UrbaNERD: Hate Crimes Up. Don’t Blame Video Games

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Thomas Good, Metro Centric, Anthony Lanzilote, Pablo029, Atomische, DIana Robinson/Mayor's Office

So much hate we can’t even count it right

Hates crimes only get reported 40 percent of the time and they’re on the rise in certain categories. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that since 2004, hate crimes motivated by ethnicity bias have doubled, as have those involving gender bias, while instances of religious bias have tripled. But even those numbers might understate the problem. Deciding what to label a crime a “hate crime” is left up to each individual state; Wyoming, South Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, and Indiana do not have clearly defined regulations for classifying a hate crime. A 2015 study in the American Journal of Criminal Justice found, among other things, that the size and political power of a minority group greatly influences whether or not local police will report a hate crime to the FBI. And a 2014 study published in the Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice found that hate crime rates rise drastically after an incidence of terrorism. This is the part where I’m supposed to make a breezy joke, but that’s tough to do about hate crimes. So let’s move on.

News flash: Having parents at risk of being thrown out of the country is tough on kids

A study conducted by the American Sociological Association has found that Mexican children who have undocumented parents are at a greater risk for behavior issues. Penn State liberal arts researcher and professor of sociology and demography, Nancy Landale said that while there is “no simple answer” for these behavior problems, the research suggests it may have to do with these children facing, “unique and poorly understood challenges due to their parents’ insecure legal status.” The other problems faced by these children (although many are themselves U.S. citizens) include a lack of access to mental health care. This access to health care could be limited by, “family poverty; a lack of health insurance; language barriers; parents’ limited awareness of mental health resources; and parents’ reluctance to seek assistance from service providers because of fear of detection, apprehension, and deportation.” One could blame an inefficient and inhuman immigration system for these results. Or one could pin it on the kids. Which do you think Fox News will do?

Game Over for people who pin violence on entertainment


megan ann

Violence in video games and movies is causing all of our children to turn into bloody murderers! Not really, but many would still have you believe that. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Communication found that, “overall, no evidence was found to support the conclusion that media violence and societal violence are meaningfully correlated.” The study also found—and this may be a surprise to people—that “the correlation between movie and societal violence was reduced when policing or real GDP were controlled.” So, once again a study shows that poverty and policing have more to do with crime rates than scapegoat issues.

Now, readers, get out there and kill some zombies!

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This week’s guest author is Ryan Houssein, a freelance writer and head writer for TheNationalSomething.com. He got his start in comedy performing all over New York City, New Jersey, and Atlanta.

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3 thoughts on “UrbaNERD: Hate Crimes Up. Don’t Blame Video Games

  1. Excellent points on hate crimes and local police biases and the effects of deportation on kids. If only mainstream media backed up their analyses with quality social science research.

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