A small article in a recent USA Today mentioned that, on the previous day, the State of Maryland added homeless people to their growing list of people who are protected under hate crimes legislation. What this means is, if you commit a crime against a homeless person because they are homeless or a crime against a person because of their race, religious beliefs, national origin, disability gender or sexual orientation you will wind up with extra time in jail or an extra large fine — depending on the nature of the crime. If you commit the same crime against an old, Caucasian blogger like me, however, or against someone’s non-minority mother the punishment would not be that severe.
George Orwell drafted the first hate crimes legislation in his book 1984 when he introduced the “thought police”. That is essentially what hate crimes legislation is all about — what you were thinking when you committed the crime. It’s sad we have degenerated as a society to that point.
Sadder still, we will never get back to the day when all people were protected equally and none were considered special cases — legislation never seems to go away, it is just amended!
If you hate homeless people and go out and assault the first homeless person you see — that’s a hate crime (at least in Maryland). OK, I’ll buy that! Buy why the harsher sentence for the offender? Someone who would do that doesn’t need an extra year in jail or an extra $10,000.00 fine, someone who does that needs psychiatric treatment or perhaps that person needs to be waterboarded until he sees the error of his ways.
Seriously though, a harsher sentence will do little to make that offender change his mind and history has proven that harsher sentences that relate to “crimes of passion” have nearly zero effect on other offenders. When a person commits a crime bred by hatred, their brain is not fully engaged in the process, it all happens in the loins.
In spite of all that, here’s some news you might not have read in your local paper; this is from an article by Nat Hentoff, originally published in Real Clear Politics:
“Why is the press remaining mostly silent about the so-called “hate crimes law” that passed in the House on April 29? The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed in a 249-175 vote (17 Republicans joined with 231 Democrats). These Democrats should have been tested on their knowledge of the First Amendment, equal protection of the laws (14th Amendment), and the prohibition of double jeopardy (no American can be prosecuted twice for the same crime or offense). If they had been, they would have known that this proposal, now headed for a Senate vote, violates all these constitutional provisions.
This bill would make it a federal crime to willfully cause bodily injury (or try to) because of the victim’s actual or perceived “race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability” – as explained on the White House Web site, signaling the president’s approval. A defendant convicted on these grounds would be charged with a “hate crime” in addition to the original crime, and would get extra prison time.”
Hate crimes, in spite of the obvious Constitutional restrictions, will now, you can be 99% sure, become Federal law.
My conclusion is, the only hope for this country is to vote out every member of the Senate and House of Representatives, vote out Barack Obama and start over again. Maybe next time we can get people in these offices that have something inside their heads except greed, power and political correctness.
Real Clear Politics: ‘Thought Crimes’ Bill Advances
The Kansas Progress: Special Protection or Special Consideration?