Hating Hate Crimes

My partner-in-crime thinks there is nothing more annoying these days than to watch religious fanatics burnin’ down the house. I find one thing even more irritating: calling the radical actions of fundamentalist fanatics hate crimes.

In many of the recent cases, arson is the proper term to describe the illegality involved. This is true, no matter whether burning embassies in Europe [and the Middle East] over a silly cartoon or burning churches in Alabama over racial bigotry or hatred of Roy Moore or some other yet-to-be-determined issue.

I’ve got news for some of you knuckleheads out there. Vandalism is a property crime, even if done to a church. When one beats on another with chains, baseball bats and bicycle wheels, it’s called assault. When one kills another because of sexual preference issues, it’s called murder. Duh! In the Jacob Robida case, it seems the suspect received a pre-trial death penalty, sparing us the burden of an expensive trial. Should we add a posthumous hate crime indictment to his gravestone?

I’ve been very critical of our involvement in Iraq, and of American fundies depriving Muslims equal protection under the law. I’ve been a strong advocate of equal protection for homosexuals, too. My key beef with churches lately has been when the fundies wish to impose their will on other people. Believe what you want, and do what you want — so long as it doesn’t deprive another of his life, liberty or property.

Pat Robertson has the right to spout hatred. We have the right to hate him for it. We don’t have the right to burn down his church. It’s just common sense, folks.

People have the inherent right to hate. I freakin’ hate tofu. I have the damned right to hate tofu. I have the right to read anti-tofu propaganda. I have the right to publish anti-tofu articles. I even have the right to cuss out a waiter who serves me tofu that I didn’t order — but if I shoot the SOB for it, I should be charged with murder.

If we continue sliding down this slippery slope of hate crime legislation, some day the murder of any waiter who works in a pro-tofu restaurant will be considered a hate crime. Even in my currently smoky state of Alabama, some people seem to get it, while other nitwits prefer the Orwellian solution.

  1. The burned down embassies were European in most cases but they were not located in Europe but in the Middle East, which is usually considered a part of Asia. The Danish, Norweigan, Swedish and Chilenian embassies (the latter happened to be located in the same building as the Swedish and Danish) were burnt in Syria and Danish missions were also burned in Lebanon and Iran.

  2. Paul – tis true. I suppose I was referencing the photogragh in the linked article. One nice things about blogs is that corrections are easy to make.

  3. Hate speech is very real though, as well as incitement. Obviously we shouldn’t be policing what the rest of the world says, but… we can’t demand theatre in a crowded fire.

  4. Hear, hear! Mr. Gordon, I couldn’t have said it better myself! The only explanation I have for this hate crime phenomenon is that it’s just the latest strategy of the class warfare peddlars. Minority group X doesn’t think its getting a fair shake from society at large, so they resort to playing the victimology card, leaning on politicians to enact these absurd laws.

    Other than the ego boost they must get from elevating their relative importance (to that of everyone else), do they really believe the extra-punitive effects of these selective laws will serve as a deterrent? Are criminals really expected to consider the demographics of their victims and the associated ramifications before committing their evil deeds? Utterly ridiculous!

  5. Hate crime? I’ll give you a hate crime – Jennifer Bowen’s incorrect usage of an apostrophe in the article noted above (When one beats on another) is clearly evidence that she holds a prejudice against proper use of grammar. However, I do not think that she should be punished any differently than any other bad writer.

    And Robert, I think you have it wrong – hate crimes laws are just more examples of legislators more interested in pandering and re-election than actually stopping to think about what government ought to be doing. And you can’t blame activists: if they don’t convince the general public that a) there’s a problem that needs fixing and b) they have the answer, then they are out of work, plain and simple. And that goes for the whole stinkin’ lot of short sighted, agenda-driven, power-hungry morons that feel they know what’s best for the rest of us.