Some guy I heard on the radio.
Hate thought crimes legislation is moving through the House of Representatives. This is an awful idea on many levels.
I’m a Christian, so of course I’m against hate. I am commanded to love (that is, to have everyone’s long-term best interests at heart). I just don’t see how you can legislate against hate or why my religious beliefs should be forced upon someone else.
Please note that I am anti-bullying in all venues, especially in schools. I think all kids should be protected from verbal and physical bullying of any kind, on or off school grounds. This isn’t a hate speech / hate crime issue, though. It is the right of people not to be harassed or threatened for any reason. If a kid is brutalized for being fat/thin/black/white/smart/not so smart/gay/straight/etc. it is all bad.
Why would a crime against a straight, white male have a lesser charge than the same crime against someone from a protected group?
Ironically, the pro-hate crimes legislation folks are typically anti-death penalty, so in many cases I am in favor of a stronger penalty for “hate crimes” than they are. The evil men who lynched James Byrd back when George W. Bush was Governor of Texas rightly received the death penalty (in my view). Yet those advocating hate crime penalties want “stronger” punishments but are against the death penalty. Huh?!
The same thing goes if someone murdered someone who is gay (regardless of the motive). Conservatives would typically be for the death penalty in most cases, while most Liberals would not. If they have reasons to be against the death penalty, that is a separate debate. Maybe they are right. But I hardly see how anyone could be accused of being a “hater” when he would be in favor of a stronger punishment for the murderer than the pro-hate speech legislation groups.
If certain crimes are more heinous because of their historical significance (e.g., cross-burning), then I have no problem with those having stiffer penalties than average vandalism.
Making moral criticisms of a person or group is not hateful in and of itself. If it was, then those who accuse of others of hate speech would be guilty of hate themselves. Many liberal blogs would have to be shut down tomorrow for the venom they spew. And groups like Alcoholics Anonymous would be guilty of hate speech against alcoholics.
“Hate crimes” are really two things – one is a crime against a person, for which there are laws in place (e.g., assault) and one is a belief against a class of people.
Then there is the selective enforcement. I haven’t done a complete tally, but I have heard literal hate speech (“We hate Bush”) much more from Democrats than Republicans. Google it and see for yourself. I don’t see any concern in the House about this kind of hate speech.
Make no mistake: This hate speech debate is about politics, and specifically about silencing opposing views. It is rampant on college campuses and coming soon to the public arena near you.
That otherwise-Liberal proponents of hate speech legislation would so trample the First Amendment is beyond parody.
Also see Hating the (alleged) haters