I Can’t Wait To Find Out If Craig Hicks Was Just A Murderer Who Killed Three Innocent Neighbors Over A Parking Space, Or A Bigoted Murderer Who Killed Them Because They Were Muslims.

"EXTREMIST!"

“EXTREMIST!”

I am sitting here, drinking coffee and trying to wake up, and listening to CNN go on ad nauseum about the FBI investigation into whether Craig Hicks’ murder spree is a “hate crime.” No, I personally think he shot his neighbors because at that moment he was overcome with affection.

Sure, it’s important to know the motive for any murder. The “hate crime” scar on our laws, however, is creeping government thought control. After all, the law adds penalties to the punishment for a proven crime according to what the criminal was thinking, and nothing else. That’s thought-crime, by definition. The point is and was —-and this is another gift to the culture from the increasingly fascist-tending American Left, which wants to make it impossible (or painful) not to think as good people (you know, them) think—to use such prosecutions to send the message that it’s not just wrong to be prejudiced, it’s illegal and evil, and those who hold such views must be removed from society like tumors. Thus we are subjected to the interminable blathering that just finished on CNN about what the FBI’s examination of Hicks’ completely legal and Constitutionally protected writings and statements suggested about whether his thoughts should put him in jail for a few more years or decades. The message is unambiguous. Carol’s guest, a human rights expert, explained that Hicks’ act was a hate crime if any part of his motive was hateful.

Boy, Jesus was really ahead of his time: no wonder he warned us to love our enemies. It makes it safer to kill them.

This also gives speech and thought censors, who at this moment in our cultural history entirely hail from the left side of the political spectrum (it makes a commentator a hateful “teabagger” to point that out, though: more speech suppression), the power to marginalize anyone or any group whose views they oppose. The Southern Poverty Law Center, once a genuine Ethics Hero for its work in the Seventies exposing and weakening the KKK, has morphed into a monstrous Democratic version of the pod people in the remake of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” pointing at the non-conforming humans in their midst and making an ear-shattering scream, marking them for destruction.

For example, the Center placed Ben Carson, the Designated Conservative Black Person of the approaching Presidential sweepstakes, on its “Extremist Watch List,” just as it did the KKK in its heyday. You know what extremists do, don’t you? They kill people, like ISIS, the KKK, and Craig Hicks. What did Ben Carson do?  Here are Carson’s “pre-hate crime” views (that’s my characterization, but it’s fair) that got him marked, according to the SPLC’s own explanation:

  • He opposes gun control and supports the Second Amendment
  • He believes marriage is between a man and a woman.
  • He believes legalizing gay marriage will lead to a slippery slope that will accelerate moral decay
  • He believes that Judeo-Christian values are under attack at home and abroad.
  • He believes “white liberals” are the “true racists.”
  • He believes that Obamacare is worse than 9/11, because it will do more long-term and far-reaching damage to the U.S.
  • Terrorists hate American values.
  • The Federal response to Cliven Bundy was totalitarian.

Ah. In other words, Dr. Carson is a dangerous extremist because he disagrees with the Southern Poverty Law Center. Actually, I disagree with Carson in more than half of the above: I guess that makes me just a half-hateful extremist. Prof Jacobson —someone else the SPLC would consider an extremist—flagged the SPLC’s abuse of its position, reputation, power and influence with its blatantly political smear of Carson, and the organization quickly backed down. “Oops! Caught us!”  It apologized to Carson, retracting its label, and issued a statement saying that “we’ve reviewed our [Carson] profile and  have concluded that it did not meet our standards.”Translation: “We have no standards; we just use our reputation to marginalize anyone who opposes our views and allies.”

The statement also says, ominously, that Carson’s views “should be closely examined”...just like the thoughts of Craig Hicks are being closely examined. There are hateful extremists in our midst, people! What are you thinking? Are they hateful thoughts? They are dangerous and illegal, you know. Purge them. Change. Agree with us.

Or else.

I won’t even bother expounding on the obvious point that hate crimes create an apparent hierarchy in which the lives of blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, women and gays are treated as more valued by society than the rest of us, since the penalties for taking those are greater unless they were murdered because the killer really, really liked them.

Hate, which is just intense dislike, is legal. It’s natural. We have a right to hate whatever and whenever we please. Hate can be crippling; it can also be a strong positive motivational factor. Don’t tell me that the Southern Poverty Law Center didn’t hate the KKK, or Ben Carson, who, it wrote in its narrative (now taken down) when he was on their list, was disrespectful to Barack Obama.

The Horror.

I’m writing this post because I hate hate crime legislation, which is unethical and un-American to the core. I hate the self-righteous, censorious, intimidating and hypocritical political correctness bullies that are working around the clock to make free and open discourse impossible for our own good. I also hate the New York Yankees, styrofoam, and Carol Costello, but smug, incompetent, hateful news anchors are not a special protected class, so presumably when her smirks finally drives me to madness and I put her through a woodchipper, it won’t be a hate crime.

Whew.

71 thoughts on “I Can’t Wait To Find Out If Craig Hicks Was Just A Murderer Who Killed Three Innocent Neighbors Over A Parking Space, Or A Bigoted Murderer Who Killed Them Because They Were Muslims.

  1. Exactly. Welcome to the political correctness society. This should be interesting because the left is torn between their salivating need to call this a hate crime and their love of atheism. Are they really going to portray atheism as a ‘hate’ ideology? Are atheists going to be suspected hate mongers, like Christians are treated? Are they going to claim that he isn’t a ‘true’ atheist? Is the President going to declare to us what ‘true’ atheists believe, like he defined Islamic teachings? I am torn between looking on in amusement and being horrified that this is being allowed to happen.

    As far as Ben Carson is concerned, I can see a reasoned, rational argument behind each one of the points above. I don’t believe those rational arguments are the correct interpretation of the situation for some of them, but I can see the point.

    One thing I will never understand is how the left convinces black Americans that gun control is a good thing. Black Americans suffer as crime victims to a much greater extent than Americans as a whole. They are more likely to be murdered and they have less trust in the police. How in the world did they allow themselves to be convinced that rendering themselves helpless was their best bet for their real and perceived personal safety? I wonder if that also is a big contributor to the antagonism between the black community and the police. If you have bet all your hopes on the police protecting you and they don’t seem to be doing it, wouldn’t you be more afraid and mad (at the same time) than if you at least felt that you had some control of the situation yourself?

  2. You really need to do some investigation into the history of hate crime laws. I used to believe the same way that you feel. I used to say “it isn’t a crime to hate”. I would say that if you want to be tougher on those crimes, just be tougher on all crimes.

    And then I did my research.

    A) Federal hate crime legislation is drafted from the language in the 14th amendment granting Congress the power to draft legislation if the states did not protect people equally under the law. So when people murdered others because of their skin color, for example, and the states refused to act, the hate crime legislation enabled federal action into the crime.

    B) SO then why do states have hate crime laws? Hate crimes ARE worse than regular crime because of the impact it has on the community. If I murder you for sleeping with my wife, that murder doesn’t have an impact on a community. If someone is murdered for being a particular race or ethnicity, then people in that community who are of that race and ethnicity end up being terrorized. That murder has a broader impact than the murder of someone who sleeps with a spouse.

    C) Hate crime legislation ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT treat people who are black, hispanic, muslim or women as being more valuable than anyone else. Black people can be charged with hate crimes if the murder white people simply because they are white. Muslims can be charged with hate crimes if they kill Jews just for being Jewish. If a gay person assaulted a straight person shouting “die breeder scum die” then that gay person could be charged with a hate crime as well.

    A majority of DC based hate crime victims from 2013 were white: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/aug/19/race-based-hate-crimes-spike-in-dc/?page=all

    Here is Federal data from 2012 showing that all people can be victims of hate crimes and not just the subset of persons you listed: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/hate-crime/2012/topic-pages/victims/victims_final

    I am Jewish. I think hate groups like the Klan should be free to speak their minds and share their idiotic rhetoric with others. Nothing about hate crime legislation prevents this.

    • I follow the hate crime hearings and debates very closely, Dan. My answer to every one of your points is: So what?

      A) Federal hate crime legislation is drafted from the language in the 14th amendment granting Congress the power to draft legislation if the states did not protect people equally under the law. So when people murdered others because of their skin color, for example, and the states refused to act, the hate crime legislation enabled federal action into the crime.

      The Federal Civil Rights laws already do that.

      B) SO then why do states have hate crime laws? Hate crimes ARE worse than regular crime because of the impact it has on the community. If I murder you for sleeping with my wife, that murder doesn’t have an impact on a community. If someone is murdered for being a particular race or ethnicity, then people in that community who are of that race and ethnicity end up being terrorized. That murder has a broader impact than the murder of someone who sleeps with a spouse.

      Yup, that’s the theory, and it’s nonsense. It still boils down to “we have to make bigotry–as in bigoted thoughts— illegal.” Besides, according to the Civil rights groups, EVERY crime against a minority by a white citizen is a hate crime. Which was part of the point…

      C) Hate crime legislation ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT treat people who are black, hispanic, muslim or women as being more valuable than anyone else. Black people can be charged with hate crimes if the murder white people simply because they are white. Muslims can be charged with hate crimes if they kill Jews just for being Jewish. If a gay person assaulted a straight person shouting “die breeder scum die” then that gay person could be charged with a hate crime as well.

      In theory, true, in fact and practice, mostly false, especially when you have a Justice Department like the cuttent one, which has admitted, through the statements of multiple staff, that the leadership has no interest in prosecuting reverse racism, voting rights acts perpetrated against whites, or black on white hate crimes.

      The laws are indefensible, Dan. Or if there’s a defense, you don’t know what it is any more than I do. Repeating the rationale isn’t the same as a justification.

      A majority of DC based hate crime victims from 2013 were white: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/aug/19/race-based-hate-crimes-spike-in-dc/?page=all

      That’s because DC is 85% black, and substantially segregated. I notice it also says “suspects”—convictions? The mostly white NW neighborhoods are not prone to violence. A white man who wandered into NE Washington during the Martin-Zimmerman case was taking his life in his hands.

      Here is Federal data from 2012 showing that all people can be victims of hate crimes and not just the subset of persons you listed: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/hate-crime/2012/topic-pages/victims/victims_final

      So what? The message is as I stated it. And it’s thought-crime, no matter how its applied or who it’s applied to.

      I am Jewish. I think hate groups like the Klan should be free to speak their minds and share their idiotic rhetoric with others. Nothing about hate crime legislation prevents this.

        • Wrong. The FBI is looking ibto what Craig was thinking when he killed his neighbors: “I’m sick of these bastards taking my parking space” (GOOD killer) or “I hate these fucking ragheads” (BAD killer). Otherwise, there is no distinction. But I agree that trying to pretend the problem doesn’t exist is the best course open to anyone defending these laws.

        • Is it illegal to drive without a seat belt in states where it’s a secondary offense? By your rationale, it isn’t, but I don’t think it holds up.

    • Hate crimes ARE worse than regular crime because of the impact it has on the community.

      So, an old man who has been robbed several times says to several people “I am sick of this. I’m going to kill the next nigger who comes into my store trying to rob me.” and then he follows through. He isn’t charged with a state crime because the robber was armed. This is now a hate crime, one of those “worse than normal crimes” that the federal government needs to become intently involved with rectifying. This is somehow worse than someone who kidnaps numerous young girls, molests them, then tortures and kills them. This latter scenario is not nearly as bad if everyone involved is white?

      This idea that hate crime is worse than regular crime is your opinion. You are welcome to your opinion, but It is not a universal fact. It is not the conclusion every thinking, rational person would conclude. You delude yourself thinking otherwise.

      • Is there a case where such a thing happened or are you making up examples?

        Racists have the right to defend themselves from armed robberies as well.

        In the situation you describe, he was killing the person because he was being robbed with a deadly weapon. Hate crime classification wouldn’t apply.

        • These are easy to imagine examples of hate crimes and not hate crimes. Do racists have the right to defend themselves? Wouldn’t the killing be investigated as a hate crime as well? I think I saw a lot of that going on with the Florida self-defense case. I think I remember the federal government pushing to press hate-crime charges there.

    • A) Huh? So it wasn’t enacted to “stop hate”, but to do an end run around the states?

      B) Uh, a subset of the greater community would not and should not feel terrorized by the murder of someone matching the characteristics of their subset if that murderer is apprehended and charged with murder. Once apprehended, that individual is no longer a threat to that subset… no need for “terror”. If the particular murder represents a greater movement to suppress, harrass, or terrorize the subset, then we aren’t just talking murder, but as Jack pointed out elsewhere, we’re discussing terrorism…a whole separate crime.

      C) Yes, it does define people differently. It says you are more valuable if you are hated. Person X killed for being hated due to innate qualities somehow will garner greater punishment than Person Y killed because they didn’t give up their watch fast enough? Odd…

  3. Don’t we already punish people for what they were thinking? The difference between first degree murder, second degree murder, and the various manslaughters mostly rest on what the perpetrator was thinking at the time. Are those “thought crimes” too?

    I won’t even bother expounding on the obvious point that hate crimes create an apparent hierarchy in which the lives of blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, women and gays are treated as more valued by society than the rest of us, since the penalties for taking those are greater unless they were murdered because the killer really, really liked them.

    Hate crime can and have been prosecuted against Killers of whites, heterosexuals, and males as well, so that’s just whiny silliness. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/hate-crime/2013/topic-pages/incidents-and-offenses/incidentsandoffenses_final

    • Same point as Liberal Dan: the laws were not passed with reference to black on white hate crimes, and as I have noted here, there isn’t the same presumption of racism that the Obama years have encouraged when the colors are reversed (when Obama criticized Bush, nobody accused him of being a racist.)

      No, the difference between the crimes is what the killer did and under what circumstances. First: a planned murder, or an especially depraved or cruel one. Second: not planned, but intentional without mitigating factors, like fear, mistake or confusion. Third (manslaughter): culpable, but without the same intent and with mitigating factors, like “heat of the moment.”

      Intent isn’t an opinion or a belief. Intent in indivisible from the act. Intent is not protected by the Bill of Rights.

      • Same point as Liberal Dan: the laws were not passed with reference to black on white hate crimes, and as I have noted here, there isn’t the same presumption of racism that the Obama years have encouraged when the colors are reversed (when Obama criticized Bush, nobody accused him of being a racist.)

        From looking at the statistics cited, black people are actually *more* likely to be prosecuted for hate crimes than whites, proportionately (and this is from 2013, well into the Obama years). I think your analysis is flawed, on many levels. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/hate-crime/2013/topic-pages/offenders/offenders_final

        • This is part of the liberal retardation I just never really understood. Yes, there is probably a institutional bias that sees black people prosecuted and convicted more than their white counterparts, and we need to have that discussion. But it’s also possible that a portion of the problem is that black people are also breaking more laws. There are reasons for that, I think socioeconomic factors are probably one of the more important factors. Jack’s point when he said that these laws put a premium on minority lives was in line with the way the laws were designed, but in typical political short sightedness, the people pushing those laws didn’t think that the sword would cut with both edges. The fact that there was a correction in the judiciary doesn’t make those laws better.

          But none of that matters. I’m not decrying the proportional representation of people convicted of these crimes. The fact is that you have a crime. What the offender was thinking is irrelevant. The crime was committed. Adding handicaps for thoughts is per se thought policing, and wrong. Period.

      • Here, deery is confusing “state of mind” of the murderer with “thoughts/reasons for committing murder”. See, homicides are either alleviated or exacerbated by “state of mind” which takes into consideration intent (not a thought), negligence, accident, drunkenness, “rage” (so-called crimes of passion)…

    • Now you can explain to me why liberals reflexively favor laws that criminalize bad thoughts. You want to focus on the statement about setting up minorities as Sacred Cows, go ahead: we both know it’s true. But that was a subordinate point. Name me a good enough reason for hate crime legislation that justifies taking a chunk out of free thought and speech, which it does, if mostly retroactively (a published statement will be used after a crime to raise the penalties for that crime. I think James Bird’s killers should be executed regardless of why they pulled his head off. Tell me why it should matter what color they were.

      • This goes to your point above about intent. Hate crimes are intended to send an terrorizing effect to the community at large, not just the victim. Therefore the punishment should be in addition to original crime. Published statements can be used to show intent, in both figuring out degrees of murders and hate crimes. Both are free speech, both can be used retroactively against you if you go on to kill/rob/rape someone. Distinguish?

        • ” Hate crimes are intended to send an terrorizing effect to the community at large, not just the victim. ”

          Again, like Dan’s comments, this is just opinion. You are free to that opinion, just like Dan is free to have his opinion that hate crimes are worse than other crimes. It doesn’t make it a fact. How are you going to prove (in this particular case) that this was meant to send a message to the larger Muslim community as opposed to just being a guy who blew his top over a longstanding quarrel with his neighbors? How do you distinguish? There are a lot of cases just like this where ‘hate crime’ is not an issue. So, do we punish people more severely just because you or people like you think so?

          • Precisely. Terrorizing an entire community with one murder is VERY unlikely to work. That is why terrorists (who DO want to terrorize entire communities) do their best get a HUGE death toll. Preferably, with an accompanying destruction of property.

            • Precisely. Terrorizing an entire community with one murder is VERY unlikely to work.

              Lynching?
              In Dyersburg, Tennessee, a mob tortured Lation Scott with a hot poker iron, gouging out his eyes, shoving the hot poker down his throat and pressing it all over his body before castrating him and burning him alive over a slow fire…

              Some lynch mobs targeted entire black communities by forcing black people to witness lynchings and demanding that they leave the area or face a similar fate. These lynchings were designed for broad impact—to send a message of domination, to instill fear, and sometimes to drive African Americans from the community.

              After a lynching in Forsyth County, Georgia, in 1912, white vigilantes distributed leaflets demanding that all black people leave the county or suffer deadly consequences; so many black families fled that, by 1920, the county’s black population had plunged from 1100 to just thirty. To maximize lynching as a terrorizing symbol of power and control over the black community, white mobs frequently chose to lynch victims in a prominent place inside the town’s African American district.

              Click to access EJI%20Lynching%20in%20America%20SUMMARY.pdf

                    • At that point it would certainly depend. Targeted at one community? By the same perpetrators, for the same reasons?

                      Most racially targeted lynchings tended to be one or two victims, lynched in a spectacular fashion, done in a community to send a message to the oppressed community that also lived there. There were also so-called “race riots” which are more along the lines what you describing, which went on for longer periods of time, and were far more immediately destructive to the broader oppressed community. But that is a different category altogether.

                    • Depend? Depend?!?! For the love of…. If there was a lynching every day for a month, what would be the factors that would change the situation from a single murder to 30, or the 30 to a single?! In what world that you inhabit would that not be 30?

                      You need to take a step back and think about that. Depends.

                    • Humble, I assume and hope that was directed at deery. In my mind, there is NO ‘depend’…it is pure and simple a premeditated instance of mob violence. I mean once might be a crime of passion, but 30? Nope.

                    • Depend? Depend?!?! For the love of…. If there was a lynching every day for a month, what would be the factors that would change the situation from a single murder to 30, or the 30 to a single?!

                      Well, in the Wild West, people were often lynched due to the perceived slowness of getting the person to “real” justice, with a “real” trial. So if, for some odd reason in your example, 30 people committed 30 different crimes for 30 different reasons, and were lynched by 30 different people/families , even in the same community, each would count only as one murder. If those 30 people were all lynched by the same people, or had some other threads of commonality about them, then you may or may not have a basis for grouping them together as one act, despite the time and place separating the actions. So yes, it depends.

                    • Technical Foul. Moving Goalposts, Yellow card.

                      We’re talking about hate crimes, not “Wild West Justice”. Try again.

                    • Technical Foul. Moving Goalposts, Yellow card.

                      We’re talking about hate crimes, not “Wild West Justice”. Try again.

                      We were talking about lynchings, actually. But even under just hate crimes, would you consider thirty lynchings, done by thirty different people, none of whom are in communication with each other, in thirty separate places, and each done for their own putative separate articulable reasons, as grouped together under one crime? I wouldn’t.

                    • “would you consider thirty lynchings, done by thirty different people, none of whom are in communication with each other, in thirty separate places, and each done for their own putative separate articulable reasons, as grouped together under one crime? I wouldn’t.”

                      So I’m just going to carry that logic on forward. By that logic, black lynchings during slavery weren’t connected, and weren’t indicative of a system of oppression. So long as they were committed by separate people, they were simply the hate of the people committing those acts.

                      Please.

                    • “Precisely. Terrorizing an entire community with one murder is VERY unlikely to work.

                      So I’m just going to carry that logic on forward. By that logic, black lynchings during slavery weren’t connected, and weren’t indicative of a system of oppression. So long as they were committed by separate people, they were simply the hate of the people committing those acts.

                      I think you are the one shifting goalposts here. We are going through what counts as a “single murder”, and whether a single murder alone is enough to terrorize a community. I believe that one murder can be enough to terrorize an entire community. Whether or not that one murder is further linked to systems of oppression, or whether they can be linked in style to other murders is irrelevant for the purposes of answering the question.

                      Lynchings were usually isolated events in a community. There were not usually multiples of them, and decades might pass between one lynching and the next. Sometimes that particular lynching would be the only known lynching in that community, ever. However that lynching, in and out itself, especially given the public and spectacular nature of many of them, was often enough to terrorize that particular community and convince many people to flee and leave that community.

          • Like a lot of law, this ultimately boil down to a “reasonable person” standard. Would a reasonable person believe that guy’s actions were meant to terrorize the community at large or the person on the basis of a protected class, or was it a personal dispute? One could, at that point, introduce writings, speeches, and other actions that support or undercut the prosecution’s case at that point, as much as in any other trial which goes to motive.

            The Supreme has already ruled that hate crime legislation does not infringe against free speech rights in Wisconsin v. Mitchell http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1992/1992_92_515

            • Erm, I don’t think “reasonable” applies to testing how observers of a crime feel about the crime in question. I think “reasonable” applies specifically to the conduct of the accused and whether or not they were behaving like a “reasonable” person when they committed the crime they are accused of…

              This pretty well makes your entire paragraph here a non-sequitur…

  4. “.. who at this moment in our cultural history entirely hail from the left side of the political spectrum ..”

    Jack,
    This is an unfair generalization and you know it. There are plenty of people of the right, bottom, and top who would love to create a world in which everyone thought like them and are not above using bully tactics to do so.

    Alabama’s recent law banning Sharia Law from being used in State Court decisions — as though there was any danger of that — is tad amount to censorship (Personally, I don’t think ANY religious considerations have place in a courtroom, but it’s telling the law only mentions Islam). Christian groups continually bring suit over new science, history, and literature textbooks as being “anti-American” or which promote heathen science (Colorado, Texas, etc).

    This type of thing is cyclical and just because it’s largely coming from the left doesn’t mean it’s been eliminated from the right — it’s only dormant. Can you honestly say you’d take Fred Phelps over the ACLU?

    • You need to find a better example than the Sharia Law prohibition. That’s an unnecessary law, but reasonable one: nothing wrong with telling US judges that they have to stick to US law for precedent. Find me a real example where conservatives have attempted to censor speech. 95% of the universities are extreme left enclaves. The best I can come up with would be Ari Fleishmann’s statement that critics of the Patriot Act needed to “watch what they say.” But that wasn’t a rule or a law. I’m willing to be enlightened. Where are the pro-conservative college speech codes?

  5. The studied dishonesty of the attempted defenses of these per se anti-speech anti-thought laws annoys me no end. “It’s worse for society”? Really? Which is “worse for society”: someone killing people to take their money; someone killing people because of their religion; someone killing people because they look rich; someone killing people just for the fun of it; or someone killing people because they hate everyone?

    The answer is that they are all equally bad, and society has exactly the same motivation to discourage each of them. Dan’s argument cannot avoid reaching the offensive point of holding that it’s BETTER (that is, more tolerable) to have a mad dog killer on the loose who kills everybody he meets than a bigoted killer who picks and chooses. Why is such nonsense appealing to liberals? What happened to them? This fascinates me.

    If I am killed, I don’t care what the person who killed me says while he’s doing it. I’m still dead, and the act is the same. But to this anti-American law, if the killer says, “Die, you white bastard!” that get him an extra ten years or so; if he says, “How about those Red Sox?,” he’s just not as bad a guy. Wrong. The crime is the same. I’m still dead. And he is free to say whatever he wants while he kills me, without fear that he will be punished for it by the government.

    • Once again, using your own logic, then you seem to be for no degrees of murder, rape, or battery, etc.. If you are dead you are dead, if raped, then raped, etc. Why make any distinctions at all? But we have, as a society, deemed that some crimes, even in the same category, are worse than other crimes (murders of a cop or child for instance, or premeditated v. in the heat of the moment). Some of those distinctions in what we deem as worse than others in the same category seem to arise in nothing more than what we can glean the person was thinking at the time. So how are hate crimes substantively any different from that?

      • Putting words into my mouth. Obviously a different crime if someone plots a killing or a drunk driver kills a kid. Different crime, different conduct. The prosecutor doesn’t work for the victim, but for the state. Laws discourage and punish acts. The three degrees of murder don’t look the same or proceed the same. But the hate crime killing and the non-hate crime killing are exactly the same except in how the killer feels about his victims.

        • But the hate crime killing and the non-hate crime killing are exactly the same except in how the killer feels about his victims.

          Not true. You still have to provide some action or conduct to distinguish a hate crime from another type of crime. The elements still must be filled. “A hate crime law is a law intended to deter bias-motivated violence. Hate crime laws are distinct from laws against hate speech in that hate crime laws enhance the penalties associated with conduct that is already criminal under other laws, while hate speech laws criminalize a category of speech.”

          It is not against the law to plan a robbery. However, once concrete action to bring those plans to fruition, the preplanning can be used to enhance your robbery sentence. In effect, your thoughts can be used against you. Same for most of the crimes where premeditation is an element. It still must be proven, of course, usually by looking at your other actions, your written thoughts, and what you have said to others, just like hate crimes. I fail to see the difference.

          • False analogy.

            Pre-planning a robbery is not analogous to killing a person for a specific reason. Although killing a person for a specific reason does require some level of pre-planning, the reason is immaterial to the crime.

            What would be analogous to killing a person for a specific reason would be robbing someone for a specific reason. And last I checked, robbing someone because you want their watch versus robbing someone just because they look like an easy mark is still considered robbery, despite differing reasons.

            Killing someone just because they are black and killing someone because you like killing is still murder.

  6. Here’s my only thought on this – and I’m sure Tex or Jack can set me straight.

    If a person kills another person – that’s obviously a problem and we have punishment not only for punishment’s sake but for rehabilitation’s sake. Our corrections system probably/arguably does just about as horrible job on the rehabilitation front as would be conceivable. However – in our system, we think more time equals more rehabilitation.

    If this guy killed 3 people over a parking issue it might be less likely that he would relapse and that the true issue had roots in a specific mental crisis at that moment.

    However – if this guy killed 3 people because of their religion, national origin, or race – it’s less likely about a momentary mental crisis and the likelihood of recurrence after getting probation is (my opinion) much higher.

    —-

    I think that’s the justified purpose of the “hate crime” law – identify those whose crimes weren’t committed in a moment of crisis; but rather, with clear thinking malice and recognize that a standard incarceration will probably be insufficient.

    The difference between what it should be and the reality of how it is misused is night and day. If we can’t be responsible to limit our consideration of Hate Crime Laws to the above, then it is irresponsible to have them as laws at all.

    • I’m sure what I just wrote might come off as quite incoherent – but I’m not thinking terribly straight as I am under the weather. Try to read into my comments to get at the meaning before being dreadfully hurtful.

    • 1. Not incoherent at all.
      2. But now we’re into pre-crime. A first time offender is a first time offender. If at sentencing, the killer says, “Damn it, I’m not sorry and I’d do it again,” then that’s a factor, but the factor is lack of remorse, making a longer sentence more likely. Let’s see:

      1. I hate people who take my parking spaces.
      2. I hated those three people, and only them. But once I hate people, I want to kill them.
      3. I hate Muslims.

      Which is the greatest threat when released?

        • I agree with what I believe is the point of your question, Steve-O. How can so-called “hate crime” laws be anything but “might makes right” rule-making? The buy-in must come from, and be of direct benefit to, the “mighty,” at the expense of any “non-mighty” who object. I see “hate crime” laws as using circular logic, such that such laws and their enforcement are themselves hate crimes by their own design and designers’ intentions. When you hate certain kinds of hate so much that you attempt to discriminate against them, you become what you hate. Aren’t we hearing that reasoning in arguments against bombing ISIS? Sheesh, I was just about all bought-in to the Left’s aims!

    • “If a person kills another person”

      I like your analysis, but here’s where I, personally, wouldn’t get hung up. If a person kills out of simple malice, when we execute them, we don’t have to worry about them going out and being a threat again.

      If, however, they killed out of any other mitigating circumstance, I don’t see how “killing someone because they are black” doesn’t fit into the “simple malice” rubric.

  7. The news this morning featured sound bites from the neighbors of the killer and also from the families of those murdered.
    The family members are 100% sure this is a hate crime.
    The neighbors say the guy hates everybody – he is simply a hateful person and getting pissed over people parking in “his” space is an ongoing problem.

  8. A campaign of violence in a given area or community to intimidate a specific group is called terrorism, which is distinct conduct from a single incident “hate crime.” If it’s terrorism, the hate crime law is superfluous. I one lynching an act of terrorism? Could be. Again, no need for the hate crime. The added feature is the intend to terrorize.

  9. Another thought: the hypocrisy of a group that decries racial profiling tying logic and definitions into knots to defend a law that changes the assumptions according to the colors of the victim and perp. If Hicks was another Muslim and did exactly the same thing, nobody would be investigating his beliefs to see if it was a”hate crime.” This the double standard, profiling in a different package. As a black citizen is presumed to be a likely suspect for area crime in NYC, a white Christian neighbor is presumed to be a bigot and made violent by hate, while a Muslim would not.

        • “There’s nothing complicated about it, and I have every right to insult a religion that goes out of its way to insult, to judge, and to condemn me as an inadequate human being — which your religion does with self-righteous gusto,” the suspect, Craig Stephen Hicks, wrote on Facebook, without calling out any specific religious doctrine.

          He added: “… the moment that your religion claims any kind of jurisdiction over my experience, you insult me on a level that you can’t even begin to comprehend.”

          And you really can’t see why going back to a completely open, not threatening, Constitutionally protected statement like that, made prior to an event as well as unrelated to it, and using it to impute another legal and protected thought, hate, to an act, and it being used to charge someone with a crime that an individual who is a different religion and color would never be charged with or even suspected of in the exact same scenario isn’t outrageous?

          Wow.

          Keep the faith, baby.

            • Hey I totally understand the actual purpose and scope of the Crusades as it fits into hisotry, I’ve had to educate several idiotic anti-christian knee-jerkers on it, and totally understand your gripe with what I said.

              I merely referred to the Crusades this way because of how they are portrayed as one of “Christianity’s” greatest evils…

              • Well, this was the Middle Ages, where coreligionists of different polities were barely any kinder to each other than to those of different faiths (heck, part of the Pope’s motivation for calling the First Crusade seems to have been to get knights and nobles to wage war away from European soil). Basically, a lot of the Crusades’ bad rep simply comes from the fact that many of their soldiers were the same people who had little hesitation killing their fellow European Catholics for personal gain, much less Jews, Eastern Christians, and Muslims. It also doesn’t help that the Albigensian Crusade tends to get lumped in there as well if the discussion goes long enough.

              • I was pretty sure that you were REAL familiar with the history of the Crusades, but my comment was more for the edification of those who aren’t.

    • If Hicks were a Muslim, and for some strange improbable reason began killing other Muslims because they were Muslim, I see no reason why he couldn’t be prosecuted under hate crime laws, if they had evidence of such. We already have shown that pretty much all groups are prosecuted for hate crimes, that it isn’t some legislation targeted at getting “white Christians”. That was a real stretch for you.

      • He wouldn’t be investigated, suspected or accused of hate crimes, because of his religion, because these are laws based on accusing people and punishing them more severely based on discrimination by law according to status that the law forbids discrimination against elsewhere.

  10. Interesting to bring Jesus into the discussion because, according to Matthew, he said,

    27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
    — Matthew 5:27-28, English Standard Version (ESV)

    A first step in thought control?

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