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Hateful laws

Well, there's a big push going on for an amendment to the federal hate crimes law. It would add sexual orientation, gender, and disability to the criteria for something to be considered a "hate crime."

I have a huge problem with this sort of thing. In a way, it reminds me of the illegal alien problem.

In both cases, I don't really see the need for new laws. There are plenty of existing laws on the books right now that cover the situations quite nicely. The problem is that they simply aren't being enforced.

In a video going around right now put out by the Human Rights Campaign, they discuss three crime victims. The first was allegedly killed because he was gay. The second, allegedly for "identifying as transgender." The third, also allegedly killed for being gay.

(I'm using weasel words because I don't know the particulars of each case, not that I am casting aspersions on HRC's claims.)

In each case, the actions taken against these three people -- beaten and locked in the trunk of a car, head smashed in with a 25-lb. rock, tortured and left to die tied to a fence -- were already crimes, and crimes that carry the highest penalties.

I recall back in the 2000 election, then-candidate Bush was attacked for vetoing a hate crimes law in Texas after the brutal murder of James Byrd (who was black) by three white men, who freely admitted they had targeted him on the basis of his race. I don't recall Bush's precise words, but they are best summed up by "what the hell else more could we do to them with this new law?" In the Byrd case, two of the killers were sentenced to death and the third -- who testified against the other two -- was given life in prison.

Likewise, on immigration, we have fine laws on the books already. There are ways to come to this country legally, both temporarily and permanently. There are ways to gain citizenship. And there are carefully-prescribed penalties for breaking those laws.

There is a remarkable overlap here, between those who call for new laws and those who routinely fight the enforcement of current laws. A Venn diagram of those who oppose the death penalty and campaign for "humane" treatment for prisoners and argue for leniency for criminals, and those who regularly call for new laws such as "hate crime" laws would be very enlightening.

I guess I'm just too simple-minded for these matters. I believe that if we have a law on the books, it ought to be enforced. If it's a bad law, then it ought to be repealed.

And I just can't see how problems that could be fixed by simply enforcing current laws will be made any better by passing new laws, especially since I have no faith that these laws will be enforced any more rigorously than the ones we have on the books already.

The only way I can see it making sense is if the issue is not the actual crimes being committed, but the feelings of the proponents. Passing a new law lets them feel all warm and fuzzy inside, like they've accomplished something worthwhile and meritorious, and actually fixed the problem.

It's the celery of social action, though. It's all empty calories. Or, if you like, it's moralistic masturbation -- self-gratifying but utterly non-productive, helped along with a healthy dose of fantasy.

It's too bad the rest of us have to deal with the laundry afterWard.


Comments (59)

Criminalizing attitudes is ... (Below threshold)

Criminalizing attitudes is what it's all about, Jay. It's always been what it's about.

I'm powerfully reminded of the passage in 1984 where O'Brien tells Winston Smith about the difference between the Party and its totalitarian predecessors:

"The commandment of the old despotisms was 'Thou shalt not.' The rule of the early totalitarians was 'Thou shalt.' Ours is 'Thou art.'"

Hate-crimes legislation, and similar measures that attempt to penalize a man for his convictions and attitudes (e.g., much sexual-harassment law), are steps toward this end.

YEAH The man is back and h... (Below threshold)
balding:

YEAH The man is back and his words are flowing, Water apon the rocks of ignorance wearing them down, and exposing the buried truth within

Thought crime, attitude cri... (Below threshold)
ptg:

Thought crime, attitude crime, its a bad idea. Next comes face crime. As in: "The perpetrator held a fearsome grimace as he stole the cigarettes from the crippled,transgendered,black Muslim convenience store clerk."

Human law is a tangled mess... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Human law is a tangled mess of acts and attitudes behind those acts with little attempt of being constant. Hate crime legislation's gives prosecutors another powerful tool to threaten and punish people in the furtherance of what's politically correct.

If there's a weak link in the U.S. system of justice it's prosecutors who have way too much discretion and way too little oversight. The Jury system was intended to be a check on prosecutors and legislators, but far too few jurors understand that they have the constitutional power to judge the law itself as well as the facts regardless of any instructions given by a judge. In fact, if you want to avoid jury duty just study up on jury nullification and let the prosecutor or judge know you have done so. You'll likely be escorted from the building and never called for jury duty again. This is how the "professionals" avoid the constitutional check on their power.

Anyone concerned about "justice" should insist that all jurors are instructed in their "full" Constitutional duties of not only judging the facts of the case, but the law itself and how that law is applied. Stupid laws and misapplied laws deserve to be nullified, and prosecutors should always be worried about jury nullification when bringing a case. It's what the founders intended, and it's what justice demands.

"It's too bad the rest of u... (Below threshold)
engineer:

"It's too bad the rest of us have to deal with the laundry afterWard."

Jay, snarking at poor wittle ole Lee again?

I consider that a hate crime. You are hereby guilty without a trial and sentenced to censorship!

You will be entering rehab, right?

Gun laws are a piece with t... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

Gun laws are a piece with that phenomenon. Sure the latest killer broke the law to get his guns, but let's pass more laws! Yay!

In murder cases the "intent... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

In murder cases the "intent" of the murderer is considered, because planning to kill someone (and then killing them) is indeed far different from accidentally killing someone. Granted.

But now our PC laws are going to try and apply "intent" to every human interaction...at least those that the PC Police deem worthy.

Have the wrong expression on your face when you glance at someone? HATE CRIME!

Use a word like "niggardly" in a sentence? HATE CRIME!

Disagree with "consensus science" or "consensus political thought"? HATE CRIME!

and so on... the result is, as Francis W. Porretto reminded us above, 1984. You wind up with a population that shuffles about with heads bowed, not daring to make eye-contact. Movements and gestures carefully restriced lest a shrug be considered "HATEFUL". And words carefully chosen for blandness to ensure no trace of "HATE" can be attributed to them.

THAT is the PC Police's goal...THAT is the goal of the Leftists (read: "Democratic Party"). Living in the S.F. Bay Area I can tell you this movement is well underway.

If you want to understand t... (Below threshold)

If you want to understand the why of hate crime law, you need to visit this page:

http://www.hatecrimesbill.org/hate_crimes_law.html

I have no faith th... (Below threshold)
jpe:
I have no faith that these laws will be enforced any more rigorously than the ones we have on the books already.

You shouldn't think of hate crime laws as a new class of laws that may or may not be enforced. Instead, they're sentencing enhancers: they create harsher minimum sentences. Like the sentencing guidelines, they can't not be enforced if brought. They force mushy judges that would otherwise give light sentences to give legislatively mandatory minimums.

Antony, I went to the link ... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Antony, I went to the link and found these 4 questions there:

Is it appropriate for a criminal law to punish on the basis of a perpetrator's motivation?
[Well...if the basis is something OTHER than a PERCEIVED basis from the alleged "victim", then maybe]

Should gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability be included in a federal bias crime law?
[almost certainly NO!!]

Are bias crime laws consonant with principles of free expression?
[in virtually all cases NO!!]

Is a prominent federal role in the prosecution and punishment of bias crimes consistent with the proper division of authority between state (and local) government and the federal government in our political system?
[almost certainly NO!!]

This is addressed to everyo... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

This is addressed to everyone on here who opposes hate crime legislation: What do you believe should be the appropriate response to those who seek to tear the fabric of our society?

The classic example would be burning a cross on somebody's lawn or painting swastikas on a synagogue. Don't you agree that these acts go beyond just trespassing and vandalism?

More to the point, Paul, is... (Below threshold)
jpe:

More to the point, Paul, is why they're so gung-ho in favor of lighter sentences for criminals.

Who calls what 'hate'?<br /... (Below threshold)
kim:

Who calls what 'hate'?
=============

Paul and jpe...I actually b... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Paul and jpe...I actually believe that TRUE "Hate crimes" should indeed be prosecuted...and stiffer sentences metted out!

Burning a cross on someone's lawn certainly qualifies!

MY objection comes when the PERCEPTION of a hateful bias is attached to someone's actions...and THEN they are prosecuted for "HATE".

Should holding the door open for a woman be perceived as being a bias against her gender (and thus HATEFUL)?? I have seen examples of EXACTLY that behavior (and was the "victim" of it once..."victim" as in being publicly humiliated by the woman in question proclaimly LOUDLY that I was "sexist" for holding the door open!)

Should someone's "body language" when someone else is talking be construable as "HATE speech"??

Should someone's use of a word...an INNOCENT word (I gave the example earlier of "niggardly") be "HATE speech" simply because a moron THINKS it is "HATEFUL" (and thus it BECOMES "HATEFUL").

Etc...

Truly hateful actions should be punished.

But PERCEPTIONS of bias in our politically correct world are more and more becoming the means by which people are being cowed.

Slippery slope? It's a CLIFF!

btw...the David Howard inci... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

btw...the David Howard incident is VERY instructful on the subject of "HATE speech".
[from wikipedia...emphasis mine]

On January 15, 1999, David Howard, a white aide to Anthony A. Williams, the black mayor of Washington, D.C., United States, used the word in reference to a budget. This apparently upset one of his black colleagues (identified by Howard as Marshall Brown), who incorrectly interpreted it as a racial slur and lodged a complaint. As a result, on January 25 Howard tendered his resignation, and Williams accepted it.

However, after pressure from the gay community (of which Howard was a member) and black leaders, an internal review into the matter was brought about, and the mayor offered Howard the chance to return to his position as Office of the Public Advocate on February 4. Howard refused but accepted another position with the mayor instead, insisting that he did not feel victimized by the incident. On the contrary, Howard felt that he had learned from the situation. "I used to think it would be great if we could all be colorblind. That's naive, especially for a white person, because a white person can't afford to be colorblind. They don't have to think about race every day. An African American does."
*******

INSANITY!! Howard WAS victimized by the utter STOOOOPIDITY of the black member of the Mayor's staff. But then not only excuses that stooopidity, he PRAISES it!!

Howard claims it is ok for African-Americans to go about seeing the world through a BIASED LENS, looking for HATE in all situations! And when see something they PERCEIVE as "hateful", Howard finds it perfectly appropriate for them to potentially RUIN someone's life over it! Remember, if Howard had not been "gay" he would not have had an advocacy group to raise a stink for him and get him rehired.

So, Paul and jpe, what about when the cry of "HATE SPEECH!" becomes itself "HATE SPEECH!"???

Paul & jpe???I fin... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Paul & jpe???

I find your silence in response to my questions to be HATEFUL!!! [the knock on your door that you will hear shortly will be the PC Police]

In both cases, I d... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
In both cases, I don't really see the need for new laws. There are plenty of existing laws on the books right now that cover the situations quite nicely. The problem is that they simply aren't being enforced.

1. What harm would an additional law do? If none, then why complain about it?
2. If the current laws aren't being enforced, what can we do to change that?
3. Are the current laws state laws, and the proposed new laws federal? If so, wouldn't that give us another opportunity to get the law enforced...adding federal authority to (possibly unenforced) state authority?

You probably also realize that opposition to laws protecting people against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender, and disability makes people question whether you actually opposed such discrimination. Do you or do you not?

INSANITY!! Howard ... (Below threshold)
jpe:
INSANITY!! Howard WAS victimized by the utter STOOOOPIDITY of the black member of the Mayor's staff.

Not sure how this has anything to do with hate crime laws. It's pretty simple to distinguish between speech and action. For example, I can talk about how blowing up the WTC was a good thing and ought to be done for the glory of allah, and that's free speech. If I go ahead and do it, though, I will and should be convicted of a crime based on terroristic motivation. That's the exact same structure, and I don't see terrorism laws as especially complicated or troublesome to administer.

3. Are the current laws state laws, and the proposed new laws federal? If so, wouldn't that give us another opportunity to get the law enforced...adding federal authority to (possibly unenforced) state authority?

The only legitimate objection the current law is that it's an unconstitutional encroachment of the feds onto state turf. It's legalistic, for sure, but IMHO a compelling objection. It's like when Bush says that he can violate the Constitution because doing so is good policy; well, whether or not violating the Constitution is good policy is kind of beside the point. The policy question has to follow the Constitutional question.

jpeRegarding the C... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

jpe

Regarding the Constitution...

Didn't the 14th amendment alter the relationship between the states and the feds, giving the latter more power to enforce equal treatment?

From the 14th amendment:</p... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

From the 14th amendment:

"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Seems to me that if the state fails to provide equal protection, the feds can step in.

jpe: "Not sure how this ... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

jpe: "Not sure how this has anything to do with hate crime laws. It's pretty simple to distinguish between speech and action."

Well, it oughta be simple!! Sadly it is NOT these days. We have people routinely "offended" by the mere sight of a cross, outaged by their own lack of knowledge of the meaning of a word, etc.

We had 3 INNOCENT Duke lacrosse players who were not only accused of RAPE...they were accused of RACIAL BIAS...and thus hate!

We had sympathetic juries all too willing to accept someone's word that they FELT that a comment or gesture was "HATEFUL'.

There ARE truly hateful things (like the cross-burning mentioned earlier). But not having the THOUGHT POLICE running around trying to discern what ELSE might be hateful is not the kind of America I want to live in.

excuse me...that should rea... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

excuse me...that should read:

But HAVING the THOUGHT POLICE running around trying to discern what ELSE might be hateful is not the kind of America I want to live in.

justrand -I'm with... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

justrand -

I'm with you. The first amendment protect free speech...and would be meaningless if this didn't include protecting unpopular speech. If we mess up on this, we get witch hunts.

At the same time, I support the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment...people are entitled to equal protection under the law, and if the states don't provide it, the feds can and should. If we mess up on this, we fail the most basic principles upon which our republic was founded. (Truths the founders called "self-evident".)

The 14th is usually regarde... (Below threshold)
jpe:

The 14th is usually regarded as restraining state action and/or protecting federal rights. We're dealing with punishing private actors, so the constraint prong can't be our constitutional hook. And it's kind of hard to characterize a hate crime as an attack on a federal right. If a state had legalized attacks on blacks or women, then there'd be a case for that, but beating up Sikhs is already illegal in all states by dint of the general criminal laws.

That distinction is why the existing federal hate crime laws are probably OK: they criminalize hate crimes for classes of people in the process of exercising certain federal rights (like voting).

jpe -The 14th amen... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

jpe -

The 14th amendment, and particularly the equal protection clause, made slavery illegal. It expanded federal power to protect the equal rights of all citizens.

It certainly didnt' give the federal government anything we could call a "right." The PEOPLE have rights; the government has only the powers that the people delegate to it and the responsibility to protect our rights.

That said, beating up somebody from ANY group is already protected by law. But if the states failed to prosecute, say, people who lynched black people...we'd want the feds to step in.

BTW - I think expanding the... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

BTW - I think expanding the law to include additional specific types of discrimination is harmless, but unnecessary. The 14th amendment gives the feds all the power they need to do the job. But they have to actually do it...

I think burning a cross on ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I think burning a cross on someones lawn is stupid and is used to intimidate. I also think all violent crimes have an element of hate in them. You cannot beat someone up without hate being involved somewhere. If burning crosses on lawns is just trespassing, mischievious or whatnot, change those laws that no body can put a religious symbol in someones yard and set it on fire. Why the hate point? Seems a waste. ww

The problem with Hate crime... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The problem with Hate crime laws is that it's not the motive of the person who commits some act that makes it a hate crime, it's the motive the alleged victim perceives that turns a lesser crime into an act of hate. For example, some kid goes down the block spraying scribbles and loops on all the cars with no particular malice other then he doesn't like cars parked in the way of his skateboarding. A simple property crime until one Muslim owner decides the scribbles on his car look like the Arabic for Allah and now it's a hate crime. Think that's a stretch, well take a look at this.

Justice demands that each person be judged on their own actions and their own motives, not on how other's perceive those actions or motives. Hate crime laws violate this simple test, and thus, are themselves unjust.

The only legitimat... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:
The only legitimate objection the current law is that it's an unconstitutional encroachment of the feds onto state turf.

No, it's not the only legitimate reason; it's not even the most compelling. Another legitimate reason is that it's bad policy too get to deeply into the motive of why someone intentionally victimizes someone else. If a group of young men go out drinking, then hit the streets looking for some "excitement", and decide to attack someone, it is just better policy to punish them based on the act itself, whether or not they called their victim a faggot or a nigger during the attack. Even if they don't utter the slurs, and regardless of whether their victim falls into a protected class, the crime is equally horrendous and should be punished for what it is, not for who the victim was.

Publicus,... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Publicus,

The 14th amendment, and particularly the equal protection clause, made slavery illegal. It expanded federal power to protect the equal rights of all citizens.

You got the wrong amendment. It's the 13th amendment that abolished slavery. The 14th amendment does not grant equal protection to individuals. If it did, the military draft would be unconstitutional. That is, you could not draft only some young men, or even only men, or even just young people without discrimination on the basis of gender and age, which violates the concept of equal protection under the law. Being that drafting only some young men has been allowed under the 14th amendment demonstrates this amendment doesn't mean in law what it says in English. Like the 2nd amendment, some provisions of the 14th amendment are rendered unenforceable by court decisions.

Folks, come visit the S.F B... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Folks, come visit the S.F Bay Area some time.

This is the "Land of the Offended and Outraged Victim"

The whole Left Coast lives by the "perception is reality" philosophy...and they perceive a LOT OF HATE! (except for the horsehit THEY spew and do...that is the ONLY protected speech and action)

The last thing I want is to "arm" these morons with sweeping "hate law enforcement" powers. It'll make the Taliban "Islamic Law Police" look like day-care workers!

I'd I would HATE that...but, uh, that'd be hateful, I guess?!?

Hate crimes laws come down ... (Below threshold)
hermie:

Hate crimes laws come down to this:

If I commit a crime against someone, I am charged, tried, convicted and sentenced to X punishment.

If I commit a crime againsy someone and happen to use a racial remark, I am charged, tried, convicted and sentenced to X plus Y punishment.

The only thing different was that I opened up my mouth and said something. So if I keep my mouth shut and commit the crime, even if I did it because of a racial motivation, I only get X punishment.

Now if I was black and used a racial remark when I committed a crime against a Hispanic person or an Asian person, would it then be reclassified as a 'hate crime'?

It certainly didnt... (Below threshold)
jpe:
It certainly didnt' give the federal government anything we could call a "right."

It gave the federal government the power to enforce rights as against state violations of those rights. If you want to say that's not a right, fine, but it sounds like a difference w/o a distinction to me.

Another legitimate... (Below threshold)
jpe:
Another legitimate reason is that it's bad policy too get to deeply into the motive of why someone intentionally victimizes someone else.

Time to repeal laws against terrorism, then.

MacLorry:Thank's f... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

MacLorry:

Thank's for correcting me! Man, I need some sleep...

jpe -I just like t... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

jpe -

I just like to remind people that our rights are unalienable, and the governments powers are limited to the powers we delegate to it. That's why I don't like to refer to the "rights" of the government.

BTW - the real significance... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

BTW - the real significance (I think) of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment is that it codified that no government - federal or state - could violate our unalienable rights. Prior to that, the Constitution only restrained the federal government from doing so.

Kim: My definition of a ha... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

Kim: My definition of a hate crime would be "an act against persons or property intended to intimidate a group of people." The people who killed Byrd and Shepard were doing more than just attacking one person -- they were sending a message to other blacks and gays as shown by the nature of the attack.

Justrand: I have a life and sometimes need to step away from the computer for a while. If you will see above, words wouldn't qualify as a hate crime -- it needs to be a physical act like attacking a person or damaging property with the intent to intimidate others by the nature of the deed.

Wild Willie, you are right that there is an element of hate in just about every violent crime, but what makes something a hate crime is the message that it sends. If, for example, the KKK burns a cross which belongs to them on their own property, that would not be a hate crime, even though I still consider it despicable. The line would be crossed if they burned the cross on SOMEBODY ELSE'S property. That's the difference between speech and hate crimes the way I see it.

That said, beating up so... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

That said, beating up somebody from ANY group is already protected by law. But if the states failed to prosecute, say, people who lynched black people...we'd want the feds to step in.

Posted by: Publicus at June 23, 2007 02:14 PM

Which is why these new laws are such a crock. The states do prosecute these crimes already.

These specific victims, who are part of today's special, protected class of citizen, just want extra punishment given out because they are part of the proctected class. Blacks and gays, mostly. But others are moving in to claim their 'special' status also. This crowd of 'special class' citizens is just going to keep growing and growing until almost everyone is 'special'.

Another problem with federa... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Another problem with federal criminal laws that duplicate state laws is that it creates double jeopardy for defendants. The Constitution prohibits double jeopardy, but foolish court decisions have nullified that provision by claiming the state government and the federal government are two separate governments. If that were true, then states would not be bound by any federal law anymore than they are bound by Canadian law. With this system a defendant can win their case in state court and then be tried for the same offence in federal court. That's double jeopardy and it's the defendant's point of view that should prevail, not the government's. Even if a defendant wins again in federal court then can then be sued in civil court, and that's triple jeopardy.

We are in this mess because the American people don't care much about "justice" until they are personally impacted. The root cause is human nature in that people don't want to be bothered with problems that don't directly effect them. Note how movie stars become avid supporters and fund raisers for research into various diseases and conditions only AFTER they contract the given disease or condition. The founders gave us the best system they could, but without the active participation of every generation the ruling elite continually undermine that system. Hate laws are just another breach in that system.

If there is a rash of burgl... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

If there is a rash of burglaries, rapes or murders in a section of town I live in, we would all be intimidated, scared or whatever. The burglars, rapists or murderers would then be charged with a hate crime because all who lived in the effected area were fearful and intimidated. Let's put this in perspective, hate crimes are only used when the victim of a crime is a person of color or sexual preference. This is a feel good law that is openly discriminatory. An expample: Two hispanic gentelman were driving home from work in Ohio on June 19th. A juneteenth celebration was just wrapping up and the streets were crowded with black people. The hispanic driving accidently ran into a black child. The eight black men around the car pulled the men out of the vehicle and beat the driver and beat to DEATH the passenger. The child is fine. Why would the crowd beat the PASSENGER to death? Because he was hispanic and blacks for the most part don't like them. The chief of police could not come out fast enough to state "There was no hate crime committed." This is where those that think the hate crime laws are worthless. ww

That was a stupid comment, ... (Below threshold)
jpe:

That was a stupid comment, WildWillie. Even for a righty blog.

This is addressed to eve... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

This is addressed to everyone on here who opposes hate crime legislation: What do you believe should be the appropriate response to those who seek to tear the fabric of our society?

So, a gay guy getting mugged by a random stranger is mugged LESS than if he were mugged by somebody who hates gay people?

And you can PROVE what somebody THOUGHT? That is quite impressive.

The classic example would be burning a cross on somebody's lawn or painting swastikas on a synagogue. Don't you agree that these acts go beyond just trespassing and vandalism?

No. They are crimes, plain and simple.

1. What harm would an additional law do? If none, then why complain about it?

Wow. Supporting more laws with a "Well, how much more can it hurt?" mentality seems to be a really poor idea.

2. If the current laws aren't being enforced, what can we do to change that?

Passing more laws that won't be enforced is your idea?

3. Are the current laws state laws, and the proposed new laws federal? If so, wouldn't that give us another opportunity to get the law enforced...adding federal authority to (possibly unenforced) state authority?

Feel free to explain in what way the federal government has any business here? A crime occurs solely in a state --- what does the fed government have to do with it?

You probably also realize that opposition to laws protecting people against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender, and disability makes people question whether you actually opposed such discrimination. Do you or do you not?

Supporting it shows demonstrates you support the idea of thought crime.

Kim: My definition of a hate crime would be "an act against persons or property intended to intimidate a group of people." The people who killed Byrd and Shepard were doing more than just attacking one person -- they were sending a message to other blacks and gays as shown by the nature of the attack.

Around the time of the Sheppard incident, two gay men kidnapped and killed a young boy.

Guess what wasn't listed as a hate crime?

Black-on-white crime does seem to RARELY be charged with hate crimes.

Personally, I don't see why some people are afforded "special protections" in crimes that others are not. Why should a gay man assaulted by a homophobe result in a longer sentence than me being assaulted by a drunken moron? Do I matter less?
-=Mike

All crimes are hate crimes.... (Below threshold)
steak111111:

All crimes are hate crimes.

This is addressed ... (Below threshold)
This is addressed to everyone on here who opposes hate crime legislation: What do you believe should be the appropriate response to those who seek to tear the fabric of our society?

The classic example would be burning a cross on somebody's lawn or painting swastikas on a synagogue. Don't you agree that these acts go beyond just trespassing and vandalism?


Incitement to riot. Period. No hate crime laws needed.
1. What harm would... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
1. What harm would an additional law do? If none, then why complain about it?

Wow. Supporting more laws with a "Well, how much more can it hurt?" mentality seems to be a really poor idea.

I asked a question. You supplied "my" answer. Why not just answer the question?

2. If the current laws aren't being enforced, what can we do to change that?

Passing more laws that won't be enforced is your idea?

Um, no. I asked a question. You supplied "my" asnwer.

3. Are the current laws state laws, and the proposed new laws federal? If so, wouldn't that give us another opportunity to get the law enforced...adding federal authority to (possibly unenforced) state authority?

Feel free to explain in what way the federal government has any business here? A crime occurs solely in a state --- what does the fed government have to do with it?

In the first half of the 2oth century, the states in the south refused to prosecute people who lynched blacks. Eventually, the feds did something about it. I think if the states fail to do their jobs, the feds should step in.

Hate is freedom of expressi... (Below threshold)
steak111111:

Hate is freedom of expression. What liberal that hates Rush would deny that? ALL crimes are hate crimes so 'hate crime' legislation is worthless anyway.

Paul, your question "Thi... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Paul, your question "This is addressed to everyone on here who opposes hate crime legislation: What do you believe should be the appropriate response to those who seek to tear the fabric of our society?" has been addressed several times...but you seem disinclined to accept the answers as given.

Here's another try by me.

First, there are a great many people "seek to tear the fabric of our society"
...some of them are elected officials. (Bernie Sanders, Socialist-Vt comes to mind).
...some of them are drug-pushers and child-molesters
...some of them are anarchists and murderers

All of those I just listed, including Bernie Sanders, are in their own way seeking to "tear the fabric of our society" (or doing so even without seeking to do so).

Are those all "HATE crimes"??

As I've said, I don't mind having a "hate crime" provision where someone clearly indicates their intention is to intimidate through hatred.

The MASSIVE problem is that the definition of what constitutes "Hate" in a crime is extrememly squishy. I hear/see/read it thrown about all the time here on hate LeftCoast.

I can tell you for a F-A-C-T that if the MoveOn.org and CodePink had their way they would declare FoxNews to be spewing "hate speech"...and thus guilty of a "hate crime". Do you really want to give morons like that a weapon that would allow them to determine what IS and ISN'T "hate speech/action/thought/intent"??

Scary slope...very steep...very slippery.

Hate Laws bad. More hate la... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Hate Laws bad. More hate laws worse.

Here's tonight's current fave music video. Play loud. Best enjoyed with 3rd beer.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZfKp90Di6Xk

Okay, so let me get this st... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Okay, so let me get this straight.

We need hate laws... because normal laws don't provide enough punishment?

Let's see - someone beats someone else to death because the victim is (fill in the blank).

Okay - the sentence is death. Adding on 5 years because the victim was (fill in the blank) is fairly meaningless. Yeah, it might make those that pass the laws feel good - but 'death + 5 years' means... what? That they execute him then stick him back in the cell for another 5 years? (Ew.)

That they wait 5 MORE years before he can be executed?

Sorry - this whole 'hate crime' thing just doesn't make sense to me...

But see, teh reason they wa... (Below threshold)
Ryan D.:

But see, teh reason they want the "Add on' hate crime is so that eventually they can convieniently JUST charge them for the hate crime and truly have 'thought crime'.

"That guy on the radio said something hateful about blacks. Arrest him!"

That guy behind the pulpit insulted GAys. Arrest him!"

And so on. Its just a preliminary step on the way to their desired result.

2. If the current laws a... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

2. If the current laws aren't being enforced, what can we do to change that?
Passing more laws that won't be enforced is your idea?

You mean like Congress vis-a-vis the Immigration laws?

Nevermind, of course, that ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Nevermind, of course, that globalized capitalism is a tremendous force for peace and justice everywhere, in powerful contradistinction to the wars and injustice provoked by the attempt to put humans into an imaginary political sphere by the so-called 'progressives'.
===============================

shit, wrong thread. Oh wel... (Below threshold)
kim:

shit, wrong thread. Oh well, is it worth re-posting?
=========================

Give me Libby, or give me D... (Below threshold)
kim:

Give me Libby, or give me Death.
====================

kim...right thread or wrong... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

kim...right thread or wrong thread your post:
"Nevermind, of course, that globalized capitalism is a tremendous force for peace and justice everywhere, in powerful contradistinction to the wars and injustice provoked by the attempt to put humans into an imaginary political sphere by the so-called 'progressives'."

was SPOT ON!! :)

I asked a question. You ... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

I asked a question. You supplied "my" answer. Why not just answer the question?

Because to give any thought to answer would make my reply more thoughtful than your question.

In the first half of the 2oth century, the states in the south refused to prosecute people who lynched blacks. Eventually, the feds did something about it. I think if the states fail to do their jobs, the feds should step in.

So, the guys who beat Sheppard got nothing?

The guys who killed Byrd were acquitted and freed?
-=Mike

<a href="http://www.washing... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/22/AR2007062201704.html

end of debate.

THIS is EXACTLY where the "HateCrimes" legistlation will wind up...EXACTLY

Lets see. . .Two c... (Below threshold)
Ryan D.:

Lets see. . .

Two consecutive life sentences. . .

Two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of Parole.

And in the other one - two death sentences and a life sentence.

What harsher penalties exactly were you pro 'Hate crimes' people wanting there?

I mean, I imagine most that are 'pro hate crimes' are 'anti death penalty' so what harsher sentences did you want? Please, tell me.




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