Mrs. Q’s Corner: The Bigotry Behind Hate Crime Laws [Expanded And Corrected]

by Frances Quaempts

[Editor’s note: The version of this column that was originally posted this morning was missing several paragraphs as well as some important quotes. I apologize profusely to Mrs. Q, whose version was fine, but for some reason I had a devil of a time formatting it, putting me into back and forth, paste and copy, metadata Hell. In the ned there were four drafts of the post up at once, plus previews to show where the formatting wasn’t working. I have no idea how so much was dropped, but it was all my fault. Please read the expanded piece, and again, my apologies to all.]

“As a gay woman, it’s kind of flattering to have the government say that if someone who has the wrong kind of hate kills me, it’s a special killing.  But flattery should only go so far.  My selfish side likes to be viewed as “special” by the FBI, but my honest side knows that this is both unfair and treacherous.  As a gay woman, I refuse to be part of a system that tells me that I count more than any other woman who gets raped or murdered.” 

—-Tammy Bruce, author of The New Thought Police. 

The April 2nd Ethics Alarms post on the acts of violence committed by Jose L. Gomez against an Asian family he believed had COVID-19, highlights how hate crime laws are problematic because such laws, “have never made any legal or ethical sense, criminalizing prejudice and thought, neither of which can be made illegal under our Constitution.  They were virtue-signaling and pandering to certain minority group political agendas from the beginning.”

 Booker T. Washington, in his book My Larger Education, published in 1911, challenged minority based group victimhood and those who push this agenda.

 “I am afraid that there is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means to make a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public.”

One of the first issues with hate crime laws is the defeatist and demoralizing outlook among their advocates that all minorities are victims.  Referring to various minority types as belonging to a “victim group” attempts define or redefine how minorities think about themselves, and negates in attitude, the resilience of these peoples.  Instead of highlighting, for example, how racial minorities have endured and even thrived, race-hustlers and other so-called justice advocates cling to the narrative that they need help, especially from the government, to make their lives animus free.    

 Minorities are not a monolith.  In FBI Hate Crimes Statistics Reports the assertion is made that “the effects can reverberate beyond a single person or group into an entire community, city, or society as a whole.” What this assumes is that all people who have been designated as a minority, whether they want to be put in such a category or not, is somehow magically affected by an act committed on another person who fits the same category. Where is the evidence of this? Pandering politicians along with media misery merchants do a great job of taking a story and using it to attempt to instill fear in “victim groups” and moral grandstanding in those who love to self-flagellate with guilt, but that doesn’t mean all people of said group cares or is affected.

 In Thomas Sowell’s 2009 book Intellectuals and Society, he challenges how self-proclaimed allies tend to pit, “group against group by arbitrarily viewing innumerable situations through the prism of “race, class, and gender,” setting unreachable standards of “social justice,” and setting impossible goals of redressing the wrongs of history.”   He goes on to say:

“So long as sweeping presumptions are accepted as knowledge and lofty rhetoric is regarded as idealism, intellectuals can succeed in projecting themselves as vanguards of generic “change”- for whose consequences they remain unaccountable.”

Author and former radio host Ken Hamblin made a similar assertion in his 1996 book Pick a Better Country when he wrote about this vanguard of helpers:

“I understand that it was natural for them to get warm feelings when they were helping us.  But I had no idea that for some liberal do-gooders, those warm feelings would become an intoxicating narcotic. Today they simply refuse to let us go.  They refuse to face the fact that it is possible for a black person to get a fair shake – to be truly free and to be treated justly in America.  They refuse to admit we can make it without special consideration and without their special help.  They refuse to treat us as equal Americans.”

 Certainly minorities, like every class of persons, experience bigotry and unfairness.  However special hate crime laws haven’t eased the pain of these so-called victim groups because both new and old types of discrimination between fellow “victim groups” have continued.  In LGBTQ+ circles, homophobia has made a bold resurgence, creating sometimes dangerous ill will between these rainbow groups, leading some members to break away and create their own charities and organizations.  Jose L. Gomez is a Latino who attacked an Asian family.  Colorism persists among racial and ethnic groups.  And let’s not forget there are numerous instances of racial minorities who have brutalized whites for their skin color.

 One example noted in Larry Elder’s book Stupid Black Men was a 2006 incident on Halloween where, “30-40 teens and a few adults – mostly black – beat three young white women.” These women required surgery afterward, including the repair of twelve facial fractures in one victim.  Witnesses to the mob heard people in the crowd shout “we hate white people, fuck whites.”  My own wife experienced race based prejudice last year when a black man followed and threatened her for blocks screaming, “I’m gonna fuck you up,” and,  “I hate whites” while also calling her a “faggot.”  Interestingly, in progressive Portland, none of the bystanders offered to help my wife.  Perhaps they paused because they were trying to decide who the greater victim was – the black man yelling in the streets or the Irish appearing short haired lesbian.  When situations like this happen, rarely is the media or those who claim to fight for equality there to seek justice for this version of hate.  It seems if love is love, then the same should apply to hate.    

 Hate crime laws and the advocacy behind them also help to foster a sense of victimhood in those who profit emotionally and otherwise from constantly thinking they’re being targeted.  These are people who are always probing every situation to see if they can cling onto someone or something that is harming them.  For these folks, there is always someone who is hurting them, it’s always personal, and it’s always epic in scope. Those who love to see themselves and the special groups they wish to identify with, as downtrodden and on the edge of death at the hands of supposed bigots, will always search for and find someone who is “literally killing” them.  When this long-awaited bigotry doesn’t happen, some are propelled to concoct hate crimes out of thin air, creating hoaxes that not only add to social division and wasted law enforcement resources, but serve to discredit the severity or general existence of such crimes.  Wilfred Reilly provides numerous examples of this in his book Hate Crime Hoax.

 Regardless of the reasons why some people do what they do to others, there will also always be bad actors doing bad things to people based on erroneous and stupid excuses. You can’t legislate and cancel culture people out of being assholes or ignorant fools. Throwing the so-called book at them because of their thinking (or lack thereof) is not really about repairing the wrong; it’s about vengeance and virtue signaling.

 How many of those who commit hate crimes are also members of “victim” groups? How many had difficult childhoods, have mental illness, or other issues that contributed to such “hate?” Hate crime legislation assumes discrimination is less amorphous than it usually is. However to quantify hate, one has to assume a lot in a given situation is static and linear, which cannot be done when we’re dealing with human emotions and thoughts. The complicated case of Matthew Shepard, discussed at length in The Book of Matt by Stephen Jimenez, highlights how an assumed narrative of hate overtook the realities behind Shepard’s death.  Can we really say a murderer or abuser has a better version of hate because he or she targeted someone for non-discriminatory reasons?

 No. Murder is murder and no amount of extra time thrown onto a prison sentence for politics and power will assuage the harm their loved ones experience in the aftermath. No minority has a better life because our government attempts to legislate thought. Instead we just get more bleating and screaming at the sky from those who get off on being upset, and more money to leaders of organizations who claim to represent certain social networks. Let’s not forget there’s decent money to be made off making sure political mascots are crying on cue for the camera and their “equality allies” cough up their guilt laden dough.

 Hate crime laws and the thinking behind them serve to keep money pouring into organizations that foster strife among groups while utilizing hand-wringing moral grandstanding as a means of advocacy.  Worse, these laws do the very thing they claim is “hateful” by making sweeping assumptions about the thinking, feeling, and actions of millions of people according to contrived categories.  With hate crimes, some groups are more favored than others and some groups are demonized readily to those who wish to see monsters of bigotry everywhere.  However, we’re told by politicians, grievance hustlers, media elites and college students that all people of color, gays, women, and every other group, are victims, and if they don’t already think of themselves as such, they need to start.

 No one can measure how an entire group of people feels about something. You’d have to survey a lot of people, decide who they are and who is and isn’t a part of such a group, while giving an accurate representation of the event(s) they’re supposed to be offended by. Obviously equity espousing crusaders can’t be bothered to stop pearl clutching and actually ask these large swaths of people what they actually think. So instead it’s easier (and lazier) to just assume all people of a designated group think the same, in the name of “justice.”

 Last I checked, assuming all people of a certain category think the same is called prejudice. Now, I ask, who is the one who hates?

 

 

12 thoughts on “Mrs. Q’s Corner: The Bigotry Behind Hate Crime Laws [Expanded And Corrected]

  1. Thanks for the thought provoking piece Mrs. Q!

    In my opinion, hate crime laws are totalitarian in nature and intentionally trying to criminalize unpopular/unacceptable thoughts. It’s kind of like building in a level of double jeopardy into the criminal justice system to that automatically enforces stricter than usual punishments based strictly on the thoughts of the criminal. At what point in time do the people say criminalizing unpopular thoughts is “enough”!

    I fully expect one of these hate crime laws to be directly challenged in the Supreme Court of the United States and subsequently be struck down as unconstitutional.

    • I think these hate crime laws have been upheld as constitutional because they are not held to be “criminalizing” thought (as you and Mrs. Q rightly state); the hate crime component of a crime takes effect in the sentencing phase, where there is an enhancement in the punishment for that particular crime. The argument kind of goes like this: “A crime is defined by elements, one of which is the mens rea, or the intent of the perpetrator in committing the act that has been declared criminal. Intent can bump a crime from a misdemeanor to a felony. For instance, the difference between first and second degree homicide may turn the accused’s intent; some crimes, though, are strict liability crimes (e.g., killing someone during the commission of the armed robbery will trigger felony murder charges). So, if ‘intent’ is a component of the crime, and the accused is found guilty of the crime, then the sentencing phase will take the accused’s mental state into account to determine if the crime was motivated by animus against a racial, ethnic, or other protected class. If so, then the sentence imposed will be more severe, on the theory that society abhors the bad act but society abhors more that the crime committed was against a member of a protected class because to create or instill fear or terror within that protected class.”

      There is some merit to that argument. However, the application of hate crime enhancement is uneven and unequal. As Mrs. Q noted, there is no set guideline to charge hate crime enhancements, which is usually controlled or implemented in favor of certain protected classes and against other non-protected classes. It goes without saying that more white males are charged with hate crime enhancements than non-white-males. That leads to the conclusion that not everyone is equal in the eyes of the law; in fact, it creates the condition that some are more equal than others.

      jvb

      • johnburger2013 wrote, “the hate crime component of a crime takes effect in the sentencing phase, where there is an enhancement in the punishment for that particular crime.”

        That is specifically what I was alluding to in my comment when I wrote, “automatically enforces stricter than usual punishments based strictly on the thoughts of the criminal”.

        johnburger2013 wrote, “the difference between first and second degree homicide may turn the accused’s intent..”

        Intent: Intention or purpose.

        Intent is a terribly slippery slope, see explanation below. Yes, if the preplan is to kill a particular person then it is literally part of the statute, as in premeditated murder.

        If it is pretty clear that the actual premeditated intent/plan was to kill that particular person then they charge 1st degree homicide, otherwise they charge a lesser offense. The planning is literally part of the statute of the crime statute – premeditated murder. What we are talking about with hate crimes is to inject the hate (thought) crime penalties after there is already a conviction that already has sentencing guidelines regardless of whether the perceived hate is the cause of the crime or not which is why I wrote that it’s “kind of like building in a level of double jeopardy into the criminal justice system” that’s based on perceived thought of “hate” that nails the convicted again after they’ve already been convicted of the crime.

        By the way; intent is a serious slippery slope, where preplanning/premeditated is much more accurate and provable; allow me to explain. If a knife wielding armed burglar breaks through my front door and starts after me with that knife and I as legal firearm owner pull out my holstered firearm and shoot the illegally trespassing violent knife attacker with two rapid-fire bullets center-mass and then one to his head because he didn’t immediately fall down and break off the attack after the first two shots because that’s exactly what I trained to do for years. The attacker is now dead on the floor, I kick the knife out of his hand and check out the front door for any possible accomplices, I check the attacker for vital signs, re-holster my firearm, I call 911, my passive wife who has never faced any kind of violent situation in her entire life has been completely freaking out since it started because she saw the entire violent episode, I’m visibly calm – resolved – and patiently waiting for the police, our lives will never be the same. My intent was to stop the attacker with extreme prejudice and my years of training and subsequent actions to shoot the attacker shows that I fully “intended” to kill the attacker. I’m fully aware that when you shoot a firearm at the center-mass of another human being it is done so with the intent to kill, the difference is that there is no premeditation to kill this particular person for any reason other than the fact that the violent criminal is in the process of trying to attack me. The intent is the same regardless of whether it is “justified” or not, the person is just as dead because of the intent, the difference is lack of premeditation; by the way; I’ve had this exact argument before with fully consumed anti-2nd Amendment advocates over real life cases and most anti-gun advocates will disagree with that lack of premeditation statement, their stance is if you practice to shoot to kill then it’s premeditated murder, period.

        Again…

        Intent: Intention or purpose.

        Intent is a slippery slope, try sticking with planned or premeditated, there’s less chance of it being twisted.

  2. I’m guessing that much of the hate crime legislation came out of the brutal treatment and lynching of blacks prior to LBJ and civil rights legislation. Well intentioned but wrong. Straight white men and women were excluded as it was assumed that they were not historically victims of “hate crimes” If you’re LGBTQ what difference does it make if you’re the victim of mayhem or murder? A charge of a hate crime isn’t going to mitigate the harm you’ve suffered.

    • “At first we thought that it was a racially motivated crime, but it turns out that the old lady was only beaten nearly to death because someone wanted to steal her purse. So it’s not as bad as we thought. The sentence should be lighter.”

      -The Left, if they could hear how they sound.

  3. Good to see anouther post from you.

    Spending a lifetime in the Marine Corps I have seen many fights and arguments that have included racial epithets, I can count on one hand the number where there was real racial animosity. Most times it was just used as the most hurtful thing someone could come up to fling at anouther, other times it was to goad or back someone into a fight, in wasn’t a matter of hate but anger. When I first joined the Marine Corps infantry fights were common and handled at a low level. Physical alterations in the platoon were cathartic, cleared the air and established boundaries. A corporal or sergeant could speak to each and sort it out and everyone would move on and be stronger for it as understanding could be reached. Now if a junior leader were to handle a fight in which someone used nigger or a similar word the entire chain of command would be involved, everyone would shut up as the inevitable investagtion would be launched and careers ended. I truely feel for them now, the military is so PC that effectiveness is destroyed.

  4. I find the reaction to the murder of James Byrd Jr abgood example of the obsurdity and needlessness of hate crime laws.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_James_Byrd_Jr.
    Texas was criticized for a lack of hate crime laws to deter crimes like this. Fallout of the killing resulted in Texas adopting hate crime laws.

    Meanwhile Texas went about the process under existing laws and did what they are numer one in the nation for: two of the three have been tried, convicted, and executed nearly a decade ago. The third is spending life in prison.

    What, exactly, would a hate crime do that would deter more than state execution?

    Progressives have illogical conflicts in several areas of crime and punishment. Hate crimes is one. Gun laws are another. Progressives want more laws in some areas, but they don’t like crimes being punished. Their proscribed punishment for a hate crime murder is less than what most conservatives proscribe as punishment for any murder.

    This isn’t something hard to grasp, but basic logic and reasoning procludes one from being a die hard progressive.

  5. Good job as always, MQ. It’s nice to see the perspective of someone from the opposite corner of the country who hasn’t joined the Carnival of Perpetual Aggrievement.

  6. To paraphrase the lightning rods of controversy that are Jordan Peterson & Douglas Murray, these identity politics are a thin mask for Leftist ideologues who think the collective that one belongs to is more important than the individual themselves. Therefore if you belong to Opressed Group X, you must abandon your individual opinions.

    This is why major publications or celebrities on The Left feel justified in saying disgusting things like Peter Thiel, Dave Rubin, or Douglas Murray aren’t “real gays” or that Larry Elder “isn’t really black” (among the nicer phrasings they’ve used against him) – simply because they refuse to play The Victim & instead make their own political decisions.

    The Leftists have replaced the Economic Exploiter vs the Exploited – which led to Mao killing all businessmen & academics (or anyone with glasses that even *looked* academic) – with “Oppressor vs the Victim”. They can’t have people thinking for themselves because that’s bad for The Collective..

    And it’s a narrative that can never be satisfied – it becomes a contest of who is the most oppressed (hence “intersectionality”)… and those that would otherwise be Oppressors (think of any White millionaire late night talk show host) is forced to grovel with virtue signaling and self-hatred of their Whiteness or their money or whatever… while never giving up their money or positions to one of the Oppressed. They hope by virtue signaling, the Mob won’t come for them. But as Maoist China and Soviet Russia showed anyone who reads history – it *always* comes for them.

    And while he may say buffoonish things, that’s the one thing President Trump taught many of those in the Center or the Right: *never* apologize to people who claim You Should Shut Up Because They’re Offended. They do not forgive. They just hold it over your head, demand your resignation (unless you’re a useful mouthpiece), destroy lives, and escalate as they grasp for more political power.

    We cannot legislate kindness or competence or basic decency. But academia is trying teach a whole generation otherwise.

    Thanks for your wisdom, Jack. Keep up the good fight.

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