Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Why do young men commit hate crimes?

The beginning of summer has brought a rash of violent, hate-based crimes across the country. A recent National Public Radio show explored why so many hate crime perpetrators are young men, many just teenagers. Listen to it here.

Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, Potok noted that only a tiny minority of people who engage in hate crimes are actually members of hate groups.

“At the same time,” he said, “there is a lot of work done by these groups to reach out to young kids, and there are some very powerful lures. I would say that the white power music scene is probably the chief among them.”

A recent U. S. Dept. of Justice study found hate crimes are vastly undercounted, Potok said. While FBI statistics have shown about 10,000
a year, the real number is closer to about 190,000.


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