Let's suppose the cyberbullying of deaf people through YouTube, chatrooms, in discussion forums, or even in blogs are the efforts to try and harass a person because he or she doesn't like the person in the first place. Are those examples of a hate crime in action? That depends on the nature of the hate, the context, and resulting response by people who received the brunt of that hate.
Let's look at a recent case of what some people say is an example of a hate crime.
Cyberbullyin is out of control.
For example, take the case of Tyler Clementi. Clementi was an 18-year-old freshman at Rutgers University who jumped from the George Washington Bridge after a video surfaced on the internet featuring Clementi and another male student engaging in sexual acts.
Two students were charged with counts of invasion of privacy but is that really all they deserve? These students should be held accountable for Clementi's death. This can and should be viewed as a hate crime not simply because of the student's sexuality, but because these students targeted that aspect of his life. They were the emotional shove that sent him falling from that bridge.Was that really a hate crime or a prank gone bad? Just bad judgement all around and not about hate crime per se? Or is this a blurring of cyberbullying with that of a hate crime in action? Is it a hate crime to go on YouTube in the effort to purposely discredit a person's reputation by providing false information to viewers in a cyberbullying act? Can defamation be hate crime in action?
In California there's a court case in the attempt to connect a cyberbullying case with that of a hate crime. Was it really a "hate crime" that happened? What about the case of Amy Cohen Efron?
I get ostracized and harassed just because of my own opinion and my role as an Editor of DeafRead. As one of the pioneers of Deaf vlogging world, I get cyberbullied just like others. Yes, someone did call my employer about my online activities. This kind of stress caused a trip to emergency room.Was that a case of a hate crime in action when that person or persons who followed through with his or her hate of Amy by actually calling her employer with the express purpose and malicious intent to cause psychological harm to her and damage her reputation at her place of employment? Was it a hate crime in action because others did not view her to be "Deaf enough" because of her views on certain Deaf-related issues did not agree with other Deaf people's more extreme views? Or was it a simple case of her releationship with Deafread and Tayler who owns Deafread on how he received his own brunt of hate for his opinions regarding avdism and how it was just a cover used by some Deaf people? Where is that line between cyberbulling, hate speech and hate crime?
Also, another question, is the action of sending threatening emails to other people a case of a hate crime in action if the perpetrator uses his or her own "Deaf hierarchy" (culturally deaf status) over others in the effort to "protect" the Deaf status quo in their own Deaf community? In other words attack those in the attempt to falsely report or ruin the reputation of people who do not share the same extreme "Deaf views." Or perhaps this was a case not being "Deaf enough" in the extreme sense? A case of not jumping onto the "Deaf extremism" bandwagon? Or maybe a case of people who are "professional haters" who rely on false reporting and hyperbole to get his or her way?
But what about reporting a false hate crime that never existed? It does happen. Here's one professor who did just that and got caught. Not only got did he get caught for lying but got caught in a web of hypocrisy using the status as a professor to make the reporting of a "hate crime" sound even more legitimate.
And what about the hypocrisy of people who discuss hate crime while on a soapbox but continue to make vlogs or blogs in the effort to cyberbully other people in the effort to ruin their reputations with false rumors or false information? And yet we see cases where people ended up physically stalking somebody's house for a few days. A manifestation of a cyberbullying action that slowly transitioned into the physical act of stalking a person he or she hates. But sometimes the hypocrisy gets surreal when a person goes back to his or her soapbox on the whole hate crime, hate speech or cyberbullying spiel pretending nothing ever happened?
The question here is the shifting, blurry line of hate speech and cyberbullying with that of a hate crime. Where do you draw that line?