Scapegoating is the practice of showering blame on an individual, whether or not they actually deserve the blame. For example, "The teenager was scapegoated for all of the theft and vandalism that happened in the neighborhood even though they were innocent." The term is derived from the ancient Hebrew practice of selecting a goat and ceremonially placing all of the community's sins on it and turning it loose. This is often seen in communities and throughout history where a group or demographic ( ethnic, political, religious, etc.) is unfairly blamed for crimes, evils, misfortune, and strife that occur. For instance, American society frequently "scapegoats" black people for criminal activity.