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We have that already, it’s called motive

Tom in comments:

Hate crimes are, in a very real sense, a form of terrorism, because the target is much wider than just the people you directly attack/harm. You’re attempting to intimidate or otherwise “send a message” to an entire group. In a certain sense, the people you kill are the collateral damage, while the survivors are the intended victims.

I concur. That said, you’ve established motive. Should be used as evidence to prosecute. Case closed.

Now, do I think a hate crime should carry excessive sentences? No. Because you’re then punishing thought. Look what the Hell is happening in Canada if you want to go down this road.

I don’t think Tom disagrees.

Another issue with hate crimes is they seem to be crimes that can only be committed by white men.

Aunt B. says it can be considered domestic terrorism.

And all you people who are saying the church shooting was Rush Limbaugh/Bill O’Reilly/Karl Rove/Insert Right Wing Bogeyman’s fault are morons. And you people seeking to reinstate the fairness doctrine for this reason are totalitarian morons.

9 Responses to “We have that already, it’s called motive

  1. Zendo Deb Says:

    First, I agree that hate crimes shouldn’t be treated any different from any other crime.

    But I understand how we got here.

    The problem was that certain crimes were ignored by police. Gay bashing is still ignored in a lot of places by a lot of cops. And when I was living in Chicago, calling the cops after a gay bashing was at best useless, at worst, the cops would join in or arrest the guy bleeding on the sidewalk.

    Hate crimes laws were/are an attempt to get society – or at least police – to pay some attention.

    In the long run they are probably a bad idea. But having police stand by and watch people get assaulted and not lift a finger to serve or protect was also a really bad idea. An idea that certain minorities have lived with for generations

    Dr. Rice, when she was being interviewed about her nomination as Sec. of State spoke about growing up in Bombingham, AL, and how the police were a least a part of the problem of race hatred.

    So once you can assure me that police will treat every rape the same, every assault the same, that police will respond to every 911 call and not side with the criminal beating up the gays/blacks/whoever then I will help you in your effort to rescind hate crime laws.

  2. karrde Says:

    I think I agree…at least with the assertion that there shouldn’t be much extra punishment for the “hate” involved in the offense. I could argue that all hate-crime laws, if passed, should have a sunset clause.

    Of course, there’s also this question: if Mr. Adkisson committed a hate crime, was it a hate crime against Liberals, Homosexuals, or Believers? (There is evidence that the unhinged man was enraged, in part, by all of these three groups…)

    Note that while he picked a target which was friendly to the Liberal and Homosexual camps, the target was a Church (albeit a Church which has departed from the Trinitarian beliefs held in common by Catholic, Orthodox, and most Protestants…).

    While it is easy to charge hate crimes against Homosexuals, and possible to charge hate crimes against Liberals, why is it hard to charge a hate crime against Believers?

  3. Kynn Says:

    Another issue with hate crimes is they seem to be crimes that can only be committed by white men.

    Did my comment on hate crimes and white men just not go through or something, on another thread?

    I’m honestly confused here. I posted some real statistics, which don’t seem to be in dispute, about hate crimes in America — and nearly everyone on that thread completely ignored them.

    Non-whites commit disproportionately MORE hate crimes than whites. There were over 1,000 hate crimes committed against white people because they were white, out of about 5,000 racially motivated hate crimes total in 2006.

    28.4% of hate crimes in 2006 were committed with people known to be non-white. Only 58.6% of hate crimes were committed by people known to be white — in a country that is about 76% white.

    As I said in that thread, it’s okay if you disagree with hate crime legislation, but I’d like you to at least stop repeating falsehoods about how hate crimes work in America.

    Also, to karrde:

    18.1% of hate crimes in 2006 were religiously motivated, and that number includes crimes against Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, atheists, and other religions. It’s not hard to charge someone with hate crimes against believers.

    (Note, though, that “liberal” isn’t a category covered by hate crime legislation, nor is “conservative” — political affiliation doesn’t hold the same status as race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and so on.)

  4. karrde Says:

    I was speaking of the popular perception, not the hard numbers. (And yes, I’ve looked at those hate-crime statistics for blogging material once…I didn’t know you’d brought them to this discussion.)

    I’m divided over hate crimes. I don’t like laws that punish a particular act more severely because the motivation was especially hateful. (Translation: if the perp had shot up the building while trying to find and kill his ex-wife, he should get the same punishment as if he was looking to kill the dirty Holy Rollers, or the weird Homo-lovers.)

    However, Zendo makes an argument that some crimes need “special attention”. I may or may not agree, mainly based on how much popular perception matches the hard numbers.

    At the moment, hate crime laws seem to be the only way that people can think to use to solve these problems. I’m not sure. Even if the laws are effective, the case that Zendo makes seems to be that they would be needed short-term, not long-term. (Hence my comment on sunlight-provisioned hate-crime laws…though I’m really wondering if there is some other way to solve the problems, if the problems exist…)

    To return to my original thought: I know that actual incidence of hate crime does not match public perception. Do we need to pay more attention to it, or less? Is sensational news reporting (either on CNN or Fox) gonig to help or hurt? Is there any problem with minimizing the “hate” part and maximizing the “crime” part–that is, the murder, rape, destruction of property, etc. that was apparently motivated by hate?

    Is there a slippery slope from American-style hate-crime law to Canadian-style hate-crime law and human-rights commissions?

  5. karrde Says:

    (I apologize if I reawaked something that was done and quietly sleeping…if our host wishes, I can move any more discussion over to my moribund blog…)

  6. Standard Mischief Says:

    Kynn Says:

    I’m honestly confused here. I posted some real statistics, which don’t seem to be in dispute, about hate crimes in America — and nearly everyone on that thread completely ignored them.

    I’ll call bullshit on the stats. A quick perusal of their methodology at the link you provided seem to be saying that they rely on local departments to volunteer (“that voluntarily participate”) the info that goes into the database. That smacks of self-selecting for bias. Furthermore the classification of whether or not something is a hate crime seems largely subjective.

    Here’s an example of a crime that did not get classified as a “hate crime” for some strange reason.

  7. Xrlq Says:

    Kynn, your stats mean squat. Who cares that non-whites commit disproportionately more hate crimes than whites? Non-whites commit disproportionally more non-hate crimes, too, so for your silly affirmative action argument to make any sense whatsoever, one would have to at least control for that. And even if you did, it still wouldn’t mean anything unless you could show that hate as a motive is spread evenly among crimnals of all races. You have yet to provide an iota of evidence to support that, so your point in both threads is not taken.

    But actually, it’s even worse than that. If you’re going to use your “real statistics” to prove anything about who is committing the hate crimes against whom, you’d better read their tables carefully enough to figure out how they are defining their terms. Take a look at the percentage of hate crimes committed against Hispanics, vs. the percentage committed by Hispanics. Notice anything odd or unusual there?

  8. Kynn Says:

    I’ll call bullshit on the stats. A quick perusal of their methodology at the link you provided seem to be saying that they rely on local departments to volunteer (”that voluntarily participate”) the info that goes into the database. That smacks of self-selecting for bias. Furthermore the classification of whether or not something is a hate crime seems largely subjective.

    Actually, the classification is rarely subjective — it’s a case of varying hate crime laws between different parts of the country, and is no more or less “subjective” than any other part of the criminal law process.

    Standard, you linked to this news story — but I don’t understand your point. Are you saying that all crimes between people of different races should be classified as hate crimes? Because that’s not what proponents of hate crime legislation, nor the legislation itself, calls for.

    Are you saying that all white-on-black crimes are considered hate crimes? That’s not true either; in fact, it’s quite common for white-on-black that might appear to fit the definition of hate crime (by a reasonable person; say, you, applying the definition even if you don’t agree with it) to never be prosecuted as such.

    As with any charges within the criminal justice system, there are a lot of factors considered by the police and the prosecutors when deciding whether a hate crime prosecution would be justified. There are cases of deliberate and obvious murder which, for reasons including lack of evidence, are not prosecuted as such; it’s no different with hate crime prosecutions.

    In this case, a Fox News story from a day after your link shows that the MTA originally did consider and investigate the hate crime angle, but there generally needs to be a pretty high level of proof to prosecute hate crimes as such, and even then, the net result will be extended sentences — which may not be the best prosecutory decision when dealing with minors, for whom sentencing is often tricky.

    Who cares that non-whites commit disproportionately more hate crimes than whites?

    Xriq, well, it might dispel the notion that hate crimes are only about things white people to do non-white people.

    Non-whites commit disproportionally more non-hate crimes, too, so for your silly affirmative action argument to make any sense whatsoever, one would have to at least control for that.

    Eh? What’s a “silly affirmative action argument”? I’m just pointing out the truth — the most reliable evidence we have is that crimes dealt with as hate crimes aren’t committed just by white people.

    Are you arguing that the stats are lying and white people really are running around committing hate crimes, but the cops just don’t report that to the FBI? Or what?

    You have yet to provide an iota of evidence to support that, so your point in both threads is not taken.

    Eh? My point is that calling hate crimes “crimes that can only be committed by white men” is easily proven wrong.

    Take a look at the percentage of hate crimes committed against Hispanics, vs. the percentage committed by Hispanics. Notice anything odd or unusual there?

    Okay, I’ll look.

    Of the 13.5% of bias-motivated crimes that were committed on basis of ethnicity, 62.8% — or about 8.5%, or about one in twelve of all hate crimes — were committed because of hatred against Hispanics. Raw numbers, i think that’s about 820 or so victims in 2006.

    I don’t see the figure for “percentage committed by Hispanics” — where are you reading that in the report? The report doesn’t include ethnicity figures for perpetrators, just for victims — likewise it doesn’t include sexual orientation or disability or religion for perps either. What was your point?

  9. Xrlq Says:

    Xriq [sic], well, it might dispel the notion that hate crimes are only about things white people to do non-white people.

    Indeed it might, if such a notion needed dispelling in the first place. Care to link to whatever commenters supposedly claimed otherwise?

    Eh? What’s a “silly affirmative action argument”?

    Your comment implied that it was all about proportionality, which is a silly affirmative action mentality.

    Eh? My point is that calling hate crimes “crimes that can only be committed by white men” is easily proven wrong.

    Neat. Now that the strawman’s dead, why not debate the issues people actually raising here?

    I don’t see the figure for “percentage committed by Hispanics” — where are you reading that in the report?

    It’s not there. That IS the point. If an Hispanic is a victim of a hate crime, he’s “Hispanic.” If he commits one, he’s “white.” If he commits a hate crime against a white non-Hispanic, then it’s a white-on-white crime, not counted as a hate crime at all. Do you really need me to explain why that’s going to throw the figures off?

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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