October 27, 2008

Hate Crime? As Opposed to an ‘I Really, Really Like You’ Crime?

There’s a new show on ABC called Life on Mars. The premise is that Sam Tyler, a 2008 NYC police detective, is struck by a car and awakens as a police detective in the same precinct in 1973. It’s a silly premise – we don’t know if it’s ‘real’ or if he’s in a coma, or even in a parallel universe. But the point isn’t the premise, it’s the fascinating story lines and interesting cultural comparisons that can be created around the premise.

One such cultural comparison occurred in just two lines of dialog in the third episode, “My Maharishi is Bigger than Your Maharishi.” Sam is investigating a case involving the murder of a homosexual Navy veteran. Gene is his boss:

Sam: You see? Reeves’ murder is looking more and more like a hate crime.
Gene: What? As opposed to an “I really, really like you” crime?

This is a stark reminder of how far we’ve fallen as a society. The basis of so-called “hate crime” legislation is that crimes committed against certain members of society are more serious than those committed against anyone else. This amounts to a bias or preference that somehow makes a crime more serious.

Instead of prosecuting a criminal simply for what he’s done, the designation as a hate crime is based on what the criminal thinks – what motivated him to commit the crime. In the case of this fictional series, Sam is saying that this victim was not killed by anti-Viet Nam war protestors, as originally thought, but because he was a homosexual. In Sam’s 2008 way of thinking, it’s not a hate crime to murder a decorated Navy veteran, but it is a hate crime, and somehow more serious, because the Navy veteran was a homosexual.

The implications are far-reaching, as the character Gene makes clear. Are anti-Viet Nam protestors less culpable because killing a decorated Navy veteran isn’t as serious a killing a homosexual? In either case, wasn’t a life taken? In either case, wasn’t it motivated by hate?

One can only conclude that if someone commits a crime against a white heterosexual, or rapes a white woman, that’s just a normal, run-of-the-mill crime and the prosecution will be light. However, if one commits the exact same crime against a minority or other ‘protected’ class of people, then it’s much more serious, and the prosecution will be increased.

When, in the United States, did we approve a class system? For what purpose, other than the tacit creation of a class system, does hate crime legislation exist?

We need to understand that the people behind hate crime legislation are part of the anarchists of our society. Some are trying to divide people – to make one group more equal than another so there will be resentment. Others are trying to ‘make up’ for perceived or real past inequalities. Still others are using it to gain a higher social status for their own group.

Resist this wherever it is attempted. Find out where your candidates stand on this issue and vote for those who oppose such inequal application of justice. Our justice system is muddied enough without our courts abusing it for the purposes of creating a class system – to create anarchy.