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The U.S. Department of Justice explains it best: “The term ‘hate crime’ is defined by various federal and state laws. In its broadest sense, the term refers to an attack on an individual or his or her property (e.g., vandalism, arson, assault, murder) in which the victim is intentionally selected because of his or her race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, or sexual orientation. Every year, thousands of Americans are victims of such hate crimes. Each one of these crimes has a ripple effect in our communities.