Hate crime is not a new phenomenon. The act of hostility towards another group because of their identity characteristics have been practised throughout history and has only been labelled as a hate crime since the mid-1980s. It has been committed in every level of every society’s hierarchy. However, its form, severity, and justification vary based on the time and place. The elites and groups that run a government, country, dynasty, or empire have always sought social control, patriotic values, tribal perpetuity, and border expansion. Using penal policies in the contemporary post-modern society, exaggerating on the foreign threat, holding power within the monarchy, and invading foreign soils for different reasons are only a few forms through which elites of each era practice their hostility towards the ‘others’.
However, for the agenda to become the actual hostility, it has to go through the steps and phases to reach to front line soldiers, public servants, and ordinary citizens. In the United States, the prisons are used to disproportionate warehousing of the black minority. In the United Kingdom, the rate of hate crime increased dramatically after the Brexit, and the theme remains that whenever the middle and upper class openly normalise the hateful and hostile speech towards a targeted minority, the working class follows it by actual and physical hostility towards that group.
The situation is not that different in the Far East and Middle East. The political and military presence of the United States in Japan and South Korea had long cast a shadow on the union of the Far East countries that outcast North Korea into exile. Feeling threatened and sanctioned; it pursued the controversial defensive nuclear program following which it became the new villain force which the media propaganda introduced as the one to fear.
The anchor of the political and military power of the United States in the Middle East shifted during and after the second world war from Iran to Saudi Arabia. It fuelled the differences between many countries of Persian and Arab origin in the region. However, for the common folk fighting the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq (two same Muslim country and predominantly same Shia values) the politics did not matter. What fuelled their heart into battle was the hatred towards each other — the hatred towards the identities that were sold to them through their government in a form that they felt fit. Race, religion, tribal integrity, and patriotic values were only some of the reasons that were presented to soldiers to encourage them in the battlefield.
For the ordinary folks in Palestine and Israel conflict, Yemen and Saudi Arabia conflict, Myanmar and Rohingya conflict, and Ukraine and Russia conflict, the politics of power is the last thing on their mind. In each scenario, they are fed with hatred towards a chosen identity characteristic that would encourage them to do the desired deeds.
Hate crime is the strings of a puppet show through which the elites
play the citizens. Hate crime is the result of the moral corruption of the leaders that have infected the society. Countering it through working with legislators, victims and offenders are dealing with the result not the cause. The true perpetrator of Hate crime are leaders with corrupted morality.