Friday, October 30, 2009

Obama, Hate Crimes, and Some Are More Equal Than Others

Nat Hentoff of The Cato Institute wrote the following letter to The Washington Post, shortly before The Teleprompter Jesus signed the recent Hate Crimes Law (tacked onto the end of a $680,000,000,000.00 Defense Bill, BTW):

The Oct. 28 editorial "A civil rights advance," applauding President Obama's imminent signing of "hate crimes" legislation, ignored the legislation's plain violation of the 14th Amendment's "equal protection of the laws." As a result of this law, those convicted of serious bodily harm against protected classes of Americans -- based on their gender or transgender identity, sexual orientation, disability, race, color, religion or national origin -- could get longer prison sentences than persons convicted of bodily harm against victims outside protected classes. Perpetrators of a violent act not designated a "hate crime" -- for example, against a homeless person on the street, or a police officer, or a former employer -- could receive lesser prison terms.
Furthermore, the Fifth Amendment states: "Nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb." This "hate crimes" statute gives federal prosecutors the authority to try a defendant a second time for an alleged hate crime after prosecution in a state court.
Nat Hentoff, New York

Obama could've done several things to improve quality of life for Gay and Lesbian Americans. He could've finally become an advocate for Gay marriage, for instance. Here's an interesting hypothetical situation for you: Give Barack Obama the power to legalize Gay marriage, or the power to further isolate a victim group. Which one do you think he would choose?

He enhanced gay and lesbian minority/victim status. Instead of taking action to assist them in becoming like everyone else, he went to great lengths to keep them quarantined as a special needs group.

Almost all crimes are hate crimes. The perpetrators can already be brought to trial under existing law. But Obama has increased the penalty for crimes against some, relative to crimes against others. Does the idiot really believe this will help gays and lesbians?

The Hate Crimes Demotivational Poster came from here.


TarrantLibertyGuy said...

Thanks for this post. I actually didn't know that the 'Hate Crimes Bill' (gee, how '1984' does that sound) had a provision to RETRY somebody on the same charge! Holy smoke!! How much in violation of the Constitution is that???

I'll have to check, but as a guy with severe ADHD and you being a 'gay accepting Baptist', I'd venture to say we fit into a protected class. I'm just saying.

primerica said...

This new legislation is absolutely useless. Exactly as you said, instead of assisting gays and lesbians to be seen as an equivalent part of the community, they are now considered to be some minority group of victims with special rights over people without any significant "feature". That's clearly unconstitutional! And the possibility to retry the defendant? That's just a cherry on the hate cake. Lorne

The Whited Sepulchre said...

The more I read and write, the more I believe that Tribalism is one of the primary evils in the world.
I've started looking at political issues through a filter of "Does this increase or decrease Tribalism?"
In this case, it's an increase. The Hate Crimes Bill sets up more and more people to think of themselves as members of a group instead of as individuals.