Hate crime is a form of a violent act against a person with a disability, transgender identity, religion, race, or gender. Most hate crimes are religious or racial. However, racial bias is the hate crime that is the major reason of hate crimes globally. Hate crimes top the FBI’s Civil Rights program because it is devastating to the victims and can bring hatred that yields terrorism. According to Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) 2014 data, 48.3% of victims are targeted because their attackers have a bias against a particular race. The racial bias for African-American is the highest with 62.7% while anti-white bias were 22.7% (“Incidents and Offenses,” 2016). The media has played a huge role in publicizing such crimes and it has even accelerated some of the racial bias some people receive outside their countries.
Juan Jasso is a Mexican-American who went to work for the military in Europe and lived there for eighteen years. He became famous for his support of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union after a phone interview from a vocational school (Bilefsky, 2016). Despite David Cameron, Prime Minister insisting that Britain has to do everything it can to ensure it does not encourage hate crime such as racial conflict; Juan still faced racial discrimination violence in Britain. During one of the weekends, a Polish center was vandalized, and the protesters had a banner indicating that refugees or immigrants were not welcome to Birmingham as they feared the threat of the country’s security and economy.
As Jasso was traveled one morning, he tried to stop some youth from using vulgar language because the train had women and children. The youth asked him to stop his commands because he was not from England and needed to go back to Africa. The youth even tossed a beer on him, but luckily a traveler came to his rescue to stop the youth from their irresponsible behavior. According to Jasso, social media played a huge role in transforming the abuse he faced into an act of impatience. The footage had been taken on the bus scandal, and it went viral online through social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
When the video went viral, Juan received overwhelming texts for his good work. He was surprised at how social media made his video part of international headlines. He received support from students as well as staff on such missions to enable the young people be polite and respect other no matter the race. The case started off with racial discrimination towards Juan because he was not from England hence the youth felt hence had no authority to control them. When the footage of how the three young men were talking rudely to Juan hit the internet, it even reached the international media houses and Juan was congratulated for his work. Social media clearly has a positive impact on Juan’s case.
Despite social media being used as a solution to stop hate crime as seeing from Juan’s case, it is at times exploited to drive the wrong message. Some people can take the initiative to post evidence of hate crime on social media however others interrupt the cycle by posting false evidence which may affect the result of the first. Lying that another person has offered false evidence yet it is clear that they were correct from the start is a hoax (Tait, 2016). Manuel, a student, took a picture of a water fountain at her school and shared it over 1000 times. She received comments on lying about the picture because some claimed that there was no such building within the school. People’s feedback made it hard for readers to stick to the original caption Manuel had written for the image. It is clear that when one posts anything on social media, he or she makes the viewers pay attention and there is a reaction one gets after the viewing the post.
Ramasubramanian, (2015) states that social media needs to be used because it has its advantages such as in Juan’s case where he was supported for what he did. It is however wrongly used by perpetrators who may want to cause havoc by sharing terrifying news such as hoax among different races which may lead to hatred and fights by people in the society. There is a need for media diversity where writers need to consider different social classes, nationalities, age groups and genders when writing blogs or articles on social media to ensure the intended reader gets the message as it should be without any distortions to avoid others giving negative comments on it.
Various hate crime theories have caused Juan's case. Doing difference is one of the theories discussed by Walters (2011), and it includes race, gender, class among other categories as a form of discrimination that arises from a culture of marginalization and segregation. For instance, a group member can be Christian or Muslim, African-American or Asian. An ingroup is later created bearing people who are different from the members of the group. The young men who attacked Juan at the train perceived him as an ingroup thus the difference among the two groups. They felt that he was different thus the reason they refused to listen to him. They also felt that his ingroup seemed inferior until a traveler came to assist him to silence the youth. The youth also wanted to look different by causing chaos and showing Juan that no matter what he did they would not stop talking vulgar language.
The strain a culture of prejudice theory involves views of religion, race, and gender orientation that have been normalized by political and media misrepresentations. The theory has dominant groups dehumanizing whole identity groups. In the case, the young men were the dominant group who wanted to control the situation. They fought back at Juan so he would let them talk as they wished without considering the environment they were in. There is a culture of prejudice in theory, and it is clear where the young men tell Juan that he does not belong in England thus he had not any authority to correct them in any way. His race made them be biased on whoever talked to them, and they stigmatized any person they felt belonged to the identity group such as Juan.
Bilefsky, D. (2016). Victim of Racist Taunts in England: A Mexican-American Who Backs ‘Brexit’. Nytimes.com. Retrieved from
Incidents and Offenses. (2016). FBI. Retrieved from https://ucr.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/hate-crime/2014/topic-pages/incidentsandoffenses_final
Ramasubramanian, S. (2015). Using celebrity news stories to effectively reduce racial/ethnic prejudice. Journal of Social Issues, 71(1), 123-138.
Tait, A. (2016). Hate crimes, social media, and the rise of the “hoax hoax”. Newstatesman.com. Retrieved from http://www.newstatesman.com/science-tech/2016/11/hate-crimes-social-media-and-rise-hoax-hoax
Walters, M. A. (2011). A general theories of hate crime? Strain, doing difference and self control. Critical Criminology, 19(4), 313-330.
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