Research Summary #4

When finding a source for this research summary, I realized that all my previous summaries were all in the form of writing. I began to think how in today’s society, most messages are sent through wide use of media, such as advertisements, music, and television shows. From personal experience, I learned that a great deal of information is transmitted through audios and visuals. Rather than sticking to another writing source, I decided to branch out and find another medium for this research summary.

To find my source, I used Google search engine and typed in “hate crime laws.” However, the results were all articles or opinions in the form of writing. I decided then to be more specific and typed in “songs about hate crimes.” After looking through the search results, I eliminated the multiple results to just two: Austra’s “Hate Crimes” and Kate Nash’s “Pink Limo Ride.” I thought each song conveyed strong messages about hate crimes. To find which of the two were more relevant and more credible to the issue of hate crimes, I had to do more research on each musician and the songs. After listening to each song, reading the lyrics, and researching the artists, I decided Kate Nash’s “Pink Limo Ride” is more suitable for this research summary because this song describes a personal experience.

I believe Kate Nash is a credible source because she is an award-winning British singer, songwriter, musician, and actress. Not only did her albums chart really high in United Kingdom, she was also named Best Female Artist at the 2008 BRIT Awards. In addition, after researching, I found that the song “Pink Limo Ride” is written for a friend, a man name Mika, who was beaten in a hate crime. The song lyrics refer to Mika, and Kate Nash’s feeling towards the attack as well as her love for her friend. Because of Kate Nash’s successful music career and the relevance of the song, I believe this is a credible source.

To demonstrate her stance on hate crimes, Kate Nash uses the lyrics, “We’ll fight the prejudice, / This bull-sh*t I contest.” In these two lines, she shows a wide range of emotions such as persistence, anger, and disapproval for the prejudice act and her will to fight against it. Kate Nash starts the song with powerful lines, “Sometimes, sometimes it’s hard to keep your head up/ Yeah you’ve been hurt before/ You lost your faith in humanity/ And it’s taken it’s [sic] turn,/ Don’t know how long for.” In these first few lines, Nash illustrates how her friend not only has lost confidence in himself, but also has given up hope in society. Continuing with “You’re bleeding/I’ll open once again to see the beauty in the world/ I’ll stamp out all the hatred that I can,” Nash illustrates the aftermath of her friend’s attack and promises to support her friend. The first line gives an image of Mika’s suffering, whether physically hurt or mentally exhausted. The next two lines then states how Nash promises to help fight against hatred in order to make the world a better place. Throughout the song, Kate Nash constantly reminds Mika that although there are people who act upon hate, she is there to reassure him that she loves him and will strive to fight against hate crimes.

Works Cited:

Nash, Kate. “Pink Limo Ride.” 2013. Web.  1 Nov. 2013

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Research Summary #3

Jackson Toby’s article articulates that there is no need to include or make alterations to the current hate-crime laws. He points out making changes to the existing hate-crime laws “do not make sense as public policy.” He notes that in certain criminal cases “a toughened hate-crime law could not … [add] anything to the penalty…but there are lesser crimes like assault or vandalism where hate-crime statutes can indeed add to the penalty.” He points out that there are already laws that “extend the scope of federal hate-crime protection beyond race, religion, and national origin to gender, sexual orientation, and disability.” Hence, he believes that additional hate-crime laws are “unnecessary.”

To support his argument that there is no need for enhancement of punishments, Toby explains why enhancements are “unnecessary” and can cause problems in the judicial system. He agrees with a point that Former President Bush made, claiming “in the cases that arouse the most public indignation, conviction already results in very severe penalties: death or life imprisonment. But even with less serious felonies, like armed robbery, existing sentencing procedures already allow room for tougher sentences for more heinous crimes.” Toby also notes that with increasing criminal laws there will be an “increase the inefficiency of the criminal justice system by wasting scarce custodial space.” Besides being inefficient, Toby argues that different hate-crimes call for different punishments. However, hate-crime laws will only create “a one-size-fits-all penalty, that ties the judge’s hands once the jury comes in with a guilty verdict.” In addition, punishments for hate-crime offenders can be “inflexible and possibly unfair” if the punishments for all these criminals are the same, although there can be a range of crimes they committed. Toby also points out that this can cause overcrowding in prisons, leaving “less room in jails for others guilty of equally serious or worse misbehaviors, and “[forcing] prison systems to release prisoners whom most citizen consider a public menace.”  Jackson Toby’s goal is to argue that hate-crime laws are not the solution to discourage hate crimes from happening.

Toby’s view is that hate-crimes laws are unnecessary. Rather than doing what they’re supposed to do, these laws can cause inconveniences in the judicial system and can also be unjust.

Works Cited:

Toby, Jackson. “Hate-Crime Laws Are Unnecessary.” Hate Groups. Ed. Mary E. Williams. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2004. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.

Research Summary #2

In his article, Howard P. Berkowitz explains the need for society to support hate-crime laws. Berkowitz situates his argument for hate-crime laws by explaining the seriousness of bias-motivated crimes, stating, “a hate crime is more than an attack on an individual. It is an assault on an entire community.” While he realizes critics of hate-crime laws argue that these laws “are a strong-handed attempt to impose a politically correct ideology and an affront to basic constitutional rights,” he counterattacks stating that “in making this flawed argument, the critics demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of hate crime legislation as well as the First Amendment.” Although he realizes the argument against hate-crime laws, Berkowitz believes that these laws are necessary to protect minority groups and others from being targeted based on bigotry.

Berkowitz builds his arguments by explaining why there is a need for hate-crime laws and the reason why critics’ reasoning against hate-crime laws are flawed. He explains that because “crimes predicated on race and ethnicity are becoming more and more virulent in this country,” there has to be something done to prevent these numbers from continuing to grow. He continues by stating “everyone agrees that something, legislative or otherwise, must be done to stem the tide of hate…strong hate-crimes legislation is one answer.” Stronger hate-crime legislation will reinforce the idea that society does not allow for criminals to attack an individual based on his race, religion, national origin or color. Berkowitz realizes that many critics of hate-crime laws argue that these laws “punish individuals for their beliefs and their speech.” However, he reasons, “hate-crimes legislation does not in any way target or punish speech…it is only when they act on their prejudices or callously select their victims based on personal characteristics such as race or religion that hate-crimes statutes come into play.” He explains that “the intent of penalty-enhancement hate-crime laws is not only to reassure targeted groups by imposing serious punishment of hate-crime perpetrators but also to deter these crimes by demonstrating that they will be dealt with seriously and swiftly.” Berkowitz’s goal is to support his reasoning for penalty-enhancement hate-crime laws and defuse the criticisms that state it goes against the First Amendment.

Berkowitz’s goal is to garner support for increasing penalty against hate-crime criminals because of the seriousness of the crimes. These laws are to protect Americans and allow them to feel safe and not targeted victims based on their race, religion, or sexual orientation.

Works Cited

Berkowitz, Howard P. “Hate-Crime Laws Should Be Supported.” Hate Groups. Ed. Mary E. Williams. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2004. Opposing Viewpoints.Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.

Research Summary #1

Tamara L Roleff’s article focuses on the need for stronger enforcements of hate crime laws. She states that unlike other crimes, hate crimes in particular cause greater damage to the victims because “they are intended to terrorize as well as physically harm the individual.” In addition, she also notes that not only do the victims of hate crime experience “longer-lasting psychological impact than other crimes,” society is also affected by these violent crimes. Because of their damaging effects on not only individuals but also as society as a whole, there is a need for laws to discourage hate crimes. Roleff believes that “because of the devastating effect of hate crimes on both the victim and society, those who commit hate crimes should receive stiffer sentences than other criminals.”

Roleff builds her argument through examples of previous hate crimes, what damages hate crimes can cause, and what a hate crime law can encompass to protect individuals. Through the various examples that Roleff provided, she has shown that the similarity among the hate crime incidents is that “the victims were chosen only because they were black, white, Asian, Jewish, or gay.” However, these victims were not the only ones affected by the assaults; members of their communities were also traumatized because the purpose of these hate crimes “is to threaten and terrorize not only the individual but the victim’s entire minority group.” This becomes a national problem. To overcome this problem, Roleff thinks that hate crime committers should receive stricter sentences to “send a message to racists and bigots that society will not tolerate crimes that are committed because of the victim’s race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.” However, many other hate crime victims today are not being attacked because of race but also because of their “basis of gender, sexual orientation, and disability,” hence there is a need to “expand the definition of what groups should be protected from hate crimes.” Roleff believes that hate crimes can escalate to become a national problem. Her goal is to advocate for laws that will discourage hate crimes and give the government the ability to protect the people and prevent a national problem.

Roleff’s stand is that there needs to be greater law enforcements to prevent and discourage hate crimes. Hate crimes are no longer limited to race and color, but also one’s sexuality. These crimes not only affect individuals but also society and societal views. A message has to be sent that society does not accept any forms of hatred and the first step in preventing any further hate crimes is stricter punishments to prove disapproval.

Works Cited

“Hate Crime Laws Are Necessary.” Hate Groups. Ed. Tamara L. Roleff. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2001. Opposing Viewpoints Digests. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 18 Sept. 2013.