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Thoughts on “hate crimes”

Posted by Lissa on November 3, 2009

“Hate crimes” —  yet another area where I’ve changed my opinion as a result of migration to The Dark Side.

Ten years ago I was in favor of hate crime legislation.  My young, dewy-eyed self earnestly wished to protect “victimized” groups such as gays, bisexuals, people of color, etc.  I thought that members of such a group were endangered simply by who they were, and therefore deserved an extra measure of protection from a society that had failed them.

As you can tell, I see things differently now.  I think that hate crimes legislation creates favored groups, the members of which are placed above the ordinary members of society.  Why is it worse to sucker-punch a black man than to sucker-punch a white man?  Why is it more evil to rape a lesbian than a heterosexual woman?

Why is more evil to beat up a fat woman than to beat up a skinny woman?

Tell me how, exactly, the victim was “discriminated against” for being fat.  Some poor excuse for a woman beat up Marsha Coupe while screaming “Fattie.”  True, I didn’t see that the perp was arrested and charged, but do you really think that has anything to do with Ms. Coupe’s size?  Or do you think there’s a rampant culture of thuggery in which bullies do not get punished?  (Or at least, they rarely get punished, and then whine about it.)

Furthermore, how does one tell if the perpetrator did so with “hate” in his/her heart, foremost?  What if she did it out of rage?  Out of depression?  Out of greed, or lust?  Out of laziness in selecting what looked like an easy victim?  Would it be less of a crime if the perp screamed “Gimme your wallet!” while beating Ms. Coupe?

True, we do try to divine intent when a crime is committed, but that is to differentiate between accidental and non-accidental incidents.  A woman who accidentally hits her neighbor with a car is very different from a woman who has studied the neighbor’s habits, has a schedule of his entry and exit from work, and who trailed him for three blocks before making contact.

So there are my thoughts on my subject.  It boils down to this:

Why is my life and person less worthy of protection than someone with darker skin or a different sexual orientation?

(Breda had similar thoughts)

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4 Responses to “Thoughts on “hate crimes””

  1. Brad K. said

    I think “hate crimes” is a case of unintended consequences.

    There are hate groups, organizations and clusters of those with deep-seated hatreds that motivate them to aggressive, hostile, violent, illegal actions against people of one cultural or racial group or another. Hate crime laws had such groups and vigilante-like excesses and terroristic acts in mind, not to protect the victim group more, but to punish the haters more directly, and to recognize the pervasive and prevailing establishment of unreasoned motive in their actions. That is, the courts could presume the motive was unreasoned and established, when prosecuting such scum.

    The reason I see for hate crime laws, is the presumption of premeditation, of conspiracy to commit terrorism, violence intended to have social implications beyond the injuries to a given party. Like bombing abortion clinics.

    Lawyers being lawyers, social activists being social activists, and pandering politicians being politicians, such laws were instead sold and presented to the protected groups as being their shield – such chicanery intended to build law practices, buy votes and contributions, etc.

    Thus the same reasoning that bringing a gun to a crime is an aggravating circumstance also makes the hated group activities of the terroristic, hating perpetrator an aggravating circumstance. This makes sense, to me at least. But instead the existence of the extra loophole means every incident involving a protected group is presumed to be a hate crime. Heaven forbid we think that an asshole in a protected group might, on the strength of their personality and lack of judgment, get themselves involved in something where they get their just deserts – so their lawyer can turn their legal defense into a case of a hate crime.

    With a responsible prosecution and court, I think hate crime laws make sense – they are similar to laws about piracy and terrorism. I just think the defense would have to have more proof of hate than mere cultural or racial differences. And, of course, liberal courts that invented school bussing, and that believe the laws are written from the bench, are often ready to be social activists.

  2. secretlivesofscientists said

    Ya know, I never thought of it that way, but you make a lot of sense. Assault is assault, murder is murder, and so forth. Though it’s sad and a potentially serious issue when groups of people, such as KKK, decide that religion or ethnicity deem some people more victim-worthy than others, hate-crime legislation may not be the best angle to attack such problems. Especially considering that the targets of such leglislative measures probably don’t perceive their actions as “hate-crimes,” or if they do, they don’t care. The problems are still 1) the narcissistic SOB who thinks he/she has the right to make someone – ANYONE – a victim, and 2) those particular individuals who embrace self-victimizing behavior.

  3. Minnie said

    Preach On!

  4. hsoi said

    You should check out the little South Park diatribe on hate crimes being a savage hypocrisy. I transcribed it:

    http://hsoiblog.wordpress.com/2009/10/16/a-savage-hypocracy/

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