Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Thursday,
Jul 24th

A hate crime’s circularity

E-mail Print PDF

Does the designation “hate crime” and its enhanced penalty reduce crime? As we understand the logic behind the added legal designation, it is not primarily designed to reduce crime. Rather, it is designed to defend a certain populace because, supposedly, an entire populace, and not just an individual victim, is harmed by a “hate crime.” If, for example, a Jew is targeted because he is a Jew, then the entire Jewish populace is harmed by the crime. Hence, the designation and the enhanced penalty.

That there is no evidence that the designation “hate crime” reduces crime should be enough to put a stop to its use. Not to mention, the breakdown of the general populace into categories of people polarizes society, pitting one group against another. But leave that aside for the moment. Let us examine the claim that the designation “hate crime” protects a certain populace, above and beyond the prosecution of a hate-motivated criminal. Let us apply this rationale to the Kansas City shootings at the local JCC, which tragically left three people dead.

By designating this murder a hate crime, as the federal government has done, who becomes the protected populace? The Jews? But it was not Jews who were killed, nor these days,  should it be expected that an attack on a Jewish Community Center would necessarily target Jews, since JCCs around the country make a big deal out of welcoming non-Jews as members. Similarly, YMCAs make a big deal out of welcoming non-Christians. An attack on a YMCA would not necessarily target Christians.

Well, then, would the protected populace  at the Kansas City JCC be non-Jews? That surely is circular, since non-Jews constitute the great bulk of society. To designate them as the victim of a hate crime would rob the specificity of the designation of all meaning.

We reach the circularity, ineffectiveness — and unnecessary polarization — of the the designation. It should be repealed. It destroys e pluribus unum. It destroys the idea of one society. American has become a  patchwork of subsets. To be human is no longer good enough.

Copyright © 2014 by the Intermountain Jewish News

Last Updated ( Friday, 18 April 2014 01:37 )  

IJN e-Edition

This is only a taste! Get full access to the IJN via our e-Edition, only $14.04 for IJN Print subscribers.

E-Edition subscribers get access to a complete digital replica of the IJN, which includes all special sections.

Get the IJN's free newsletter!

Shabbat Times

JTA News

Israel calls for rejection of U.N. Human Rights Council inquiry

Ron Kampeas Israel’s government called for the rejection of a U.N. Human Rights Council inquiry into the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. ... [Link]

FAA, reviewing Israeli measures, lifts flight ban

Ron Kampeas The Federal Aviation Administration lifted its ban on flights to Israel after reviewing Israeli measures to keep flights safe from rockets. ... [Link]

Obama administration presses for $225M addition to Iron Dome funding

Ron Kampeas The Obama administration asked Congress to fast-track Israel’s request for an additional $225 million for the Iron Dome anti-missile system. ... [Link]

Former Auschwitz guard dies before extradition to Germany

Marcy Oster Johann Breyer, the 89-year-old Philadelphia man who served as a guard at Auschwitz and was scheduled to be extradited to Germany, has died. ... [Link]

Police: Murdered Florida State prof Dan Markel was target

Marcy Oster Dan Markel, the Florida State University law professor who was murdered in his home, was shot in the head by someone who wanted him dead, police said. ... [Link]

Three IDF soldiers killed in Gaza home explosion

Marcy Oster Three Israeli soldiers were killed in a Gaza house rigged with explosives. ... [Link]

Brooklyn man must pay $522,000 in Israeli charities scam

Julie Wiener A Brooklyn man who pleaded guilty to felony tax fraud in an Israeli charities scam was ordered to pay more than a half-million dollars in a civil suit. ... [Link]

The Israel-Hamas war through haredi Orthodox eyes

Miriam Moster Was a gay pride parade to blame for the kidnapping of three Israeli teens? Can modest garb and ice cream save civilian lives? ... [Link]

Intermountain Jewish News • 1177 Grant Street • Denver, CO 80203 • 303 861 2234 • FAX 303 832 6942
email@ijn.com • larry@ijn.com • lori@ijn.com