Ha, bet that headline got your attention didn't it? Well in a roundabout way it is true. Our government at the local, state, and federal level has legislated preferential treatment in such a way that Race and Religion schisms are not mended. Instead they are perpetuated.
I'm still sick of politics in general and so am looking at social issues that ought to be non-partisan. I know it aint as sexy as bashing the crooks and liars on either side that are vying for our attention in one regard and diverting it in others.
Anyway, back to the topic. I am talking primarily about hate crimes and the legislation of same. I understand that some folks think that attacks specifically against gays is somehow worse than a mugging in the park. I cannot agree.
Assault and Battery is A&B no matter who the victim is. A violent attack has always been illegal. And obviously the victim is just as battered. I see the elevation of certain assault crimes to the level of Hate Crimes or even Domestic Terrorism as just another intrusion of the government into society. HCL unfairly elevates certain people or groups above that of society in general. It sends a message that if you are going to beat on someone it better not be anyone who can self-identify with protected label. It's a far reach, theoretically speaking, a smart mugger could simply target young to middle age, heterosexual, nonfat, christian, white males to avoid the penalty enhancement of HCL.
It isn't simply skin color or sex, national origin or sexual identity, age or gender either. There is a religious double standard as well. If you paint a swastika on a synagogue it's very likely that you will be charged with a hate crime instead of simple property damage via malicious vandalism. Dump a Koran in the toilet and you are in the same boat. Race pigs next to a mosque and watch out.
But, amazingly enough when it comes to Christianity we tolerate a lot. Dump a cross into urine and it's art. A moment of silence? It's really church v. state. None of that is a hate crime, instead it is a constitutional issue. Yet, when we accommodate Muslims in our public schools, isn't that exclusion of other faiths and thus, in an admittedly broad interpretation, a hate crime?
How about burning the Flag? I personally feel victimised every time someone does that. I am a vet. Thus the crime is obviously anti-vet. Again, in an admittedly broad interpretation, a hate crime?
The above examples are part tongue in cheek and part "Hey! Double Standard Alert!". In truth I see hate crimes as the criminalization of your personal beliefs. If you hate gays, blacks, women, crippled old people, fat people, thin people, kids, vets, hippies, girlymen, Muslims, Jesus freaks, yadablahetc...... then you may be a twisted freak, but you are not a criminal. At least not today. Hate crimes mean that your personal beliefs are now subject to government regulation. It is a short cliff to fall over.
Just think, in twenty years, an anti-terrorist rally could no longer be free speech. Instead it will be illegal to even think such thoughts.
Prosecute the crime, not the thoughts of the criminal.