Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I Hate Hate Crimes Legislation

In this article about Mary Cheney's hypocrisy (quoting the inimitable Richard Kim's observation that "It's not like Mary Cheney's been quietly pursuing lesbianism by playing softball and raising cats in Northampton. She has devoted her entire career to providing cover for lesbian-hating organizations, corporations and political parties."), the Nation author concludes by quoting Kerry's spokesman: "She'd be more credible if she pushed dad's administration to support hate crimes legislation and equal rights for gay Americans."

Since when is supporting hate crimes legislation the litmus test for fighting on the side of Dorothy? I know I'm in the minority on this one, but I've never really understood why so many gays and blacks jumped on the law-and-order, right-wing bandwagon.

A precis (rhymes with chassis or with MC?): The US criminal justice system is deeply and profoundly unjust and racist. What's more, thought crimes are perpetrated by more lefties than righties, so we have a vested interest in protecting freedoms of belief and expression.

>Tags: news and politics, hate crimes, justice, gay


  • At 1:55 AM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    I'm not sure "thought crimes" is exactly the model I would use. It's not really as if it's so unusual to take motive into account in determining the punishment of a crime. We do it all the time. What is the difference between murder and manslaughter if not a difference in thought?

  • At 1:30 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Exactly. You, too, must be a Law and Order fan.

    To the extent that beliefs are relevant, the legal system already accounts for them via motive.

    I've read (I'll find articles later today) that hate crimes legislation is not a big factor in the big, Matthew Shephard-type crimes. It affects sentencing, but those criminals were already screwed anyway.

    Where it really makes a difference is in stupid misdemeanors like getting into fights. Then all of a sudden people are doing serious time for what were traditionally treated as insignificant crimes. Why? Because of their beliefs. Or, more often, because of what they yelled in the heat of the moment, which is used as a proxy for their beliefs.

    To me, that makes hate crimes Orwellian thought crimes.

    I could go on and on, but it would be more efficent to find a good article...

    Know who I'd like to hear weigh in on this? Our resident legal expert Emma G...


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