At the age of 19, the young Richard Machado was the first individual to be convicted of a federal electronic mail (email) hate crime. The reason for the conviction was a threatening hate message in 1996 to 59 Asian students at University of California at Irvine (UCI). Richard was also a student at UCI at the time. When he was asked about the emails he had sent, he said that he had sent them out in frustration, because Asians were dominating the UCI campus, and he believed that it made it less popular. Less popular due to the raising grade curve the Asians caused. He also managed to mention that he didn’t like his Asian roommate.
After Machado was identified as being responsible for the email hate crime, and after he denied any involvement he disappeared, and his roommates’ car was stolen. Machado was believed to have stolen it. Machado was caught early in 1997 trying to sneak back into the U.S. from Mexico where he had fled to. He had hoped to work and continue with life in Mexico. However when he didn’t succeed he came back and got caught by the border security.
Once trial began a recess was granted because new information came along. It appeared that not everyone was bothered by the hate email Machado has sent out and a mistrial was declared. However there was another trial, and Machado was found guilty of two counts of civil rights violations. He was sentence to one year in jail, but because he had already spent a year in jail while awaiting his trials he was free to go. He was placed on probation, fined $1000, required to attend anger and racial tolerance counseling, and he was not allowed on the UCI campus, banned to contact the victims and he also wasn’t allowed to use the computers at UCI.
What Machado did is not ethical. Threatening people with their life is no joke. People might not have got hurt, because it was “just” a message, but getting a message like that is or at least should be enough for people to worry. No one should have to think that their life is in danger just because of their race, looks, language or anything that makes us all different from each other.
Hate crime as the word defines it, is a crime. If you’re committing a crime you should know that what you’re doing is most likely unethical. However, we are all different, and therefore we all have a different point of view. While I believe that Machado actions are unethical, he and maybe even others might think it’s perfectly fine. It’s just like with Machado’s victims, not all of them were bothered by it, but some were. Turns out that the majority was.
I personally do not understand how people can be so evil against each other, and I don’t understand why anyone would ever think it is okay to threaten someone just because they look...