There have been many groups in society targeted because they are different. Hate crimes are crimes motivated by a hatred for a person because they are from a different race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, or disability. Under the law anyone who commits’ a crime out of hatred will receive a more severe prison sentence. There have been many different groups targeted in society and many have suffered at the hand of another more powerful group but in this discussion the plight of the African American will be discussed. African Americans were forced into slavery and when freed where treated with prejudice and hate.
In America the treatment of African Americans was shameful. African Americans are not native to America but instead were brought to America on ships after being stolen from their home country of Africa and sold into slavery. African Americans were sent to states in the South and forced into labor. When females slaves had children either by force or choice, these children because the property of the slave owner and were sold. When African American slaves were freed they continued to be treated like second class citizens and discriminated against. It was not until the Civil Rights Movement that positive steps were made to ensure the equal treatment of African Americans in American society.
Even with Lincoln freeing the slaves and legislation being created in the 1960’s to ensure African Americans were treated equally and never again segregated from other members of society. Before the 1960’s African Americans drank out of different water fountains and were forced to sit on the back of a bus. They were made to go to separate schools, live in separate neighborhoods, and shop at different stores. Even when segregation was eliminated and African Americans were guaranteed the right to equality under the law the prejudice and hatred did not stop.