejesusv2University, Bachelor'sB+, November 2003

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African Americans have suffered and struggled throughout their history due to a variation of factors. One main factor involved in causing this is due to the racial prejudice and hate crimes perpetrated against them. In the United States, there have been movements and laws to protect these individuals from such acts of hatred; but injustice continues today as it has in past years. Although, hate crimes are against the law, individuals continue to commit hate crimes against African Americans. Hate crimes are "crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, including where appropriate the crimes of murder, non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, aggravated assault, simple assault, intimidation, arson, and destruction, damage or vandalism of property" (Meadows, 1998 p. 2). At present, there are groups of people that hate African Americans and commit such acts to remove them from American society. Laws may control behavior to a degree, but education and support programs are the instruments for changes in people's racial attitudes.

Racial hatred began in the United States with the slavery of African-origin individuals. The first African slaves were aboard a Dutch ship in the year 1619 and arrived at the English colony of Virginia. " Initially, the negroes appear to have had the same status as indentured servants, but the laws reflect a fairly rapid distinction as early as 1640; Massachusetts legally recognized slavery in 1641; Virginia passed a law making negroes slaves for life in 1661" (Meadow, 1998 p. 7). The English had large plantations where tobacco, sugar, and cotton were grown. As the need for an increased number of slaves grew, the slave trade became more profitable than the export of crops. A trade network between North America, West Indies, and West African emerged (Matsuda, 1993 p. 3). In many incidents, people...