This Is The Problem With “Hate Crime” Legislation

Dateline: Lucedale, Mississippi

 In the waning days of President Barack Obama’s administration, supporters of LGBT rights hailed the first federal hate crime conviction for the killing of a transgender woman in Mississippi. With President Donald Trump now in office, they worry about the future of such prosecutions.

writes Jeff Amy in this article at the San Francisco Chronicle that, to this social particular social commentator, appears meant to stir irrational fear rather than sober reflection. He continues,

Trump’s new attorney general, Jeff Sessions, opposed the 2009 hate crime law when he was a U.S. senator, saying it was overly broad and he thought it was unnecessary to include further protections for gay and transgender people. During his January confirmation hearing, Sessions told fellow senators they “can be sure I will enforce” the law, but some observers wonder about his commitment.

That’s true. The 2009 amendment is simply an encroachment of the federal government further into the affairs that occur within a state. Do we not, already, have such laws on the books. Let’s be clear, the law, named for Matthew Shepard and James Boyd, Jr, men who were supposedly killed for their sexual proclivities and race respectively, purports to aim to punish supposed “hate crimes”, even though there’s questions in regards to the legitimacy of the former being true. My assertion is that any crime is, ultimately, a hate crime.

Let’s think for a second: isn’t murder already a crime? Isn’t harassment already a criminal offense in most jurisdictions?

Why a crime is committed is, at some point, ultimately irrelevant when it comes to the fact that a crime has been committed. From what I know, the motive is only relevant in establishing the initial case. It is too easy to say that someone committed a crime for X-reason. It’s too easy to simply assert that someone acted out of one kind of bias, unless you’re reflective enough to admit that everyone acts out of some kind of bias.

Let’s ask a question in regards to the case mentioned by Jeff Amy: the death of a 17 year old “transgender”,

[…] Mercedes Williamson, who was born male but transitioned to a female.

This was indeed a tragedy in that such a young life was senselessly and brutally ended, but once we get past the nonsense of the added assertion, it was simply one person killing another unjustly for a nonsense reason.

But here is where the problem comes in: why does this person’s death matter, at all? What worldview provides the necessary preconditions to even begin to make any kind of sense of this?

The Christian worldview is the only one that can begin to unravel the depravity of the human heart that can cause a person who has been born a male to reject his gender, which is masculine, and embrace one that is foreign, which is feminine, in order to try to be something that he could never be: a female. It can also explain why a man might target such a person in order to take their life: they hate their Creator and, since they cannot get at him, they strike out at another one of his creatures.

Triggerman, that explains too much!

You’re absolutely correct. It defines all manner of things in regards to behaviors that have negative consequences. It means that, by definition, all crimes are hate crimes.

Amy writes,

[…]300 people were referred for prosecution, but hate crimes charges were never filed. In at least half those cases, there wasn’t enough evidence or prosecutors couldn’t prove intent, a key threshold.

If we’re going to be honest, that means that it is exceedingly difficult to prosecute these cases, and if we’re going to be honest, such laws definitely could be challenged on the basis of double jeopardy, something that was brought up during the case of George Zimmerman. Further, who defines what exactly hate is, and to what extent. The argument that is put forward is that such a law exists for the purpose of “sentence enhancement“, but it seems like a logical stretch to try to get people for what cannot ultimately be defended against in any meaningful sense.

I’m not a lawyer, but  I am a philosopher, so I look at the arguments, and the arguments for such laws seem to be begging the question, built on emotion rather that actual logical arguments drawn from any kind of consistent worldview.

The question in the article, does anyone engaged in the alphabet soup of sexual deviance have anything to worry about? No, because no one has any plans to legalize murder, except of the unborn.

For further reading about:

The incoherence of the Obergefell ruling

Fallacies in the so-called “love is love”movement

Questioning the logic of “equality”

One comment

  1. […] I have been reluctant to write much on various societal matters, preferring to look at underlying philosophies and testing them for coherence. The few times that I have strayed into the furor over so-called LGBT issues, it has been to demonstrate the obvious use of double standards that are clear to someone who is not wrapped up in what is attempting to be a totalizing worldview aiming for totalitarianism.  […]

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