General Question

programin's avatar

Could every possible problem between two people (or more) of different races be filed as racism or a hate crime?

Asked by programin (10points) July 6th, 2008 from iPhone

A while ago, my dads friend (white) pranked his BEST FRIEND (just for fun) as a halloween prank, he toilet-papered his front lawn. The parents of the kid that got pranked sued the pranker saying it was a “hate crime” because they were black. Is this justified, or is it just really delicate when dealing with other races?

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5 Answers

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m pretty sure the crime has to be directly related. If you toilet paper a minority’s house, I’d say no. But if you vandalize someone’s house with swastikas and derogatory names, then yes. Or if you beat up someone just randomly, and they happen to be a minority, then no. But if you attack someone and yell racial slurs, then yes.

programin's avatar

That seems pretty legitimate, thanks for the answer!

Michael's avatar

Tiny is essentially correct. In general, for something to be considered a hate crime, the crime itself has to be motivated by racial/ethnic/national animus. Of course, it can sometimes be very difficult to determine what motivates a crime, but tiny’s examples are good ones. If there are obvious racial overtones, or if a minority is specifically targeted, those are usually classified as hate crimes.

The case you described sounds more like a misunderstanding over a relatively harmless prank.

waterskier2007's avatar

your dad has a friend who is toilet papering a house, sounds like your dad needs to get some more mature friends

Nullo's avatar

It depends on how rabidly it’s being pursued. If you’re just waiting to accuse somebody of a hate crime, or if you’ve come to expect nothing but racism and hate crimes, then yes, anything is prime fodder. This is why I oppose hate-crimes legislation: like thought crime, it’s just too hard to get a clear conviction.

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