I hate “hate crimes”

And so does Rogier Van Bakel over at Nobody’s Business. No sense in me writing about them when he covers every single base, here.

Being greatly upset does not give you the higher moral ground. It does not earn you automatic respect. It’s exactly the opposite for me: Play the “I’m really upset” card as if it means anything — an attempted plea for sympathy usually made by hypocrites and weasels — and you will earn my enmity and scorn. Claiming that intemperate words can hurt just as much as bullets or blades is, after all, the same lame “argument” that religious crybabies of various stripes love making. Improbably enough, they believe that they somehow have the right not to have their feelings hurt. (source).

Of course, I guess if you’re going to have hate crime legislation at all, it oughta include protection for goths.

10 Responses to I hate “hate crimes”

  1. […] recently featured CNN columnist First Amendment Badass renaissance man Marc Randazza says at this link. Share this:TwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  2. renegades0rants says:

    “…they believe that they somehow have the right not to have their feelings hurt.”

    I am, personally, pretty tentative when it comes to labeling any sort of speech as a “hate crime,” unless it can be directly linked to violence against an individual or individuals.

    However, bearing this in mind, let me point out that in many legitimate instances, it is about far greater damage than simple “hurt feelings.” Words do have power, and they can stir up a crowd more easily than calm it down. If that crowd is being goaded to negative action towards/against another person or persons, then such language certainly should be considered to be, at least in part, a criminal offense.

    Having said that, I don’t believe that such speech should ever be considered for legal action alone – There ought to be proof that it instigated violence. This is the United States, and everyone has the right to free speech, something I believe in with all my heart. Yet at the same time, just as saying the wrong thing at the wrong time may end up getting you punched in the nose, so too should violent speech which instigates violent action be rewarded its just desserts.

    Just my two cents, for whatever it’s worth.

  3. […] liberties Randazza links to an interesting article about so-called “hate crime” […]

  4. cspschofield says:

    I can think of no better way to make a minority despised than to make offending them a crime.

  5. Richard Hershberger says:

    “I hate “hate crimes””

    It seems to me that this post confuses “hate crimes” with “speech crimes”. The latter is a subset of the former. If someone goes out and assaults someone else because of that person’s race or religion, this is a hate crime which is an aggravating factor of what is already a criminal act. It is about the perpetrator’s motivation. This is no different in principle from the various levels of homicide. The objection in this post seems to be with regard to hate crime legislation which is not tied to an otherwise criminal act, which is indeed a much more problematic concept.

    • Derek says:

      The problem is that “hate crimes” are in fact “thought crimes” – in order to punish someone according to a hate crime law you have to divine their intent. Once a law goes past the act itself, and starts trying to read the mind of the person committing the act, it ceases to be about the act itself. What hate crime laws punish is unwelcome thought, which should terrify everyone. If speech (and thus the thought behind it) is protected in one instance and not the other, what is the justification? The intent to do harm is independent of a person’s bias toward a particular group; these laws imply additional causality that has to be gleaned by somehow divining what is in a person’s mind at the time an act was committed.

      • Richard Hershberger says:

        “The problem is that “hate crimes” are in fact “thought crimes” – in order to punish someone according to a hate crime law you have to divine their intent.”

        Do you find the distinction between various levels of homicide to be similarly problematic? How about other crimes such as larceny or burglary which include intent in their definitions? If so, then I give you points for consistency. But I can’t help but notice that I have never come across anyone complaining about mind reading and larceny.

        • Walt K says:

          You’re confusing two uses of intent. Criminal law for the most part requires intent to do an act. That’s all we’re concerned with. That’s different than trying to determine why they intended to do that act. The why behind their intentions is the problem with hate crimes.

  6. “it oughta include protection for goths.”

    I thought hate crime laws already covered gays…

    • renegades0rants says:

      “Hardy-har-freakin’-har… @$$hole.”

      Your comment, and my quoted illustrative comment, show exactly why we’ve come to a such a sad point in society.

      People simply lack the ability to be decent, whether in thought, word or deed. I have no issues with taking a comment such as yours on the chin, because I can see it as juvenile. Other people, however… Well, let’s just say they share your maturity to such a degree that words DO hurt them.

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