James Byrd's Racial Controversy

586 Words3 Pages
White supremascists Shawn Berry Lawrence Russell Brewer and John King started a major racial controversy by murdering James Byrd Jr. It came as a shock to people when, for the first time in history, the press bothered to notice the lynching of a black man in Texas, society was astonished that they cared with such passion and vigor. Many American citizens found this appalling considering the country’s indifference to racial violence. Had it not been for the lynching of James Byrd Jr., the Hate Crimes Prevention Act would not exist, therefore countless acts of brutality would take place because there would not be any rules or resistance impeding them from committing the crime. James Jr. was born on May 2, 1949, in Beaumont, Texas, making him fourty-nine years old at the time of his death (1998). After graduating high schhool, Byrd married his wife and had three children. He struggled with alcohol abuse and spent seven years in jail for petty theft. James and his wife divorced in 1993, so he returned to Jasper, Texas, in an effort to improve his life through joining Alcoholics Anonymous and attending church. On the night of June 7, 1998, after…show more content…
The U.S. later legalized it in 2009. This act augmented penalties for crimes perpetrated against one’s ethnicity, nationality, language, religion, age, disability, sexual identity, or sexual preference. Today, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act is “effectively recognizing the importance of prosecuting violence motivated by racism or other bias-related crimes” (2). The act serves as evidence of progress towards equality. The government is saying that all men are created equal and should be treated in the same manner, and if one chooses to oppose this proposition, they will encounter strict
Open Document