It is an interesting question. And an important one.
"Hate Crime" itself is a term that many don't understand. What, exactly, is a hate crime? Why is it necessary to add that designation to a crime that is already on the books? For example, assault and murder are already against the law. What difference should it make if you also make it a hate crime?
The best rationale that I have heard is that if someone commits a random murder, there is only one victim. If, on the other hand, someone murders an African-American while wearing Klan regalia and burning a cross in their yard, there is more than one victim. There is the person killed, but in addition, the entire black community also become victims to a lesser degree. The crime is committed in part with the intent to cause fear in that community. If a person is gay-bashed, the beating isn't directed at the individual fag, it is intended to cause harm and fear to the entire gay community, to put them in their place or to drive them away. If someone paints a swastika on a Jew's door, it isn't simply property damage against one individual, it is intended to terrify a whole community. So it isn't the individual assault or murder, it is the harm directed at a whole community that raises a crime to the level of a "hate" crime.
I'm not a lawyer, and I don't know the legal definition of a hate crime, but the general premise makes imminent sense to me.
I haven't followed this case closely enough to know if it would qualify under that description of a hate crime, but on the surface, it certainly looks like a possibility.
Aren't hate crimes only what islamo-fascists do?
Yes, as only islamo-fascists are terrorists.
Tell that to ETA.
It's not a hate crime, because nothing he did indicated that he specifically hated little girls. Everything indicates, however, that he simply wanted the most sympathetic, helpless victims possible, and little girls fit the bill.
It's a hideous crime, precisely because he chose the worst possible victims, but it's not a crime driven by hatred of the victims.
It may have something to do with the Amish not really being a separate race -- except in as much as they breed only within the Amish community, as doing otherwise results in shunning -- nor are they a separate gender or sexual preference.
BC notes that young girls are helpless, so they make good victims. Young Amish girls are theoretically even more helpless, as they are very unlikely to be defended by guards, police, guns, etc.
Oh, Bob Dole, how we miss you.
BC said: "It's not a hate crime, because nothing he did indicated that he specifically hated little girls."
You mean, nothing besides rounding up only girls and slaughtering them?
I think, in order to define it as a hate crime, you'd have to look at the ultimate motivation. If it's just crazy - well, you can't legislate away crazy. On the other hand, a crime committed against a specific group for the purpose of intimidating or terrorizing that group IS a hate crime. So what you have to look at is whether the lunatic in this particular case was interested in keeping all women, or girls, in a state of fear.
In the Amish case, I'd be inclined to say no; the motivation in that case looks to me like barking mad, not desire to intimidate. In a case like the one in Colorado, that one lends itself more to the definition of a hate crime.
By that definition, Diana, every crime is a hate crime.
The perpetrator always chooses certain victims over all others. If the reason isn't a general hatred of the victim's class, then it's not a hate crime.
speaking of outrage, how come the apologist erica has nocomments about the city council's $200,000 "investigation"??????
the only logical conclusion to be drawn from those two columnists is that any crime perpetrated against anyone but straight white males is a hate crime. that is not only ridiculous it renders useless the concept of a hate crime in the first place.
even as a gay man I have always thought the idea of a hate crime was an unfortunate one. acts should be criminalized, not thoughts or beliefs. (the only problem left, then, is the law already draws distinctions in crime motivation, such as pre-meditated murder versus a spontaneous, crime of passion, etc.)
The gunman told his wife that years ago he had molested two girls related to him and confessed in his suicide note that he dreamed of molesting again, even bringing lubricant to the scene of his crime. Five of the ten girls died, and at least one of the injured girls may not survive.
Right, he didn't hate women or girls, he was just looking for the easiest victims. Of course, it would have been much easier for him to run in there and shoot the first children he spotted. Separating out the boys and girls demonstrates a premeditated decision to kill ONLY the girls.
a crime committed against a specific group for the purpose of intimidating or terrorizing that group IS a hate crime
The legal definition of a hate crime doesn't require that the criminals intended to terrorize the group in general. In order for a crime to be classified as a hate crime, it has to be demonstrated that the criminal hated that group and wanted to do harm to one or more members of that group.
any crime perpetrated against anyone but straight white males is a hate crime.
Uh, no, if a black guy walked into a school, separated out the white students and executed them, that would also be a hate crime. Hate is not exclusive to any color, gender, or creed.
Id like to know why either men of the past few weeks(Amish and in Colorado) - let alone the suspect in the death of the U of Vermont young woman last week - aren't held up as examples of the inherent pathology of heterosexual men.
If Foley's behavior is being bandied about as typical homosexual sickness, then why isnt the same standard applied to the molesting, murdering hetero men?
keshmeshi, you are saying that all rape and pedophilia is a hate crime. All that abusing a definition like that does is make it worthless.
But then, I think the phrase "Hate crime" lost a lot of it's value a long time ago, for precisely that reason.
I don't agree, BC, that my comment makes all crimes a hate crime.
If the perpetrator had shot five boys and five girls, or even the first ten children he saw, that would be random, and not a hate crime. Sorting them by gender and then executing only the girls is more than just an unfortunate or meaningless coincidence, it indicates a preference for committing murder targeting a "specific group."
I'm echoing Keshmeshi's comments, I suppose.
Unfortunately, even if we can all agree that this was a hate crime against girls, the FBI guidelines for defining a hate crime do not include gender in their definition of bias. ("Bias Crime: A criminal offense committed against a person or property which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin; also known as Hate Crime." http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/hatecrime.pdf)
Bias against women is considered normal crime, otherwise rape of females would be a hate crime and then what would the FBI do?
I think that most stranger rape does fall in the category of hate crimes... after all, is the motivation really just to have an orgasm?!? No, it's to subjugate a woman, as an indication of contempt or rage.
Date rape is trickier, of course, but even then I think most men who commit it have contempt for the woman... how else would you justify giving someone a roofie so you can fuck them? I wouldn't call that respectful or friendly!
It saddens and sickens me that violence against women has been normalized to the point that the men who commit it are not considered to "hate" women.
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