Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Hate Crime Laws Codify Inequality

The reaction to the Facebook Live attack shows how recognizing special victims politicizes justice and foments discord.

The victim of the depraved crime captured in a Facebook Live video last week, a mentally disabled 18-year-old bound and gagged by tape, seemed confused and terrified as his assailants, at least one of whom he regarded as a friend, gleefully humiliated and tortured him. They cut off part of his scalp with a knife, punched and kicked him in the head, and forced him to drink toilet water, laughing all the while. According to Chicago police, the ordeal went on for hours.

Responding to an incident that was appalling in many ways, conservative commentators focused on skin color: The white victim's black attackers could be heard cursing white people, prompting demands that they be charged with a hate crime. That reaction illustrates how hate crime laws politicize criminal justice and foment social discord.

"If this had been done to an African-American by four whites," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on Fox News, "every liberal in the country would be outraged, and there'd be no question but that it's a hate crime." Glenn Beck bizarrely blamed the Black Lives Matter movement, tweeting, "Stand up with me and demand justice in Chicago for the beating of a disabled Trump supporter by BLM."

That claim, which gave rise to the Twitter hashtag #BLMKidnapping, apparently was based on the fact that the assailants repeatedly exclaimed, "Fuck Donald Trump! Fuck white people!" But it's not clear that the victim, who has not been publicly identified, actually supported Trump, and there is no evidence of any BLM connection.

Attacking someone because of his political beliefs does not qualify as a hate crime under Illinois law. But doing so "by reason of" the victim's race or disability does, and last Thursday four people—18-year-olds Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper, and Brittany Covington, plus Covington's 24-year-old sister, Tanishia—were charged with a hate crime in connection with the Facebook Live assault.

Hate crime laws typically enhance penalties for crimes that target members of certain groups. They therefore can have the effect of punishing offenders for their bigoted beliefs, since a defendant's statements about his victim's group may be cited as evidence of his motivation.

In this case, however, the hate crime charge is unlikely to affect the punishment Hill et al. receive, since they are also charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint, and aggravated battery. The kidnapping charge alone is punishable by six to 30 years in prison, compared to a maximum of three years for a hate crime in Illinois.

The hate crime charge may not satisfy critics like Gingrich and Beck, who perceive a racial double standard in the way crimes motivated by bigotry are handled. The Chicago Tribune reports that "investigators believe the man was targeted because he had special needs, not because he was white."

If so, this "hate crime" might have nothing to do with hate. Perhaps the attackers picked their victim because they thought he was an easy target, not because they had any particular animus against people with disabilities.

Such speculation about motives probably gives the assailants, who were impulsively cruel and stupid enough to stream their crime live, too much credit. Trying to parse the role that the victim's race or disability played in this senseless display of sadism seems like a vain exercise—unless you are trying to score political points or advance your group's claim to special treatment.

Because hate crime laws elevate some victims above others, their scope tends to expand over time. If race and religion are covered, doesn't fairness demand that disability, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity be included as well?

A Louisiana law that took effect last summer classifies attacks on police officers, firefighters, or paramedics as hate crimes too. Similar "Blue Lives Matter" bills have been introduced in several other states.

This unseemly competition, in which interest groups vie for recognition and status, has very little to do with justice, which requires equal treatment under the law.

© Copyright 2017 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Identity politics turns every interaction between members of different groups into Political Warfare

  • buybuydandavis||

    Identity politics turns every interaction between members of different groups into Political Warfare

  • Swiss Servator||

    Squirrel identity!

  • straffinrun||

    Wonder why conservatives focused on race. It's a mystery.

  • ThomasD||

    Sullum could have simply reprised this article.

    http://reason.com/blog/2015/06.....ylann-roof

    Except that the Feds are staying out of this one.

    Why? It's a mystery.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Another big difference is that Sullum is downplaying the idea that race was a factor in this case.

  • croaker||

    Which just sends people into an incoherent rage. For the past 40 years, it has been made clear by more subtle means that white men can't be the victims of discrimination. Now it is blatant.

    Not a hate crime? If the races had been reversed damn skippy it would be charged as a hate crime.

    And in 9 days Donald Trump takes office. Winter Is Coming.

  • SugarFree||

    It has been charged as a hate crime.

  • ant1sthenes||

    On the basis of disability, is what I heard.

  • SugarFree||

    If you disagree with there being hate crimes, why want them charged at all?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Consistency of law is of value, even if the law in question sucks. If you're going to systematically refuse to apply the law to some people, what you're doing is turning the law into a weapon to be used on those people's behalf.

    If a state were to ban chewing gum, but systematically only used it to arrest black people chewing gum, ignoring whites or Asians doing it, I think that is a worse outcome than arresting everyone chewing gum.

  • SugarFree||

    Consistency of law is of value, even if the law in question sucks.

    Sort of like thinking that if the government is going to recognize marriage then it should also recognize same-sex marriage?

  • ant1sthenes||

    Yes, better than the status quo, but getting the state out of marriage altogether would be best. And equally decriminalizing unpopular viewpoints would be best.

  • Jordan||

    Sort of like thinking that if the government is going to recognize marriage then it should also recognize same-sex marriage?

    Niiiiice.

  • Jgalt1975||

    Yes, that burn is going to require skin grafts.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Sure. And isn't that something the Court has already ruled on?

  • GILMORE™||

    Consistency of law is of value,

    "Hate crimes" are by definition a way to make application of the same laws completely inconsistent.

    If there's any 'consistency' at all in their application, it is in how they are used to advance prosecutor's careers. meaning = they don't charge them every single time the underlying crime best fits the requirements of the law; they charge them based on how much media-play they believe their prosecution will receive.

  • SugarFree||

    "Hate crimes" are by definition a way to make application of the same laws completely inconsistent.

    Completely agree.

    Throw these sick fucks in a hole and then throw away the hole; who cares about their thought-crimes?

  • ant1sthenes||

    I don't know that people care about the result, so much as what it signifies -- rampant structural discrimination against whites in all prog-controlled institutions.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    SF is clearly just trolling here. No matter what you say, he will have some contrarian response.

  • SugarFree||

    No matter what you say, he will have some contrarian response.

    The height of irony coming from Tulpa.

    Change your handle again, little bitch.

  • commodious just wasting time||

    Change your handle again, little bitch.

    That sounds like something a Tulpa would say.

  • See Double You||

    Saying "that sounds like something Tulpa would say" sounds like something Tulpa would say.

  • SugarFree||

    Saying "that sounds like something Tulpa would say" sounds like something Tulpa would say.

    A-HA!

  • Hail Rataxes||

    On the basis of disability, is what I heard.

    Each of the four accused has been charged with two hate crimes, one based on disability, one based on race.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Ah, ok. Actually, that's even more ludicrous than the concept of hate crimes. Intersectionality's a bitch.

  • masculistman||

    Another big difference is that Sullum is downplaying the idea that race was a factor in this case.

    Sounds like he is the token liberal at Reason.

  • GILMORE™||

    the Feds are staying out of this one

    really? are there no federal charges at all?

  • UnCivilServant||

    It's "a local story"

  • ||

    Wait until the Sessionosaurus rides into town. Not only will the feds get involved, but there's going to be some marijuana to blame for this!

  • GILMORE™||

    i chuckled

  • The Fusionist||

    Yeah, they should focus on all those pro-Trump hate crimes the media has been chronicling.

  • croaker||

    You mean the self-inflicted wounds they're trying to blame on Trump supporters?

  • The Fusionist||

    You weren't supposed to *follow up* on those allegations.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    The hate crime charge may not satisfy critics like Gingrich and Beck, who perceive a racial double standard in the way crimes motivated by bigotry are handled. The Chicago Tribune reports that "investigators believe the man was targeted because he had special needs, not because he was white."

    How do you justify the assumption that the media and the police would never lie to protect their narrative?

    It's rare to see Reason uncritically accept police statements as fact, but we just found that unicorn.

  • timbo||

    So his being white had nothing to do with it. That seems acceptable given the video evidence.

    These savages are racists and this was motivated by intense racial ignorance. Why is that so hard to say?

    Now they should be convicted for the crime of beating and torturing a person. That's about it.

  • Hail Rataxes||

    Why is that so hard to say?

    Because only John can read minds.

  • WTF||

    You don't need to read minds in this case, they repeatedly said "fuck whitey" and "fuck Trump" while torturing this kid. Their motives are not a mystery.

  • Hail Rataxes||

    So I guess you and John both then.

  • WTF||

    What do you think it means when they say "fuck whitey" while torturing a white kid? That race had nothing to do with it? Really?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    What do you think it means when they say "fuck whitey" while torturing a white kid?

    They get off on race-based BDSM?

  • See Double You||

    You must include the courts, then, as mind readers, since many crimes require a showing of the requisite mens rea to convict.

  • sarcasmic||

    How much do you charge to cross the bridge?

  • croaker||

    The biggest racists I ever met were black. Remember the Samuel L Jackson character in the third Die Hard Movie? Imagine an entire neighborhood filled with people like that. It's called "Anacostia" and it's a part of DC.

  • ||

    But he was good at Simon Says and solving riddles.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Politicizing justice is what "social justice" is all about.

    Muslims call it "jihad".

  • timbo||

    How about just prosecuting a heinous crime?

    These people are savages like Dylan Roof, muslim vest bombers, school shooters, murderous thugs in US slums or in European ghettos.

    making crimes more of a crime is simply a case of a politicians thinking he got something done.

    Can people be more beaten, more robbed, or more dead?

  • chemjeff||

    I agree, hate crime laws are stupid, whether they are applied to the Chicago thugs or to Dylann Roof.

  • ant1sthenes||

    I think there's an argument to be made in the case of political hate crimes; e.g., if the government says "black people can drink at any water fountain they want", random attacks on black people for drinking at water fountains frequented by white people are basically the perpetrator's attempt to establish his own system of law and usurp the power of the state. IOW, he is using the one immediate victim as an example to victimize a larger group of people by making it more difficult to exercise their rights since the possibility of an attack will be in the back of their minds.

    Of course, there's no reason to separate hate-based terrorism from any other sort of terrorism.

  • FD||

    "... usurp the 'power of the state'... " Feh...
    No there is no argument to made whatsoever for "political hate crimes". If the perpetrator attempts to establish his own system of law on his own property, so long as there is opportunity to opt out of that property and avoid that property, then the property owner can establish any drinking fountain rules he wishes.
    If the fountain is 'publicly owned' then that perpetrator who attempts his own brand of justice is a god damned trespasser and should be forcibly removed from that public venue.

  • ant1sthenes||

    "... usurp the 'power of the state'... " Feh..."

    The state tends to look unkindly on it. But in truth, such acts are usually the province of tyrannical monsters who think the liberal states are not evil enough for their taste, so libertarians should be dismayed at the result, if not at the principle.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    hate crime laws are stupid, whether they are applied to the Chicago thugs or to Dylann Roof.

    Yes, they are. And they shouldn't be on the books. But, they are. And given that they are, the question becomes are they going to be applied consistently, or selectively based on race?

  • AlexInCT||

    Your problem is that you fail to see that the hate law concept was specifically created so they could justify applying the law selectively, Bill.

  • Password: pode$ta||

    Responding to an incident that was appalling in many ways, conservative commentators focused on skin color: The white victim's black attackers could be heard cursing white people, prompting demands that they be charged with a hate crime. That reaction illustrates how hate crime laws politicize criminal justice and foment social discord.

    So I guess I'm supposed to follow this logic... A group of black young adults tortures a white young adult while making blatantly racial and identity-political comments. Conservatives talk about the racial aspect of the incident. Ergo, conservatives are politicizing criminal justice?

    Honestly, regardless of the existence of hate crime laws, I'm guessing this incident and racial aspect would've gotten a lot of coverage.
    1) Everyone is already always talking about race and crime.
    2) The genius perpetrators live streamed it on FaceBook. Because what is evidence?

  • Rich||

    Attacking someone because of his political beliefs does not qualify as a hate crime under Illinois law. But doing so "by reason of" the victim's race or disability does?

    Because one *chooses* one's political beliefs? So, if a person *chooses* to identify as, say, African-American it's a lesser crime to beat her up? What if someone "disabled" by a broken leg is attacked as an easy target? Is that a hate crime or not?

  • sarcasmic||

    What if someone "disabled" by a broken leg is attacked as an easy target?

    That depends on how their leg was broken. If it was broken as a result of something that was out of their control, then it is a hate crime. If it was broken as a result of some choice that the person made, then it is not a hate crime.

  • ||

    If it was broken as a result of some choice that the person made, then it is not a hate crime.

    Bullshit. Broken bones and who you break them with are a lifestyle choice! I didn't wake up one morning and just decide to start breaking other people's bones. It was just something that happened when messing around with other boys as a kid and that I gradually grew to love. Next thing you know, you'll be telling me people who break bones don't have a right to get married.

  • sarcasmic||

    You misunderstand. I was talking about whether or not an attack against someone with a broken leg is a hate crime or not.

    If the person who was attacked, the person with the broken leg, had their leg broken as a result of something that was not a choice, then the attack is a hate crime.

    If the person who was attacked had their leg broken as a result of something that was a choice, then the attack is not a hate crime.

    Hate crimes are only hate crimes if the victim was chosen because of something that is not a choice. Things like race, sexual orientation, and broken bones from accidents that were not in their control.

    Things such as political views and broken bones resulting from choices are within their control. So attacks based upon those things are not hate crimes.

    Comprende?

  • ||

    Why don't you mansplain it to me some more?

  • sarcasmic||

    Nah. I'll just smugly manspread instead.

  • ||

    I always wonder what a love crime would be like.

  • WTF||

    STEVE SMITH HAPPY TO EXPLAIN.

  • ||

    I gave you a BP fastball there. Right down the pipe.

  • WTF||

    Hey, someone was gonna hit it.

  • R C Dean||

    And followed up with a euphemism!

  • UnCivilServant||

    I refer you to the myriad edge case sex offender registry articles on reason

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Perhaps Sullum simply expects better from the Conservative community.

  • croaker||

    Fuck Sullum. I expect the law to be equally applied.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Within libertarianism, the debate over whether equal protection of the law means that everyone's rights should be violated equally will rage in perpetuity.

    No need to go after Sullum. I might disagree with him from time to time, but he's so rock solid libertarian, when I find myself disagreeing with him on a libertarian issue, it's usually because I misunderstood something he wrote.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Anyone else notice that Sullum, apparently, felt it was unnecessary either to include the video of the victim being tortured and humiliated or to include a photo of the victim's face with this post?

    I am still taken aback by Robby Soave posting the video of a mentally handicapped victim being humiliated and tortured as well as the face of the victim in his posts on this incident--without any apparent concern for whether doing so contributes to the victim's humiliation.

    Posting the video was so inappropriate that YouTube finally took it down out of a sense of decency. I hope somebody talked to Soave and told him what's what--not that anyone should have to be told that contributing to the public humiliation of a mentally handicapped crime victim is pathetic.

  • Password: pode$ta||

    What's really crazy is that I still got the point of the story, even without images and videos!

  • Hail Rataxes||

    Anyone else notice that Sullum, apparently, felt it was unnecessary either to include the video of the victim being tortured and humiliated or to include a photo of the victim's face with this post?

    You know what I'd want if I were the victim of a crime?

    For my public humiliation to continue for as long as possible.

  • See Double You||

    Did you read the rest of what Ken wrote?

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Just like those pictures and films of the skeletal prisoners found during the liberation of Auschwitz and Dacau should be banned because they contribute to the humiliation of Holocaust survivors?

    Very, very few people watching that video will participate in the humiliation of that poor kid. Most people will come away with rage against the perpetrators. Which is why the leftists want that picture and video gone.

    Funny that you are on the side of the leftists.

  • SugarFree||

    Fuck off, Tulpa.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Looks like that hit the right nerve.

  • See Double You||

    I think Sullum is targeting progressives, who favor hate crime legislation, and not conservatives, who don't. Of course, the effort is probably wasted: progressives believe that blacks cannot commit hate crimes against whites.

    How does one reason with the unreasonable?

  • ||

    So basically, Sullum is now in on the giving a free pass to Trump trend. The evidence continues to build...

  • ||

    Hate crimes is an Orwellian thing. If I'm not mistaken, it's already illegal to kidnap, rob, and beat someone. This is just more proof that elected office should never be a full time job. We have far too many elected officials with nothing to do and too much time on their hands to do it.

    Also, I think some people are confused about the purpose of this hate crime stuff and how it works. The white guy in this case, cannot be the victim because he's both white and a male. Therefore, it's quite apparent I would think, that the victims are the ones who were doing the beating, by virtue of the fact that they are not white. I mean, come on, if we have to have such a thing as hate crimes, at least learn how it's supposed to work. I'm surprised that there's not dozens of articles and hundreds of tweets out there right now proclaiming who the real victims were in this case. The left are slipping, must be the TDS.

  • WTF||

    Yes, it's just like "privilege". The son of a poor white coal miner in Appalachia is "privileged" while the daughter of a couple of wealthy black optometrists on Park Avenue is not. Because "sectionality" or something.

  • BigW||

    Nope not because sectionality, just because skin color.

    The left is back to racism hard core, and it's a comfortable old suit for them to ware.

  • Password: pode$ta||

    Actually, see, it was really the victim's fault in this case because white people voting for Donald Trump is violence and the black people in the video are simply reacting with equal force.
    -prog

  • ||

    They were punching up!

    /prog

  • Password: pode$ta||

    More like cutting up, amirite?
    *puts hand up for high-five*
    *puts hand down, slinks away awkwardly*

  • See Double You||

    As I've argued before, there is no need for hate crimes to be a separate category of crime. The motive, whether it's racial hatred, greed, or even boredom, can be used to prove the intent element for most mala in se crimes such as those you listed.

    I'd want those who attacked me simply because they were bored to be punished as much as if they attacked me because of my skin color.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    By that standard, having several gradations of murder charges is Orwellian. The same act can be charged as manslaughter or first- or second-degree murder depending on the defendant's state of mind.

  • Number 2||

    The very notion of "hate crimes," which in reality does not identify a type of "crime" at all, but rather refers to an enhanced penalty one receives for committing an act that is already a crime, is preposterous.

    For example, if I were to club Barack Obama over the head with a crowbar while yelling, "Take that, you person with darker skin than me!," I would receive a greater sentence. But if I committed the very same act against him, with the very same result, while proclaiming myself to be an equal-opportunity thug who viciously assaults all persons regardless of race, creed, religion, national origin, color, sex, sexual preference, gender identity, age, actual or perceived disability, veteran's status, pregnancy, or (in New Jersey) the victim's atypical hereditary cellular blood trait, I get a lesser sentence.

  • SIV||

    If teenage bullying is a crime how about going after the bullying that discourages young women from pursuing a career in STEM ?

  • WTF||

    "Math is hard!"

  • ||

    "Math is hard!"

    That's what I always say to young women. Of course, my first name happens to be Math.

  • Rich||

    Telling someone they're "acting white" -- HATE CRIME!

  • Domestic Dissident||

    The hate crime charge may not satisfy critics like Gingrich and Beck, who perceive a racial double standard in the way crimes motivated by bigotry are handled.

    Is Reason seriously going to try to claim with a straight face that there is no double standard in the way black-on-white violent crimes are treated by the government-media complex compared to the way white-on-black violent crimes are?

  • SIV||

    Yes. Yes they are.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    Then they're as much of a complete joke as the rest of the JournoList.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    the government-media complex

    Typing "Jooz" would be much quicker.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    One needn't be an anti-Semite to notice that there is an exceedingly cozy relationship between journalists and the permanent bureaucracy. And I seen no evidence that Jews are disproportionately represented in either.

  • Agammamon||

    The kidnapping charge alone is punishable by six to 30 years in prison, compared to a maximum of three years for a hate crime in Illinois.

    In Illinois (like most other states with hate crime laws) a hate crime is a penalty enhancing crime - if a person deliberately picks a victim based on the perception of the victim's protected status the sentence for the underlying offense can be enhanced or extended. For example, someone convicted of an Illinois Class 4 felony, such as aggravated assault, can be sentenced to one to three years in prison. If the crime classifies as hate, that sentence can be boosted to three to six years..

    http://www.noll-law.com/2015/0.....-illinois/

  • Libertymike||

    There should be no sentencing enhancements predicated upon identity hatred.

    However, why should we ignore the fact that black folk are far more likely to commit interracial violent crimes than any other race? In 2013, a black was six times more likely than a non-black to commit murder and 12 times more likely to murder someone of another race than be murdered by someone of another race.

    In 2013, there were approximately 660,000 crimes of interracial violence involving blacks and whites and blacks were the perpetrators 85% of the time. This means that blacks were 27 times more likely to attack whites than the reverse.

    But, RAY CISM......................That's why blacks consistently outpunch their weight when it comes to anti-social and violent acts.

    There has to be a fundamental reckoning that black, in and of itself, is not so beautiful and should not be a source of pride or identity. Being negro does not entitle one to any special favors or treatment. The mere suggestion of it should be a sign for civilized people to ostracize those who propound it.

  • ||

    I seriously blame Democrats for this because of the inner city hell holes they've created, where the vast majority of this violent crime is taking place. IOW, it's environment, not so much race that is the determining factor in violent crime. Also, the war on drugs. When the cops go out to get the bad guys who are pushing the dope to little blonde haired girls on our playgrounds, guess where they go to find what they're looking for? Affluent white suburbs? Nope, guess again.

  • Libertymike||

    Agreed as to (1) the Democrats and (2) the WOD, but let's not omit or downplay "racial grievance" as one cause fueling the disproportionate anti-social and violent acts.

    Walter Williams has consistently written that the black family was more intact than the white family prior to the New Deal. He has also consistently reminded us that black neighborhoods were far safer in the 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s prior to the advent of the Great Society.

    It would appear, however, that there has been an unmistakable rise in racial grievance mongering manifesting itself in the form of anti-social and violent acts by the black community in the last 2-3 generations.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It would appear, however, that there has been an unmistakable rise in racial grievance mongering manifesting itself in the form of anti-social and violent acts by the black community in the last 2-3 generations.

    Ok. I would agree with that.

  • Libertymike||

    There are dopey white people who do not know of Walter Williams and who claim that black families were never more intact than white families.

    There are also smart white racists who do not like to hear that the white man has given us, ready for the laundry list, the following:

    (1) The Fed;

    (2) The income tax;

    (3) Woodrow Wilson;

    (4) FDR;

    (5) The massacre at Sand Creek, November 30, 1864;

    (6) The massacre at Wounded Knee, December 29, 1890;

    (7) The rape of the Philippines;

    (8) Marx;

    (9) Lenin;

    (10) Stalin;

    (11) Hitler; and

    (12) The warfare / welfare state

  • ||

    "It would appear, however, that there has been an unmistakable rise in racial grievance mongering"

    Again, Democrats and their identity politics.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I'm not exactly sure of what you're trying to say.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that it is beyond mental retardation to substitute individual accomplishment with a nebulous sense of belonging to a collective as one's source of self-esteem. This as true for the children of Mother Africa as it is for the Sons and Daughters of Huaxia or of Europa*. Additionally, I agree with you that prosecuting thoughtcrime is unacceptable in a free society.

    However, I am at a loss at to the connection between those two points and interracial crime stats. Does the fact that Black-on-White crime is more common change the fundamental truths stated above? If the situation were reversed and Jim Crow 3.0 swept the nation with a campaign of harassment, intimidation, and extrajudicial violence, would that somehow justify hate crime legislation?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    *Is it irony or just poetic justice that the continent itself was named after someone who hailed from homeland of the refugee horde?

    Anansi the Trickster plays the long game.

  • Libertymike||

    HM, its the narrative being at odds with reality.

    The rationale often advanced by those supportive of prosecuting thought crimes is that whitey is the personification of profligacy. The interracial crime stats constitute a fly in that ointment.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    That's fair.

  • Swiss Servator||

    Oh crap....

    http://denver.cbslocal.com/201.....ng-center/

    This isn't going to help the squabbling.

  • ||

    They were probably shooting up the pots, or maybe some newest most scariest drug ever. So there's the story. News update at 11.

  • The Fusionist||

    Unfortunately, there are lots of examples of black youths - generally from broken families - doing crimes against white people.

    Fortunately for racial justice, the number of young men from broken families seems to be increasing in the white community, so we may hope that the white crime rate will increase accordingly until we reach parity.

  • ||

    You can see this everyday in Balmer City. It's what happens though when you have a very affluent area on one block and one of the poorest in the country on the next. It's mostly cell phone snatchings because some dummies don't know when to keep their fucking phone in their pocket and are completely oblivious to their surroundings. But occasionally, you get a violent assault. And by occasionally, I mean several times a week. And it's primarily teens who are the perpetrators. As you were saying, broken families. Thanks, Democrats for doing your best to keep things the same.

  • ||

    As much as I agree with Dave Chappelle's bit about police brutality, I think there's plenty of evidence to support similar, yet racially inverted, 'silent waves' of crime.

    Certainly, the system is biased against certain races and/or towards certain outcomes. That still doesn't come close to entirely explaining stats like this or this.

  • Rich||

    During the assault, the men yelled racial slurs at the woman

    "You cracker honky!" -- HATE CRIME!

    "Wish you was a n***a ho!" -- Not a hate crime.

  • ||

    I dunno, Ruth Negga isn't the best actress in the world, despite her terrible Irish ancestry.

  • commodious just wasting time||

    I really hate the pointless MOTS angle shoehorned into stories to capture that vital POV of people who weren't involved, didn't witness it, and haven't got any particular expertise on the subject.

  • ||

    Obama's America.

    All healed up.

    On his farewell speech: 'That was fun! Can I do it again? I think the country needs to hear it again!'

  • ||

    And all his great work about to go out the window. All wee weed up.

  • See Double You||

    I don't know. I keep hearing that the Republicrats are scaling back their assault on Obamacare. That's precisely what the Obama Administration was hoping the result would be of its huge push in the last three months to sign up people on the exchanges.

  • ||

    Depends on what Trump wants to do. He has the only 2 balls of all Republicans in DC. They are spineless weaklings. From what I can gather, Trump wants a replacement. In my opinion, this is just the wrong way to go. Repeal the fucking train wreck now and seek out free market solutions to make it better. Anything the government does, no matter which team is doing it, will only exacerbate the problem.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The government has no business policing what people think.

    I'm partial to the suggestion that one of the important differences between authoritarians and totalitarians is that where authoritarians try to control what people do--totalitarians try to control what people think.

    In North Korea, it isn't enough to obey the rules. You must genuinely love what the government tells you to love in your heart--or else.

    Trying to control what other people feel through threats and intimidation is what psychologists call "emotional abuse", and the government has no business doing that--regardless of motive--but that's what hate laws do.

  • The Fusionist||

    Plus, if some youths on a crime spree simply kidnap and torment a victim at random, we're supposed to be lenient because at least it wasn't a *hate* crime?

  • Ken Shultz||

    +1

  • Rich||

    "Thank God it wasn't *terrorism*!"

  • ||

    Don't get ahead of yourself there. Thought crimes aren't here yet, we're still just warming up to that with things like hate crimes.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Hate crime is thought crime.

    You're being criminally prosecuted for what you believe about whites, blacks, gays, et. al.

  • ||

    Not entirely, because you have to actually do something, like this current case, to get slapped with a hate crime. When we've fully achieved the progressive ultimate goal of thought crime, you'll only have to write or say something that is determined to be hateful to get just as severe a penalty. Europe is moving closer to this by the day, so we'll soon see how that goes.

  • See Double You||

    Yep. Actus reus + mens rea = the elements of common-law crimes. So far, in the U.S. at least, hate crime statutes follow this formula. Dropping the actus reus element would probably violate the First Amendment.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Not entirely, because you have to actually do something"

    That part of the crime isn't hate crime.

    Hate crime is criminalizing what people believed while they were committing the crime.

  • Zeb||

    But they have to have been committing a crime. Thoughtcrime would mean you can be punished simply for having (really expressing since no one can actually read minds) wrong thoughts.

    Some parts of Europe are getting close, where you can be punished simply for saying certain things. In the US at least some parts of the 1t amendment are still respected.

  • See Double You||

    Thoughtcrime would mean you can be punished simply for having (really expressing since no one can actually read minds) wrong thoughts.

    And to me that's the crux of it: when does "expression" of a bad mind become an "act" for which a person can be charged with a crime? The broadest definition of the word "act" clearly encompasses all forms of expression - writing down words, for example, is technically an act, though one that we know is protected under the First Amendment.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "But they have to have been committing a crime"

    And they're already being tried for that crime separately.

    The hate crime charge is for thought.

    Hate is a thought.

  • Zeb||

    I thought it was an emotion.

    I'm not saying hate crime laws area good thing. Just that they don't quite rise to the level of thoughtcrime.

    Since there are places where you can be punished simply for expressing the wrong beliefs (or even just saying certain words), I think the distinction is worth making.

  • FD||

    Not sure, Hyperion. I'd say the "progressive ultimate goal" is not penalties for writing or saying but, rather, simply 'thinking' offensive thoughts.
    Of course this ultimate goal will require ultimate technology and ultimate control. Therefore, the goal may inspire some of the leftist Luddites to embrace hard science.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    That's not how hate crime laws work. You can hate as much as you like as long as you don't commit violent felonies.

  • ||

    ^this^

    We're not there yet. We need to move forward!

    /progtopia

  • Chip Your Pets||

    There are people who would love for that to happen. In pretty much every other developed country, hate speech is no kidding illegal.

    But the First Amendment is still an effective barrier here, as long as the people hold the line in revering it.

  • See Double You||

    Unfortunately, SCOTUS says that the First Amendment does not afford to private associations the right to not associate with someone on the basis of race or other protected class. That interpretation allows for a kind of hate speech law here in the U.S. if you believe that freedom of speech implies freedom of association.

  • Rich||

    Or express your thoughts in a "wrong" way.

  • Zeb||

    For example?

  • ||

    Use the "wrong" pronoun "on purpose" (according to the alleged "wronged" party) in NYC and get fined $25,000 USD. Also, when only the victim of certain, non-white demographies is qualified to determine alleged they didn't get what they wanted "racism" or "sexism" has occurred, often the only proof of this occurring is the word of the aggrieved and it's the Word of Sod, that's another one.

    That's just the tippy tip of the iceberg, Zebulon; I could do this all day for the USA alone. Throw in Euro-landia, then I'll be here all week.

  • See Double You||

    WTH, Groovus, where's your handle? It's just a white space now. I smell racism afoot.

  • See Double You||

    Never mine; something was off with my browser.

  • Zeb||

    Well, Euroland is fucked on that front.

    I maintain some optimism that laws like that NYC one will not be allowed to stand. The first amendment does still count for something.

  • ||

    Cut off part of his scalp?

    That poor kid.

    In this case, I'm just going to go ahead and judge them on their actions as human beings. And it's disturbing and depraved.

    If four white people did this to a black retarded kid (fill in the blanks)....

  • ||

    I don't think the left is going to like it when this bullshit is used against their special snowflakes. As usual, unintended consequences.

  • SugarFree||

    Well, there was only three of them, but they got no jail time. And they weren't charged with a hate crime.

    No Jail Time for White High School Football Player Who Raped Black Mentally Disabled Teammate With Hanger

  • SugarFree||

    According to the reports, Howard, who has a history of dry humping other players, likely "kicked the hanger multiple times, either embedding it into the rectum of (victim), or embedding it further."
  • ||

    Fuck me. Unreal.

    I guess it's all been done.

  • Heroic Mulatto||



    ▪ More likely than not "kicked the hanger multiple times, either embedding it into the rectum of (victim), or embedding it further."

    ▪ More likely than not, the teammate who kicked the hanger "on other occasions … has 'dry humped' or simulated having anal sex with younger players."

    ▪ "It is possible but not certain that, before practice on Oct. 22, (the player who kicked the hanger) pushed (the victim) into the corner of the bathroom on the Junior High School side of the locker room, after his underwear had been ripped, and simulated having sex with him."

    ▪ More likely than not had his arm around and was possibly hugging (victim) when (redacted) grabbed (the victim's) underwear.

    ▪ "More likely than not ... was present and turned off the lights in the bathroom when (the second player) pushed (the victim) into the corner and simulated having sex with him."

    ▪ More likely than not "'dry humped' or simulated having sex with (the victim) in the cold storage room the football team keeps its pads, but this happened on a separate date than the other incidents."

    Repressed homosexuality is a hell of a drug.

  • Libertymike||

    When Huey Lewis was crooning that he wanted a new drug, I hope he didn't have this in mind.

  • kbolino||

    Unfortunately for the comparison, the case that either the original act or the undue leniency in sentencing were racially motivated is lacking substantial evidence.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Cut off part of his scalp?

    Cultural appropriation on top of everything else. One wonders why the Apaches aren't calling for hate crime prosecution.

  • See Double You||

    I know you're Tulpa, but I have to give you props there. Well done.

  • Ken Shultz||

    There's one other problem associated with hate crime laws and hate speech laws that doesn't get much press, and that's the fact that racists and bigots are generally snubbed in our society--because of the awful things they're free to say.

    Is there any domestic group more thoroughly marginalized in the public's imagination than the Westboro Baptist Church? And if they're so marginalized, it isn't because the government successfully, bullied them into being quiet with their hate speech. It's because of the things they say freely.

    If you want to marginalize racists, don't stifle their speech. Give them a microphone. There are no smart racists. They can't help but make themselves look stupid in public when they're free to say what they want.

    In France and the UK, they have legitimately racist political parties like the National Front contending for real power--unlike in the U.S. I suspect that's partially because they've outlawed hate speech over there--so the idiot racists never expose themselves with their racist speech . . . I bet they avoid using "hate speech" even when they're beating someone up.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I bet they avoid using "hate speech" even when they're beating someone up.


    +1 "Death to All Juice"

  • Chip Your Pets||

    There are no smart racists. They can't help but make themselves look stupid in public when they're free to say what they want.

    If they can't keep from saying racist stuff when there is no hate crime law, then how can they keep from saying racist stuff when there is one?

  • The Fusionist||

    "There are no smart racists."

    Even if there weren't, there have been plenty of racists who can fake smartness - so much so that they have doctorates and high academic posts (The "Herr Professor" of Nazi Germany).

    William Shockley was a racist *and* a Nobel Prize winner (and it was a Physics prize, not a touchy-feely Peace Prize).

    Thomas Cooper seems to have been smart, and he was also in favor of holding black people in slavery.

    Intelligence, Wisdom and Alignment are separate things - someone can rank high on one scale and low in another.

  • The Fusionist||

    It's dangerous to expect all racists to be dumb hicks...what happens when an intelligent racist comes along with specious but plausible sounding arguments? "Wow, I didn't know smart people could advocate racism, maybe I should look into it!"

    I think that looking at the evidence, and applying Christian and American principles, will show the wrongness of racism...but people should *study* this evidence carefully and really master the arguments.

    Volumes and volumes have been written to justify racism, these bad ideas have to be rebutted.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It says Shockley's reputation was diminished for airing his views on race.

    Stupid is as stupid does, and otherwise smart people can behave stupidly in all sorts of ways. When otherwise smart people are publicly advocating racism, they invariably make themselves look stupid. If there are racists who are otherwise smart, I am yet to find any smart racism, and the racists who are otherwise smart discredit themselves and make themselves look stupid when they publicly espouse racism.

    They should be free to discredit themselves in this way.

    There are people who think the National Front isn't especially antisemitic anymore, and partially that's because Marine Le Pen has successfully supplanted and marginalized her own father--who can't seem to shut up about Jews. To the extent that Marine Le Pen has been successful (and she's a legitimate threat to be the next French President on the back of her anti-immigration stance), it's because she's managed to get her own party leadership to shut up about shit like antisemitism.

    She has been greatly aided in this effort by France's hate speech laws. It is against the law in France to deny the holocaust. There probably wasn't a law that could have done more to aid the National Front. Back when their leaders were denying the holocaust all the time, they had no chance of taking over the Presidency.

  • Rebel Scum||

    "Hate-crime" is "thought-crime" and, therefor, is a concept that should not exist in what is supposed to be a free country, especially one in which the gov't is prohibited from interfering with speech.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Wouldn't wouldn't would wouldn't.

  • Incredulous||

    Hate crime laws are unjust since they criminalize thought. But people are right to see this as an obvious hate crime based on race and decry the current double standard.

  • R C Dean||

    I wish they would repeal all the hate crimes laws.

    Barring that, I wish they would never use them.

    If they are going to use them, though, they should use them consistently. This is pretty much where we are. This is an obvious, textbook example of a hate crime. Since they have charged others with hate crimes, they should charge these defendants with hate crimes.

    "Expanding" hate crimes to include black-on-white as well as white-on-black isn't really expanding hate crimes - no change to the statute need be made, it just applies the statute without racial bias. Don't we want statutes applied without racial bias.

    Nor is this comparable to expanding sexual discrimination statutes to include gender discrimination. That's a real expansion. If you want to analogize hate crimes laws to sexual discrimination laws, the comparable expansion of hate crimes laws would be applying them to politically motivated hate, a new category.

    So, given where we are, I would rather they be charged with a hate crime than not, since the alternative is racially biased prosecutions, which are a Bad Thing.

  • See Double You||

    Don't we want statutes applied without racial bias.

    The plain language of the Fourteenth Amendment would prohibit such bias:

    No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Emphasis added.

  • Azathoth!!||

    The Chicago Tribune reports that "investigators believe the man was targeted because he had special needs, not because he was white."

    Except that they weren't saying 'fuck retards', were they? They were saying 'fuck white people' They were saying that the victim was a stand in for Trump.

    ............and there is no evidence of any BLM connection.

    Really?

    There is nothing that suggests that these people were motivated by the 'kill whitey' rhetoric that BLM has become?

    Why is it that a white person can be attached to Hitler, the KKK, the Nazis and all manner of things when they commit a crime that offends right thinking people, but black people are never motivated by anything--except when they're giving speeches?

    I would bet money that these people heard a whole bunch of BLM garbage--maybe even went on a BLM march--or took part in the customary ancillary rioting.

    But the worst part in the whole thing is that none of them expects to have to pay for their crime. You can see it in their faces. They know that white people will find some way to blame themselves for their crime, that they'll figure out some way to sweep this under some rug. That the news cycle will go away and they'll get off--probably on some 'technicality'

    So--if you can get to the video, copy it. Several times. That way, when these four people go up for their ESSENCE award you can futilely post it and go to jail for racial intimidation.

  • commodious just wasting time||

    On the contrary, BLM has itself become infected by the latent "kill whitey" sentiment permeating black communities, maybe mostly fatuous, maybe sometimes not. I very much doubt BLM radicalized anyone outside a college campus, and even on campuses it's only managed to radicalize young blacks to be obnoxious twats.

  • ||

    There is nothing that suggests that these people were motivated by the 'kill whitey' rhetoric that BLM has become?
    ...
    I would bet money that these people heard a whole bunch of BLM garbage--maybe even went on a BLM march--or took part in the customary ancillary rioting.

    Do you have any intervening facts or suggestions? Stuff that most of us libertarians might call evidence?

    This B.S. is precisely where laying a battle flag on a statue of Robert E. Lee becomes synonymous with lynching. I don't doubt these kids are aware of the BLM movement. But, barring that they met at a BLM rally, left a BLM rally and immediately set upon their victim, and/or someone at this BLM rally convinced/persuaded them to attack the first white person they came across or this victim by name (because white), you don't even have the beginnings of a case to make against them.

    I don't like BLM either. They're nominally the Occupy movement, refocused on grievances that are modestly more legitimate and offering similar amounts (zero) of reasonable/effective/legitimate solutions. I think they're disjointed and feckless enough to collapse of their own volition such that they don't need punched on the way down or kicked when they're there.

  • Azathoth!!||

    BLM does not have membership cards.

    BLM does not collect dues.

    BLM does not have strict requirements for membership

    BLM does not, in any way, attempt to limit it's influence

    Explaion why it is such a crime to suggest that these people were motivated --at least in part-- by the hate filled rhetoric that is BLMs sole product.

    I don't like BLM either. They're nominally the Occupy movement, refocused on grievances that are modestly more legitimate and offering similar amounts (zero) of reasonable/effective/legitimate solutions. I think they're disjointed and feckless enough to collapse of their own volition such that they don't need punched on the way down or kicked when they're there.

    Do you make this same argument in defense of Nazis and the KKK? No?

    Ah.................

    Evil should be kicked, hounded and driven out whenever it rears it's hideous head. It needs to be punched, stabbed and shot on it's way down and kicked, stomped, squished, and ground to a thin, harmless paste when it's down.

    We are when we are today because the evil hidden in leftism was not totally destroyed in such a fashion when it first became apparent.

  • John||

    The hate crime charge may not satisfy critics like Gingrich and Beck, who perceive a racial double standard in the way crimes motivated by bigotry are handled.

    Sullmn would be smart to stop letting his Prog virtue signalling get in the way of his point. There isn't a percieved double standard. There is an enormous double standard. Gingrich and Beck are right. And the fact that such a double standard exists does nothing but promote racial discord, which is Sullmn's point.

    Hate Crime laws do nothing but cause more hate, which when you consider that Progressives are behind them, is likely the entire point.

  • ||

    Gingrich and Beck are right.

    I don't necessarily see Sullum voiding their notions that there is a double-standard as much as distinguishing himself from any potential solution or redress Gingrich or Beck may come up with to the problem. It *may* not satisfy them. They *may* prefer an expansion of hate crimes to accommodate more acts in order to establish parity. I don't presume that to be their motives but I don't know the contrary to be a fact and I don't presume Sullum does either.

  • ||

    That is to say, I thought Gingrich's statement was concise and pointed while Beck's inclusion indictment of BLM seemed unfounded, divisive, and unactionable from a libertarian perspective. It's admittedly hard to know what countermeasures, if any, might seem appropriate to that sort of diverse or frayed thought.

  • John||

    Gingrich is a loudmouth. Beck is certifiably insane.

  • Libertymike||

    Perhaps I have not noticed, but my impression is that Jacob does not Prog virtue signal anywhere near as much as many other Reason staffers?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Sullum and Doherty's true libertarian credentials are as solid as anybody's. They're so solid libertarian, if they happen to land on the same side as progressives on any given issue, it's using a completely different process to get there.

    Sullum is the most libertarian person I know of.

  • Libertymike||

    Agreed on your perception that Sullum and Doherty are solid libertarians. In fact, I once met Jacob at a libertarian convention and chatted with him for about 15 minutes. A pleasant fellow.

    However, John does have a point with regard to many other Reason staffers and their propensity to prog virtue signal.

  • The artist known Dunphy||

    It's rising to the level of SJW absurdity.

  • The artist known Dunphy||

    Summary: Hate Crime Laws- a Savage Hypocrisy!!!!!!!!

    but GIVEN Hate Crime laws, let's apply them evenly and not look the other way in some cases and stampede towards Hate Crime indictments when it fits a preferred narrative

  • ||

    Due to the fact these stupid laws exist, we now MUST focus on them, because of their very nature, they can be very selectively enforced or broadened.
    To all the idiots saying "I wonder why they focused on race", the law demands that you do.

  • mtrueman||

    "To all the idiots saying "I wonder why they focused on race", the law demands that you do."

    People here don't need any law to make them obsess over race. It comes natural. It's part of our whiteness.

  • Old Monkey||

    What bothers me about hate crime legislation is not only does it value one life more than another, but can have unintended circumstances. ( I'm White and my wife isn't. Anyone attacking me is affecting her well being and income who is a minority, supposedly a major reason for the law) The Mathew Shepard Law from what I read about, was a sour drug deal between two gays. It is time prosecutors stop being lazy. Language during crimes certainly determine any malice of forethought, possibly leading to premeditation, or conspiracy. I don't know whether they charged Roof with it, but after a well deserved death sentence, and hope they are expeditious in his execution, does it really matter?

  • mtrueman||

    "does it really matter?"

    Motive matters.

  • Darth Squirrel||

    If you want to get rid of hate crimes laws, then the feral four absolutely need to be charged with them, because until proggie oxen start getting gored by them, they're not going anywhere.

  • Eman||

    Oh for fucks sake. If you say (or codify into law) that some motive for a crime is "worse", you're simultaneously saying other reasons are " better". "No your honor, bob's been my neighbor for a decade and he's a real douchebag, so that's why I shot him" would be a defense?

  • TheJohnnyAppleseedOfCrack||

    Gee, they look like such nice young men, I can't believe they would do such a thing...

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online