There is a Correlation Between Current Issues and Extremism

Celeste Gibson, Managing Editor

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Not every hate crime is caused by current events, but unfortunately, visibility does play a part in hate crimes being committed.

We always remember the bad guys. These people go down in history, films are made about them, people are (unfortunately) inspired by them. The Washington Post reports that 219,000 students have experienced gun violence at schools since Columbine. The point is, when extremists see another extremist on the news, “achieving” what they want to do, it gives them the courage to commit hate crimes.

In addition, as the visibility of LGBTQ people increases, it actually increases hate crimes.  According to the New York Times and NBC News, the first gay couple to be married at West Point Military Academy were attacked by a man shouting homophobic slurs at the couple, and who actually punched one of the couple in the face. Their marriage was photographed by the New York Times and reported on by the Associated Press.

It should be noted that extreme racism and homophobia are the products of the individual and not the fault of anyone targeted by extremists, but extremists thrive on visibility in current media. There is certainly a correlation between extremism and current events.