Much discussion has come up the past few days around the blogosphere about hate crimes. Our blog, Antibvbl.net has come under some undeserved fire over not commenting on the sentencing of Latino rapists in recent weeks. Some apples and oranges comparisons have been made which are just plain silly in my opinion.
First of all we saw no point in commenting on the heinous act of child rape. This is a burn-in-hell offense, in our opinion, regardless of who does it. The reader comment section and BVBL.net both covered this event from their own perspectives. What more was there to add? We oppose child rapists regardless of ethnicity. Furthermore, we want anyone found guilty of this hideous act to be punished to the full extent of the law. If the perpetrator is an illegal immigrant, then we want them deported to their country of origin after serving their sentence.
We will not report each and every crime committed but will comment if we feel something needs to be highlighted. Readers may continue to email us with suggested articles.
Moving right along, to hate crimes, I went straight to the F.B.I. website for this one.
A hate crime, also known as a bias crime, is a criminal offense committed against a person, property, or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin.
The key here is motivation. Was the man attacked because he was gay or was a man attacked who coincidentally happened to be gay? Those are the questions that law enforcement asks each time a suspicious crime is committed. Some are very clear cut like painting swastikas all over a Jewish temple. Others are more complicated and must be proven both as a charge and for a verdict. Some cases remain forever in those gray areas.
Certainly every crime against Hispanics is not a hate crime or racially motivated. Yet sometimes they are. In the past year we had some good old Prince William boys going around trying to ‘rob a Mexican.’ This is a hate crime. The motivation is to rob Mexicans. Not to rob someone just get money.
A harder case to prove would be someone robbing a senior citizen. Is the senior robbed because seniors are hated or because a senior citizen is seen as less likely to put up strong resistance? Would a perp attempt to rob the fullback on the football team or some little old lady?
Here is a chart showing the various categories of hate crimes in 2004. Hopefully this information will keep debate between what is a hate crime and what is not to a minimum. Hate crimes, if proven to be that, carry stiffer penalties