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A Retort to Two Friends

The post in question is a discussion about Indiana's lack of hate-crime laws, found here: http://bookshop.livejournal.com/834653.html

Both Samantha and Sara Jaye linked it, and it's a disgusting crime. However, there seems to be an insinuation that this should be given special attention due to the fact that the assailants claimed the reason they did what they did was because he was gay (something that, according to everyone that knew him, flat-out wasn't true). This is, of course, bullshit; you don't decide that you want to kick a man 75 times, drag him by his feet so his head bounces on the stairs, and TAKE A PICTURE to send to another backwoods, backwards, redneck asshole to show off in a red heat. These men deserve to die for what they did to this man; they show no remorse, and it seems that they're snickering at the thought of getting off because of the possibility of stringent homophobia. It's plainly obvious that they are inherently as evil as the acts they did.

But what I don't agree with is the fact that this crime deserves special consideration as a hate crime. I disagree because I disagree whole-heartedly with the definition of "hate crime" as a whole.

What is different about murder, whether it's done for money, for revenge, in the heat of a moment, or because of hate against a certain race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.? I see none. A violent crime, by it's very nature, involves hatred from the party doing the violence. What makes it worse that they're doing it to someone because they're black, or gay, or like to watch the Ice Capades? And where do these special designations stop? I don't know too many areas that have hate crimes laws that prosecute black men for killing white men simply for being white (and if they do, I don't see it as legitimately enforceable); why are we going to prosecute things the other way around? History? Minority protection? If anything, I think that's an enabler, and like Affirmative Action, it's a good, noble ideal that ultimately fails in the face of reality and respect for our fellow man/woman.

Instead of trying to pigeonhole our different groups into minority reports and assigning punishments dependant on who you beat up/killed/raped and why, let's toughen the violent crime laws all the way around. You decide you want to kill someone in cold blood? You're going to die, and fast; no major appeals, no drawn-out, waiting out process, one conviction beyond a reasonable doubt (And "I hate fags" doesn't count as just cause), two appeals, then bang, you're gone. As Paul Rodriguez said, "What does a bullet cost, eighty cents? Fucking bill me!" But it's unfair to everyone to have different sentences for the same crime to different people; it's unfair to the group that gets the short end of the stick because of simply mathematics, and it's unfair to those that get the good end because it shows a lack of respect for people as a group.

Isn't the aim of all of our minority groups equality? Wasn't the ideal of our Founding Fathers in America "Liberty and Justice for All", ignoring the fact that they didn't exactly live up to their ideals (you were fine if you weren't a negro or a woman)? Why do we want to step backwards on the basis of a knee-jerk reaction? I understand the feeling, but once you step back, remove emotions from the equation, remove personal affiliations from the equation (I'm not saying it's a reason, but for full disclosure, both people that posted about this - including the primary person that was aiming for this being classified as a "hate crime" - are noted bisexuals) and look at things objectively, the reality doesn't hold water.

Just an observation from someone that seemingly never has the time to make these anymore... or at least, to type them out.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 21st, 2007 12:58 am (UTC)
Personally I think the notion of hate crime is valid, just not under the light that only minorities should be protected.

Someone saying they killed a person just because they're gay irks me as much as saying they killed a person just because they're straight. What irks me is the hate itself - the fact someone thinks it's justifiable to commit that kind of atrocity based on their dislike/hatred for one characteristic of that person.

That, I think, is what makes the whole story more enraging - they do something of this caliber and brush it off on something so insignificant.
Jun. 21st, 2007 01:05 am (UTC)
To me, any violent crime is inherently a "hate" crime; the hatred is there to hurt or kill another human being. So therefore, if we're going to seriously punish people that commit a hate crime... we should be either locking up or killing anyone that commits one, depending on severity, no?
Jun. 21st, 2007 01:10 am (UTC)
Naturally. I'm not arguing that point. I just think the "hate" factor (or, if you would rather, the fact they think they can get away with it just because someone is gay, or straight, or black or white or foreign) contributes to people being generally enraged that they did something like that.

Reasoning can change the way you see something - although something like what these guys did is borderline inexcusable no matter the reason, unless the victim had done something of similar proportions to someone else, or something that outrageous.

(I'm of the mindset that, when you do something to people, you're justifying the same thing be done to you. By that same token, I would find it fitting if the... gentlemen in question were killed that way.)
Jun. 21st, 2007 01:09 am (UTC)
Seconded. It's their assumption that this somehow justifies it that bothers me.
Jun. 21st, 2007 02:29 am (UTC)
These men are evil, dear. It's bothersome that they think this is justifiable like this, but let's face it, they spent six hours beating a man to death, and would have shot him if they were smart enough to bring a fucking flashlight. The fact that they think it's acceptable because the guy might or might not have wanted to fuck them in the ass is trumped by the fact that THEY BEAT A NAKED MAN TO DEATH FOR SIX HOURS.
Jun. 21st, 2007 04:15 am (UTC)
And while I may have phrased myself poorly, I'm not trying to downplay the fact that that's pretty fucked up right there.

But frankly, yes, I do find it even more reprehensible when specific groups are targeted (and I don't just mean minorities).
Jun. 21st, 2007 01:18 am (UTC)
You do have a point. *nods* I just think something needs to be done about the fact that fuckers are raping and killing people for not meeting their standards of what's 'good enough' for society.
Jun. 21st, 2007 02:27 am (UTC)
Personally, I'm not going to worry about an injustice until it actually happens. If they DO get off, or get a reduced sentence ("Well, you killed him, but it was to protect your virgin asshole, and that's a noble cause..."), THEN it's time to scream, and no one's better at screaming about injustice than me.

I'm not going to rail at the POTENTIAL for injustice in cases where it's highly unlikely that the injustice will actually occur. Otherwise, it turns me into Chicken Little, you know?
Jun. 21st, 2007 02:44 am (UTC)
Society makes us paranoid. That's the problem.
Jun. 21st, 2007 02:34 am (UTC)
A murder is a murder is a murder. We don't need the thought police poking their little noses around in people's heads over such nonsense. Did they kill a man in cold blood, something for which they show no remorse? Yes. Then why they did it is irrelevant: They took the life a human being.
Jun. 21st, 2007 02:48 am (UTC)
One of the reasons hate-crime legislations -- heavy ones -- are needed, in my opinion, is the possibility of the murderer going on to kill again. The vast majority of killings are spur-of-the-moment and fueled by some sort of personal offense: a husband killing his wife for cheating, etc. The vast majority of killers say they'll never do it again and mean it is because they wanted one specific person dead. US law says a person is classified as a serial killer if they kill three or more people, with each murder separated by what I believe is three days. The vast majority of murderers only hit one.

If a person claims they killed another because of their skin color, or their age, or their sexual orientation, or their or their or their, he shows no remorse and, if placed in the same situation again, would most likely do the same.
Jun. 21st, 2007 06:02 pm (UTC)
This is why Ohio likes to use Indiana as a dump for all its unwanted people, I guess. There's always that outside chance that they'll get tornado'd to death if you leave 'em there long enough.

I'm not sure how I feel about not having hate crime as a special consideration for murder. The degree of murder is always about the why of it, and adding 'oomph' to it because the victim was a minority has been a part of the law for about as long as I can remember. The majority is enough of a problem that I don't know how safe I'd feel if hate crimes were removed from play. To me, it'd look like using less glue while hoping for the same degree of stick.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


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