petty (hate) crimes

I love cop dramas and thanks to Netflix I can watch The Wire, The Shield, Dexter, Southland, Flashpoint, or whatever whenever I have the time and desire to satisfy my ‘fix.’ This past weekend I was watching one of the aforementioned cop shows and the theme of one particular episode was ‘hate crimes.’

I have always bristled at that classification because it’s sounds almost like a misnomer. Hate crime. It seems to only be applied to crimes that are perpetrated against Muslims or gays. Were they called hate crimes 60 years ago when Blacks were being beaten, raped, hung, and murdered in droves? They were barely even called crimes.

I’m sorry but I reject the ‘hate crime’ category. Even though these groups are targeted by some hateful and ignorant people, America is still the safest place for most Muslims and Gays to live. How do you prove ‘hate’ in the court of law anyway? Sometimes a crime is just a crime and hateful heart or not, it’s still a crime. What do you think?

Published by kenn

author. developer. illustrator. Renaissance man.

2 thoughts on “petty (hate) crimes”

  1. Katina says:

    Well I have to say that I actually find the term “hate crime” very fitting. Crimes are motivated by many things (poverty, drugs, lust etc), so the fact that it is called a “hate crime” just highlights that there was no other motivation to commit the crime other than hate. Plus, a hate crime is a hate crime whether people want to call it that or not (like 60 years ago as you mentioned). Labels change with time, but the nature of the crime doesn’t.

  2. kenn says:

    You see, that’s just the thing. Our need to label things so much is why so many criminals go free. If someone commits a murder of a gay man and is charged with a hate crime, the defending lawyer will challenge the prosecution to prove that the accused had a history or pattern of hatred toward the group that the victim is affiliated with. This is difficult to prove unless he was very vocal in his aggression and ‘hatred.’ The accused will walk once the prosecution can’t prove their case of a ‘hate crime.’

    Yes, a lot of crimes are driven by consequence, poverty, and other factors. Hate crimes are specific to violent crimes though. I should have been articulate about that side of my argument.

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