Sunday, May 17, 2009

Are hate crimes any worse than others?

Over at the Boston Globe

Are hate crimes any worse than others?

A little taste of the article

LEGISLATION pending before Congress would dramatically expand the federal hate-crimes law, and a number of critics are concerned that the bill goes too far. Perhaps the real problem is that it doesn't go far enough.

Under current law, crimes motivated by bias against a victim's race, color, religion, or national origin can be prosecuted by the federal government, so long as the victim had been engaged in a "federally-protected activity" - attending a public school, for example, or being in a place of public accommodation or entertainment. The proposed Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which passed the House last month and is pending in the Senate, would significantly broaden the federal government's reach.

The comments have the usual gang of liberal-haters spewing the meme that 'every crime is a hate crime', and proclaiming we only need to wnforce the lasw we already have.

Here's my comment:

I lo-o-ove that 'thought crime' meme -- makes it seem so '1984', doesn't it? Guvva'mint gonna run around cracking down on whoever the crybabies say is, y'know, messin' with them, right? And, *heck*, they probably deserved getting cracked in the first place -- they shouldn't have left the straight-and-narrow. They'll throw preachers in jail for quoting the, y'know, -truth- of Genesis 19, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 1 Timothy 1:9-10, and Jude 1:7 (the major 'clobber passages.) There are other variations on the meme, but you get my point.

So, why does the hate crime legislation clearly state in Section 8: Rule of Construction "Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by, the Constitution." --Does not prohibit expressive conduct protected by the constitution, i.e., First Amendment Freedom of Expression.

So, you preachers can continue to say that all homosexuals (including the Texting Trolly Driver) are going to hell, and y'all'd help if it were not 1) un-christian and 2) a garden-variety punishable violent crime.

But what then does the Hate Crime bill do? Say you're a small-town with a small town budget. A couple of the locals get a little, say, too 'frisky' with another local who's been called (First Amendment) a 'freak', or worse. The victim ends up in ICU, then the morgue.

Worse yet, the damned liberal media gets ahold of the story, and now all eyes are on your town to do this case right. And now investigation and prosecution is going to be a fiscal budget-buster. This happened in a small town. They had to furlough four police officers to pay for the investigation and trial -- all of it under the watchful eyes of the media, so they had to do it right, well, and spend the money regardless. The deputies got furloughed for the duration.

The Hate Crimes bill provides fed funds to cover the expenses of investigation and prosecution (and I'm sure a clever accountant can maximise the costs billable to the feds...)

Then imagine you're a normal person, except you (and 3 percent of the population) have left your birth religion to become a member of another religion. After that, while a majority of folks either don't mind your conversion or dislike you for it but see it as none of their business, there is a minority that starts to taunt you. Occasionally, it goes beyond taunts. The attacks come suddenly. You're getting off a subway, and you get hit behind and knocked to the platform by 6 guys yelling religious epithets, and end up getting stitches for the gash one boot to your head opened up.

At the hospital, you try to file a police report, but the cop as much as says forget it, you shouldn't have been there, and anyway, you changed religions and thus probably deserved it.

Amongst the other converts in your religion, stories are told of similar attacks. You know of murders where, although there are credible witness who testify the assailant(s) shouted religious epithets while beating the victim to death, the assailant was acquitted of the charges -- because they 'panicked' when they found out the victim had changed religions.

Y'all are really scared. People in your sect are being harassed, and injured, and killed -- and while the authorities in your town or city seem to be efficient at capturing, trying and convicting the perps in other cases that don't involve 'your kind', they always seem to drop the ball when the case involves one of the members of your sect.

Yeah, there are laws on the books for those crimes. But they don't mean *squat* because they're not being enforced. Or, rather, they're being selectively inforced, and your group/kind always seem to be selected against.

You wish that those laws would be equally enforced when it involves one of the members of your sect.

So. What's your solution? How do you provide that the law is enfoced equally, so as not to appear to disfavour the members of your religion who converted from their birth religion. People are dying here, it needs to stop.

What are you gonna do?

I await your solutions.

That was quick. A yahoo took the bait. Here's the Tit-fer-tat.

"Hazumu-- So, we have laws that are NOT enforced and therefore we need MORE laws that, for some reason, WILL be enforced now? OOOKAY."

Didn't say 'not enforced'. I said Selecively Enforced. I said that there are places where 'the law' ignores violence done to marginalized groups. A f@g is beat up and, despite credible witnesses, the 'law' declares "lack of evidence" and ignores the crime. It ends there? That's what you're saying. Sorry, there's laws against what happened to you, but you (and 'your kind') are not getting any, so go away.

Look up Brandon Teena. The sheriff didn't investigate his claim of being beaten and raped, citing 'lack of evidence.' The evidence included a rape kit that was taken and then subsequently 'disappeared.' You say, end of game, sorry? There's a law against assault and rape -- it wasn't enforced. And when the rapists found out Brandon had gone to the cops, they came back and killed him. Why not? The cops didn't do anything to them, citing 'lack of evidence'. Why not kill him?

What if you were the victim of an assault, and the cops declined to do anything about it? Great law, that. But you were assaulted, and they f#<%ed you up real bad. And now they're going to get away with it. USARMY1, I hope you have demo training, because that's the only way you're going to balance the books. But if you go seeking revenge, your small-town cops might find out it was you getting even, and then they'll throw the book at YOU. Why not let the feds come in and make sure the scales of justice work as advertized, rather than having the thumb of ingrained bigotry and prejudice weighing against you?

No comments:

Post a Comment