On the surface, race seems to be such a simple concept. It can be defined as those physical characteristics that distinguish one group of people from another. There are arguably, only three categories of racial groups (Caucasian, Black and Asian).However, there are a host of problems with the meaning of race. Many sociologists point to the fact that it is virtually impossible to distinguish where one race ends and the next begins. In the truest sense, a race is a biologically isolated, inbred population with a distinctive genetic heritage. Socially, it reflects patterns of inequality and power.Race should not be interpreted as being scientific or anthropological in nature as the racial/ethnic categories reported in national census data are based solely on self-identification.Source: McNamara, Robert, P., Tempenis, Maria and Walton, Beth. Crossing the Line: Interracial Couples in the South. Connecticut: Praeger. 1999.
Racial Slurs
Demeaning comments and/or actions based on race, ancestry, place of origin, color, or ethnic origin.Racial harassment through slurs, jokes or behavior intended to demean a person because of his or her race, is discriminatory. Even when meant as a joke, racial comments are derogatory and may be humiliating. Everyone has the right to live and work in an environment that is free of such behaviors.Source: Ontario Human Rights Commission
A belief (or one who believes) in the superiority of a particular race; prejudice based on this. b. Antagonism toward other races, esp. as a result of this.Source: "Racism". Illustrated Oxford Dictionary- Millennium Classic Limited Edition Collection. 1998.
Reaction Offenders
Perpetrators of bias crimes that are a reaction to:1. An influx of persons or cultures that are different from the largely homogeneous community such as:a. New immigration to a suburb or b. The creation of a gay-friendly drop-in lounge in a fairly homophobic or heterosexist community or school.2. An altercation or disagreement between two culturally different people that results in a bias for every person who is the same culture as the individual with whom the original conflict was.Source: "Hate Crimes 101: The Continuum of Hate". BiasHELP LI.
The period of Southern race relations following the Civil War. Reconstruction lasted from 1865 to the 1880's and witnessed many racial reforms, all of which were reversed during de jure segregation, or the "Jim Crow era". See: Civil RightsSource: Healey, Joseph. Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Class: The Sociology of Group Conflict and Change. California: Pine Forge, 1998.
Religious Bigotry
Intolerance of religions or practitioners of religions other than one's own. This type of hatred often fuels violent attacks against individuals of specific faiths, but also on houses of worship, religious communities and, in the most extreme cases, acts of terrorism against entire nations. For many countries, the violence of religious bigotry is a way of life as religious/cultural/racial sects work for their goals of separatism, dismissing the rights of others whose beliefs are in direct contradiction to their own. In other nations and communities, isolated acts of religious bigotry leading to violence are the exception, rather than the rule. Altogether, religious bigotry is often at the helm of extreme violence, murder and mayhem.Source: freedom.house.gov/library/values/bigotry.asp (archive)
Religious Right
A political movement that has been growing across the nation that invokes religious authority for its anti-liberty political agenda organized to use government to enact their version of religious orthodoxy. Its adherents seek to use government to enforce an absolutist view of morality based on its version of Christianity. They have built a powerful political apparatus — a network of national and local organizations, mailing lists, media, and training schools, with an ability to mobilize followers quickly. They are well-known for notions to ban a woman's right to choose abortion; to deny basic civil rights to gay and lesbian people; to limit the opportunities for students to learn critical thinking skills and have access to complete information about prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases; and for censoring books available in public schools and libraries When their agenda and tactics have been challenged, leaders of the religious right have complained they are victims of "religious bigotry."See the following resources for more information:The Religious Right: The Assault on Tolerance and Pluralism in America, (New York: Anti- Defamation League, 1994)Challenging the Christian Right: The Activist's Handbook by Frederick Clarkson and Skipp Porteous (Great Barrington, Mass.: Institute for First Amendment Studies, 1993), which also has an extensive resource guide.People for the American Way also publishes useful reports on various religious right organizations and activities.Source: aclu.org/404/index.php (archive)
The Reparations Campaign for Black people in the United States emerged more than one hundred years ago as the U.S. Federal Government was trying to survive the ravages of warfare among its citizens. In the wake of the bitter hostilities from the Civil War a decision was made to release from bondage millions of then enslaved Africans.As U.S. political, civil and business leaders grappled with the pressing question of "What to do with the Negroes?" the newly freed Africans cried out immediately for restitution -- payback for centuries of stolen labor, cultural degradation and dehumanization. Indeed, Africans held as slaves have been struggling for a restored sense of wholeness since being brought to this country as chattel.Other organizations and individuals have carried the demand for reparations farther into the twentieth century. Many of them have become a part of today's Reparations Campaign which is being spearheaded by N'COBRA. The goal of The National Commission For Reparations is to start a new chapter in American life through healing brought about by an equitable accounting of the true debt owed to the descendants of those who paid with their sweat and lives.Source: ASU Intergroup Relations Center
Ripple Effect
The concept of ripple effect, in terms of hate/bias crime is part of the explanation for how, if you compare parallel crimes of bias and non-biased nature there is a marked difference in the effect of the crime. The ripple effect is the way that victims of bias/hate crimes go well beyond the individual or group that suffered the immediate criminal damage.Spreading to those who share the same or similar culture as the victim, those who identify as any minority who are reminded of their own vulnerability, the community at large where signs of inter-group tensions create a hostile environment etc., bias crime wreaks havoc in every corner of a community. The effects of a single act of bias such as graffiti reach individuals, groups, families and other social institutions whereas non-bias related vandalism may stop at the property owner and the vandal.Source: "Hate Crimes 101: The Continuum of Hate". BiasHELP LI.