Hate Crimes, or the Politics of Thought Policing

| February 22, 2019

thought police aw1

Our own VoV’s back with some thoughts on laws, liberties, and Government overreach. Who are the real victims in today’s society? Here’s VoV:

Veritas Omnia Vincit
As I watch the news media continue to dissect the Smollett case I keep hearing the words Hate Crime.

As a libertarian I’ve noticed that quite frequently my thoughts on governance align closely in some regards to true fiscal conservatives, or the classic conservative if you will. Those libertarian views also have some overlap with classic liberalism where that school of thought once meant a deep respect for personal liberty along with some societal safety netting. The one area where all three overlapped (or at least where they used to on a regular basis) was the concept of equal treatment under the law for all of us. That aspect of libertarianism has always appealed to my own life story, where I’ve been free to pursue a better life from a rather humble and difficult beginning to become somewhat successful and enjoy a much better life thanks to the freedoms this nation grants us. Or at least it used to grant us.

With that in mind something that has always irritated my thinking is the concept of hate crimes. Jefferson once commented that his neighbor’s belief in one god, no god or twenty gods neither picked his pocket or broke his leg. When you extend that to other comments in his letters and essays it becomes clear that for Jefferson and others it is only action that creates crime. The thought is irrelevant to the result of the action. I like that world view when it comes to the law as it simply says we Americans, regardless of our station in life or position in society, are all the same where the law is concerned. Conceptually it’s a beautifully elegant approach to the law that was notably absent in England. In practicality it was perhaps naive to think it would be implemented as elegantly in the real world as it sounds in the original documents.

Our police, our judges, and our district attorneys clearly failed to properly execute their duties in the application of the law in the past, cops wouldn’t arrest people who beat up gays or blacks or their wives. Laws against assault have always been on the books since the founding of the nation. I can find no law in any state that indicates assault is an acceptable action against blacks or gays or our wives and children. What we had was a failure of government to do its job.

As a result of protests and concerns over the lack of action in these areas some lawmakers presented the concept of hate crimes to the legislature. If the government was not doing its job perhaps more laws might stir the government to action. It seems counterintuitive that the fix for shitty government enforcement of current law would be writing even more laws, but that’s how our modern society works. When the government fails in its duty the fix is almost always more restrictive laws on law abiding citizens or the creation of additional victim classes to complicate society even further. It’s an interesting concept, and it speaks directly to the validity of concerns by cranky old curmudgeons like me who believe the government will never miss an opportunity to add to its size and add to its power.

Now we have layers of victims, many, many layers of victims to be honest. Gays, religious folk, minorities, cops, even dogs used by cops all have special laws protecting them above the folks who don’t qualify for special victim status. What’s the actual benefit to society of these additional laws? I would argue there is absolutely no benefit. I would argue that these laws are a primary reason we have the level of division in society that we do, because along with victimhood comes some sort of recognition and benefit. If you are a protected class victim you are told we think you’re special, that our society recognizes we’ve wronged you in the past and instead of punishing those who’ve wronged you on the government side we’re going to differentiate you from your fellow Americans should one of them victimize you in some way.

Don’t get me wrong, I like gays, religious folk, cops and dogs myself. I always have and I always will. What I don’t like is the concept that if I beat you up and take your money that’s less of a crime than if I beat you up, take your money and call you a fag.

Crime needs to address actions that injure regardless of why the actions were taken. Judges might want to consider that someone who hates gay men and likes to harm them while robbing them could prove more dangerous to society than someone who just robs random people and sentence the first scenario criminal to the full length of the sentencing guidelines, but we don’t really need special victim classes to apply the law in that manner.

Smollett, and others like him, understand there’s a benefit to them if they are seen as being victimized solely based on their protected class status. It become a motivating factor for those who would commit a hoax at one end of the scale and someone who would scream, “It’s ma’am” to some poor kid working the local GameStop cash register at the other end of the scale. It creates a sense of entitlement to special benefits and treatment where there should be none if we are truly all equal under the law.

No one can make me like anyone, I can hate whoever I want to hate in this country. If I know there are special hate crime laws and I truly hate certain groups I would make sure my crimes were of a nature that seemed irrelevant to the hatred in order to receive the lighter sentence, I would rob someone and “accidentally” murder them during the commission of the robbery. Should that make my crime less criminal than if I shouted death to Jews when I did it? Honest people should say of course not, murdering someone or robbing someone should be a seriously punished crime regardless of why I was motivated to commit that crime.

One other aspect of hate crimes that speaks directly to government’s desire for control and power is that it now codifies thoughts as punishable. Once you allow the government on that bridge it’s hard to drive them off of it in the future. Regardless of your feelings about the need for hate crimes the idea that the government can prosecute thought should send chills down your spine. Those of us who are firmly behind the Bill of Rights protections should clearly see hate crimes as a massive infringement on the first amendment rights of all of us. We’ve seen this game played with the second amendment, the government proposes a “reasonable” restriction to “protect all of us and the next you thing you know we’ve got people thinking they can determine our rights based on what they think others “need” or don’t need. I mean if you don’t “need” that assault weapon you might not “need” to voice that opinion on whether or not a man should be required to bake a cake for some gay men. A quick look at English law reveals what happens when first amendment protections don’t exist, a wrong comment on Facebook in England can have the local constabulary locking you up for “hate speech”.

Hate crime laws are the first rung of restrictions on the first amendment. The one true thing about government is that there is almost no chance to put that genie back in the bottle by vacating all those laws, but we should be vigilant moving forward to make certain our government is stopped from adding layer after layer of burden to our protections until we effectively have no protections from our government.

I would like to think that the arc of overlap between libertarians, classic liberals and classic conservatives still encompasses personal freedoms to hate whom we wish and speak that hate without infringement from the government.

You should, by now, know well my thoughts on the power of truth. I will leave you with another Jefferson quote on that power.

Reason and experiment have been indulged, and error has fled before them. It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.

Again my thoughts and my words are my sole responsibility, I realize they are not for everyone but I do thank you for your consideration.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I can hear the black helos, V. *grin* Thanks again for another thought provoking essay, bro.

Category: Crime, Guest Post, Legal, Politics

Comments (17)

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  1. 5th/77th FA says:

    Good job VOV. I am proud to be a member of the only demographic that doesn’t have “special” protections…..The horror….I was born a white male….I identify as a white male….I will remain a white male… Is that my white privilege showing thru?

    Equal protection of and from the law. I’m down with that. Special protection laws? Not so much.

  2. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    A guy walks up to some folks on Main Street and dispatches them with a gun. His victims include a gay, a Muslim, and a woman. He surrenders when confronted and is charged with three murders as well as lesser crimes. He agrees to plead guilty to one murder and is sentenced to life without possibility of parole. Now, suppose that part of the agreement is that he detail why he chose the victims he did and he says that he hates gays, Muslims, and women. The info is put in the prosecutor’s file and off the killer goes to prison.

    Another guy decides he wants to kill people. Same result in all respects except he says he killed the three because they were the first people he came upon when he embarked on his murderous stroll down Main Street. What is the difference between the two murderers? The answer, plainly, is what was in the mind of each. But what was in the mind of each is not, independent of the murders, a crime. Co figure. I can’t.

    Battery is an unwanted and unexcused touching of another. Punching someone in the face is a battery but punching a queer in the face may be a battery plus a hate crime, deserving of enhanced sentencing. Why? Social engineering through government mandate, that’s why. It is not that gov’t believes that someone will not be battered as a result of hate-crime statutes. It is that gov’t knows that for all of the various victim groups to be welcome by those of us who might despise them, that the coercive affect of law is a key method to get us to change our ways. I don’t know that the approach is working.

    • GDContractor says:

      “But what was in the mind of each is not, independent of the murders, a crime.”

      I REALLY like the way you frame an issue. //no sarc

    • 26Limabeans says:

      Nobody paid any attention to traffic laws until they started fining people.
      Queer punching brings in higher revenue than straight punching.
      More laws, more money.
      Ain’t nothin social about it.

  3. Poetrooper says:

    “Once you allow the government on that bridge it’s hard to drive them off of it in the future.”

    They’re three-quarters across it already and it may well require a bloody fight in the future to drive them off.

  4. Hondo says:

    It is but a small distance from “hate crime” to “thoughtcrime”.

    • GDContractor says:

      Exactly. And, not to be too “tinfoil” but, I am of the belief that if the government could know what our thoughts were, they would do it. Project MKUltra substantiates my belief.

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    Hmmm… I have a bunch of worn-out red t-shirts that need replacing before this summer ends. If it’s a color that sets off these brainless twinks, they have a problem. I ain’t giving up my red t-shirts.

  6. IDC SARC says:

    Thoughz popo?!?!…KMN

  7. Mr. Pete says:

    Also a Libertarian here

    We are legion,

    Cheers

    Randy

  8. Docduracoat says:

    Hate crime should be unconstitutional.
    Equal Protection under the law.
    Not some animals are more equal than others