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Hate Crime Nonsense
by A. Isaac Bales
15 September 2002

Does it bother anyone that hate crimes legislation would effectively legislate thinking? This author covers this and other flaws in proposed hate crimes legislation.

 

 


The colloquy of the hour appears enjoined to the torpid, racist and utterly worthless idea of “Hate Crime Legislation”, (HCL). Espoused by radical left-wing socialists, it is simplicity at its worst, though for some it remains clothed in esoteric brilliance. The premise is as vapid as it is short:

Punish crimes, not based on the crime itself, but instead on the state of mind of the person committing the criminal act. In other words, legislate thinking. Surely our nation’s founders would be sick with disdain were HCL an issue brought before them during their tenure and service to our nation. The dearth of original thought and common sense in such a proposal is astounding. The dangerous Pandora’s Box opened here, should this become law, is beyond frightening. Put bluntly, this type of legislation is feckless imprecation, a pogrom of antipathy, bleeding from us, our most cherished freedoms.

Those who support HCL argue, laconically, that in order to protect certain citizens, penalties that are more stringent need to be set up in regards to fighting racism, sexism, classism, and the list goes on and on, ad infinitum. Truth is, HCL is was set up and proposed to keep the ‘evil white male’ from harming, in any way, women, minorities, or anyone different from themselves.

THE PROBLEM-

A person who commits a crime, no matter the type of crime has obviously let go of a certain amount of rationality. This is self-evident and needs no further explanation. In so much as HCL aims to punish the thoughts of the criminal, it misses wide the point of basic fairness. The radical left blathers on and on, with drunk sincerity about wanting a “melting pot”, or a “color blind society”, and then draws up HCL to shatter the idea of both. As it is now, if a man kills a man, in cold- blood, he is hopefully caught, tired, convicted, and punished. That one of the men was black, or white should be a moot point. Why? Because even if the man who was killed was killed because of the color of his skin, the outcome of the act is NO different. HCL splinters, without apology, the idea of basic fairness, which while bucolic at best, is obviously something worth striving for.

One area of HCL that her supporters do not want to discuss is what happens when a black man kills another black man. This, according to the doctrine of HCL would most likely not be considered a hate crime, and yet the victim is just as dead, leaving loved ones behind to grieve no less. The previous example is but one small snag in the logic of HCL. Here are a few others, posited as questions.

Is it a hate crime if a black man kills a black woman? (One would assume yes in that the victim is both black and a woman.)
Is it a hate crime if a gay man kills a black man? (One would assume so, however, homosexuals would no doubt fall under the protection of HCL, in affect, clouding the issue.
Is it a hate crime if it is not murder? If so, who establishes and follows through with what crimes constitute ‘hate crimes’?
Moreover, should we not presume that hate was included in the crime since the crime itself is evidence of dislike or hate? The point becomes clouded which only serves to complicate an already complicated issue.

The aforementioned are but a few of the problem examples associated with HCL. That said, those examples are not the biggest problem, not by far.

The biggest obstacle to HCL, besides a lack of basic common sense is the fact that it corrupts the individual right of every person to feel and think whatever they so desire. To punish someone for a crime is both just and proper. However, to punish them for their thinking, well, that is both unconstitutional as well as pedantically simplistic.

I have yet to find anywhere, in either the Constitution or the Bill of Rights a segment that forbids my hating something. There is nothing illegal about hate, nothing that anyone can do to stop me from hating, should I desire. I am not suggesting that hate is a healthy emotion, for more times than not, it is destructive and pointless. The question is whether laws should be enacted that prohibits my freedom to hate. The pusillanimous left, the radical faction of the Democratic Party are forever gazing in to the eyes of egalitarianism as a “better way”, complete with the abolition of inequality. Vain and phantasmal, they cannot see the contradictions of HCL and other examples of legal frippery.

A crime should be dealt with because of the crime itself. Since hate is not criminal, in thought, we cannot, must not punish people for things not illegal. That the crime may or may not be a manifestation of the thoughts of disdain or hate is irrelevant. We, as a nation must deal with what we know, and what we can establish within the context of our judicial system. We can, if a crime is committed establish certain things, reducing evidence in to motive, which in turn leads us to some answers. The feel good notion of HCL does nothing to reduce crime, or punish those who commit them. The HCL dictum must be extirpated from the halls of those who have power, lest your thoughts become subject to a jury review.

HCL is not a panacea of forward thinking or of sound law. It is, for want of a better term, a sickly utopia, the result of which would be a conservative’s nightmare. Punish crimes; do not sentence one man five years longer than another, for the same crime due to skin color, or sex, or gender. We must respect all victims of crime by demanding that a crime be dealt with consistently, without acerbity.

Our nation is not in trouble today because of “hate crimes” as much as it is because of the turning away from truth and a pragmatic approach to society. HCL does nothing to fix the problem, but will, without a doubt, add to it, in horrific proportions. Liberals must feel good about HCL, and in so much as they often lean on the quixotic, I am not surprised. I am however surprised that some so called Republicans have come out in favor of such measures. We must investigate and know the issues, and not guess. We must be willing to go where the battle is hottest, and not hide, and we must be willing to allow hate, though we may disagree with the person who employs such beliefs.

Crime is hideous and committing a crime based on hate, repulsive. We must however realize that feel-good laws that produce nothing but political pandering and bitter hyperbole do more to damage than they ever will to aid. No amendment, or provision will make HCL anything other than the complete and utter joke that it is, and forever shall remain.

 

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