Thursday, July 16, 2009


After hearing a segment of John McCain's speech on NPR this morning where he basically calls Democrats unAmerican for wanting to attach the Hate Crime bill to the military budget I'm more thankful than ever that Obama was elected. Obama's not moving on gay civil rights and seems to be a little confused on torture, but he isn't showing the complete and total lack of understanding of the human condition the way JMcC displayed in this speech. The irony and the hypocrisy shown in this display kind of make my mind melt.

JMcC's point was that adding a hate crime bill to the military budget would somehow reduce our national security. Convenient how he overlooked the fact that the biggest terror threat to Americans is hate motivated violence from their neighbors, something this bill addresses. I can understand the point of view that we shouldn't need to punish hate crimes as more than just crimes, but I disagree. The point of hate crimes is to terrorize groups of people by being exceptionally nasty to one. The reason the legislation is desireable is that even in this millenium, not only are Americans still violently attacked for being a low status minority (mostly directed at gays) or even being suspected of being gay, but there are still police forces and DA's who won't prosecute these cases at all. The hate crimes bill makes it less likely that these cases can be glossed over as "boys being boys". The hate crimes bill is not needed so much to go over the top in sentencing as it is to get the crimes punished AT ALL. Somewhat like affirmative action is (yes is, not yet was) necessary to establish a less unequal opportunity for minorities, this is something that addresses a lack. In a better world, we wouldn't need hate crimes law because hate crimes would be routinely prosecuted and punished, not glossed over. But in a truly better world, we wouldn't be resorting to hate crimes in the first place.

Truly, someone who doesn't see that domestic terrorism and living in fear of your neighbor is a far worse threat to the daily functioning of Americans than is the threat of someone halfway around the world bestirring themselves to come over here and wreaking some short term havoc. Doesn't mean the short term havoc is preferred, it just means it doesn't occur as often, and doesn't necessarily intrude toxicity on daily life as much as the domestic terrorism of hate crimes do. I'm so glad we escaped this guy.

No comments: