Civil Liberties

Adrift in a Sea of Middle-Aged White Guys

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San Francisco transgender activist Autumn Sandeen complains about the "Rhetorical Attack of the Anti-LLEHCPA White Guys." LLEHCPA is the federal hate crime bill, officially known as the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a name that not only generates a terrible acronym but also implies that the target is gay-bashing cops. Sandeen links to my column about the bill, grouping me with Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and Texas congressman (and GOP presidential candidate) Ron Paul:

It seems kind of strange to me that today's spokesmodels arguing against hate crime legislation are all white, middle-aged men—not a minority individual in the bunch. This isn't to say there aren't people who belong to minority groups that oppose LLEHCPA, but it appears that the loudest group arguing against this legislation are middle-aged white men. 

Looking at this small sea of white, middle-aged male faces speaks loudly to me about the lack of empathy that these folk who aren't likely to be victims of hate crimes have towards hate crime victims.

To me, it seems kind of strange that someone arguing in favor of hate crime legislation would single out people for criticism based on their race and age. I don't mind being called white, but I'd like to think I have a few more years before I qualify as middle-aged—although if I'm destined to die in my early 80s, I guess Sandeen is technically right. She also correctly discerns my sexual orientation, which is pretty impressive since all she had to go on was my photograph. I'm guessing Jews don't count as a minority in her book, in which case the hate crime laws she supports, which have been pushed by no organization more enthusiastically than the Anti-Defamation League, need a little editing. But if Ron Paul, the only libertarian in Congress, is not "a minority individual," I don't know who is.