Seriously Wrong on Rights

Judging people by the content of their characters or their behaviors rather than race, gender or status marks you as a conservative. The left wing civil rights industry has long since moved into identity politics. What we used to call racism of sexism is now seen as progressive. This is a serious and pernicious error.

We should treat all BEHAVIORS consistently, w/o regard to who is doing what. This was the basis of all true civil rights movements. This is still the way civil rights are sold to the general public. But this is no longer where the civil right movements (there are many) are today.

The concept of rights has debauched into the idea of protecting groups instead of protecting individuals and protecting status instead of good behavior. We now MUST judge more often by who the person is than by what he/she is doing. In our current legal environment, before taking any action, a savvy person needs to determine the status of the person in question. People who can claim membership in a protected group can often behave with impunity in ways that would get others in serious trouble. Everything has become a rights issue.

At a recent home owners' symposium, we learned that parking enforcement was a rights issue. We learned that occupancy rules were rights issues. We learned that messes in your front yard, not mowing your lawn, not cleaning your rain gutters or making your garage into an additional bedroom were rights issues.

At work, I understand that being lazy, not having the proper job skills, excessive absenteeism or just plain cussedness are rights issues. (BTW - I recently received special praise for promoting the careers of three African American employees. I rejected the praise. I promoted them because they were the most qualified. They had earned their success by their behaviors. It was demeaning to them and to me to suggest otherwise. This is a true rights issue, but since I am not PC it is NOT.)

In daily life, I know that driving recklessly, working illegally and disturbing the peace are rights issues.

The Congress is considering hate crime legislation. Is it different if someone kills me to get my money or if someone kills me because he just doesn't like my looks? Only someone who looks like me has a right to attack me. That is what the hate crime bill is saying. It is not very comforting.

I have some simple principles for rights. I used to think they were just the right things to do, but now I see that they are on the right side of the political spectrum. Let me summarize.

We should consider people as individuals, not as members of groups. The test of bias is behavior. If two individuals behave in the same way, they should be treated in the same way. Individuals, not groups or behaviors, have rights. It is nobody’s business what you think, only what you do. We have a right and a duty to judge behavior, no matter who is doing it. In an increasingly diverse world, we need to get rights right.

Martin Luther King said it more eloquently, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." The same goes for all those other statuses we have so eagerly been inventing. I have always agreeds with ML King on this. I just wish more people in the rights industry had stuck with him too.

Posted by Jack at May 13, 2007 11:37 AM
Comments
Comment #220215

Amen and God bless Jack.

Posted by: Jim at May 13, 2007 12:21 PM
Comment #220217

How true, How true.

Posted by: KAP at May 13, 2007 1:11 PM
Comment #220219

Jack, how very short-sighted of you to project that because you consciously judge on the basis of behavior, that whole classes of people are not treated poorly for no other reason than the class they belong to.

Just because race, sex, physical handicap, and socio-economic status biases are no longer institutionalized for all to see, in no way negates the studies and research that demonstrate that such bias and lesser treatement of people in those classes does not occur on a still very large scale.

There are still whole urban areas which see folks of color commute to the urban area for employment at low wages, but, at night, because housing is not available to them, the streets are noticeably absent of those workers. Housing discrimination is still rampant in many areas of the country, the means of discriminating are more subtle and far more difficult and expensive to prove, but, the effects of it are still obvious to any who look.

There are a couple of communities North of where I live in Central Texas which are agriculturally based. Look at the orchards in the daytime and they are populated by Mexican Americans. But, walk down their mainstreets in the evening, and you are hard pressed to see a single Mexican American face. Housing in these towns is not available by a variety of subtle means, to Mexican Americans.

I have seen this same phenomena in NorthWestern Arkansas, and suburbs of Dallas. Except for the suburbs of Dallas, these are not wealthy upper middle class communities. So, the cost of housing is not the discriminating factor.

But, it was very clever of you to frame this thesis in a manner in which anyone who points out patterns of discrimination is leftist and seeing what they want to see. That casts a pall on their data and research without ever have to review their data and research. A typical conservative ploy.

Your approach is to ignore the broad social studies on discrimination and broad effects of discrimination like lower pay for women for the same job, and try to focus only on the individual. But, the phenonmena of discrimination is one enacted toward whole classes of people, not isolated to a handful of individuals. Your approach is anecdotal, the left’s approach is systemic. Given that discrimination is a social phenomenon reaching out across large sections of the society, the left’s approach is appropriate, in terms of its studying the disparate effects and outcomes based on classes. These results cannot be ignored, hard as the right would like to reduce the problem to a one on one personal interaction.

What we need is an entire mindset change to take place as you yourself suggest quoting MLK. But, that can’t and won’t happen unless the institutions of the U.S. get in play on the issue, from places of worship, to housing everywhere, and and employment and schools. All those holistic systemic approaches like school busing have been working, and each new generation bears less prejudice and animosity toward racial and gender groups than the preceding one.

So, I wouldn’t be too critical of the left’s approaches. The data suggests those approaches have been paying dividends with each passing generation.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 13, 2007 2:40 PM
Comment #220222

Jack,

I would have to agree with David.

If society were truly as enlightened as we would like to think this wouldn’t be an issue.

Whole sections of our society are discriminated against on a daily basis, both covertly, and overtly.

“Is it different if someone kills me to get my money or if someone kills me because he just doesn’t like my looks?”

Jack, people aren’t taught to rob other folks. On the other hand hate is taught. Hate is sometimes fed and rewarded. Hate crimes can rip a community apart, rarely does robbery create the chaos that a hate crime can.

“Only someone who looks like me has a right to attack me. That is what the hate crime bill is saying. It is not very comforting.”

Where exactly in HR 1592 does it say that?

Posted by: Rocky at May 13, 2007 3:12 PM
Comment #220225

David & Rocky

If we get too sophisticated, we lose sight of the simple truth. There are still individuals who behave in racist or sexist ways. Al Sharpen leaps to mind. But the U.S. is no longer a racist or sexist society. When a black female replaces a black male as Secretary of State (the office first held by Thomas Jefferson), you see what is possible. BTW - both Rice and Powell are fantastic success stories. I often wonder why they are discounted - oh yeah, they are Republicans.

The civil rights movement has been substantially successful. It is very similar in this respect to the environmental movement. The current practitioners hearken back to earlier times, but it does not translate to the present. They have lost their way. I was very young in the 1960s, but as soon as I could understand the issues, I supported the ideals of MLK. The civil rights movement was on the side of good. But many of its currently followers wandered down a side path. MLK opposed giving some people privileges because of their group membership. He thought that we should judge by what people do, not what they are. I agreed then. I agree now. I wish others still believed.

David

I seriously doubt if your example of Mexican workers is a matter of race. Alberto Gonzales would have no trouble buying a house in a good neighborhood, as long as the Democrats didn’t find out first. You are mixing up race with behavior and income. BTW - don’t you think it is funny that we have so many “firsts” in the Bush Administration? The first Mexican American attorney general, a graduate of Texas public schools, would have been a bigger deal to the chattering classes, but - oh yeah, he is a Republicans like the Secretary of State.

This behavior and income thing re Hispanics is one of the things that made me write this post. I live in an area of single family and townhomes. Our jurisdiction have occupancy and parking rules designed to protect property values and safety. My neighborhood is very diverse. We have people from all over the world. But lately, we have faced a cultural problem with people treating single family homes like multiple family boarding houses. We have property destruction, eight or nine cars parked on the streets and lawns and a general problem. There is no racial component to my complaints about this. It should not be a rights issue. The irony is that the those most unhappy about these situations tend to be my first generation American neighbors. They come from all over the world. Several are Hispanic. They worked hard to get a piece of the American dream and are unenthusiastic about letting someone pee all over it.

So I return to my original idea. We should judge what people do. I am outraged if someone treats another differentially only BECAUSE of race, gender or sexual orientation. Why don’t we leave it at that?

The rule of substitution and turn around applies. If you would praise a certain type of behavior when a person of one race does something, the same should apply all over. The same goes for blame or censure.

Judge by what people do, not what they think or who their parents were. That is the American way.

Posted by: Jack at May 13, 2007 4:39 PM
Comment #220226

Jack,

Your post is the rambling of point of view that is narrow and sheltered.

I grew up in the South. I grew up in East TX. A place where racism and sexism are STILL so prevelent that African Americans get hanged or dragged behind trucks even these days. You have no idea.

I would also like to point out that your characterization of ‘conservative’ is as wrong as it gets, as well.

“Conservative” in the eyes of anyone who saw what I saw growing up means RACIST and SEXIST.

The only kind of ‘conservative’ I have any tolerance or acceptence of is the fiscal conservative…

…and they appear to be extinct.

Your BOY, bush, is the most fiscally irresponsible high office holder of any kind in American history. No room for debate.

Posted by: RGF at May 13, 2007 4:46 PM
Comment #220227

At best it’s a Catch-22 situation. If a women or a member of a minority is appointed or selected for career advancment or political office, they run the risk of being classified as being their because of their gender or race. The same cannot be said of white males who have held similiar position since time eternity in the United States. I personally know many white males who were appointed, selected or elected to respectable, high status position because they knew the “network;” many being as incompetent as they come. But no one rails against that because the core group within American society expects that.

Affirmative action was needed to ensure that people who were outlooked, because of the above criteria, could have the opportunity to serve with advancment. If you don’t think there are alot of incompetent white guys in one place who got where they’re at because of their racial composition just research your state legislature and Congress.

Posted by: Danny L. McDaniel at May 13, 2007 5:02 PM
Comment #220229

RGF

I remember the commercial the NAACP made about the guy who got dragged behind the truck. What happened to those perpetrators?

Indeed, I have not heard about those hangings taking place with such regularity down where you live. You might want to contact CNN and get them to cover them.

Maybe it is like all those church burnings. You hear a lot more about them than you can actually find.

Anyway, you are doing exactly what I am talking about. You are going back to the old days and trying to extrapolate. Yes, most people agree that times were bad. Yes, there were all sorts of laws and regulations (Dems like laws and regulations) to keep races separate and unequal. They were wrong. They judged by race not behavior. Why do you want to recreate them in a more modern form?

Danny

Affirmative action WAS needed. We agree. Today we should seek the best talent wherever we find it.

Posted by: Jack at May 13, 2007 5:11 PM
Comment #220230

Jack

“only someone that looks like me has the right to attack me’
You are just being silly. Assault is still a crime. Is the problem that any law that does not directly benefit strait,white males is disparaged? I thought you guys were tough on crime or is that crime that effects you? A hate crime is a crime in which the victum is selected by what they are based on gender,race or sexual orientation etc. , not by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Assaults based on race , ethicnicity and gender do occur all the time.These are especially repugnant crimes. The perpetrators exhibit clear malace of forthought.The victums are placed in separate catagories,not by the law,but by the criminals.Why should we not discourage this?

Why is the majority of the prison population black?There are only so many logical conclusions,all of them disturbing.
Among the.
1.Blacks are criminally inclined.

This is a favorite of grateful rasict everywhere. It is also rejected civilized,thinking people everywhere.

2. Economics.

This conclusion I believe has merit but to accept it means to admit that blacks suffer from economic discrimination. This is a hard nut for many on the right to accept.Denial basically. The evidence of it clear and overwhelming.Examle:After WW2 black veterans were denied the ability to use GI loans to purchase homes. The FHA would not loan money in black nieborhoods .Before fair housing laws blacks were not able to move to other ares.This was federal policy. They missed out on the stabilzing effects of home ownership that largely built the current middle class. Lets pretend it did not happen? No ,Jack.
Another effect of globalization has been to remove many manufacturing jobs. This has essentially remove the economic base from many black communities. Where there are people there is going to be an economy of one sort or another. Drugs and other illegal activities have filled the void with dangerious and tragic consequences.

3. The criminal justice system treats blacks unfairly on a grand scale.

Maybe. If this is the case we should scrap and build a more just system. Of course it is not overt,not any more anyway. Not having access to as good a legal council for economic reasons plays a part. Another is laws that hit black communites harder .Who was it that said,”The law in its majesty forbids the rich as well as the poor from sleeping under bridges.”?
An example: In Ca. the laws against crack cocaine,popular in the black community,are severe. Simple posestion can lead to long prison terms. The laws against powder cocaine,favored by rich white kids are treated as misdeaminors. The substances are chemically the same thing.


4. You tell me.Why is the prison population mostly black?Why are 80% of American black males involved in the criminal justice system?You can close your eyes and quote civil rights leaders the right wing formerly vilified or help make constructive changes in public policy.

Posted by: BillS at May 13, 2007 5:21 PM
Comment #220234

Jack,

“When a black female replaces a black male as Secretary of State (the office first held by Thomas Jefferson), you see what is possible. BTW - both Rice and Powell are fantastic success stories. I often wonder why they are discounted - oh yeah, they are Republicans.”

Great!
Just how many success stories are there compared to stories of those that worked hard all of their lives with no recognition at all?
Rice and Powell have special talents, and should be admired. I do notice though that when Powell stood up for himself he was jettisoned like so much detritus.
You continue to make this a Democrat/Republican thing, it’s not.
Hate is hate. It doesn’t matter what party is in power, teaching hate is wrong.

Posted by: Rocky at May 13, 2007 7:14 PM
Comment #220235

BillS

Perhaps my attempt at humor made you miss my point. The crime is the crime. It is not the thought that counts. Many states have the death penalty for murder. What are you going to do to someone who murderers out of hate that you wont do to someone how murders for convenience?

Re black in prisons - Most blacks, like most whites are law abiding. But blacks commit more crimes than whites per capita. You can explain the statistic as you wish. Perhaps it is the long term result of past racism, but the act is being done now. We can only change behaviors in the present. I would love to change the cultural patterns among the perpetrators. Crime in the inner cities got worse during the war on poverty. I am not sure how to change the culture of single parents, family chaos etc. Do you know how? I know the liberal thinking of the 1960s-1990s made things worse. I am not sure what will make them better.

What has worked with earlier integration problems has been work and holding to standards. Condoleezza Rice talks about the soft bigotry of low expectation. Welfare reform and charter schools have been promising in poor neighborhoods. I think we need to examine that. The liberal plantation mentality was a failure.

Posted by: Jack at May 13, 2007 7:16 PM
Comment #220238

If I were black I would be disgusted by the percentages you present.

Maybe instead of starting with easing up prosecution on the drug of choice maybe choose better leaders. Instead of Sharpton and rappers, maybe better off with Cosby and Rice (probably better ones but I’m not familiar). I think Cosby lectures on personal responsibility, staying with the family and not using blame as a crutch. I’m not sure placing additional handicaps on the rest of the population is a good choice.

I do high value home appraisals and see 1,2 & 3+ million dollar homes daily, and at least 1 out of 10 is owned by a black homeowner, I think thats about the % of population blacks represent. I think most of who you are talking about might be caught in the hopeless trap gov. assistance will put you in. I mean you live in America, if you choose not to take advantage of the system here I’m not sure how anyone could begin to try to answer your questions.

Posted by: andy at May 13, 2007 7:38 PM
Comment #220239

Jack, you are falling head over heels for the tokenism. Colin Powell nor Condi Rice were elected.

Duh! They were appointed to make the party look representative of the people in addition to their skills. Even if Obama is elected, the voters that elect him won’t constitute the majority of Americans, since only about a little over 1/2 of voters will elect for him. That will leave a little less than 1/2 who didn’t, and another 40% of eligible voters who don’t vote at all.

So, being elected is no proof at all that racism is dead in America. The best source for whether racism exists are Middle Easterners, Blacks, and American Indians. Polls show racism is still very much a live and active in America according to them, and they would know better than any others.

Afterall, you don’t poll those who haven’t been raped to find out if it is an injurious crime. Polling those who haven’t been discriminated against is no measure at all by the same reasoning.

Sorry, Jack, your article missed the mark by a universe or two. Hell, I get discriminated against for looking and dressing like a hippy. I have even a Texan redneck well driller attack me because my argument about his attempt to cheat me was irrefutable. The words out of his mouth were “You god____ hippies are what’s wrong with this country”. As if my appearance had anything whatsoever to do with my resistance to his cheating me.

Likely, his ASSumption was anyone my age looking like a hippy must be stupid from decades of drug abuse. In the end, he lost his case, and did not get the money he wanted from me. So, much for ‘stupid’ hippies.

Yes, prejudging people based on appearance is still very alive and active in America.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 13, 2007 7:39 PM
Comment #220240

andy, that is choice. Telling Blacks who their leaders and role models should be. Very choice. How about I tell you Nader should be president. Make you feel good? Hoorah!

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 13, 2007 7:41 PM
Comment #220241

Jack said: “I seriously doubt if your example of Mexican workers is a matter of race.”

Well of course you doubt it, Jack. You don’t believe racism exists to cause those kinds of effects: so of course you refute the evidences of it, out of hand. Of course you would, Jack. Assumptions direct people’s conclusions. It is basic rule of human behavior and logic as well. It is why every basic logic course teaches first and foremost to the skill of questioning one’s own assumptions.

A skill few master, true enough.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 13, 2007 7:44 PM
Comment #220242

David. Hey, a question was asked. My opinion (or statement) is what it is. Not being black makes no difference to me but it seems like a pretty simple choice to me.

As far as your mexican story. I’m with you on that one, I mean when I’m done with my work day I have to return to my hovel in shame. I want some 3 million dollar home made affordable to me. You’re spot on with this one.

Posted by: andy at May 13, 2007 7:52 PM
Comment #220245

Do you believe that either Rice or Powell was appointed as a token?

Re who knows about racism, there is no reason to believe people who consider themselves victims are in the best position to know. Arab Americans, BTW, make sigificantly more than the average American. So do West Indian blacks. Maybe the curse of having too much money is a real burden.

My father was a poor worker and a HS drop out. He was certain that the rich guys exploited the poor guys (like us) and that none of us had any chance to get ahead. When I tried for a good job, he told me not to try. It was only for rich kids. He was wrong, but he was sincere in his belief AND it was his belief that contributed to his lack of success and could have contributed to mine.

Re judging by appearances. That is done all the time. It is not the same as racism. We dress and act in ways to express our beliefs and personality. People are trying to figure out where we stand. I dress in a variety of ways depending on the situation and am treated differently. The Brooks Brothers suit makes the proper impression in some meetings. If I went to the forestry meeting dressed like that, I would have no credibility. When I ride my bike to work, nothing I wear is less than ten years old. The guys with the tight John Kerry bike pants diss me. Big deal.

Re questioning assumption, yes.

Is it because they are Mexicans? My grandfather came from Poland. He was blue eyed, blond haired and looked a lot like the then rich guys. His chances of buying a home in the rich neighborhoods were also zero. It was not racism.

I think you are mixing race with money. Across from me lives a black gay couple. Within 100 meters of my door we have Middle Easterners, Chinese, Mexicans and others. Somebody like my grandfather still could not live here.

It is not 1960 anymore re race.

Posted by: Jack at May 13, 2007 8:31 PM
Comment #220247

Since the hr 1592 hate crimes bill was mentined, I want to try to put an ice pick in it. Several admendments were attempted to be placed on the bill that would protect seniors, military personnel, and other groups. Each and every amendment was shot down. The bill is an attempt to give homosexuals special status. Hate is hate and is wrong. Anything that is done under a hateful act while committing a crime is covered by existing legislation. How many times have we heard “you cannot legislate morality”? This is thought control legislation. If enacted, it would be a crime for a minister, priest or rabbi to teach from their particular scriptures about homosexuality being wrong. Is this not an interference with what the left likes to hang out there as “separation of church and state” issues? Police departments all across the nation will have special training for their officers to learn ESP so as to see in the minds of those that say or do things perceived to be hateful by HR 1592. Hitler must have been reincarnated just to get this bill through Congress. Passage of HR 1592 through Congress is a black eye to our national legislative body. Signature of the law would be a travesty on our society.

Posted by: tomh at May 13, 2007 8:59 PM
Comment #220253

tomh,

“If enacted, it would be a crime for a minister, priest or rabbi to teach from their particular scriptures about homosexuality being wrong.”

Please show me where it says that in HR 1592.

“OFFENSES INVOLVING ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, OR NATIONAL ORIGIN- Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of any person—”

“Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution.
Passed the House of Representatives May 3, 2007.”


Posted by: Rocky at May 13, 2007 10:06 PM
Comment #220254

>>Do you believe that either Rice or Powell was appointed as a token?

Posted by: tomh at May 13, 2007 08:59 PM

Jack,

Powell was certainly USED as one…and then dumped on. I don’t know if it was because of his race, but understanding Cheney/Bush the way I think I do, I’d surely believe the possibility.

Posted by: Marysdude at May 13, 2007 10:08 PM
Comment #220255

Jack

You asked. Re. the official redlineing that deprived Black ww2 veterans from home ownership. Providing the same loan garantees to their decendants.As you have pointed out home ownwership has great benefits in stability,wealth creation etc.This would also give us to right a past wrong and give a shot to the housing market. A cure all? Of course not but it some positive we could do.
Before the shrieking starts bear in mind that this is not a giveaway. Loan payments still have to be made. This is not like slave reparations either. No’ forty acres and a mule.”This injustice occured in living memory and kept a large segment of a particular race from recieving the same benefits as others for their patriotic sacrifice.It kept them from the benefits a great many of us are still recieving. For example my mother is still deriveing income from the nest egg she recieved when my parents sold the family home,bought with the GI bill. This helps relieve a burden on us kids. My folks borrowed against the house to send my sister to college. There are millions of other stories out there like that.Blacks were barred from these benefits forever by an official government policy of racial discriminatio. Would it cost some money,sure,but so do prisons.
Treating drug use as a public health problem as opposed to the loseing “war on drugs” would also go a long way.. Its pretty hard to keep a family together when mom and or dad is in prison. Takeing drug addiction to the health guys where it belongs and take it away from the criminal justice system. The criminal justice effort has clearly failed. Time to try another approach.

Powell has credited affirmitive action for his opportunity to succeed. You guys should listen to him.

Your point about capital punishment is not germaine. What about assaults? Is gay bashing somehow a protected activity.Is it okay to engage in it and encourage others to? Why should it not recieve enhanced penalities?If you hit someone ,thats a crime. If you hit someone and steal their wallet that is an agravated crime calling for increased penalities. Same difference.

Posted by: Bills at May 13, 2007 10:12 PM
Comment #220256

Without knowing all the facts, giving black WW2 vet decendants loans sounds like an awesome and decent thing to do. But would you opening a can of worms (money and pc grabs) would be my only concern.

Posted by: andy at May 13, 2007 11:08 PM
Comment #220257

BillS

Assualt is an assualt. I do not think you can know state of mind.

I told the story on the other side re when I worked at a book store with all gay coworkers, but I will tell again quicker. One day all the guys came to give me a hard time. Seems one of our coworkers was beat up. My colleagues complained that straights could never leave gays alone. They described the crime and then explained that he had also been raped. The assailants were clearly NOT straight. Is this still a hate crime?

Re affirmative action - it has its place and WAS useful. We all like the affirmative action that spreads the wider net, but it often degenerates to quotas.

Re loan guarantees, I would not be against helping poor people buy houses with loan guarentees. I doubt this is what people really want, however. More likely they are looking for subsidies.

Posted by: Jack at May 13, 2007 11:14 PM
Comment #220258

All crimes are hate crimes. Why should one group be protected more than others. For a group of people that constantly complain about the lack of color blindness in this country, the liberals spend alot of time counting and trying to “quoatitize” everything.

Are there individuals that discriminate racially, sexually,age,income,etc. sure. In fact, one should look at the minorities as well. Where is the diversity in many chinatowns, how about some sikh neighborhoods in detroit, or mosques in this country, etc. Sure it is easy to place blame on us middle aged white folk for the countries racial ills, but the like the phone, it does ring both ways.

David, according to you, as a poolman working in all neighborhoods, I should be living next door to all of my multi-million dollar clients? Can you make that happen with a law or some thought police of somesort? Afterall, I am merely a glorified toilet janitor and because I can’t afford even a gardner for my house, I should be by law or liberal mandate be able to live in those neighborhoods?

Bills, should all veterans be afforded loan guarantees under the GI bill, yes. Should we back track, no. What about the Irish and Chinese railroad workers? Then are you saying that minorities are drug addicts? Thats awful! There are plenty of drug addicts that cross all lines. Plus, only the criminal addicts(theives, murderers, crimes committed on drugs are caught.)and to excuse behavior on drug addiction is just another bleading heart diatribe on removing personal responsibility from any actions. I would possit that most drug addicts know right from wrong, they just are to weak mentally to change. Drugs and alcohol are not the domain of the poor.

After you boil it down, Hate crimes means that it is open season on the white guys and everyone else is double jeapordy. Super! I am comforted by this new bill. Whew, was it needed. I would rather hunt with Dick Cheney.


Posted by: scottp at May 13, 2007 11:23 PM
Comment #220259
This is thought control legislation. If enacted, it would be a crime for a minister, priest or rabbi to teach from their particular scriptures about homosexuality being wrong.

Where the heck do you get this stuff from? Do they teach hate? I certainly hope not. Do they teach harming/killing people because of the hate? I certainly hope not.

There is nothing in that law that prevents these religions from teaching that homosexuality is against the tenets of their particular religion, whether it is or not.

What are you thinking that makes you so afraid?

Posted by: womanmarine at May 13, 2007 11:24 PM
Comment #220260

scottp, wow awesome post. Much better writer than myself come back more.

On the loans to the WW2 vets, I have a huge soft spot for the greatest generation. The railroad workers weren’t in Europe so I guess I’m trying to justify.

Posted by: andy at May 14, 2007 12:19 AM
Comment #220262

scottp I just reread your post. Just have to say again AWESOME.

Posted by: andy at May 14, 2007 12:48 AM
Comment #220265
You tell me.Why is the prison population mostly black?Why are 80% of American black males involved in the criminal justice system?

My thought is that it is mostly a product of three things.

1) The family structure of the lower class in this country is a joke. Parents (or parent) of children are not teaching the children that breaking the law is something you just do not do and have any kind of self-respect. Self-respect as a concept is not even considered a positive.

2) Minorities are used as tools in the political war for their votes. Trying to help them just enough so that they want more help without actually helping them as you would lose your reason to have them vote for you. Essentially these people are told that they NEED the government to help them succeed in life because without the government they have no chance. How many years/decades/generations of being told you are inferior as a class or racial group does it take to make those in those groups believe it?

3) Laws are written these days to target. It’s a sad but true fact. We don’t go after crime that is one person ‘damaging’ another (theft, assault, murder) but instead focus on actions that we want to promote or curb through the use of force. How many of those young black men in the prisons are there because of some drug law or theft in order to maintain a habit that is not being treated but instead being forced underground?

Of course if someone is part of reason 2 then they will discount the other two reasons as being irrelevant and blame it all on their opponents in an election. Just take a good look around at the conversations going on in this area, even in the comments of this post, and see for yourself…

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 14, 2007 2:46 AM
Comment #220267

Hate crimes legislation deals with motivations far stronger than being of a certain race when you attack somebody. There has to be or should be if there is not, a threshold of intent. Hatred should be strong, if not primary motivator.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 14, 2007 7:33 AM
Comment #220268

An obnoxious development in right-wing culture has been this reaction to multiculturalism wherein the person chastises others for being offended by comments that are quite provocative, and intentionally so.

Truth is, people try to avoid offending other people generally to get done what they need done in their daily lives. In areas where daily contact and interaction with somebody of different race, culture, politics, religion and other elements becomes more common, a certain level of political correctness and multiculturalism is inevitable, and beneficial.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 14, 2007 8:08 AM
Comment #220273

Jack - I find myself engaged by this argument. Your personal experience of human rights is quite clearly enlightened and, I think, appropriate. I particularly enjoyed your description of how the promotion of three people was based entirely on merit, and how you had the balls to reject the inappropriate praise.

The only thing I might find slightly strange is your suggestion that many spurious things are ‘rights’, such as gutters etc. I think you’re failing to delineate between human rights, civil liberties and rules and regulations. Housing complexes often come with a covenant - this doesn’t impinge on your civil or human rights. Driving, as established by government, is not a right but a privilege - one denied to reckless drivers and drunks, for the good of us all.

I think this discrepancy mars an otherwise excellent post.

By the way, I’m glad that you’re almost single-handedly holding up the right-of-center perspective. I enjoy your well-written and (usually) not-too-confrontational posts!

Posted by: Jon Rice at May 14, 2007 11:02 AM
Comment #220274

Rocky & womanmarine

Read the text of HR 1592. It is explicit in mentioning homoxesuality. One does not have to committ a physical act to be guility of hate under this law. The law makes it illegal to say anything negative against a homosexual. Therefore men of the cloth will be guilty under this law of a crime.

marysdude
you attribute a quote to me that is not true. I said not a word about Powell or Rice or tokenism.

Posted by: tomh at May 14, 2007 11:27 AM
Comment #220276

tomh, how dare your comment tell others to read the Bill WHEN YOUR comment OBVIOUSLY INDICATES YOU HAVEN’T?

For your dire need of education this is in the BILL:

`(A) IN GENERAL- Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, in any circumstance described in subparagraph (B), willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability of any person—

Your comment is either a lie, or it fails to take the meaning of the words above in the Bill. In either case, your comments have no credibility, whatsoever, when they demonstrate such opposition to actual facts and reality as the Bill itself demonstrates.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 14, 2007 11:46 AM
Comment #220280

tomh,

I have read the text of the law and nowhere does it state what you say.

Point of fact, I have saved a copy and posted parts of it here:

http://www.watchblog.com/republicans/archives/005105.html#220253

“Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution.
Passed the House of Representatives May 3, 2007.”

Admittedly I copied the first paragraph incorrectly, but the above is the text as it stands, and it refutes what you claim.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion in regards to homosexuality. Whether it is moral or immoral is your God’s place to judge, not yours, and that is in your Bible if you might care to read it.

However, IMHO, anyone that preaches hate in an attempt to motivate a weak mind to act on that hate against another human being should be held accountable as worse than even than those that would commit the act, and deserves the harshest penalty possible.

Posted by: Rocky at May 14, 2007 12:28 PM
Comment #220281

David,

Did you ever stop tho think that those Mexican American workers live other places because they want to live near people like themselves?

I too live in Texas in one of the Dallas suburbs, and I see a tendancy for the Hispanic’s to live near other Hispanics, Blacks to live near other Blacks etc. Look at Houston with a fairly substantial Vietnamese population that live in the south central portion of the city. Is it because the State or Local government say that is where they have to live or is it because they want to live by people who share their ethnic / cultural background?

Look at San Francisco (that great liberal bastion) with its China Town. Is there a China Town because the liberals cordoned off that portion of the city for all those of Chinese decent? Or could it be that they congregate together because they share common values, likes for food, language etc? The same can be said for most cities of any substantial size with large groups of a particular ethnicity.

This does not only hold true for lower socioeconomic classes. You will also find middle and upper middleclass neighborhoods with a concentration of a certian ethnicity or racial makeup that exceeds that groups proportion of the general population.

Posted by: Kirk at May 14, 2007 1:02 PM
Comment #220284

Kirk,
“Is there a China Town because the liberals cordoned off that portion of the city for all those of Chinese decent?”

Apparently you have no sense of history what so ever or you wouldn’t make such an ignorant remark.

http://www.sanfranciscochinatown.com/history/

“1859
“The Chinese School” was created. Chinese children were assigned to this “Chinese only” school. They were not permitted into any other public schools in San Francisco.”

“1870
Anti-Chinese ordinances are passed in San Francisco to curtail their housing and employment options. Queues are banned.”

Certainly these laws and many like them were passed by the “liberals” of the time knowing full well what would happen in San Fransisco over a 100 years later.

Posted by: Rocky at May 14, 2007 1:22 PM
Comment #220289

Jack,

There have two hangings this year.

I do NOT still live in East Texas, for rather apparent reasons, I never liked East Texas much.

It is not about re-hashing old news, Jack. The hatred, intolerence and racism still exists there, and in other places, to this day.

It is folly to fail to recognize this fact. If you pretend it is not still a VERY real issue, you ensure not only that the problem persists but also that it grows. Such is the nature of that kind of hatred.

Also, the fertile ground that this sort of thing grows in (around East Texas and much of the bible belt and the South) is the evangelical movement that has lent so much support to your party. It is a conservative pheonomenon. At one time, it was a Dixie-crat pheonomenon, but the Dixie-crats became republicans (i.e. Strom Thurmon). It has always been a conservative pheonomenon.

Posted by: RGF at May 14, 2007 2:42 PM
Comment #220292

Rocky, David

The bill has more than two paragraphs. On the way to a meeting; will follow up later.

Posted by: tomh at May 14, 2007 3:02 PM
Comment #220293

Jack:
“Judging people by the content of their characters or their behaviors rather than race, gender or status marks you as a conservative.”

No, it simply marks one as an intelligent, wise and enlightened individual and has nothing to do with partisanship.

“The left wing civil rights industry has long since moved into identity politics. What we used to call racism of sexism is now seen as progressive. This is a serious and pernicious error.”

A serious and pernicious error on YOUR part for claiming this. And doing so simply to dump on the left side of the aisle while using a broad brush to paint the supposed superiority of the right side of the aisle.

“We should treat all BEHAVIORS consistently, w/o regard to who is doing what.”

Said the conservative, believing that it’s just so much easier to look at the whole world in black and white, rather study cause and effect and be forced to acknowledge any various shades of gray…

“This was the basis of all true civil rights movements.”

In my view, the basis of the civil rights movement was the deep and abiding belief that words written in the Declaration of Independence (All Men Are Created Equal, Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness) and the Constitution (establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, promote the general Welfare, secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves our Posterity). That to have any meaning at all, they should actually be allowed to become an American reality, and apply to everyone.

“The concept of rights has debauched into the idea of protecting groups instead of protecting individuals and protecting status instead of good behavior.”

The concept of rights must naturally acknowledge individuals, as well as groups.

“We now MUST judge more often by who the person is than by what he/she is doing.”

We must take both into account in order for justice to be served.

“In our current legal environment, before taking any action, a savvy person needs to determine the status of the person in question.”

But that has always been the case.

“People who can claim membership in a protected group can often behave with impunity in ways that would get others in serious trouble.”

Judges and juries have always been required to consider a persons character, background and the possible motives of their behavior before making decisions and rulings.

“Everything has become a rights issue.”

Nonsense.

“The Congress is considering hate crime legislation. Is it different if someone kills me to get my money or if someone kills me because he just doesn’t like my looks? Only someone who looks like me has a right to attack me. That is what the hate crime bill is saying.”

Nonsense. Read the bill.

“I have some simple principles for rights. I used to think they were just the right things to do, but now I see that they are on the right side of the political spectrum.”

You sound just like a Fox News zombie. Right side, GOOD. Left side, BAD.

“We should consider people as individuals, not as members of groups. The test of bias is behavior. If two individuals behave in the same way, they should be treated in the same way. Individuals, not groups or behaviors, have rights.”

In my view, is it wise to single out individuals or groups who perpetrate or incite violence against other individuals or groups. Why? Because we should not wish to undermine the establishment of Justice, or insuring domestic Tranquility, or promoting the general Welfare, or securing the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves our Posterity.

“It is nobody’s business what you think, only what you do. We have a right and a duty to judge behavior, no matter who is doing it. In an increasingly diverse world, we need to get rights right.”

I agree.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 14, 2007 3:35 PM
Comment #220295

tomh,

The most of the text in the bill is about how the Feds will support the States with law enforcement grants concerning the bill.

Of course the bill is more than 2 paragraphs (it’s actually 14 pages) long, but you can’t show even so much as a phrase anywhere in HR1592 that supports what you say.

All of this gloom and doom is mere speculation based on prejudicial hyperbole.

I have read the bill in it’s entirety.
It’s quite obvious that you have not or you could point out the passages that you find objectionable.

Here is a link for you to read it for yourself;

http://www.govtrack.us/data/us/bills.text/110/h/h1592.pdf

Posted by: Rocky at May 14, 2007 3:36 PM
Comment #220297

Lots of good replies to this article posted here. Especially Rocky and David Remer’s posts.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 14, 2007 3:48 PM
Comment #220300

Allow me to make a correction, since I was writing too quickly, and posted without proofreading. This portion of my reply should have read:
In my view, the basis of the civil rights movement was the deep and abiding belief that words written in the Declaration of Independence (All Men Are Created Equal, Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness) and the Constitution (establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, promote the general Welfare, secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves our Posterity) were the truth. That to have any meaning at all, they should actually be allowed to become an American reality, and apply to everyone.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 14, 2007 3:56 PM
Comment #220303

Kirk, whatever justification supports your comment’s segregationist view, I guess. Certainly appears to be the content of your comment.

Fact remains, racial prejudice abates as the races are mixed into social interaction and communities generation after generation.

And no, your view is illogical as demonstrated by the urban and suburban flight phenomena throughout the ‘70’s through ‘90’s. The flight resulted from folks of non-caucasion ancestry moving into their neighborhoods. As folks of color earned more, they naturally sought better housing outside their homogenous ethnic neighborhoods and communities.

Folks of color have the same aversion to poverty, and the crime and violence it fosters, as white people do. That, in most areas where there are poor ethnic centered communities means moving into non-ethnic centered neighborhoods.

So, your logic doesn’t hold up to historical social research.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 14, 2007 4:31 PM
Comment #220322

Okay, this is off the subject, I admit…but are there any Republican bloggers in this red column other than Jack? Don’t get me wrong, I think Jack is a smart guy, even if I disagree with him most of the time. I just can’t help notice that the blue and green columns on Watchblog are peppered with many different voices and points of view, but not so here. Are the red bloggers here fleeing their party, much like the GOP itself? Is Jack the only one left standing?

Posted by: Mr. Magoo at May 14, 2007 7:13 PM
Comment #220324

Because someone says something you don’t agree with is no cause to take a cheap shot and call them a liar or accuse them of not reading the document. I will take it that you have expired your best defense.

My Congressman sent me a copy of the bill.
I have read each and every word.

Section 6 (a) (2)
OFFENSES INVOLVING ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RELIGIION, NATIONAL ORIGIN, GENDER SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY, OR DISABILITY-
The opperative words here are “actual or perceived”.

Section 6 (c) (3)
“the term ‘gender identity’ for the purposes o this chapter means actual or perceived gender-related characteristics.

So there does not have to be a crime as we normally would understand a crime. If I perceive that a homoosexual is not living the way my spiritual leader says is the correct way, then both I and my spiritual leader have committed a crime under this bill.

That is thought control by Big Brother. In Canada they have a law very siimilar and people have already been prosecuted under the law for the example I gave above. Some European nations have similar statutes.

Posted by: tomh at May 14, 2007 7:37 PM
Comment #220331

tomh,

“So there does not have to be a crime as we normally would understand a crime. If I perceive that a homoosexual is not living the way my spiritual leader says is the correct way, then both I and my spiritual leader have committed a crime under this bill.”

Bullshit!

Read the whole law, it psecificly states that there must be violence involved.

Oh, and what part of this don’t you understand?

“Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution.
Passed the House of Representatives May 3, 2007”

I’v already posted this twice, hopefully the third time is the charm.

Posted by: Rocky at May 14, 2007 8:16 PM
Comment #220332

tomh,

And in case that was your “best shot”, here is the whole of what you quoted;

“OFFENSES INVOLVING ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RELIGION, NATIONAL ORIGIN, GENDER, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY, OR DISABILITY-
`(A) IN GENERAL- Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, in any circumstance described in subparagraph (B), willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability of any person—”

Posted by: Rocky at May 14, 2007 8:21 PM
Comment #220336

Tomh, I think you have misunderstood the text of the bill. The section you cite defines a hate crime as a crime that

willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of any person
. The words “actual or perceived” appear before the nouns that describe various groups of people protected under the bill; these words appear after the word “offense”. Because this is English we are talking about and not Spanish, French or another Romance language, an adjective must precede the noun it modifies. These words are talking about a hate crime committed against a person who is perceived to be a part of a certain group even if they are not actually a part of it. One example would be if an anti-Semite committed violent acts against me because I have many Jewish physical features due to my Jewish ancestry, but because I am a practicing Christian, one would require the word “perceived” in the bill in order to charge the perpetrator with a hate crime.

You say you have a paper version of the bill, but an online version is also available if you wish to read it.

Everyone,
Personally, I believe a crime perpetrated out of bigotry against a certain group of people deserves a greater punishment than one that does not because in the former case there are many more victims than the one who is at the receiving end of the assault, murder, etc. When an individual commits a hate crime, there is an element of intimidation directed to all members of that group. For example, pretend a person kills a person of African decent because this person registered to vote, and the murderer decides to make a public display of his crime by leaving the body outside the Town Hall with a note warning people of African decent not to register to vote. This criminal has now committed an act of intimidation against more people than his or her actual victim, therefore victimizing an entire community. This is why I believe the criminalization of hate crimes is a necessary step for our country to take for the foreseeable future. Perhaps a hundred years from now, the legacy of racism will be relegated to the history book and this legislation will be obsolete, but until then it should be an additional crime to commit a crime that intimidates people other than the primary victim.

Posted by: Warren P at May 14, 2007 8:44 PM
Comment #220337

tomh, your commentary’s problem is not with actual or perceived, but, the word OFFENSES which precedes those words. OFFENSES are defined in the bill as violent acts.

Sorry, but, your commentary could use a basic freshman year law course, which teaches, each and every word in a legal document has import, and generally will contain its own definitions apart from general language use, for the sake of precision. Hence, the bill defines Offenses for this express purpose. You cannot exclude gloss over that word and its definition and hope to understand the intent of the bill.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 14, 2007 8:48 PM
Comment #220338

warren p, the courts have agreed with you in the past. Hate crimes are commited against a whole class of people with intimidation of that entire class as the goal of the hate crime. Such was the case with lynchings of Black citizens without legal trial by the KKK, which involved two crimes, the murder of the hung Black person, and the fear and intimidation and threat that lynching cast against all Black persons.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 14, 2007 8:53 PM
Comment #220339

Ok Rocky let me make it simple. I READ THE LAW FROM THE FIRST LETTER OF THE FIRST WORD TO THE LAST LETTER OF THE LAST WORD.

I know what it says. And I stand by what I have said. There does not have to be violence involved to have a crime committed. Violence is covered in a myriad of other laws, so why do we need this one? Why do they insert into this law “real or perceived”? The word “perceived” is the opperative word for “thought control”. One cannot perceive violence and be guilty of a crime. Yet, this bill makes that so.

Go to some site that support homosexuality and you will find they are on cloud 9 for this law. BTW this law has aa one of its names “The Matthew Sheppard Act’.

In Philadelphia, Christians were prosecuted for publicly reading the Bible at a peaceful gathering. They were prosecuted under the Pennsylvania hate crimes law because they perceived that reading the Bible in public could incite violence. Now that has earned the title of BS.

Posted by: tomh at May 14, 2007 8:53 PM
Comment #220341

RGF

Do you have a link. Googling Texas, lynching or hanging and 2007 have produced nothing but a 10 year old kid who hung himself trying to play Saddam. Lots of times people talk about things that turn out to be not true or very different when you actually investigate.

Anyway, Texas has the death penalty. If someone kills someone, by hanging or any other way, he/she is liable to the death penalty. Can you punish someone by something more?

Adrienne

Identity politics is strong on the left.

Re behaviors versus status - sometimes simple is better. We want laws to be simple. Remember that half the people in the country are below average intelligence and others do not have the time or the inclination to figure out their personal liability on a color or gender scale. Better if we just make all the praise or blame consistent.

Re the Declaration and Constitution – yes. The laws should apply the same to everyone without regard to race, gender or political belief. Nobody writing those documents, nor most Americans today think that means equal outcomes from unequal behaviors.

Re groups - rights cannot affix to groups. Individuals have rights and they have the right to belong to groups, which they can voluntarily leave. The group has no rights outside the individuals. The concept of rights has no need to acknowledge groups except to say that individuals have the right to join them.

Re judging by the group, we only need to consider background in the respect as to how it has shaped the individual. Mere membership in a group may say very little about an individual’s motivation or even background. Our groups are sometimes just arbitrary. Race is certainly that way. You could just as accurately call Obama, Malcolm X or Alex Hailey Irish as African.

Re rights issue, I gave the examples of something as prosaic as parking, lawn mowing or living in garages. These are ALL rights issues these days. It has gotten pretty stupid.

Re individuals and groups, it is wise to identify violent individuals but not wise to treat groups that way. Let me be clear, in a sociological context we can do that, for research. We should not do it as a matter of law. If you look at crime statistics, you will NOT find that white Christians among the most violent or dangerous groups. Yet I am sure you can point out violent individuals. Conversely, not everyone who lives in the ghetto is bad.

Mr. Magoo

I am what I am and cannot be otherwise. Being lonely is not one of my problems.

Rocky et al

Re hate crime - if it includes anything (i.e. speech) that is not otherwise a crime it is wrong. If it includes things that are crimes anyway, it is redundant. We just do not need such legislation.

Posted by: Jack at May 14, 2007 8:57 PM
Comment #220342

Whether the language is interpreted as you state is not relevant.

When courts get hold of laws such as this, they spread the meaning, interpretations, context, etc. to fit their own agenda. So naturally when one of these cases hits the courts we will see the wide open approach to the law, its interpretation and how to expand on it.

Posted by: tomh at May 14, 2007 8:59 PM
Comment #220343

Jack,

Nowhere in HR1592, despite tomh’s parsing and assertions to the contrary, is there any hate speech included.
tomh doesn’t get that the word “perception” has to do with a crime of violence against a person being “perceived” as one of the groups protected by the law.

tomh,
Somebody is feeding you a line of bull if they want you to believe this is a “hate speech” bill.

Posted by: Rocky at May 14, 2007 9:09 PM
Comment #220344

Mr. Magoo, I think it is a sign of the times. I remember there was a dearth of Democrats responding in these columns after the 2004 reelection of Bush. Republicans were numerous and vocal. The shoe is now on the other foot, I think.

I wish more Republicans would chime in here. There are many valuable and important perspectives to uphold from a conservative point of view, like fiscal responsibility, states rights vs. federalism, and the older conservative tradition of exhausting all other avenues before resorting to war, and then only in defense of our nation.

Republican Ron Paul of Texas is calling for taking the dollar back to commodity based backing of value. It is an important conservative concept which should be thoroughly aired, and debated, as out national debt steps over 9 trillion dollars.

I don’t know why more Republicans don’t chime in here. My guess is though that many hear themselves asking “What is the point?”. The Democrats are back in control of Congress, and our President’s poll ratings are 28%, which is much less than the percentage of registered Republicans.

I certainly don’t want to see our government handed over to a one party Democratic government in 2008. I think that would be repeating the fiasco we just witnessed with Republicans. But, Republicans must find their core philosophy again and then their voice, if they ever want to do their share to keep this land strong, and prosperous. They lost it in 2004 when they reelected GW Bush, but they didn’t realize they lost their core philosophy until after the ‘06 elections.

No one is going to rescue true conservative thought and principles for the GOP if Republicans themselves don’t get it together amongst themselves. GW Bush was the worst person to ever hit the Republican Party since Herbert Hoover. But, with 75% of Republicans still standing by Bush, it would appear Republicans have a very long road back to consensus over true conservative values again.

This President has lead the party faithful far from their conservative roots, and they are now lost in Bush’s wilderness.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 14, 2007 9:10 PM
Comment #220348

Jack, in my opinion yours is very, very wrong. Civil order depends upon not allowing on class of people to act in hostile violent fashion against other classes of people. Is Iraq not an ample demonstration of the truth of that statement, for you? Hate crime legislation is designed specifically to insure a no tolerance legal position on one class of persons committing violence against another class of persons for no more reason than they belong to that class.

Such was the case with lynchings of Black citizens without legal trial by the KKK, which involved two crimes, the murder of the hung Black person, and the fear and intimidation and threat that lynching cast against all Black persons. And look at the civil disorder that ensued from it in the 1960’s and early 1970’s with the burning of cities and riots.

Hate crime legislation is important to prevent Gays, or women, or Muslims from being forced into militant groups to fight back against the terror, intimidation, and hate that persecutors of just a few of their member can create. Many lives could have been saved, including bombed children’s lives, had hate legislation been passed in the 1950’s instead of waiting for the civil unrest of the 1960’s and 1970’s to bring the matter to the burning of cities, and beatings and shootings of our police, national guard, and by them as well at places like Detroit in 1967, or Watts in 1969.

A murder or torture of a victim for money or revenge is a crime against an individual. The torture or murder of a gay person is a crime of intimidation and terror toward all gay persons, who must live in fear of their being the next victim. Civil order depends upon recognizing this difference, lest gays or women or Muslims be left by the law to fend for themselves, in which case they will organize militantly to defend themselves.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 14, 2007 9:27 PM
Comment #220349

Rocky & Tomh

The law is either unnecessary (if it is as Rocky interprets) or undesirable (if tomh is right).

Posted by: Jack at May 14, 2007 9:30 PM
Comment #220350

I am not trying to convince you of anything. But, we will see the courts attack this situation. At that point you can update your comments.

Posted by: tomh at May 14, 2007 9:37 PM
Comment #220351

David

Statistics compiled by Tuskegee Institute the indicate that lynching had declined to almost none in the 1940s, well before the civil rights movement. Neither hate crime legislation nor civil right laws stopped it. Ordinary laws did the job, once they were enforced. Many more people were lynched on television than in real life in the 1950-60 context.

Lynching was a general form of mob justice. Vigilantes hung people of all races. It was mainly in the 1920s that the KKK lynched large numbers of blacks.

Posted by: Jack at May 14, 2007 9:44 PM
Comment #220352

Tomh, I still do not understand how anyone could interpret the presence of the word “perceived” to mean “One does not have to committ a physical act to be guility of hate under this law. The law makes it illegal to say anything negative against a homosexual.” As I said earlier, the only grammatically correct way of determining the purpose of the word is to look at the noun (or in this case a list of nouns) that comes after it. In English is is correct to say “On this table there is a red book” if the book is red, but never does it mean that the table is red. The only logical purpose of the word is to protect a victim who was perceived by the criminal to be a member in the targeted group, but in actuality is not. One example that I have already described above is the case where a person with Semitic features is mistaken as a Jew and a crime is committed against him or her as a consequence even though the victim is not actually a practitioner of Judiasm.

Posted by: Warren P at May 14, 2007 9:49 PM
Comment #220354

Jack:
“Identity politics is strong on the left.”

Identity politics is as strong on the Right as it is on the Left, although for some reason you don’t like to call it that. Think of the Rabid Religious Right, or the NRA, or Rush’s Ditto-heads, or filthy-rich WASPs whose family history and fortunes have long been tethered to the concept of screwing over the average Joe and Jane in order to grow ever more rich and powerful.
Let’s face it, “Identity Politics” is how all groups gather strength and make change occur, build community, and foster real intellectual development among people who share common traits and/or experiences.

“Better if we just make all the praise or blame consistent.”

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Nobody writing those documents, nor most Americans today think that means equal outcomes from unequal behaviors.”

True, unless one is as rich, and as well connected, and protected as someone like George W. Bush was when he was addicted to coke, and driving drunk, and getting into the Texas air guard, and going AWOL to work on behalf of a Republican political campaign.

“Re groups - rights cannot affix to groups.”

The GOP loves to divide and conquer. For instance that’s how they believe they can keep gay people from sharing the same legal rights and civil liberties that straight people enjoy. I think that’s bunk. I also think that if George Bush can go around promoting the idea of a Constitutional Amendment stating that marriage can only be between men and women, then I think that rights can be affixed to gay people as a group in order to protect them from this federally endorsed, presidentially promoted discrimination.

“Mere membership in a group may say very little about an individual’s motivation or even background.”

What about the KKK/Neo Nazi Skinheads? I happen to think mere membership says a hell of a lot there.

“If you look at crime statistics, you will NOT find that white Christians among the most violent or dangerous groups. Yet I am sure you can point out violent individuals. Conversely, not everyone who lives in the ghetto is bad.”

If we look at such crime statistics do we also get to look at who runs the police dept’s in certain areas, and tends to get the lions share of the promotions? Just asking.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 14, 2007 9:57 PM
Comment #220357

Jack, lynchings didn’t stop until 1965. Beatings and torture and bombing of Black churches took the place of lynchings. You are proposing that beatings, torture, and bombings were substantial improvement, are you? The three civil rights workers, true enough, were not lynched. They were shot and buried. The three little girls who lost their lives in the church bombing, true enough were not lynched. But, they were just as DEAD!

Enough with the sophistry, huh! Civil Rights legislation changed this country for the better, and hate against races has dropped significantly in both act and attitude since it was passed, with each generation since. Nuff said, I think.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 14, 2007 10:21 PM
Comment #220359

Adrienne

All those groups you mention are voluntary. You could join the NRA if you were so inclined.

Re those filthy rich white guys - Do you mean super rich like Kerry & Kennedy, very rich Edwards or Corzine or just rich like Gore or Biden? Or maybe you mean rich as Croesus puppet masters like Soros.

During the recent Democratic debate, they all flew down on their private jets. I hear Hillary sent a different one to pick her up. As Jay Leno said, they are now all officially Hollywood liberals.

Re Emerson, the key word is foolish. Do you believe it is foolish to treat people who do similar things similarly?

Re group rights, when that constitutional amendment you are talking about passes, let me know.

Re groups like KKK etc. Those are voluntary groups. The fact that one would join and continue them indicates something about motivation. Do we hold it against former KKK types like the Democratic senator from W. Virginia? The groups I am talking about are assigned or are very general. Besides, I still do not think the law should make a distinction. If a member of the KKK is accused of murder, I still believe the same rules of evidence should apply.

Re crime statistics, you cannot really believe what you wrote. In the county where I live we have more than a million people. Most years we have 2-3 murders. We find who did it and I do not think many are being hidden. Some other jurisdictions have significantly more such crimes, even when they have smaller populations. I expect even if you say you do not believe the statistics, you probably avoid such places. I truly doubt if you act upon what you say you believe.

Let me ask a question. I do not know your exact demographic profile, but I bet none of your friends has committed a violent crime. Nobody I know has committed such a crime. Maybe they are very sneaky. But nobody I know has ever been murdered. I am 52 and have never experienced that. It would be harder to hide it, so I figure it really has not happened.

Posted by: Jack at May 14, 2007 10:28 PM
Comment #220360

tomh,

Sorry, but a mere slip while ‘cutting and pasting’, I don’t blame you for not wanting to take the responsibility for remarks Jack made…mea culpa!

Posted by: Marysdude at May 14, 2007 10:33 PM
Comment #220371

Marysdude

Getting to be Secretary of State and a millionaire. I sure wish I could be a token.

Posted by: Jack at May 14, 2007 10:54 PM
Comment #220379

Jack:
“All those groups you mention are voluntary. You could join the NRA if you were so inclined.”

So, you are saying there is little or no effect upon the mindsets of people who are born and raised by those who are Rabid Religious Righties, or Klu Kluxer’s, or who are Gun Nuts, or Daily Dittoheads, or Filthy Rich WASP’s?
I strongly disagree.

“Re those filthy rich white guys - Do you mean super rich like Kerry & Kennedy, very rich Edwards or Corzine or just rich like Gore or Biden? Or maybe you mean rich as Croesus puppet masters like Soros.”

Yeah, but strike the few who made their own money due to their own intelligence and hard work because they’re not nearly as bad. (Edwards and Soros fit into this category, but I’m not sure about Corzine or Biden…) I’m talking about the whole The Bohemian Grove Crowd at large.
These wealthy people were never raised, and clearly don’t live by the same rules and laws and expectations as the rest of us average-earning peasants.

“As Jay Leno said, they are now all officially Hollywood liberals.”

“Hollywood Liberals” is another one of those Fox News Zombie catchphrases I really deplore. Like there aren’t any Hollywood Conservatives. As though Ronald Reagan and California’s current governor didn’t/doesn’t even exist.

“Re Emerson, the key word is foolish.”

Indeed, it is.

“Do you believe it is foolish to treat people who do similar things similarly?”

I believe it is foolish not to look at the many shades of gray caused by certain extenuating circumstances, yes.

“Re group rights, when that constitutional amendment you are talking about passes, let me know.”

This blatant discrimination is being realized on a state by state basis presently — and the attempts to get it on the ballot have increased since Bush’s promotion of a Constitutional Marriage Amendment.

“Re groups like KKK etc. Those are voluntary groups. The fact that one would join and continue them indicates something about motivation.”

Or it indicates something about who raised them, and how successfully they were indoctrinated to adhere to a philosophy of hatred and intolerance from a very young age.

“Do we hold it against former KKK types like the Democratic senator from W. Virginia?”

The Republicans do so all the time, of course. There seems to be no such thing as a Prodigal Son possible to those who prefer to look at the world in black and white.

“The groups I am talking about are assigned or are very general.”

No, let’s be honest here. You’re really only talking about anyone whose rights and civil liberties liberals are willing to go out of their way to support in this Rightwing=Good/Leftwing=Bad article, aren’t you?

“Besides, I still do not think the law should make a distinction.”

I think the law should make distinctions whenever it comes to violent intimidation, hate and intolerance.

“If a member of the KKK is accused of murder, I still believe the same rules of evidence should apply.”

The same rules of evidence should apply as they do in any court yes, but then the added factor of their attempting to spread intimidation and fear should be added in as well. Insult to injury factor, if you will.

“Re crime statistics, you cannot really believe what you wrote.”

I do believe what I wrote. White collar crime is actually rampant in this country, but is seldom punished. Meanwhile, there is a disproportionate number of poor criminals sitting in our jails. It appears to me that white collar crime has to be totally blatant and over-the-top in order to ever be recognized or dealt with in any way, shape or form. And whenever it is actually recognized and these criminals are finally apprehended, they are often handled with kid gloves and receive a lot of special treatment.

“In the county where I live we have more than a million people. Most years we have 2-3 murders.”

2-3 in an entire county? You live in the land of the wealthy gated community I take it?

“I expect even if you say you do not believe the statistics, you probably avoid such places. I truly doubt if you act upon what you say you believe.”

Jack, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. When I was saving every penny in order to buy my first house here in the Bay Area, I lived in “such places” and have seen how people are automatically treated by the police due to the perception of their neighborhood.
I do believe what I am saying.

“Let me ask a question. I do not know your exact demographic profile, but I bet none of your friends has committed a violent crime.”

Close friends, no. Acquaintances, quite a few. For some reason, lots of people find a way to get into a bar fight at least once in their lives.

“Nobody I know has committed such a crime.”

You’ve never met anyone who has beat the crap out of someone, or got beaten up in a fistfight themselves? Pardon my asking, but if that’s the case, do you ever feel the urge to get out and mingle a bit more?

“But nobody I know has ever been murdered. I am 52 and have never experienced that.”

It was suspected (by the police, as well as family members and friends) that one of my cousins was murdered by someone who entered his home and hit him on the head, but since my aunt never allowed an autopsy to take place, we’ll never know for sure. He could have been murdered, or had an accidental fall, or suffered from some pre-existing but undiagnosed health condition that made him drop dead where he stood. I also had a friend who was murdered by a drunk driver. He was on a motorcycle, and only lived a few brief moments after being hit. And as you may have heard me mention here a few times, I lost a close friend in the North Tower of the WTC on 9/11.
I have also met many people in my lifetime who have experienced both murder and war… but of course that doesn’t apply to me on a personal level.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 15, 2007 1:11 AM
Comment #220391

Adrienne

Both my parents dropped out of HS in 10th grade. I grew up in a working class neighborhood, but we had little crime. Crime does not need to go with being poor.

Where I live now is wealthier, but mostly law abiding. People are generally polite and decent. At the 7/11 near my house people often leave the keys in their cars when they go in. Crime just isn’t a necessary part of life most days. Maybe that is because so many citizens have guns and the perps know it. I really do not know.

We are starting to have a little gang problem as we are getting immigrants from Central America who are brining this with them. So far, it has not spread to the general community, but it is a threat.

My impression of crime both from my own experience and from statistics is that it tends to be localized. You can usually plot out clusters on maps and when you look hard you can often find a couple of people carrying out more than their share of the trouble. If you can put them out of business, crime drops like a stone. If the authorities break it up early, it does not spread, kinda like weeds.

Re being rich – I do not know of any study that maps the voting habits of the hereditary rich. Kerry and Kennedy are prominent Democrats. Rockefellers have become Democrats. The Ivy League universities where the rich kids go are predominantly liberal.

Jay Leno is on NBC, not Fox. It does seem ironic to fly in a private plane to a rally about the environment.

Re white collar crime – we should enforce our laws. White collar crime has several characteristics that make it different. The most obvious is violence. I had some crooks use my credit card number a while back. It was a lot of trouble, but I would prefer that to getting smashed over the head. The other thing about white collar crime is its ambiguity. Accounting laws are sometimes complicated. It is possible to break laws w/o knowing it. That also makes it very hard to prosecute.

Re law applied - violent intimidation is a crime. Hate and intolerance are not. If a person is hateful and intolerant but doesn’t act on these beliefs, it is none of our business. If a person is tolerant but violent, we have to punish that.

Posted by: Jack at May 15, 2007 3:08 AM
Comment #220404

Most ‘hate crime’ is perpetrated by groups or individuals who belong to groups, whose intent is to use force and criminal activity to induce fear into people for the purpose of control.

KKK members and their ilk use violence and fear of violence to rpomote white supremacy and denigrate blacks, jews and homosexuals, thus causing an entire group of people to jump at shadows. In other words, a convenience store robber who kills a clerk or customer hurts mainly those who were directly affected. However, the ones who string up a homosexual to a fence in Wyoming, drag a black behind a pickup or burn a synagogue, put entire communities, be they races, sexually oriented differently or of a different religion, at fear.

Hate crimes, because a single crime affects so many, should be taken more seriously.

Posted by: Marysdude at May 15, 2007 10:34 AM
Comment #220407

I’ve just read many of the comments, Jack, as well as your original article. I must say that although the tone is very urbane, beneath it all, most are saying, “There’s one! There’s a reactionary! Get a rope!”

I agree with everything you had to say originally. The Civil Rights movement asked nothing more than equal treatment as promised by the Constitution which MLK declared had been returned marked “insufficient funds.” The Women’s Rights movement asked nothing more than parity with their male counterparts.

All the little extras demanded and received by the latter day rights grifters has been nothing more than criminal. All those above who claim that any government sponsered programs have actually helped any group other than the rights advocate leaders are wearing serious blinkers. They’ve been conned. They either don’t it or do and find the only way out of the embarrassment is to continue the con themselves.

I’m a cripple and have never been helped by any “rights” granted unto from those do-gooders on high. I have, in fact, been hindered by them. The do-gooders have created a situation in America in which my co-workers believed for years that I had my job because of affirmative action for cripples, nevermind that of the 100 people employed at the company, only 25% of us had earned college degrees. I have rights only because I was born with them. What was done with those rights is totally my own doing. But because of the affirmative rights mentallity, I have not been promoted as fast as the less qualified for fear that I cannot do the next job, and the company doesn’t want to take the chance that they will be sued by some rights group for putting me in a position from which I could fall. Without all the “caring people” looking out for me, I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am. (On the Waterfront - Marlon Brando.)

Posted by: Indigo Red at May 15, 2007 10:51 AM
Comment #220423

IRed,

Do you use those ‘handicap’ parking spaces? Do you get into your workplace because there is a ramp for your wheelchair? Does your company cover the additional insurance costs associated with hiring a ‘handicap’?

I’m glad you had it so easy to get a job, and I congratulate you for doing it so well. I empathize with your plight in not getting promoted the way you think you deserve.

Many of the things I mentioned would never have been available to a ‘handicap’ a few decades ago. You would not likely have been hired to that job you hold, and your want of promotion was more likely held back for political or job performance reasons rather than your ‘afliction’.

Posted by: Marysdude at May 15, 2007 1:46 PM
Comment #220444

“I’m a cripple and have never been helped by any ‘rights’ granted unto from those do-gooders on high.”

Talk about wearing blinkers. Sheesh! I don’t think help would be recognized if it hit you over the head.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 15, 2007 5:05 PM
Comment #220449

Jack,

While I know you, like me are a straight white male, I can only assume the same of tomh.
We live in relative safety, protected by where we live and what we are.
Not all are so lucky.
You are right this law is unneeded for you, and I, and tomh, but there are many out there that don’t adhere to MLK’s words. They stand in judgement of gays as immoral. They don’t take the time to judge people by their character, or the content of their hearts.
They are ready to take upon themselves the job of judge, jury, and yes, sometimes executioner.

Some are worried as tomh, that this bill will eventually lead to the police breaking down the doors of churches and spiriting ministers from their pulpits into jail.
If that was the case then why does the last paragraph read:

“RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.
Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution.”

That seems pretty cut and dried to me, unless these same folks would have us believe, as Mr. Bush believes, that the Constitution “is just a damn piece of paper”.

Posted by: Rocky at May 15, 2007 5:57 PM
Comment #220462

Rocky
Since when have judges adhered to the law. Judges far too often take it upon themselves to twist, turn, subvert, change and alter the law to fit special interest groups. I do not have confidence in the judicial system to protect my interests. First amendments rights are trampled upon with much regularity from the bench.

The bottom line is this law is not needed for any reason. It is bad legislation which is written by lawyers of all people.

Posted by: tomh at May 15, 2007 7:52 PM
Comment #220468

tomh,

If we cannot believe in the system of justice that we have, then what is the point of any laws at all?
Or, do you feel we should just obey the laws that each of us deem “needed”?

Posted by: Rocky at May 15, 2007 8:46 PM
Comment #220472

Marysdude

Texas & Wyoming have the death penalty. How much more seriously can you take a crime and punishment.

Rocky

It should not be a crime to think or say that being gay is immoral. It should be a crime only if you attack him. And the attack is the crime.

I agree with tomh. Unfortunately, we have very imaginative lawyers. They expand laws to unexpected areas.

Posted by: Jack at May 15, 2007 9:11 PM
Comment #220473

Jack,

You are wrong.

Nowhere in this bill does it forbid thinking.

I think the problem is that we have imaginative posters.

Posted by: Rocky at May 15, 2007 9:34 PM
Comment #220479

Rocky
You would probably be a good modern day attorney

I try to obey all laws no matter what. Yes, I have failed in my endeavor. I have had the unique priviledge to get snookered by a judge that did not interpret the law as it was written and intended. It cost me thousands of dollars. Judges do not have the right to anythning to a law except to administer the law. Too many judges today do not abide by their oath of office. This has been going on since Oliver Wendell Holmes. The bill in discussion, though, is bad, bad, law written by attorneys. I think it is understandable why those lawyer-legislators are in the legislature. They couldn’t conduct themselves as attorneys in a court of law.

An off topic here—The singing group of Sister Sledge who made “We Are Family” a hit have a mother in the hospital with a stroke and will be taken off life support systems as soon as all five girls arrive. They are family friens of ours. I ask your prayers for the family.

Posted by: tomh at May 15, 2007 10:59 PM
Comment #220482

tomh,

I am not a praying man, but she will be in my thoughts.

Posted by: Rocky at May 15, 2007 11:07 PM
Comment #220488

Jack,

We now must judge more often by who the person is than by what he/she is doing. Everything has become a rights issue.

This I simply do not understand. When my children were young, they knew I loved them, but disliked what they were doing. It was the ACTION that got them into trouble, not who they were.

If you mean judge a person by their own specific actions, not what they look like, have, or parents are, I wish that were true. Unfortunately, we have been trying to reach this point for almost 50 years, and we still have a long way to go. Racial Profiling is an great example of what still needs to be leaned.

We should consider people as individuals, not as members of groups. The test of bias is behavior. If two individuals behave in the same way, they should be treated in the same way. Individuals, not groups or behaviors, have rights. It is nobody’s business what you think, only what you do.

Unfortunately we have also not reached the point where everyone in the US sees people as individuals. The groups we align ourselves with show a great deal about who we are. A gang member is not likely to be confused with a Bible thumping Christian.

As a matter of fact, the “mob rule mentality” seems to be getting stronger. (I.e. Gangs, citizen militia groups, KKK, Neo-Nazi,Republicians, and Democrates, the “Green Paty” Labor Unions, etc.)

Why? Fear. Fear can drive people to almost anything, including murder. Look at what these groups preach. Exclusivism, and mistrust. All of them in one way or another.

The KKK and Neo-Nazi groups are experiencing an insurgency of members today due to their now “common ” victim - the Latino.

Citizen militia groups were growing rapidly - mistrust of the government.

Distrust runs deep between all of the political ideas.

Labor Unions don’t trust the employers.And vice versa.

…Re: groups like KKK etc. Those are voluntary groups. The fact that one would join and continue them indicates something about motivation. Do we hold it against former KKK types like the Democratic senator from W. Virginia? The groups I am talking about are assigned or are very general. Besides, I still do not think the law should make a distinction. If a member of the KKK is accused of murder, I still believe the same rules of evidence should apply.

So you think we should elect David Dukes from Louisiana, ‘un-active’ “volunteer” of the KKK, to national office?

Jack,

what about the “hate crimes” that are just plain “hate crimes”. Crimes most likely would never have occurred had the individual not been involved in a group, such as the KKK. Cross burnings are not a pretty site to see at the age of four, and trying 30 years later to explain them to your own 10 year old child is no easier.

It is mob mentality that sets the scene for the next “hate crime”. I believe most individuals would normally not get involved with any type of “Hate Crime”, however in a crowd, being alone isn’t necessarily the safest to be.

Posted by: Linda H. at May 16, 2007 1:11 AM
Comment #220521

Linda H,

This whole racial profiling thing is ridiculous. Racial profiling or any profiling for that matter makes good sense. If you are looking for someone who is of some ethnicity, it makes sense to look for that type of person doesn’t it? if I’m looking for a white male caucasion, I’m certainly not going to question an african american women.

We make decisions and look for things everyday based of profiling. If I need to help someone look for a set of keys, I’m not going to pick up a book just in case it might be a key. We all look for trends and characteristics in analysing situations whether dealing with issues or people for that matter.

Objectivity is the key…

Posted by: cliff at May 16, 2007 12:57 PM
Comment #220530

Cliff,

you miss the point.
The problem with profiling is when you start off with a crime and assume the perpetrator fits a certain profile prior to any real evidence one way or the other.

For instance, when anthrax powder was being sent to various people after 9/11, the assumption was made that the perpetrator(s) were either Arab or Arab-American and Islamic. We still don’t know who the criminal(s) were, but there is a growing theory that they were perhaps home-grown Americans taking advantage of the chaos following 9/11.

Profiling only accomplishes increasing the risk of putting innocents in jail or on trial for crimes they have no connection with whatsoever. That is different from refining the search based on information. If I know a few things about the person or thing I am looking for, then naturally, I am going to narrow my search based on those criteria. That is different from jumping to a conclusion and narrowing my search WITHOUT any real evidence of any value.

Posted by: RGF at May 16, 2007 2:07 PM
Comment #220531

RGF,

“Profiling only accomplishes increasing the risk of putting innocents in jail or on trial for crimes they have no connection with whatsoever.”

Worse than that, profiling also increases the risk of overlooking the true criminal altogether.

Posted by: Rocky at May 16, 2007 2:19 PM
Comment #220550

Rocky

I don’t agree with you often, but when I do and I catch it in time I feel responsible enough to say well done. I, agree that not profiling does leave some gaps, only to be revisited with regret.

Posted by: tomh at May 16, 2007 4:15 PM
Comment #220552

tomh,

Thanks

Posted by: Rocky at May 16, 2007 4:51 PM
Comment #220578

cliff,

Profiling is a cop patroling a beat in a mostly rich, white neighborhood, seeing a young, black male walking down the sidewalk, and hassling him just because he doesn’t look like he belongs in the neighborhood. There may be several legitimate reasons for his presence, but the cop can only think of one.

Posted by: Marysdude at May 16, 2007 7:07 PM
Comment #220598

Marysdude

I live in a rich mostly white suburb. I see plenty of young blacks walking down the street. Nobody bothers them. Maybe you live in a more backward place.

Linda H.

We agree that we should judge by what people do, not by what they are.

A burning cross is meant as intimidation and threat of violence. That is illegal. Setting a fire on someone’s front lawn is also a crime.

A special category for hate crimes is not needed.

How about this? What is a KKK guy moves to town and is the victim of intimidation or violence at the hands of the local black community? Does the hate crime law come into force?

What if the “Act up” people try to intimidate a group of religious folks who disagree with the gay lifestyle? Does the hate crime law apply?

What if abortion rights activists push the old guy peacefully protesting outside the clinic?

What if a group of leftist students shout down Ann Coulter or toss a pie at Rush Limbaugh?

All these things are hateful. When you make up a law, remember that it often can be applied to people you like as well as those you do not. Black on white crime is more common than white on black. Are we going to call all this hate?

Posted by: Jack at May 16, 2007 10:34 PM
Comment #220603

>>I live in a rich mostly white suburb. I see plenty of young blacks walking down the street. Nobody bothers them. Maybe you live in a more backward place.

Posted by: Jack at May 16, 2007 10:34 PM

Jack,

My example was just that…an example, but wow! I’m certainly impressed with your living standards.

I’ve got a dream, I’ve got a dream, that someday I’ll be as smart and as rich as you…

Posted by: Marysdude at May 16, 2007 11:38 PM
Comment #220654

Rocky,

You characterize the prospect of the REAL criminal going scot free as somehow worse.

I disagree. To my mind, it is far worse to have a system in place that puts the innocent in jail or on death row for crimes they did noy commit.

Posted by: RGF at May 17, 2007 2:03 PM
Comment #220657

RGF

Get real. Profiling does not put and innocent on death row or an innocent in jail wrongfully. A judge and jury decide that and the lynch pin is not due to profiling. There will be additional cercumstances and evidence that do the job.

BTW—In my daily work and activities I profile all the time. It is necessary. And I have never been responsible for an innocent going to jail or death row for my profiling.

Posted by: tomh at May 17, 2007 3:04 PM
Comment #220661

tomh,

It happens whether you have anything to do with it or not.
I was a student in Conroe HS during the Clarence Brantly case.
I have SEEN it and it is real.

It is you who needs to get to get real.

Posted by: RGF at May 17, 2007 4:08 PM
Comment #220663
What if a group of leftist students shout down Ann Coulter … ?

Why assume they have to be leftist? Do you really want to claim her as representing the right? To me she’s just another hateful blowhard with whom anyone sensible wouldn’t want to be associated. Besides, Jack, you’re stretching. Being rude to a speaker isn’t a crime in this country.

I find the right’s agitation against hate crimes legsilation somewhat puzzling. Aren’t Republicans of the party of law and order? I would hate to think it had anything to do with protecting groups that historically have been the targets of hate crime.

Posted by: Gerrold at May 17, 2007 5:12 PM
Comment #220680

RGF
I stand by my comments. If you cite the case or cases you have “witnessed”, I would be glad to debate the issue.

Posted by: tomh at May 17, 2007 10:10 PM
Comment #220687

Marys

I am not that rich. You have a good chance of getting as “rich” as I am. Most Americans can live in nice places when they are established if they work hard and save when they are young.

I am serious about the tolerance, however. We have people of all races walking around on our sidewalks. This is Virginia, but it is very different from the world of the 1950s.

I do not think your example applies generally anywhere in the U.S. anymore. What you may be right about, however, is behavior. If a group of blacks or anybody else walked down the street, there would be no trouble because of race. If a group walked down dressed like gang bangers, yelling and carrying on, they would have trouble, no matter their race. I will not appologize for that. If you behave in a threatening way, you should expect to be treated as a threat.

Gerrold

You got the point exactly. Being rude to a speaker or anyone else is not a crime AND it should not be made one. If people hate her, it is their business. If they act on that hate, it is a crime.

I am for law and order. I want to stop and prevent crimes from happening. I do not consider it possible for there to be a thought crime. Hatred is meaningless unless you act on it. It should not be a crime.

Posted by: Jack at May 17, 2007 10:53 PM
Comment #220688

Gerrold

BTW - when they toss the pie, they commit an assault. That is when we should arrest them.

Shouting down a speaker is a Nazi tactic and radical students have learned that lesson well. They fear the truth and they have ensured that it is difficult for anybody to speak non-PC truth to their mob power.

Posted by: Jack at May 17, 2007 10:56 PM
Comment #220758

Jack,

Well, since you’re throwing down the Nazi card …

By your reasoning, if a crowd had dared to shout down Hitler, it would have been because it feared the truth. You need to be careful when ascribing motives.

Posted by: Gerrold at May 18, 2007 3:36 PM
Comment #220762

Jack,

“Shouting down a speaker is a Nazi tactic and radical students have learned that lesson well.”

So has FOX News.

Posted by: Rocky at May 18, 2007 4:31 PM
Comment #220790

Jack,
When the crimes are directed totally because of prejudice, and are violent, not only are they crimes of the physical nature, they also are also in the mental realm.

The difference between the two is fairly simple - if one encourages others to follow or act in a violent nature towards a group of people, merely because they are different from the group are encouraging HATE Crimes.

These crimes are crimes that would not have been completed, or even contemplated if the hatred of the victim did not occur first.

Posted by: Linda H. at May 18, 2007 10:37 PM
Comment #220792

Jack,
I neglected to answer your questions. Yes, the examples you have cited would be consider HATE Crimes if someone was injured or intimated simply because of their beliefs, skin color, religious or sexual preferences, or gender.

Like it or not, I believe I must support the right of freedom of speech, even {(God forbid) the KKK, Neo-Nazi. don’t have to listen to them,watch them., or agree with them, but in an orderly fashion, I must try to tolerate them.

Posted by: Linda H. at May 18, 2007 10:46 PM
Comment #221821

So… what happens if the individual’s behavior is selectively attacking groups of people? What if it really is a “hate crime”? There’s no punishment for that? Just the regular crime of murder, eh? That’s okay I guess.. You’re scared of things being skewed because of race, and I’m scared of racial profiling, so it all balances out. We’ll just have to wait for a clan member to call self-defense to iron it out.

Posted by: :\ at May 31, 2007 7:56 PM
Comment #221824

“BTW—In my daily work and activities I profile all the time. It is necessary. And I have never been responsible for an innocent going to jail or death row for my profiling.”

I still wonder how many innocents you wrongly inconvenienced while in your head just ‘serving your duty’. It may not be an issue constantly responsible for wrongful death or incarceration, but it’s certainly an issue of standard of living. Essentially, it’s guilty until proven innocent. No lockdown may happen, but for the innocent to know they’re innocent and not want to waste time proving that to someone who believes they are because of their skintone.. why that’s being belligerent, that’s obstruction of justice..
Maybe you’d say, “well if you’ve got nothing to hide, then you won’t mind.” But I do when it’s frequency is determined by amount of pigmentation.
It boils down to unequal freedoms when people are suspected to be guilty for being in public, dressed a certain way, in a certain area, or at a certain store.

Posted by: :\ at May 31, 2007 8:11 PM
Comment #221827

“If a group walked down dressed like gang bangers, yelling and carrying on, they would have trouble, no matter their race. I will not appologize for that. If you behave in a threatening way, you should expect to be treated as a threat.”

The problem is, it’s not always threatening behavior. Sometimes the threat is simply in appearances.

You perceive a threat. This is where the line is. They could just be having fun, dressing cool, being loud to get attention - like many youth. Turn on MTV, it’s how the kids dress. And yet, they’re assumed to be up to something. Even if that something is simply heading to a friends house.

But.. they’re DRESSED like people that sing about being gangsters, so they MUST be too, right?
If that sentiment were universal, women in clubs would refrain from dressing attractively when they’re not there to find company. People wear what they like, what makes them feel good. It’s not always a warning or message. Or at the very least, not the one you’d think.

I’m Virginian too, ninth generation, been here my whole life and I’ve seen how wildly different society treats you when you have cornrows or sport an “urban” attire. How suddenly, you slip out of the realm of being a ‘true’ American. Looks definitely play a factor in these situations. I’m guessing you’ve never thought of the flipside of a group of people dressed like “gang-bangers” reacting to feeling threatened by being regarded as a threat? No? You were never there as a teen? You never did things to stand out or gain distance from societal pressures? Or acted tough to keep threats away? You might want to say they need to change clothes to ease your tensions, but they have every right to be there as you do. But idle suspicion, or one’s personal discomfort (which may or may not be prejudiced), is enough to warrant an unpleasant interaction with authority.

That is not equal protection, treatment, or opportunity.

“I do not think your example applies generally anywhere in the U.S. anymore.”

That would depend on how he’s dressed. As you stated yourself. The only threatening action you mentioned was being loud.

What’s wrong with this, is that if I’m outfitted in cornrows and baggy jeans; I walk into a store, wallet in pocket, fully prepared to pay for my goods. But, the clerk wastes all of his time beaming at me, a paying customer - and soon to be ex-customer, while turning a blind eye to any inconspicuous shoplifters. They may or may not be there, but the point is that he’s wasting his effort and losing my business by tacitly accusing me. Even though I’ve remained civil and respectful.

Although my hands are shaking from feeling unjustly suspect (which is viewed as admission of guilt), I physically put my money in the clerks hand. He slides the change back across the counter - he doesn’t want contact. I say, “Thank you. Enjoy your day.” He says nothing as I exit while holding the door for his next customer. This happens more often than you’d think.

I’m not being judged by what I’m doing in this instance (I’m being an upstanding citizen), I’m being judged by something I’ve already done, which was what I chose to wear. And this, is excluding the possibility that the clerk just might not like the color of my skin. Needless to say, I find it hard to believe race isn’t a factor anymore.

Being colorblind doesn’t mean the world is actually colorless. It just makes it harder to tell when colors are being treated unequally.

Posted by: :\ at May 31, 2007 9:27 PM
Comment #221834

Andy,

“I mean you live in America, if you choose not to take advantage of the system here I’m not sure how anyone could begin to try to answer your questions.”

You sell houses, the percentages say that the 1 in 10 black owner of yours gets a higher percentage rate. It may not be you, but someone out there is. Little things like this. Your tax adviser might not engage in conversations or make small talk much beyond business - which will leave you wondering what financial steps would be best. Your doctor might not ask about your lifestyle - leaving you with generic treatment.

You blame black people for not taking advantage, but do you ever stop to think that no one shows them all of these advantages? Do you think asking a guy who doesn’t ask a thing about you will yield an accurate and helpful response? Do you really think that you’ll find all the financial benefits and breaks by asking an advisor whom you’re the first generation in your family to visit? Maybe if you’ve never been in these situations, I could see how you wouldn’t see this side. But they exist. Here’s a classic one.. being at a car dealership and being treated like the plague by salesmen until they find out, contrary to their assumptions, that you have good credit.

There’s little facets of society everywhere that cut an uneven deal. You could say the remedy would be in black customers solely seeing black practitioners, but that would be segregation.

Bill Cosby understands the situation quite poorly, as evidenced by the reaction of the black community. When you say ‘blame as a crutch’ how do you distinguish between real prejudice? is it all just a crutch? What about the tax and financial advisers? The doctors? The banks? Can every inequality of service just be termed blaming a crutch when it’s systematically so?

Am I just imagining that store clerk not making contact with me and staring at me? Even though it happens rather often? Is it just coincidence that my doctor never asks anything other than what I’m immediately there for? That he only prescribes me brand name pharmaceuticals? Is it wrong for me to question if I got a fair lending rate even though statistically blacks pay higher rates, regardless of a clean financial history?

Is all of that just me using blame as a crutch? Even though I observe others getting different treatment in the same situations? Really? I’m supposed to just roll over, declare racism is dead and try my best to live and never try to correct the disparity?

I would certainly like to know how if the numbers say access to learning these advantages aren’t equal.

As for Cosby and Rice being role models for the black community, I’d wager that you must be very out of touch. I won’t go into the details, but judging public reaction, I can see reasons why that wouldn’t pan out. Someone earlier said it’s because they’re Republican that people like Rice and Powell get discounted. It goes a bit deeper than that. Being Republican isn’t the sole reason that Alan Keyes can’t capture the black vote.

Somewhere you have to admit, that being a minority gets you minority treatment when you’re different from 70% of America. Conversations may not unfold the same way, your childhood might not have the same opportunities, you might be an average student (since you were never tutored) and simply not qualify for scholarship or have the money for college.. Hell, why am I telling you this, you already know it - But why you refuse to admit it is beyond me.

Posted by: :\ at May 31, 2007 10:15 PM
Comment #222358

tomh,

uh…what ARE you talking about? You know nothing of the Brantly case?!?

That surprises the hell out of me.

Clarence Bratly was put on death row in Texas for no other crime than being the nearest black man to a murder. He was finally exhonerated after 11 years, but that was enough for lose everything and find himself without the family he previously had or any prospects for survival. He is now, thank God, doing well as a gospel minister in ANOTHER town.

It seems worth a guess that you are in law enforcement. Assuming that is true, your job is more than sufficiently contextual to make it EXTREMELY unlikely you would ever even KNOW if you wrongly put someone in jail or on death row.

That is why a civilized nation, one ruled by law, NEEDS lawyers.

Posted by: RGF at June 5, 2007 4:34 PM
Post a comment