At the risk of being stoned, I feel the need to voice my opinion. I hope I don’t regret it. I’m writing this not to stir up controversy but to show another way of looking at things. My view comes from the side of common sense and rationality. I am against Hate Crimes. Not just them happening but that they are called that. My intentions are not to downplay the acts labeled as such. But instead to give them perspective. According to Wikipedia, the definition of a hate crime is: “a bias-motivated crime where a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her membership in a certain social group. Including but not limited to: race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or gender identity.”
All the vicious crimes I’ve read about or seen on tv are all horrific. It doesn’t matter WHO they are done to. To me, it doesn’t make them worse because of the reason behind them. To do something truly evil to someone is hateful, no matter the motivation behind it. Like setting someone on fire. Sure, doing that to someone of color or someone that is gay is unconscionable. But why isn’t it equally as bad to do it to ANYONE? Young or old? Single or married? Fat or thin? Black or white? Gay or straight? The outcome is still the same. Whether someone plans it out in advance or just gets it in their head to do, the person is still dead or burned beyond recognition.
In my opinion, all crimes are hate crimes. To do something against a fellow human being, without regard to their feelings is unjust and uncalled for. Domestic violence is a hate crime. Supposedly, the spouse loves their mate but beating them up repeatedly or stabbing them 47 times is hate incarnate.
Instead of singling out people that crimes are committed against, we should treat everyone as equals. Teach children to respect themselves, each other and everyone they come in contact with from that day forward. Not necessarily respect as in the type you earn over time but as the type implied in the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Let people know early and often that every living human being’s life is worth as much as the next. Killing a homeless person that has no living family is just as bad as killing a politician with a huge family. Maybe no one will miss the homeless person but it is disrespectful to think that this person has no value. We don’t all start out with the same advantages or disadvantages in life and not everyone can “make something of themselves”. That doesn’t mean that the world shouldn’t mourn the loss of potential or the soul that was never able to contribute to society. Others may be missed much more but are their lives worth more? In the eyes of the law they seem to be.
That’s another thing I’ve always had a problem with. Laws varying from state to state. I guess originally the idea of state’s being able to set their own laws was good but now it’s to the point where if you kill someone in one state, you get the death penalty. If it’s only a few miles away over the border in another state, it’s life in prison or maybe even less severe punishment. It shouldn’t matter WHERE in the USA a crime is committed. Punishment should be the same across the board. Same goes for other crimes like rape, burglary, driving while intoxicated, fraud, etc. The UNITED States should be united in penalties for crimes. I’m the only person I’ve ever heard express this opinion. Everyone else seems fine with the status quo.
I wrote this blog post almost 2 years ago and had it sitting in my email. I had forgotten about it and found it 6 months ago but didn’t do anything with it. I’m not sure yet that it’s the right time to voice my opinion on this subject or if it ever will be.