We’ve long felt that the legal category of “hate crime” was unnecessary, easily abused, and redundant. If you commit a crime against someone, the sentence should fit the parameters of that crime. Sorry, but assault does not become more heinous when the perpetrator is a racist or the victim is a gay man. By all means, “hate” can and should play a role in a prosecutor’s attempt to prove motive, but to actually have laws on the books that dispense unequal justice because of the ideological reasons behind a crime? No, that doesn’t make any sense, it never has, and it never will.
What it does, unfortunately, is open up a can of worms where anti-free speech Democrats can begin stretching the definition of a hate crime to fit their needs and pander to their minority constituents. Such is what we’re seeing in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, where New York State Senator Jesse Hamilton wants to make it a prosecutable hate crime whenever a person calls the police on a law-abiding person of color. The proposed legislation is personal; Hamilton introduced it after a supposed Trump supporter called 911 to report him for campaigning.
“That’s gonna be a hate crime,” Hamilton said. “This pattern of calling the police on black people going about their business and participating in the life of our country has to stop.”
Again, this is a dispatch from the Redundant Department of Redundancy. There are already laws on the books that punish residents for making false reports and false accusations and for abusing the 911 system. If whites are calling the police on blacks to report non-crimes with malice in their hearts, then they can be arrested, prosecuted, and fined under those statutes. If they honestly thought a crime was being committed, then there’s no further case. In either scenario, we don’t see the need to bring “hate crime” into it.
Unfortunately, what we’re looking at here is another example of how viral social media trends can affect public opinion in a way that doesn’t match with the facts. You wouldn’t have this idiot in New York calling for this legislation if it weren’t for the onslaught of sensationalized “Permit Patty” stories, making dumb Americans think that whites are rampantly calling the cops on innocent blacks every single day in every single city. This is a cousin, of course, of the police shooting videos, where three or four awful (though not always as awful as they appear) stories come to represent all of American law enforcement.
We need lawmakers who will base laws on reason, fact, and hard statistics, not on whatever current trend is blowing through the halls of social media.