Hate Crimes Based on Ethnicity and Religion: A Description of the Phenomenon in the United States Since 2000
Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Organizational Behavior and Theory
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AbstractSince its foundation as a nation, the United States has been one of the most immigrant-friendly democracies in the world. People from varied heritage and religions have harmoniously worked and lived together in the country; however, as it occurs in any multicultural society, during the last two centuries, different groups have been singled out and discriminated against. The purpose of this article is to describe the recent rise in hate crime against Muslims, Arabs, South Asians and Latinos in the U.S.A. from the beginning of the 21st century. This phenomenon, throughout history, has affected Jews, Catholics, Irish, Italians, Chinese, Japanese, and other immigrant communities in the country. A non-exhaustive literature review revealed that acts of hate crime have dramatically risen; first against Muslims following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks (referred to as 9/11 throughout this article) and second against Latinos after 2003, following the heated discussions about immigration issues still going on at federal and state levels. For instance, recent studies show that six months after the 9/11 attacks, hate crime related incidents against Arab Americans increased 1700 times. By the same token, the FBI reports that anti-Latino hate crimes rose by almost 35 percent between 2003 and 2006. Furthermore, the number of hate groups in the U.S. has grown 54% since the year 2000. This trend represents a critical challenge to the notion of the U.S. as a “melting pot” based on tolerance for all and acceptance of minorities with equal rights under the law. An account of documented instances of hate crimes is presented in this article, along with a description of the phenomenon in the American society.