Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Hate Crimes...

There really shouldn't be a such thing as the broad label of hate crime --as we have seen evidenced time and again, if there is black on white crime it isn't a "hate crime" and I suspect of there was gay on straight crime it wouldn't be a "hate crime"...

I'm not really complaining about this because, quite frankly, I'm not even sure what "hate crime" is... Isn't ANY crime a hate crime? If you murder someone in cold blood, does it really make a difference why? Does it matter if you randomly killed them or killed them because they were Black or Asian or liked Trent Reznor, were bi-sexual or wore tapered pants and Keds? How can we know someone's intent/motivation and even when we do --what the hell does it matter...the person is still dead, or raped, or robbed or injured.

...The story that inspired this mini uninspired rant is this one... A white NYU student (20 yr. old Broderick Hehman) was grabbed, hit, punched and chased into New York traffic by four Black teens that were allegedly chanting "Get the White Boy" (Or something to that effect -I've read a few different versions on the exact wording and grammar i.e. "Get Whitey") --they chased him to his death. No "hate crime" charge is being filed. A burglary charge is all that has been brought --and it will be heard in family court. Switch it around --a black student is chased... you get the point right...

"The evidence discovered by the District Attorney’s office revealed that Mr. Hehman was approached by a group of teenagers. He was held in a bear hug and punched in the side of his head. The teenagers also attempted to rob him.

The victim succeeded in breaking free from his attackers but the group pursued him and converged on him from two sides. He was chased into the street where he was struck by a car. Mr. Hehman sustained fractures to the base of the skull and the side of his head. He suffered cerebral trauma and died at Harlem Hospital days later.

One NYPD police officer said, on condition of anonymity, "This is a travesty. These street punks are getting a slap on the wrist. They did complete a felony -- assault -- when they grabbed the student and punched him. They just didn't want to throw the
book at these kids."

He also said, "They didn't want to charge them with a bias crime because they don't want the [crime] stats to show a black-on-white bias crime. You can be sure if the roles were reversed -- if it was a white-on-black incident -- it would have been treated as a bias crime." (source)

And then there's this from one of the perpetrator's grandfather:

"Rodney Jenkins, a grandfather of one of the 15-year-olds, said he spoiled his grandson so he would never be lured into the thuggery that upends the lives of so many young black men.”He has a jacket for every day of the week and stack of jeans," Mr. Jenkins said. "We do that so he won't have to go to the street to sell drugs." (source)

Someone give me a pro-hate crime charge argument. Please, don't take this to mean that I condone racially/sexually motivated crime --I just don't see what difference labeling crime does... Like I said, to me ALL crime is hate-based.

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