Hate crimes

Under a New Law, People Charged With Hate Crimes Are Disproportionately Black and Homeless

An anti-hate ordinance in Columbia, South Carolina, has so far been deployed against the marginalized.


South Carolina is one of just a few states lacking a hate crime law, so in 2019, Columbia's city council passed an ordinance to establish one locally. A year later, the results are in: Five of six people to face charges under the ordinance are black, and several are homeless.

"If that is happening, it is an unintended consequence," Councilman Howard Duvall told The Post and Courier, which reported on the unanticipated results.

In at least two cases, police were called to the scene to deal with homeless people who then referred to the cops using slurs. The victims were the police, according to the paper:

Rickey Smith, another Black man who listed a homeless shelter as his address, was believed to be under the influence of drugs while begging on a street corner along North Main Street on May 12, according to police reports.

While on patrol, the officer saw Smith in the roadway, weaving between cars and slowing evening rush-hour traffic. Smith ran when he saw the officer, according to police reports.

When the officer caught him, the two wrestled to the ground, with Smith accused of balling his hands into fists while atop the officer, police reports say. Reports say he used unidentified racial slurs toward the officer, who is White, and threatened other bystanders. He also allegedly hurled similar slurs and threats at medical staff when taken to the hospital.

Columbia has inadvertently simulated one of the principal problems with hate crime laws: Their enforcement reflects existing societal inequities. Far from preventing some scourge of hate, these well-intended laws typically result in over-incarcerated populations receiving harsher sentences.

This happens by design. Contrary to the imaginations of those who do not understand the First Amendment, it is unconstitutional for the government to outlaw hateful expression on its own. Hate crime laws pass muster because they criminalize speech that maligns a specific protected category—race, sex, sexual orientation, etc.—while a crime is being committed. It is not illegal to use a racial slur, but under a hate crime law, using a racial slur while committing vandalism, assault, or robbery could result in additional charges.

As a result, people who have more encounters with the police in the first place are going to find themselves in situations where hate crime charges could be a factor. This means that hate crime laws, by and large, are not mounting some significant challenge to resurgent white nationalism. Instead, they are often additional penalties for communities that are already worse off. And remember, the authorities have no evidence that the existence of such laws deters hate crimes at all.

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  1. Whooda thunkit.

    1. Good. Fuck em.

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  2. “Far from preventing some scourge of hate, these well-intended laws typically result in over-incarcerated populations receiving harsher sentences.”

    Did it ever occur to you that “over-incarcerated” populations are such because they are “over-offending” populations? And that the impartial administration of the law would be expected to produce results like this?

    1. Still no reason to throw more people in prison for longer because of BS like this.

      1. I oppose all hate speech laws. But Democrats seem to be gung ho for them. And a Democrat council passed a terrible law that is screwing over their voters…man, seems so odd. They never do that.

        1. “Democrats seem to be gung ho for them”

          Democrats tend to be weak people that crave control over the lives of others. Punishing wrongthink is very appealing to their kind.

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      3. Oh, I agree, “hate crimes” are a serious offense against the 1st amendment.

        I’m just saying that this is how you’d expect impartially enforcing “hate crime” laws to work out. The only way you’d expect (certain) minorities to NOT be disproportionately affected is if you were expecting discriminatory enforcement; Most of the racially motivated crime in the US appears to be minority on majority.

      4. I agree, a crime is a crime. If you committed it, the reason really doesn’t matter. Are you less dead if someone kills you for money than if they kill you from hate?

    2. I don’t buy the “well intended” part.

    3. Given the connection documented in the article to mental health deficiencies, no, not all “over-incarcerated” populations are such merely because they are “over-offending”.

      More precisely, some of them are “over-offending” by doing things that shouldn’t be offenses in the first place.

      1. Thank you for the autist take.

  3. let cops arrest people for calling them names……. who thought that was a good idea? did someone sit down and say, “you know, we need to make it easier for cops to abuse their power?”

    1. Now that you mention it… can’t they arrest people for posting stuff on facebook in England? Somebody needs to get to work around here…

      1. Patience, young grasshopper, patience.

        First we take away the legitimacy of the elections, then we take the power, then we take away the language.

  4. A Democratic stronghold (Columbia is deep blue in this quite red state) passes a feel-good law that has unintended consequences?

    Get the fuck outta town!

    1. “Unintended”

  5. Let’s be frank about something else. From my personal experience, if hate crime laws were enforced properly, then white males would be the least likely to be arrested.


    Because it is common for women to spout extremely sexist remarks, especially in the course of attacking men (often their husband or boyfriend). This is accepted and normalized by society to the point that even educated and proper women talk about how they want to kill or castrate all men and this talk is not only tolerated but applauded in some sectors of polite society.

    Similarly, racial slurs are considered normal in black society, especially in poor urban centers that are most likely to be committing crimes. This has been normalized to the point where black performers use profanity at a rate multiple times that of their white counterparts.

    To compare, the majority of white men have been drilled into them since early childhood to not use those remarks. While there are some (especially among the criminal class) who do, they are in the minority. White men who spoke like women or minorities do would find themselves not applauded but excommunicated.

    1. I violently agreed with you below.

    2. I agree, woman are much more likely to be verbally and physically abusive they are just smaller so the damage is usually ignored. They do this because they know they can get away with it. The shrew seems to have disappeared from popular media, sitcoms and movies. They used to be a common character in them when I was younger…the nagging wife and the husband who just takes it. Also you only see white people letting fly with racial remarks when they are too drunk to know any better or they are so mad they forget who they are.

  6. Damn Robby! You are on fire….

    I have a possible explanation, beyond the obvious “homeless people are crazy and they do crazy things and say crazy things while they do it” explanation.

    I lived at the intersection of black and white, middle class and poor for a couple of decades. My Ex was black. I’m not.

    We traveled the country together, living in the south. We went to rural country bars where she was the “only spot in the room” as she liked to say. We went to urban clubs where I was the only white person. We went to mountain festivals in Klan country. We went to rap festivals in the downtown hood.

    In all our years together, not one white person ever said a single thing to us. Nobody ever even gave us a sidelong glance. We went to a pentacostal church in the north Georgia mountains where they had pens of rattlesnakes in the back of the sanctuary for snake handling – no lie, that actually exists – and everyone was kind and welcoming.

    I cannot say the same for the black community. Mostly they were kind and welcoming. We went to the national awards ball for the black Masons. I was just about the only white dude in the room of some 5000. Everyone was perfectly kind. But we did get a comment or two. I can’t say the same about hitting the clubs in the black part of town. Pretty much every time, some guy (or several) would have something to say. Usually a guy or two would try to hit on my wife in a racist way – “you should come get some of this black *****”, that sort of thing. She caught flack from the Farrakhan crowd at work and around town. I was called cracker plenty of times. Hell, her mom called me “That f***ing white boy” for years, and she actually loved me…. I ended up writing her obituary.

    Casual racist language and racist behavior is not anathema in the black community like it is in most of the white community. When we went line dancing in Kennesaw Georgia, everyone was kind, even though that part of the country was known for having no black residents at all in the years immediately preceding our visits. So even if there are racists running about, they have been closeted since the late 70’s. By the 80’s, they just couldn’t show their face in public.

    Meanwhile, all you have to do to find overtly racist talk from the black community is turn on the TV. It just isn’t shunned like it is in the white community.

    So in the heat of the moment, a white person is much less likely to haul out some racial epithets than a black person is…. on average.

    So, lacking the social stigma to inhibit such language, a hate crime law could easily have a massively disparate impact in the black community.

    1. She caught flack from the Farrakhan crowd at work and around town.

      There’s a Farrakhan crowd where she worked?

      1. After reading “We went to rap festivals in the downtown hood.” I’m inclined to call “Shit that never happened.” At the very least, her mom was demonstrating some restraint in calling him “That fucking white boy.”

    2. SugarFree was much better and his fiction was believable.

  7. “If that is happening, it is an unintended consequence,” Councilman Howard Duvall [said]

    So the intent of the law was to fuck with whitey, not to deal with “hate crime”.

    1. Or the intent was to keep throwing minorities in prison so the Democrats who passed this can claim to represent the poor, oppressed, over-incarcerated PoC…

  8. “Columbia has inadvertently simulated one of the principle problems with hate crime laws: their enforcement reflects existing social inequities.“

    I couldn’t disagree with Robby more that this is a principle problem with the laws. We shouldn’t care what “group” is disadvantaged more. I care that individuals get affected. If a white personal is unfairly affected by a law, does it help that person that the law affects another group disproportionately? Screw group identity. There is only one problem with hate crime laws: they are stupid.

  9. Just so you know, hate crimes might actually fall disproprotionately on ‘marginalized’ people, because sometimes “marginalized” people can be at the extreme end of asshole.

    1. Police said the woman [victim] then went to a nearby Safeway…

      As the alleged victims continued to walk toward a Safeway…

      It might be a hate crime but… yup.

  10. Nothing wrong with that situation at all. It stands to reason that people with nothing to lose would commit more of these crimes — and when they do, they need to be made to pay for them. (Or would you rather have a situation like San Francisco, where stores all over town are closing because the city won’t protect them from huge, blatant thefts?)

    People who live responsibly don’t become homeless.

    1. The stores don’t need to close at all.
      They can do what I’ve seen done in central America.
      All the items on the shelves are empty boxes.
      You bring a cart full of the empty boxes of the items you want, and the person behind the bulletproof glass at the register takes out the real items from the store room and puts them in a cart (behind the glass.)
      Then you pay for the items.
      That is when they open the little one way window and push the items to your side of the glass.
      See? You are physically unable to steal.
      Isn’t that a better system?

  11. A question. How can it be called disproportionately if these are the ones who have done what is necessary to charged with ‘hate crimes’? That is like saying that the black population is being disproportionately charged with crimes when it is they that are committing the crimes. As we know that the black population in prisons is much higher than their percentage of the populations. But if the blacks are committing more crimes then their numbers in prisons would reflect that higher number.
    Now unless you are insinuating that more whites are committing crimes but they are either not being charged or not being found guilty or not being sent to prison which is difficult for me to believe.

  12. Fuck the marginalized persons mumbo-jumbo, what I want to know is: Did they ever catch Jussie’s attackers?

    1. They were caught. A couple of white guys from Nigeria wearing MAGA hats.

      1. Yep, they did it after a weekend of spit roasting Lil’ Juicy.

  13. Aside from being charged under the dubious “hate crime” law, is it wrong for Rickey Smith to have been arrested? It seems he was causing a danger to himself and others due to a drug induced and/or psychological mental impairment.

    The way Soave wrote this implies that the authors of this law would have it only apply to white supremacists if they could write it that way.

  14. It may be an unintended consequence but it was an entirely foreseeable one. By the Mckesson standard, “lock him up!”

  15. So, then, are Asians under-incarcerated? Should something be done about that?

    If hate-crimes receive harsher penalties than regular crimes, should love-crimes receive lighter ones?

    1. Should love crimes receive lighter penalties? I know what you’re trying to do. Are you with NAMBLA?

    2. Like murder 1 vs 2?

  16. Their enforcement reflects existing societal inequities.

    Would it be more societally equitable to enforce laws based on a quota system of some kind, regardless of who is actually breaking those laws?

  17. This is why I don’t fear Democrat power. I’m not their victim.

  18. hate crimes need to applied across the developed countries because hatred and jealousy really divide the people


  19. Hatred is by definition conflict, while conflict is speech is always caused by lying.

    Dumb fucks, who want to lie but don’t like being called names wrongly call name calling crimes, hate crimes.

  20. Libertarians,and actually all normal thinking people should be against the very idea of a hate crime.
    Assault, vandalism, and murder, are all crimes and should be punished.
    It should not be punished any worse because you personally did not like your victim based on some characteristic.

  21. “All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.”

  22. Libertarians, and in reality all ordinary reasoning individuals ought to be against the general concept of disdain wrongdoing.
    Attack, defacing, and murder are on the whole violations and ought to be rebuffed.


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