In the English language, a hate crime (also known as a "bias-motivated crime") generally refers to criminal acts which are seen to have been motivated by hate. Those who commit hate crimes target victims because of their perceived membership in a certain social group, usually defined by race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, class, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender identity, or political affiliation. Incidents may involve physical assault, destruction of property, bullying, harassment, verbal abuse or insults, or offensive graffiti or letters (hate mail).
Hate speech is speech perceived to disparage a person or group of people based on their social or ethnic group, such as race, sex, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, language ability, ideology, social class, occupation, appearance (height, weight, skin color, etc.), mental capacity, and any other distinction that might be considered by some as a liability. The term covers written as well as oral communication and some forms of behaviors in a public setting. It is also sometimes called antilocution and is the first point on Allport's scale which measures prejudice in a society. In many countries, deliberate use of hate speech is a criminal offence prohibited under incitement to hatred legislation. It is often alleged that the criminalization of hate speech is sometimes used to discourage legitimate discussion of negative aspects of voluntary behavior (such as political persuasion, religious adherence and philosophical allegiance). There is also some question as to whether or not hate speech falls under the protection of freedom of speech in some countries.
Both of these classifications have sparked debate, with counter-arguments such as, but not limited to, a difficulty in distinguishing motive and intent for crimes, as well as philosophical debate on the validity of valuing targeted hatred as a greater crime than general misanthropy and contempt for humanity being a potentially equal crime in and of itself.
Read more about this topic: Hatred
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Famous quotes containing the words issues and/or legal:
“To make life more bearable and pleasant for everybody, choose the issues that are significant enough to fight over, and ignore or use distraction for those you can let slide that day. Picking your battles will eliminate a number of conflicts, and yet will still leave you feeling in control.”
—Lawrence Balter (20th century)
“The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal institutions and of our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together.”
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