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from crux № 1 - hate crimes

I've never agreed with the "hate crime" nonsense.

Is an assault worse because it's a "hate crime?" Is someone more dead because they were murdered in a "hate crime?"

There is no crime that can be made worse because it's a "hate crime." The only thing that can be made worse is the punishment.

Which is a pretty "racist" way to look at it.



I never have agreed with "hate" crimes.

Theft is wrong. Murder is wrong. Assault is wrong.

How are these things worse because of "hate?"

How are they worse because of skin color or sexual orientation or creed or even because the victim wore red socks?

You don't have rights because you're pagan or gay or a woman or because of your ancestors.You have rights because you are human. It's not a right unless the other guy has it too. Anything more is privilege.

When we protect a group, what we're really saying is that they aren't good enough without help. We're implying that they will never be good enough no matter what. We're making them perpetual victims.

I want allies. I want them strong. I want them waving their fingers in my face and yelling if I do something wrong. I want them honest enough to tell the truth.

And if I can't convince people to stand up for what's right without holding a gun to their head and threatening them, I'm doing it wrong.



I can't convince a bunch of Christian conservatives that gays deserve equal treatment under the law when there are people shouting loudly that certain classes of people deserve special treatment.

"All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others."



I accept that the law does recognize intent and it is the least objectionable distinction.

I still think the notion of "hate crimes" goes too far. Perhaps because I've had too many arguments against political correctness and I see this as just one more where one "class" demands special privilege over all others.



Gods yes!

I despise the phrase "hate crime." In 30 years of asking, not one person has ever managed to tell me why a crime is worse if it's a hate crime.



The funny bit is that no one group controls the language.

That's why some are trying to make criticism of police hate crimes too.

Calling something a hate crime is still wrong though.



I feel what you're saying. I don't agree, but I recognize your passion.

Honestly I don't believe that hate speech should be a crime. I'm also not convinced that hate crimes merit more punishment than other crimes, but that is me.

You can't define religion by politics, although the gods know I've met enough People of the Book who have tried.



Yes, some crimes are more important. Murder tops out theft.

But a murder victim is not more dead because it was a hate crime.

The law has no business "gauging the damage of an act to society at large." Is arson against a Catholic church worse than arson against a kosher bakery? Is killing a child with all their unrealized potential worse than killing a prominent politician? Is a false rape accusation worse than the act of rape itself? Should the old homes on the wrong side of the tracks be preserved like the well kept old homes uptown? These are the value judgements that you are asking the law to make.

These are the value judgements that government is uniquely unqualified to make.

Murder is murder. Theft is theft. Property destruction is property destruction.

Look at how people are now declaring that "hate speech" must not be allowed. With one word, anyone you don't agree with can be silenced. And if they don't stay silent, well then, retribution is only natural, isn't it?

And by the way, have you noticed that some states are considering making criticism of police hate speech?



I am concerned though. This is one thing that I thought might happen when I started reading about hate crimes back in the 1980s. A crime is a crime, it's not somehow worse with motive attached to it. Kill someone, they are still dead. Vandalize their property, it's still broken. But now by using the label hate crime, some crimes are more important than others.

A crime against a Christian church would get the "proper" attention because it's a "proper" faith as recognized by the government. Rather than focusing on the crime, the issue is now mainly why the crime didn't get the "proper" label.

Language is a tricky thing. Start modifying it and who knows where we'll end up.

All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.



As opposed to burning a cross on a atheist's lawn? Or a Buddhist's lawn? Or on a pagan's lawn?

Why is it worse?

If it's on my lawn, I will be seriously peeved. I will want justice. I might even deliver some justice on my own.

There was a Chief Justice in Alabama who insisted that the Decalogue be displayed in his courtroom because there was a "law beyond man's law." I've had to deal with certain Christians who insisted that Christmas and Easter be made legal holidays where everyone had to take the day off. And I won't tell you the messes I've had with the Pledge of Allegiance over the years. Meanwhile, right now there are Islamist groups (not Muslim, there is a difference) in the U.S. who are insisting that Shariah law applies not only to them but to everyone around them. Not so long ago there were pagans who insisted that Christians should be kept from voting. And then there was what Bill Nye said about people who disagreed with him about global warming.

The point is obvious. Once you open the legal doorway and say that this victimhood is worse than that victimhood, then there is every incentive to reclassify the smallest "transgression" as the absolute worst "hate crime." The rule of law disappears and the top of the victim hierarchy belongs to whoever makes the most noise. Everyone becomes a victim because it is the only way they see to get justice. From there it's just a small jump to getting power through victimhood. Everyone's a victim. No one is to blame. It's always someone else's fault. Somebody owes restitution and if the law won't give it, it's up to the victim to take it.

Exactly as is happening now. Right now, this very minute in America.

This feeling is not old. This isn't recent. Some say it came out of the Jim Crow laws in the South. When folks moved north, they didn't get what they thought they were entitled to. They started organizing. Violence became a means to an end.

A couple of weeks ago you and I had a long conversation about the Woman's March. Out of all those ladies who marched, can you show me someone who thought of themselves as a hero and not as a terribly oppressed victim? Who among them had done something more than rant and organize more ranting?

I'd argue that there are things far worse than hate. Indifference combined with efficiency for one.

"Hate crimes" at best muddle the law and keep some from getting justice.



It's not an opinion. Vandalism is a crime.

Not because of the skin color of the victim. Not because of the victim's creed. And not because of the victim's gender.

When talking about it I chose emphasis, a stylistic choice. It's highlighting what I think is a central point.

Meanwhile, you lecture me on hate crimes while at the same time telling me that nobody is more equal than anyone else.

I think you pegged the irony meter.



Let's look at what happened in this specific case.

The two most likely possibilities are that the police don't have enough resources for anything except the high profile cases or the only way that the shop owner feels that the police barely acknowledge a hate crime case is if it is from an officially sanctioned religion.

In either case, having hate crime legislation on the books translates to less justice for the victim.

Even here the argument has shifted. You and I agree that a crime was committed and that it should be punished. Where we don't agree is if this is a special case that needs special treatment.

Yet that's what we're talking about. Not about the crime. But whether it a) deserves special treatment and b)if the crime is getting special treatment.

The actual crime is becoming less important than the "hate."

That's what I worried about in the 1980s, and over thirty plus years that's what I see happening again and again. The crime becomes less important than the hate. And by golly, we should pay attention to some hate much more than other hate. Certain people are just higher on the victim hierarchy than others. Let's forget about preventing the crimes and just make sure we honor the victims.

I want heroes.

I started keeping my crux files because I noticed I kept getting into the same discussions in comment threads on other people’s web sites. After a while it just made sense for me to organize my thoughts by topic. These are snippets. It’s not in any particular order, it’s just discussions I have again and again.
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