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Hate Mongering, International Scope Of Hate Crimes, New Perspectives, Bibliography

As a concept, hate has several interrelated dimensions. It attempts to provide historical, psychological, and sociocultural depth to the forms of hostility and animosity that the term hate ostensibly defines, and to make the idea clear in terms of its linguistic usages. As such, it faces obstacles that often appear insuperable. Nonetheless, "hate crimes"—criminal acts and behaviors motivated by hate—have been added to the repertoire of statutory codes of criminal justice jurisdictions throughout the world. The laws help to illuminate the social and political dynamics of racial and xenophobic ethnic hostility as well as gender discrimination.

Hatreds based on identities, lifestyles, cultural values, and tastes appear to have historic continuity and keep simmering across generations. Hate crimes reflect a reservoir of biases and angry memories widely shared within groups that nurse grievances whose origins are often blurred or obscured by time but that retain, nevertheless, a need for revenge and retribution. These antagonisms can act as a flash point for violent behavior in times of economic deprivation or during the stresses that accompany profound demographic transitions in a community that experiences the impact of forced immigration.

Indeed, crimes precipitated by hate involve some of our deepest and darkest instincts. Although moral and ethical principles are basic to the understanding of the problem and instrumental in its resolution, it should not be supposed that effective coping with this particular negative human potential has been achieved.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Habit memory: to Heterodont