In light of all of the racially incendiary “reportage” of a media elite bent on creating a narrative to fit their agenda (regardless of whatever the facts are), it seems appropriate to go beyond the murky circumstances surrounding the death of Trayvon Martin.
Hate crime laws are political correctness on steroids. As a classification of crime, they are stupid, illogical, and dangerous. It makes no sense to classify the same crime in two different ways. Murder is murder. Assaulting someone is assaulting someone. Vandalizing property is vandalism. In the case of murder, is the victim any less dead if the killer is a bigot? Indeed, in the case of premeditated murder, hatred for the victim is probably a big motivator.
Which is worse, to be killed by someone who hates you, for rational, or irrational reasons, or by a soulless sociopath, as in this instance cited by Rich Lowry in a recent column highlighting the media’s selective outrage.
Last year, Charinez Jefferson, 17, was shot and killed on a Chicago street. “She begged the shooter not to shoot her because she was pregnant,” a pastor explained. The alleged assailant, Timothy Jones, 18, shot her in the head, chest and back after seeing her walking with a rival gang member.
The outcome of murder is always the same – the death of the victim. Assassination is illegal – it is nonsensical to arbitrarily designate an added factor that somehow makes it more heinous. In the case cited by Lowry above, (in which both the murderer and his victim were black) would the murder have been more regrettable if the perpetrator were Hispanic, half Hispanic, or White-Hispanic in the newly coined parlance of the NYT? What if the victim had been Muslim, Catholic, Jewish? What if Timothy Jones was a Baptist who killed this 17 year old mother-to-be because she was not? Can any scenario involving the thought process of the murderer, or the race or religion of the victim, make the actual murder more tragic?
So, what’s the big deal? Who cares if the same crime is classified in different ways? Herein lies the danger.
Again, let’s take the example of the senseless murder of Charinez Jefferson. Let’s say for the sake of argument that there was an identical murder, the only difference being, that the murderer fell into the category of one perpetrating a “hate” crime.
The only thing different is the motivation – or in other words, the thought behind the act.
It has never been illegal to think.
It is not illegal to hold a contrary opinion.
It has never been illegal to be angry – or even to hate.
It’s not even illegal to be stupid.
The difference between thought and action is significant. Judging whether an action transpired or not is much easier than judging what was in the person’s mind when they did the action. Since when are we culpable for impure thoughts? Justice is about meting out consistent consequences for illegal acts, not thoughts.
We are a nation dedicated to equal justice for all. Or so it says on the Supreme Court building. Have we entered some kind Orwellian world in which those who have committed crimes are punished more severely if they deviate from what the government says are acceptable thoughts in the commission of the crime?
By the logic behind such classifications a crime is worsened by the thinking of the perpetrator. Therefore, unequal punishment for two otherwise equal events means there is a part of one event which is unlawful in itself that was absent from the other event.
Eric Holder has demonstrated that some people have access to a different justice than other people. Remember the Wisconsin State Fair mobs of roving blacks beating white Fair goers? These assaults were not designated hate crimes because the victims were the wrong color.
A person’s very identity is at stake. Judging by the MSM treatment of George Zimmerman, if the perpetrator of a crime against a black is a Hispanic he becomes a “white Hispanic.” If he is the victim of a crime perpetrated by a white then he becomes just plain Hispanic.
Adding a classification to crimes, by placing the appellation “hate” in front of them, provides emotional cover to place it before another word – speech. In the same way hate crimes leverage the emotional resonance of the deeds themselves, we have a whole new kind of crime “hate speech,” which derives its legitimacy from hate crimes.
In reality, the rules of civility were never intended to carry the force of law. We are free (for now) to hold opinions outside of the mainstream. Who gets to decide which opinions are “legal” and which are not?
Is it so far fetched that the fanatics in the environmental movement would seek to ban opposing opinions of global warming in the name of the greater good of protecting mother earth? These people are just as confident that they are right about this issue as their compatriots are about the distinctions constituting “hate” crimes. Why not have “green” crimes, too? It has already been suggested in a series of supposedly humorous Public Service Announcement videos intended to raise awareness – and establish legitimacy for the concept.
Remember these are the people who gave us this video:
Condemning people on the basis of their thoughts opens a whole other Pandora’s box. The Soviet Union used psychiatric hospitals to isolate political dissidents from the rest of society and discredit their ideas. Religious prisoners were determined to suffer from a form of mental illness that required “curing.” And it was all done in the name of the greater good.