Is Hate Crime a Buzzword? This news needs to share everywhere!
On December 17, 2019, in Knoxville, Tenn, a Deaf driver for Uber had been brutally beaten for being Deaf by two hearing men in the staunchest form of Surdophobia (fear of Deaf people), and it has not been recognized as a hate crime. Should Surdophobia be recognized in the same way as racial or religious hatred? Why not? As for why hostility against Deaf individuals is not being included. There is no piece of protection of the Deaf individuals and that is the biggest problem. They suffer in a culture of silence. The outcome of such experiences has shown not enough understanding of the psychological roots of hate crimes.
Good example. HATE=AVERSION. For example, two men with hearing privileges, white privileges, used aversion by blocking or denying the driver because he is Deaf. CRIME=ACTION. Therefore, it is HATE CRIME.
What happened in Knoxville is what it is quoted in Hate Crimes: The Rising Tide of Bigotry and Bloodshed by Jack Levin and Jack McDevitt:
“In reactive hate crimes, hate-mongers seize on what they consider to be precipitating or triggering incident to serve as a catalyst for the expression of their anger.”
The driver’s identity shall be protected status, and the two men who attacked, whether it is white straight-male hearing privileges dominated world, the hate crime has been committed, then it ends up into Dark Figure Crime (DFC) statistics. The stigma and shame are the number one killer in the Deaf community. Throughout history, there have been many instances where one group held sway over another.
It is the stigma that is slipping and sliding their way down the power struggle. In fear of triggering truth, America is no longer a place of free and critical thinking. The Deaf individuals shall not be exposed to a form of hate where they face dangers every day. The discovery of “hate crime” in the Deaf community, it is a scar of knowledge, and to the hearing community, it is the symbol of power by the oppressive society.
When it starts to silence Deaf individuals who are victimized by hate crime, the truth fades. The social media is so powerful that it goes through the series of twisted truths, especially denials what happened in Knoxville can be triggering. The emotional toll can take on a person, for example, the Deaf driver is enormous. We may see the increase in the role of hate, of human ignorance, and the effects of policies over the years and years had shown a big concern that did not exactly clear across the states and localities of Deaf individuals in America.
The system has failed the Deaf community and its American way of life. As Levin and McDevitt point out that reactive hate crimes often occur in response to minorities moving into a community or neighborhood:
“In contrast, the perpetrators of reactive hate crimes tend to target a particular individual or set of individuals who are perceived to constitute a personal threat”
Getting involved, taking action, and demanding change. The hate of the Deaf has been threatened for their own livelihoods, and the stakes are powerfully high because hate crime continues to be invisible in the Deaf community. We all need resources to help us be more at peace, a guide to Deaf-centered tools, and more understanding toward ourselves and others as well.
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