Donald Trump didn’t divide the country. He didn’t introduce racism, bigotry or xenophobia. What Trump and his rhetoric have validated the racism and bigotry already present in many of his supporters. Trump made it “okay” to be stupid
A Muslim, Off-Duty Cop
Officer Aml Elsokary thought it was another average day when she dropped off her 16-year old son. After finding a spot for her car, she turned to her son and found him being elbowed by a white male in his 30s.
As Elsokary, a resident New Yorker, overtook the man, the assailant said, “ISIS shit. I will slit your throat. Go back to your country!”
New York Mayor
The Controversy of Hate
Hate crimes are a controversial topic.
A hate crime also called a bias-motivated crime is a prejudice-instigated criminal act where the offender marks a victim due to the membership — real or perceived — in a particular social group.
Examples may include sex, race, disability, language, nationality, physical appearance, creed or gender orientation. Noncriminal actions triggered by these motivations are called “bias incidents.”
As hate crimes are crimes against protected classes, they tend to result in longer sentencing — or amplification.
Amplification is a boost in a sentence as a result of some condition(s) being met. In addition to hate crimes, examples of amplification include:
- “Three strikes” laws,
- Armed vs.
crimes, and unarmed
- In some jurisdictions, having a gun is more severe than
with a knife being armed
Although most people believe hate crime laws are new, the first hate crime laws were passed following the Civil War with the Civil Rights Act of 1871. The current age of hate crime laws started in 1968 with the passage of the federal statute, 18 US 245, a port of the Civil Rights Act
Donald Trump’s Impact on New York
Following the 2016 Presidential election on November 8, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo cited “ugliness and divisiveness” following Donald Trump’s victory. Cuomo announced a new state law enforcement agency to investigate hate crimes and spoke about the rise in hate crimes following Trump’s election.
In announcing the formation of the Hate Crimes Unit, Cuomo said:
In New York City, the level of hate crimes rose almost a third covering the same time in 2015 according to New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill.