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Hate Crimes

Overview

Hate crimes are crimes that are motivated by prejudice against a person's race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender. Many people argue that these crimes should carry extra penalties because, in the words of former Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, "this conduct is thought to inflict greater individual and societal harm ... bias-motivated crimes are more likely to provoke retaliatory crimes, inflict distinct emotional harms on their victims, and incite community unrest." Opponents of ...

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Overview

Hate crimes are crimes that are motivated by prejudice against a person's race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender. Many people argue that these crimes should carry extra penalties because, in the words of former Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, "this conduct is thought to inflict greater individual and societal harm ... bias-motivated crimes are more likely to provoke retaliatory crimes, inflict distinct emotional harms on their victims, and incite community unrest." Opponents of hate-crime laws argue that extra penalties amount to prosecuting people for thought crimes and violate the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens. Hate Crimes examines both sides of this debate.

Each book in the Point/Counterpoint series offers all the statutes, legal opinions, and studies a student needs to structure a cohesive argument on a given controversial topic. Issues are presented from multiple points of view; sidebars cite laws, opinions, and court cases to aid in critical analysis; appendices help students conduct legal research; and all sources are fully documented.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Harold Bloom
Harold Bloom
One of our most popular, respected, and controversial literary critics, Yale University professor Harold Bloom’s books – about, variously, Shakespeare, the Bible, and the classic literature – are as erudite as they are accessible.

Biography

"Authentic literature doesn't divide us," the scholar and literary critic Harold Bloom once said. "It addresses itself to the solitary individual or consciousness." Revered and sometimes reviled as a champion of the Western canon, Bloom insists on the importance of reading authors such as Shakespeare, Milton, and Chaucer -- not because they transmit certain approved cultural values, but because they transcend the limits of culture, and thus enlarge rather than constrict our sense of what it means to be human. As Bloom explained in an interview, "Shakespeare is the true multicultural author. He exists in all languages. He is put on the stage everywhere. Everyone feels that they are represented by him on the stage."

Bloom began his career by tackling the formidable legacy of T.S. Eliot, who had dismissed the English Romantic poets as undisciplined nature-worshippers. Bloom construed the Romantic poets' visions of immortality as rebellions against nature, and argued that an essentially Romantic imagination was still at work in the best modernist poets.

Having restored the Romantics to critical respectability, Bloom advanced a more general theory of poetry. His now-famous The Anxiety of Influence argued that any strong poem is a creative "misreading" of the poet's predecessor. The book raised, as the poet John Hollander wrote, "profound questions about... how the prior visions of other poems are, for a true poet, as powerful as his own dreams and as formative as his domestic childhood." In addition to developing this theory, Bloom wrote several books on sacred texts. In The Book of J, he suggested that some of the oldest parts of the Bible were written by a woman.

The Book of J was a bestseller, but it was the 1994 publication of The Western Canon that made the critic-scholar a household name. In it, Bloom decried what he called the "School of Resentment" and the use of political correctness as a basis for judging works of literature. His defense of the threatened canon formed, according to The New York Times, a "passionate demonstration of why some writers have triumphantly escaped the oblivion in which time buries almost all human effort."

Bloom placed Shakespeare along with Dante at the center of the Western canon, and he made another defense of Shakespeare's centrality with Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, an illuminating study of Shakespeare's plays. How to Read and Why (2000) revisited Shakespeare and other writers in the Bloom pantheon, and described the act of reading as both a spiritual exercise and an aesthetic pleasure.

Recently, Bloom took up another controversial stance when he attacked Harry Potter in an essay for The Wall Street Journal. His 2001 book Stories and Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children of All Ages advanced an alternative to contemporary children's lit, with a collection of classic works of literature "worthy of rereading" by people of all ages.

The poet and editor David Lehman said that "while there are some critics who are known for a certain subtlety and a certain judiciousness, there are other critics... who radiate ferocious passion." Harold Bloom is a ferociously passionate reader for whom literary criticism is, as he puts it, "the art of making what is implicit in the text as finely explicit as possible."

Good To Know

Bloom earned his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1955 and was hired as a Yale faculty member that same year. In 1965, at the age of 35, he became one of the youngest scholars in Yale history to be appointed full professor in the department of English. He is now Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale and Berg Visiting Professor of English at New York University.

Though some conservative commentators embraced Bloom's canon as a return to traditional moral values, Bloom, who once styled himself "a Truman Democrat," dismisses attempts by both left- and right-wingers to politicize literature. "To read in the service of any ideology is not, in my judgment, to read at all," he told a New York Times interviewer.

His great affinity for Shakespeare has put Bloom in the unlikely position of stage actor on occasion; he has played his "literary hero," port-loving raconteur Sir John Falstaff, in three productions.

Bloom is married to Jeanne, a retired school psychologist whom he met while a junior faculty member at Yale in the 1950s. They have two sons.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Harold Irving Bloom (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      New York, New York and New Haven, Connecticut
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 11, 1930
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., Cornell University, 1951; Ph.D., Yale University, 1955

Table of Contents

Foreword 6

Introduction What are Hate Crimes? An Overview of Their Development 11

Point Penalty-Enhancement Laws for Hate Crimes Are Constitutional, Effective, and Necessary to Combat and Deter Hate Crimes 21

Counterpoint Penalty-Enhancement Laws Violate the Constitution and Further Divide Society 30

Point The Display of a Noose is a Hate Crime and Noose-Display Laws are Constitutional 40

Counterpoint Banning the Display of Nooses Is Unnecessary and Unconstitutional 50

Point The Federal Government Must Do More to Protect Victims of Hate Crimes Based on Sexual Orientation 57

Counterpoint Federal Hate-Crime Laws Should Not Be Expanded to Cover Sexual Orientation 67

Conclusion The Future 73

Appendix Beginning Legal Research 79

Elements of the Argument 82

Notes 84

Resources 89

Picture Credits 94

Index 95

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