If you're up on things going on in Washington, you know the Hate Crimes bill--the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act-- was passed by the House a few days ago. It is now in the Senate.
Now, I'm not against this bill for reasons some conservatives are. I don't have any fears that my personal rights are going to be violated because of it. Some have said that because of the vague wording in the bill, pedophiles could be protected under it. I certainly hope that loophole is fixed before it becomes law! But quite frankly, I think anyone who commits a crime against another person for any reason needs to be punished to the full extent of the law. Every single day we hear on the news that someone has been murdered or brutally attacked. Old people. Young people. Married people. Single people. People of faith and people of no faith. Black. White. Asian. Hispanic. No one is safe from crime of any kind.
But here's why I don't agree with these so-called "Hate Crimes" laws.
If someone kills another person, it's murder. Right? Then that person needs to be punished for murder. Life in prison or even the death penalty.
But let's say the Hate Crimes laws are in effect when the crime happens. Let's say the murderer hates gay people and kills a gay person. What then? Well, I don't see how the criminal can be punished anymore than life in prison or the death penalty. Do you?
OK. Moving on.
For the sake of argument, let's say the victim doesn't die. Let's just say a gay person is brutally attacked, as has happened, simply because he is gay. And let's say the Hate Crimes law is in place.
On that very same day, I am attacked by a stranger, too. Some creep wanted to steal my car and I fought back. My injuries are similar to the gay person. No, the attacker didn't necessarily "hate" me, but I was attacked nonetheless.
My question is, should the criminal who attacked the gay person get a harsher punishment than the person who attacked me?
Am I not as important as a gay or black or whatever person? If we are going to call out for EQUALITY, then yes, let's have equality. Hate Crimes legislation is not equal. It puts a greater value on those protected under it.
Apparently I would not be protected from hate according to this bill. I am a white, heterosexual woman. If someone kills me for my purse or my car, it's not considered a "hate crime." Doesn't matter that the murderer took my life. He supposedly didn't hate me when he did it, so therefore it's not a "hate crime."
Guess what, folks? I'd still be dead! My kids would still lose their mother. Doesn't the person who took my life deserve to be punished in the same way as the criminal who murdered the gay person? Or the black person? Or a Muslim person? Our country (and the world, really) has a shameful past of placing greater value on certain people because of the color of their skin. It seems to me that "hate crimes" legislation does basically the same thing. It places greater value on certain groups of people over the rest of the population.
And from what I've seen, just about everyone could stake a claim to being hated by someone else. People hate me because I'm a Christian. Because I'm American. Because I'm middle-class. Because I'm a woman. Because I'm alive! There are no parameters to hatred, folks! It abounds throughout the world!
So, there's my beef with so-called "hate crimes" legislation. I think the law should cover everyone and not make anyone more important than their fellow human beings. Not for race, religion, sexual orientation or station in life.