Liberating America (A New Series): Hate Crimes Laws Must Go
With the federal indictment of a man last week for
murder of two lesbians in a national park six years
ago, "hate crimes" are suddenly back in the national
news. The Washington Post splattered the story
all over its front page the day after the indictment was
handed down, [Gay Bias Charged In Deaths (Washington
Post) Page A01, Apr 11,
200] and the New York Times
carried it in its national news section the same
Hate motivating crimes against blacks, Hispanics,
homosexuals and women makes the front page and gets the
Attorney General of the United States (even
right-leaning ones like John Ashcroft) palpitating from
their pulpits about how "we will pursue, prosecute and
punish those who attack law-abiding Americans out of
hatred for who they are," as Mr. Ashcroft thundered when
the alleged ladykiller was indicted.
We wouldn`t want anyone to think Republicans are any
less opposed to "hate" than Democrats, would we?
But the hate that
dare not be reported at all, at least outside the
local area, is hate directed against plain old white,
heterosexual, Christian, native American men—the kind
that took place in
Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this year,
where—despite the arresting police officer`s
clear statement that a series of violent assaults on
white males by blacks was driven by race—prosecuting
decided, after being lobbied by the NAACP and
local black churches, not to prosecute the attacks
as hate crimes.
In case you didn`t know, that decision sent a
message. The message was that it`s open season on
whites, that blacks can attack, assault and maybe even
murder white people for transparent reasons of racial
animosity and they will
not be charged with hate crimes.
In Mobile, Alabama, the message may have been
received. The Mobile Register reports
[April 16 – story no longer
on line] the following story about events that
took place on March 25:
"John McDow, who is white, said at least three black
males singled him out as he sat in the back of his
pickup, waiting for friends at a convenience store….
`There were several trucks riding up and down the strip
flying rebel flags, and there were some black guys who
had bats and sticks and were pulling the flags off` the
trucks, said McDow…. he said a group of black youths
pulled into the parking lot, challenged him, and then
struck him, knocking him from his truck to the
Mr. McDow was not seriously hurt, but the attack on
him was a crime and apparently was racially motivated.
So it`s a hate crime, right?
Wrong. "Any time you get that many people together,
you are going to have some problems," a local police
officer explained to the press. "It`s not really a
racial problem; it`s a people problem. People say things
they shouldn`t say, and it leads to other things."
Of course, that`s not what the victim says happened,
is it? No one "said" anything, but a gang of blacks
showed up armed with weapons apparently looking for
trouble with whites because of the perfectly legal
Confederate flags they sported. As for "problems"
being unavoidable when "you get that many people
together," that`s not true either.
Police and prosecutors have learned that
charging blacks with "hate crimes" against whites is
simply more trouble than it`s worth. You get visited by
the NAACP and the local platoon of the Thought Police,
and you may get your name splashed all over the local
papers as a "racist" cop who sides with whites against
non-whites. Therefore, police today will invoke almost
any excuse, any rationalization, any outright lie about
and misrepresentation of what really happened and why to
avoid charging non-whites with
crimes against whites motivated by "hate."
The remedy for what is by now a transparent and
double standard in the
identification and prosecution of "hate crimes" is
not to demand that non-whites be prosecuted for hate
crimes as much and as often as whites but to
get rid of the whole concept of "hate crime" entirely.
There is no other criminal offense in which
punishment is enhanced simply because of the motivation
of the crime. Nor is there any good reason why "hate" as
a motive makes a crime worse than greed or lust or anger
or any other motivating passion, nor why "hate" of a
specific group is worse than hate of a specific
individual whom you attack or kill (your wife, your
mother-in-law, your neighbor).
The whole concept of "hate crime" contains neither
ethical nor legal merit. Instead of expanding it, as
will be demanded in the wake of the federal indictment
last week, Congress should get rid of it and the
statutes that embody it, and the Justice Department
should simply refuse to enforce it.
April 22, 2002