The vast majority of objections that have been raised to proposed US hate crime legislation are nothing more than politically motivated (and hateful) knee-jerk reactions by yahooistic wingnuts.

But that is just my opinion. Which is correct. But if want a more dispassionate and exacting discussion of this issue, you must read this piece by Stephanie Zvan. In fact, you can’t comment on my site about hate crime until you have been certified as having read it.

Comments

  1. #1 abb3w
    July 24, 2009

    What? Crime, motivated by INGROUP, against someone held a peer by the overall society.

    Should there be laws about hate crime? That presupposes agreement to a bridge across the is-ought divide, and liberals and conservatives seem to differ on that.

    Does the existing legal framework allow (short of anything-goes constitutional amendment) effective implementation of such? Dunno.

  2. #2 NewEnglandBob
    July 24, 2009

    I agree with what Stephanie Zvan posted and I think it is a good additional law to have, particularly where the federal government steps in when state and local shirk their responsibilities.

  3. #3 debt reduction
    July 24, 2009

    i really dont understand hate crimes

  4. #4 itzac
    July 24, 2009

    I don’t understand why legislators feel the need to specify so carefully who can or cannot be the victim of a hate crime. Shouldn’t the law simply say that any violent crime committed against a person because they are a member of an identifiable group is a hate crime?

    I don’t really think there’s a difference in the nature of the crime between assaulting a sports fan for the jersey he’s wearing or assaulting a gay man because he’s gay. Granted, one of those crimes is more likely to occur than the other, but the motivation is the same.

    I think this is a case where it would be better to cast the net a little too wide than far too narrow. A certain burden of proof can also help keep this from being overused.

  5. #5 Stephanie Z
    July 24, 2009

    However, itzac, the triviality of the “punishable offense” of wearing a sports jersey will be pretty much universally understood. The same can’t be said for the “offense” of being gay. That makes a difference in how justice is already being applied.

  6. #6 Art
    July 24, 2009

    IMHO there is a lot of difference between beating an individual up who happens to be gay, or what have you, and beating an individual up with the intention of terrorizing the subset of humanity to which the belong.

    It is a matter of focus and intention. The first is an act of violence against an individual. The second is a political act intended to marginalize an entire group.

    The problem is to determine one from another means you have to get into intent. Intention is a tricky things to prove.

  7. #7 DuWayne
    July 24, 2009

    The part of my comment over there that wasn’t a response to another commenter…

    Personally, I would really much prefer lumping these folks in with domestic terrorists (such as elf and alf fucking shitbags), call them what they are and create a reasonable policy for dealing with all of these fucking terrorists – one that ensures that a very few of them will see the outside of prison – ever. I am going to hazard an assumption here, and say that would probably put a big dent into this sort of fucking bullshit.

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