New hate crimes law is a mistake

Star Parker
Star Parker

STAR PARKER
FOUNDER & PRESIDENT
COALITION ON URBAN RENEWAL & EDUCATION

President Barack Obama has signed into law the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Actually, he signed into law the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act tacked onto which was the hate crimes legislation.

Sen. Harry Reid, our brave Democratic majority leader, slipped the hate crimes bill into the defense authorization bill to avoid having to have our senators consider the controversial hate crimes bill on its own.

It’s for good reason that our Democratic legislators wanted to hide under a rock while passing this terrible piece of legislation. It may help them with the far left wing of their party. But weakening and damaging our country is not something to be proud of. And that is exactly what this new hate crime law does.

The bill adds extra penalties to violent crimes when they are deemed motivated by gender, sexual orientation, or disabilities. It’s the first major expansion of hate crimes legislation originally passed in 1968, targeted then to crimes aimed at race, color, religion, and national origin.

After signing this new law, Obama celebrated it by saying that in this nation we should “embrace our differences.”

But law isn’t about embracing our differences. It is about providing equal and non-arbitrary protection to all citizens.

Equal protection for every individual American under the law is what the 14th Amendment to our Constitution, passed after the Civil War, guarantees. That this nation takes this guarantee seriously — that there are no classes of individuals treated differently under the law — has been a justifiable obsession of blacks.

A society in which all life is not valued the same, where murder of one citizen is not the same as the murder of another citizen, is a horror that black Americans have known too well.

So it is a particular irony that this major expansion of the politicization of our law has been signed by our first black president.

What could it possibly mean that the penalty for the same act of violence — for murder — may be different depending on what might be deemed to be the motivation?

Can you imagine a football game where the penalty for roughing the passer is 20 yards rather than 15 yards if the referee concludes that the violence perpetrated was motivated because the quarterback was homosexual?

Is it not a sign of our own pathology that we now have codified that it is worse to murder a homosexual than someone who has committed adultery, even with your husband or wife, or who has slandered or robbed? Isn’t the point murder?

Can we really believe that someone capable of murder is less likely to do so if the victim is a homosexual and the penalties are greater?

It should be clear that hate crime law has nothing to do with improving our law but rather with creating favored political classes. It is something that should be hateful to everyone who cares about a free society, and particularly hateful to those, such as blacks, who have been victimized by politicization of law.

How about the sad and pathetic recent murder of a 16-year-old Christian black honor student in Chicago by four teenage thugs, also black?

A hate crime?

Black on black homicides are tearing up our inner cities. Hate crimes?

The social breakdown that produces the disproportionate violence in black America is the product of the same moral relativism and politicization of law that has produced hate crime bills.

We already have a source, which instructs against murder and to love your neighbor as yourself.

But this has been banned from our schools and our public spaces.

So once again, in what is becoming our Godless nation, we mistake the disease for the cure.

Star Parker is president of the Coalition on Urban Renewal & Education and author of the new book White Ghetto: How Middle Class America Reflects Inner City Decay. Prior to her involvement in social activism, Star Parker was a single welfare mother in Los Angeles, California. After receiving Christ, Star returned to college, received a BS degree in marketing and launched an urban Christian magazine.

12 Responses to “New hate crimes law is a mistake”

  1. OK, lets talk about two hypothetical people. Person “A” is a homosexual male. After going through multiple casual sex partners he has settled on a possible “partner-for-life,” to whom he is usually faithful. He was among a group of gay protesters who disrupted a church service in California. Person “B” is a white, married, Christian mother of three. She does much work to help the homeless in her area.

    Now, by the logic of “hate crimes” laws, which of these people is considered more valuable to society?

  2. DCM,

    If you oppose federal hate crimes legislation so strongly — to the point where you have to put the phrase in quotation marks — do you think the government should remove “religion” from the list of hate crime motivations? I ask because the Christians who are against this this law don’t seem to have a problem being recognized as a protected class themselves, something I have always thought to be extremely hypocritical.

  3. Person “A”? Person “A” because whatever is done to Person “B” would not be attributed to a hate crime and therefore not deserving of the attention and extra penalties?

  4. soccerphoenix, murder is murder. Rape is rape. Assault is assault. It is equally bad no matter who the victim. Exception to this rule is if the victim is a child.

  5. With that said… Soccerphoenix, Christians don't have the same protection as many groups. Homosexuals can openly discuss their sexuality in many school, while Christians dare not discuss their religion.

  6. soccerphoenix – Is “religion” even on the list of hate crime motivations? Even if it is, I still don't see a valid point to “hate crimes” laws. And, as Carrie K points out, it's a myth that Christians are a “protected class,” at least any more. They get unfairly accused of being a “protected class,” usually by those who want to remove what little protection Christians seem to have left. (And, yes, I use quotes a lot — get used to it!)

  7. Congratulations – you have successfully figured out my obvious & heavy-handed point!

  8. DCM,

    Yes, “religion” is on the list of federal hate crime motivations. It was first instituted by the 1969 Federal Hate Crimes Law, reinforced by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, and upheld by last week's Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act. If that weren't enough evidence, even Star Parker's article proves my point: “The bill adds extra penalties to violent crimes when they are deemed motivated by gender, sexual orientation, or disabilities. It’s the first major expansion of hate crimes legislation originally passed in 1968, targeted then to crimes aimed at race, color, religion, and national origin.”

    So as far as the federal government is concerned, Christians are indeed a protected class, and have been so for the last forty years. But if Christians truly are the persecuted minority that you make them out to be, could you please give a few examples of how the so-called “gay culture war” has personally affected you? Have any of your civil rights been restricted?

  9. Well, I *did* say it really didn't matter if religion was on the list — hate crime laws still wouldn't make sense. And nobody has claimed that Christians are a “minority” or that every one of us has had civil rights restricted — just that, as a whole, we're seeing unfair (though not unexpected) opposition. As for how any “gay” issues have personally affected me, I have had opportunity to minister to a few homosexuals (though not nearly enough) in different stages of recovery, and to learn things about them that militant gay-rights types clearly would rather I not understand.

  10. DCM,

    What DOES really matter is that you didn't even know that religion is on the list of hate crime motivations in the first place, which tells me that you don't fully understand what you are talking about. You are obviously entitled to your opinion, but the least you could do is make it an informed one.

    My reference to Christians as a persecuted minority was somewhat tongue-in-cheek: while you are certainly not the minority in the United States, you sure do act like it. I would have a much easier time sympathizing with your perceived oppression if it weren't for the fact that fundamentalist Christians have been committing unprovoked persecution against homosexuals for centuries. True, gay-rights advocates have disrupted church services, verbally harassed those who seek to put our civil liberties to a vote, and committed other acts of civil disobedience, but at least we have never burned anyone at the stake. If you take a look at the blood-soaked history of your religion, you will see that the same cannot be said for Christians.

  11. Well, I *did* say it really didn't matter if religion was on the list — hate crime laws still wouldn't make sense. And nobody has claimed that Christians are a “minority” or that every one of us has had civil rights restricted — just that, as a whole, we're seeing unfair (though not unexpected) opposition. As for how any “gay” issues have personally affected me, I have had opportunity to minister to a few homosexuals (though not nearly enough) in different stages of recovery, and to learn things about them that militant gay-rights types clearly would rather I not understand.

  12. DCM,

    What DOES really matter is that you didn't even know that religion is on the list of hate crime motivations in the first place, which tells me that you don't fully understand what you are talking about. You are obviously entitled to your opinion, but the least you could do is make it an informed one.

    My reference to Christians as a persecuted minority was somewhat tongue-in-cheek: while you are certainly not the minority in the United States, you sure do act like it. I would have a much easier time sympathizing with your perceived oppression if it weren't for the fact that fundamentalist Christians have been committing unprovoked persecution against homosexuals for centuries. True, gay-rights advocates have disrupted church services, verbally harassed those who seek to put our civil liberties to a vote, and committed other acts of civil disobedience, but at least we have never burned anyone at the stake. If you take a look at the blood-soaked history of your religion, you will see that the same cannot be said for Christians.