Hate Criminals Not Intimidated

November 28th, 2009

By Harvey Grund

hatecrimesThe daily political blog Politics Daily has published an article about hate crimes. The article is filled with data and statistics (taken from the FBI’s 2008 Hate Crimes Statistics report), and these statistics indicate that hate crimes are up.

The idea that a crime committed against an individual may (if the individual is a member of a protected class) carry two different punishments has never made much sense to me. I guess the theory is that giving a person a harsher sentence for striking out against someone because of what they are rather than who they are will reduce the number of crimes against members of those protected groups. The protected groups, by the way, are:  race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

Personally, as I said before in an earlier article, I feel that hate crime legislation violates the Fourteenth Amendment (equal protection under the law) and the Fifth Amendment (the prohibition against double jeopardy), but apparently legislators are neither reading or paying attention to my posts.

Regardless of how I feel about hate crime legislation, it’s very interesting to note (as they did in the Politics Daily story) that there were 7,783 “bias crimes” committed in 2008, a rise of 2% over 2007.

Because of the stiffer penalties imposed at the federal and state levels for attacking a man because of his race or religion or etc., one would think that this type of crime would be going down. That, of course is a government’s only real option in a situation like this — make new laws and impose stiffer penalties; i.e., pile on those disincentives and you can stop any behavior you want to stop. Too bad it doesn’t work.

Hate crimes are as old as the Bible and, when you boil it down, people who commit this type of crime are doing so because of their own insecurity and emotional instability. Laws and rules may have a small impact on a few of these people but they will not come near to solving the problem.

(This article was also posted at My View from the Center.)


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12 Responses to “Hate Criminals Not Intimidated”



  1. Tom |

    I agree completely. I’ve never understood the rationale behind hate crimes laws. I’m not sure there are constitutional problems, but there are certainly moral problems. Why is it more wrong (i.e., a more serious crime) to kill someone because he or she is being robbed than because he or she is black, gay, etc? Whether the murderer wants the victim’s money or hates the victim for what he or she is, the crime is still murder and the victim is just as dead.

    I think you’re also right that hate crimes laws aren’t a deterent. The cretins who engage in gay-bashing, for example, aren’t generally intellectual giants, and they’re not likely to hesitate before beating a gay man to give thoughtful consideration to the fact that it’s a hate crime.


  2. Brianna |

    I agree as well. Different laws for different people is unethical, prejudiced, and unconstitutional. Doesn’t matter whether they are hate crime laws or Jim Crow.


  3. Brian Bagent |

    Well, if there are “hate crimes,” mustn’t there necessarily be “love crimes”? I’m not sure I’ve ever seen someone bludgeoned, shot, raped, knifed, robbed, or burglarized out of love, but I guess I just need to get with the program and pretend.


  4. Cristla |

    Obviously Brian you do not read the news or listen to it because everyday of the week there is a love crime. Jealous women and men kill destroy or hurt each all in the name of love.


  5. Cristla |

    Harvey I totally agree with your article. A crime is a crime no matter what it is called


  6. Harvey |

    Hate crimes, love crimes I guess the only ones who don’t deserve extra punishment are the people who just commit murder without thinking about it.


  7. Brian Bagent |

    Cristla, a crime of passion is not a crime of love. I would suggest to you that what many people know or believe of love just isn’t so.

    Christian or not, 1 Cor 13 sums up love. Do you suppose that the drunken husband that beats his wife to a bloody pulp really loves her? How about the vicious wife that emasculates her husband in public? Does she truly love him?


  8. Tom |

    Brian, I never served in the trenches as a big-city police officer, like you did, and I’m sure you saw your share of assaults and murders. The victims were just as wounded or just as dead, no matter what the motives of the perpetrators.

    Love crimes, hate crimes, crimes of passion, crimes of greed…the victim isn’t more or less injured or dead depending on why he or she was attacked. So-called “hate crimes” is a political, and politically correct, concept designed to please special interest groups, and it doesn’t belong in the law.


  9. Cristla |

    Brian- No I do not believe that any person that puts a hand to someone loves it is about control. Women usually do physical harm because they have been hurt mentally or physically by someone. Men that have to hit or verbally abuse have low self-esteem. One can only love when they love themselves. Now, back to the topic a victim is a victim no matter what you will call it. As a former police officer you should know that a crime is a crime and a victim is a victim non the less. People classify everything instead of seeing it for what it is.
    Tom-I totally agree with you


  10. doris |

    People hurt those they love every day.


  11. Brian Bagent |

    Cristla, my first response was purely tongue-in-cheek to illustrate the absurdity of “hate crimes.” My point about “love crimes” is simply this: one does not intentionally and criminally injure anyone that they love.

    Nobody ever held up a convenience store because they loved the clerk.
    Nobody ever burglarized a house because they loved the homeowner.
    Nobody ever raped a woman because they loved her.
    Nobody ever murdered anyone because they loved them.
    Nobody ever gave a beating to within an inch of the victim’s life because they loved that victim.

    Does the black murder victim care that his malefactors where Klansmen? Does the white woman care that her rapist was a black man? Does the convenience store clerk care at all what color the hand that is holding a pistol in his face is?


  12. Cristla |

    Brian- “one does not intentionally and criminally injure anyone that they love.” That statement is so true. They wait until they have found someone new and then just discard them like they did not exist. Move on telling themselves that the person they had been with had too many flaws when in fact it is usually the person that leaves with the most problems. The next one will be perfect too for awhile but then will eventually suffer the same fate. You seem to be able to quote scripture and talk about what one does if they love someone but you my friend seem to really know nothing about it.
    Now, to respond to you questions at the end, no I am sure that no one cares what color the skin of a criminal is as i stated previously I totally agree with Tom on the “hate crime” issue


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