H

Harrassment
To irritate or torment persistently.Source: "Harassment". The American Heritage Dictionary Third Edition. 1994.
Hate Crime
A hate crime (or bias crime) is committed when someone vandalizes your property, uses violence against you, or threatens you with violence because of who you are, or who you are perceived to be. Hate crimes are aggressive acts directed against an individual, group or organization, because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, ethnicity or gender. In order for an incident to be considered a hate crime, there must be a crime (harassment, assault, homicide, robbery, arson).For example: something that demonstrates hatred or bias as a motivating factor.Source: Bias HELP LI, Help is now available on Long Island. Second Edition. New York. 2001.
Hate Crime Legislation
The Hate Crimes Statistics Act, passed by Congress in 1990, established a national system for collecting bias crime statistics. Legislatures are also requiring police training on how to better identify reported criminal incidents as bias crimes.As of 1992, the Federal government, 47 states and the District of Columbia all had some type of hate crimes statute.
Federal Hate Crime Legislation has been enacted for victims of Hate Crimes rooted in religious or racial bias only. Victims must also be exercising a federally protected activity when the crime is committed.
On March 27, 2001, the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act (LLEEA), formerly the Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA) was presented to Congress. The LLEEA would strengthen current federal hate crime legislation in two key ways. It would: remove the requirement that a hate crime be committed while the victim is participating in a federally protected activity in order to be covered by federal hate crime law.This will make it easier for the federal government to assist states and localities in handling hate crime violence. The LLEEA will also extend existing federal protections to cover hate crimes that occur because of an individual's gender, sexual orientation, or disability. The LLEEA will make possible a stronger and more effective law enforcement response to the epidemic of hate crime violence. The bill currently has 51 cosponsors in the Senate, and 180 in the House.In New York, Hate Crimes Legislation already means tougher sentences for convicts whose victims were intentionally selected in whole or in part due to actual or perceived race, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability.For federal US Code laws: Titled 18, Sections 247 and 242 click here.Source: unitedagainsth8.org
Heterosexism
Heterosexism is an ideology which states that heterosexuality is the only acceptable form of sexual/cultural expression.Heterosexism is enforced by groups and organizations when they make and carry out policy, or when they refuse to challenge heterosexist practices.Heterosexism is clearly seen in government and legal documents. Gay couples, in most states cannot have their marriages certified under the law. As such, health insurance providers often will not cover homosexual partners, next of kin status is denied as well as inheritances in the case of a partner's death, because gay and lesbian couples do not have legal status as spouses.Marriage inequality is only one example of the way in which homosexuals are denied basic rights and privileges. In a more general sense, unless specific attempts are made to counteract the assumption of heterosexuality, the term "couple" or spouse is used to designate heterosexual partners (in the media, in textbooks, in fictional works etc.) It is this kind of disregard for the existence and needs of the homosexual community that is the hallmark of this kind of bias. In many ways. heterosexism is seen as inaction or insensitivity, not a direct attack, though it is obviously at the core of every example of anti-gay violence. Source: unitedagainsth8.org
Heterosexual
Feeling or involving sexual attraction to persons of the opposite gender.Source: "Heterosexual". Illustrated Oxford Dictionary- Millennium Classic Limited Edition Collection. 1998.
Hinduism
Hinduism has grown to become the world's third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam. It claims about 762 million followers. It is the dominant religion in India, Nepal, and among the Tamils in Sri Lanka. There are about 1.1 million Hindus in the United States.Hinduism differs from Christianity and other Western religions in that it does not have a single founder, a specific theological system, a single system of morality, or a central religious organization. It consists of "thousands of different religious groups that have evolved in India since 1500 B.C.E."One theory of the origins of Hinduism traces the religion's roots to the Indus valley civilization circa 4000 to 2200 B.C.E. According to this theory, the development of Hinduism was influenced by many invasions over thousands of years. The major influences occurred when light-skinned, nomadic "Aryan" Indo-European tribes invaded Northern India (circa 1500 B.C.E.) from the steppes of Russia and Central Asia. They brought with them their religion of Vedism. These beliefs mingled with the more advanced, indigenous Indian native beliefs, often called the "Indus valley culture.". However, archeological digs have revealed that the Indus Valley culture was not "destroyed by outside invasion, but...[by] internal causes and, most likely, floods. In essence, there is no racial evidence of any such Indo-Aryan invasion of India but instead, a continuity of the same group of people who traditionally considered themselves to be Aryans.The most important of all Hindu texts is the Bhagavad Gita which is a poem describing a conversation between a warrior Arjuna and his charioteer Krishna. Strictly speaking, Hinduism is a henotheistic religion — a religion which recognizes a single deity, but which recognizes other gods and goddesses as facets or manifestations or aspects of that supreme God.The three major gods are:1. Brahma the Creator who is continuing to create new realities,2. Vishnu, (Krishna) the Preserver, who preserves these new creations, and3. Shiva, the Destroyer, is at times compassionate, erotic and destructive.Most Hindus follow one of two major divisions within Hinduism:1. Vaishnavaism, which generally regards Vishnu as the ultimate deity, or2. Shivaism, which generally regards Shiva as the ultimate deity.
Some Hindu beliefs:
The repetitious Transmigration of the Soul. This is the transfer of one's soul after death into another body. This produces a continuing cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth through their many lifetimes. It is called samsara. Karma is the accumulated sum of one's good and bad deeds. Karma determines how you will live your next life. Through pure acts, thoughts and devotion, one can be reborn at a higher level. Hindus organize their lives around certain activities or "purusharthas." These are called the "four aims of Hinduism," or "the doctrine of the fourfold end of life." Meditation is another element of Hindu religious observance.Hinduism has a deserved reputation of being highly tolerant of other religions. Hindus have a saying: "Ekam Sataha Vipraha Bahudha Vadanti," which may be translated: "The truth is One, but different Sages call it by Different Names" Therefore, practicing untouchability or discriminating against a person because of their caste is not only illegal in India but is not an upheld Hindi practice. The caste system has lost much of its power in urban areas; however it is essentially unchanged in some rural districts.Source: ReligiousTolerance.org
Hispanic
Of, or relating to Spain or Spanish-speaking Latin America.The term "Hispanic" highlights Spanish heritage and language but does not acknowledge the roots of some Spanish-speaking persons in African and Native American civilizations. This term is not interchangeable with the term Latino(a).People who identify as Spanish, Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Origin can be viewed as the heritage, nationality group, lineage or country of birth of the person or his or her parent(s) or ancestors before their arrival in the US. Typically, those Americans who identify as Hispanic, Latino or Spanish classify themselves on a census report as being Mexican, Puerto Rican or Cuban, however, there are many other countries of origin for Hispanic/Latino/Spanish people.See: LatinoSources: Healey, Joseph. Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Class: The Sociology of Group Conflict and Change. California: Pine Forge, 1998. -&- www.census.gov
HIV (Positive)
HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is the virus that causes AIDS. It is only found in humans, although other animals have similar diseases that break down their immune systems. HIV, in the bloodstream seeks out the t-cells (aka CD4 Cells) which are involved in activating the immune system. It takes over these t-cells and reproduces thousands of copies until the t-cells are, themselves destroyed.As the t-cell count drops in the bloodstream, the amount of HIV increases, making it hard to fight off infections. At any point after a person tests positive for HIV infection, a person may develop AIDS. When a person's t-cell count drops below 200, (or when they develop an "opportunistic infection" such as Kaposi's Sarcoma or Toxoplasmosis) they are diagnosed with AIDS. HIV/AIDS is a major public health concern.Source: Long Island Association for AIDS Care, Inc., Important Information for Women on Long Island about HIV and AIDS. New York: 2000.
Hmong
A racial category that reflects individuals who identify as Hmong, Laohmong, or Mong.See: AsianSource: www.census.gov
Holocaust
A racial category that reflects an individual who identifies as Eskimo, Aleut, Alaska Indian, Artic Slope, Inupiat, Yupik, Alutiiq, Egegik, Pribilovian etc. The Alaskan tribes are the Alaskan Athabaskan, Tlingit and Haida. These persons may also self-describe as Native Americans.Two other factors which make the Holocaust unique are the gigantic scale of the persecution, oppression, enslavement and extermination of human beings and the 'industrialisation' of the process of doing so. However, if the Holocaust was unique, its lessons are universal. They include the potential for evil in totalitarian regimes, the need for active opposition to such evil wherever it occurs and the obligation to cherish the individual freedoms and human rights that people take for granted in democracies.This definition cannot cover the full breadth of information needed to fully understand the Holocaust. Please refer to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum site for a more detailed picture.Source: U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
Homophobia
Fear, dislike, or hatred of gays and lesbians.See: Heterosexism
Homosexual
Of or having sexual orientation to persons of the same gender. According to this dictionary, the term gay is now "standard in its use to refer to the American homosexual community and its members...Gay is distinguished from Homosexual in emphasizing the culture and social aspects of homosexuality".In 1869 the Hungarian psychiatrist Karl Maria Kertbeny coined this term. Until then, the idea of identifying people by their sexual attraction was unknown. This categorizing further persecuted gay people, but it also led them to begin to see themselves as a group with potential to organize and achieve their rights. "The inadequacies of our language: We wish there were an all-inclusive word for "lesbian, gay, and bisexual" that everyone felt comfortable with. But unfortunately, there isn't. Some people have reclaimed the word "queer", taking this epithet that's been used to demean and insult and transforming it into a source of pride. But for others, "queer" continues to be offensive. And "homosexual" feels too clinical here and has its own negative slant from the past. Just as we have no all-purpose word for domestic partner, or even for someone we are dating, there's no good, short name that includes us all. Therefore we usually use the whole string: "lesbian, gay and bisexual". And sometimes, for relief, we use just "gay" to mean "everybody". See: gay, transgender, bisexual, two-spiritedSources: "Homosexual". The American Heritage Dictionary Third Edition. 1994. -&- Bass, Ellen and Kaufman, Kate. Free your mind: The book for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Youth and Their Allies. New York: HarperCollins, 1996.
Human Rights
On December 10, 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights out of a recognition of the "inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family" as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. In order to establish a collective means of fostering the dignity and worth of the human person, the equal rights of men and women and the promotion of social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, this declaration was created with the premise of being a "common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction" The declaration is comprised of 30 Articles such as:Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.Everyone has the right to nationality.Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.Sources: Amnesty International & United Nations