Hate crime refers to a criminal activity where the perpetrator is motivated by the desire to hurt individuals from a given religion, race or gender. In the past three decades, there has been a significant increase in terrorist activities around the world, and this has led to the widening of divisions, specifically based on religion. Muslims have fallen victims to psychological and physical attacks in different countries, with most people accusing them of their role in terrorism. From a bigger picture, such occurrences amount to hate crime. The 2017 Olathe, Kansas shooting is categorized as a hate crime because it majorly focused on race. In this paper, an assessment is conducted on the Kansas shooting and its classification as a hate crime.
Background information on the case
On the 22nd February 2017, a white American man of age 51, Adam Purinton, shot at two middle age men of Indian origin at a restaurant in Olathe. The attacker mistook the victims for being Iranians, and this is why he fired shots at them killing one of the persons instantly and injuring the other (Karimi). According to the white man, the two victims were not American citizens and had no chance to live in the country. A 24-year-old American citizen was shot and injured when he came to the aid of the Indian friends (“Olathe Shooting: India Shocked after National Killed in US”). Witnesses claimed that he yelled that the individuals were not supposed to be in the U.S. and were terrorists (Karimi). More than six hours after the ordeal, the attacker, Purinton, was arrested after trying to escape to Kansas City.
Analysis of the incident as hate crime
In the past two decades, hate crime trends have been on the increase, and this is majorly attributed to issues such as trade wars between countries and terrorism (Blazak 250). During the 2016 American presidential campaigns, the country was divided like never before (Achenbach and Clement). Most of the pro-Trump supporters occasionally disarranged with Clinton’s supporters. African Americans and immigrants in the country felt sidelined and threatened every time Donald Trump spoke at rallies (“Trump’s Deportation Tough Talk Hurts Law-Abiding Immigrants”). According to the U.S. president, he would tighten immigration policies, and some of the countries mainly Islamic would not be allowed to have their citizens get into the country. Indeed, he actualized his promise once he got into office. Travelers from six Muslim dominated countries, such as Iran and Afghanistan, among others were banned from entering the U.S.
Most researchers argue that Trump’s presidency has been the reason behind the rise in hate crime around the U.S. The man behind the Olathe, Kansas shooting was driven by ideologies that had drilled inside his head by the country’s head of state who was on several occasions claiming that Islamic countries, such as Iran and Iraq, among others were home to several terrorists and were the masterminds of various terrorist-related activities around the world (Suhr and Hanna). Adam Purinton, filled with hate, mistook Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, Indian citizens for being of Iranian origin, and this is why he ended up firing shots at them (“Olathe, Kansas, shooting suspect ‘said he killed Iranians'”). The incident was received with shock in various corners of the world, with most individuals pointing fingers at Trump for his role in dividing the country.
Measures that need to be adopted in dealing with hate crimes
There are various measures that need to be implemented in dealing with similar occurrences as that at the Olathe, Kansas shooting. Firstly, in collaboration with police officers, the Congress needs to implement strong hate crimes laws (Hudson 14). The law will operate in such a way that any individual involved in hate crime will have to face harsh penalties or punishment including more than 10 years behind bars depending on the extent of the crime as well as hefty fines (Willis 45).
National leaders such as the president, senators, and governors need to be on the frontline in campaigning against hate crimes and encouraging individuals to coexist peacefully irrespective of their religion, culture or race (Bussey 89). In so doing, this will be vital in eliminating cases of hate crimes motivated by racial and religious discriminations (Baron 506). The world needs to know that not all Muslims are terrorists or engage in terrorist-related activities.
Based on the above essay, it is evident that hate crime is a human creation ideology that can be eliminated. The Olathe, Kansas shooting was racially driven, and the attacker Adam Purinton believed that his targets hardly deserve a chance to stay in the U.S. During that time when the attack happened, divisions in the U.S. were wide, and they were further strengthened by Trumps calls for deportation of illegal immigrants from the country. Implementation of stringent policies and regulations can be effective in dealing with the vice of hate crimes.
Achenbach, Joel, and Scott Clement. “America Really Is More Divided Than Ever.” The Washington Post, 16 July 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/america-really-is-more-divided-than-ever/2016/07/17/fbfebee6-49d8-11e6-90a8-fb84201e0645_story.html
Baron, Marcia. “Hate Crime Legislation Reconsidered.” Metaphilosophy, vol. 47, no. 4-5, 2016, pp. 504-523.
Blazak, Randy. “Isn’T Every Crime a Hate Crime?: The Case for Hate Crime Laws.” Sociology Compass, vol. 5, no. 4, 2011, pp. 244-255.
Bussey, Jennifer A. Hate Crimes. Greenhaven Press, 2007.
Hudson, David L. Hate Crimes. Chelsea House, 2009.
Karimi, Faith. “Deadly Kansas Shooting: Suspect Opened Up to Bartender.” CNN, 27 Feb. 2017, https://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/26/us/kansas-olathe-bar-shooting-911-calls/index.html
“Olathe Shooting: India Shocked after National Killed in US.” BBC News, 25 Feb. 2017, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39081698
“Olathe, Kansas, shooting suspect ‘said he killed Iranians’.” BBC News, 28 Feb. 2017, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39108060
Suhr, Jim, and John Hanna. “Man Accused of Shooting Three People in Kansas Bar a ‘Drunken Mess,’ Neighbour Says.” The Star, 25 Feb. 2017, https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/02/25/kansas-community-tries-to-heal-after-racially-motivated-shooting.html
“Trump’s Deportation Tough Talk Hurts Law-Abiding Immigrants.” The Washington Post, 10 Dec. 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trumps-deportation-tough-talk-hurts-law-abiding-immigrants/2017/12/10/9a87524a-a93b-11e7-850e-2bdd1236be5d_story.html
Willis, Laurie. Hate Crimes. Greenhaven Press, 2007.