Monday, November 19, 2007

"Hate Crimes" - Push Button, Get Banana

We had yet another large demonstration here in Washington last week as thousands of people marched around the headquarters of the Justice Department demanding Federal action against so-called "hate crimes." The immediate precipitating cause of this demonstration was the action of a few stupid louts in various parts of the country who have learned a valuable lesson: if you do something dumb and simple, like hanging nooses from a tree, you can get a level of national attention that your moronic actions wouldn't normally attract. News reporters will flock to your town, religious and civil rights leaders will fulminate, and the impression will be created that the nation is a vast hotbed of racial intolerance.

In the words of psychological testers: push button, get banana.

I read an interesting article not long ago (unfortunately, I have lost the link and so can't direct you to it) in which the author opined that the nooses and other manifestations of "hate crimes" would probably go away if people would just ignore them. Unfortunately, by drawing vast amounts of unnecessary and counterproductive attention to the actions of a few idiots, we encourage them. We teach them that they can spin up an entire country with their dumbass activities, waking up useless grandstanders like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and giving them an opportunity to push their own racist agendas.

Push button, get banana.

For the record, I think it's a stupid idea to generate laws against "hate crimes." If bigoted idiots won't obey the laws we have already, they're not likely to be deterred by new, vague and amorphous legislation that attempts to criminalize stupidity. Hanging nooses from trees is indeed hateful and stupid, but is it a crime? You can just bet that if someone is finally arrested and prosecuted for the heinous crime of hanging a noose on a tree or painting a swastika on a home, the ACLU will be out in force to defend his/her right to free expression, the Sharptons and Jacksons will piously thunder from their soapboxes, and reinforced battalions of lawyers will smell the financial chum in the water and flock to either prosecute or defend some drooling morons who aren't worth our attention in the first place.

Push button, get banana.

If you're looking for a real "hate crime," consider this one, in which a 19 year-old Saudi woman convicted last year and sentenced to 90 lashes for the crime of being gang-raped, has had her sentence increased to six months in prison and 200 lashes for "her attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media."

We surely do know how to pick our allies.

So let's stop this useless posturing and crowing about legislation against "hate crimes." Time and experience show that you can't legislate intelligence. The way to work against "hate crimes" is through education and strong enforcement of any actual, existing laws that have actually been broken. Otherwise, all we'll keep doing is encouraging stupid people to do stupid things, and letting the buffoons who profit from their activities continue to waste our time and the courts' energy.

Push button, get banana.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



The Mistress of the Dark said...

If only it was as easy as enforcing the laws we already have. But that would assume that all people on police forces etc weren't racist and took their jobs seriously, and we all know that's seldom the case :9

Amanda said...

I didn't know about the hate-crime-wave that you mention. I do agree with you that paying attention to these button-pushers will just encourage them more.

But then, in other parts of the world, the inability to demonstrate (or do it effectively) means that the general public don't even know of injustices that are happening. So, sometimes, you have to take the good with the bad in terms of demonstrations. There are always people passionate about voicing something if they're allowed to.

Sue said...

This is why I have neglected to join in on the debate, on my own blog, that is.

What the one kid did was stupid and mean-spirited, but the punishment did not fit the crime. I will refrain from saying more.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Good point; those involved in hate crimes will never listen to the law.

John A Hill said...

Some time ago, most major league sports decided that when there was any kind of fan disruption/protest/running on the field, etc., it would receive zero camera time and little mention by the broadcasters other that to say that there was a fan disruption. It has worked well and there are very few that are willing to risk arrest and banishment when they know that they won't get any attention and what ever "message" they have will not be heard.

Serina Hope said...

You are right, if they are willing to break the law anyway, new laws will have no impact whatsoever.
It saddens me that children are raised to hate.
I left you a prize on my blog :)