US Hate Crime Bill Passes

September 30th, 2005 Björn Hallberg

Many countries, including Sweden already have such laws in place. - Hate crime prevention advocates applauded the September 14 bipartisan House vote (223-199) on a new bill that would expand federal hate crimes laws.

The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2005, which passed as an amendment to H.R. 3132, the Children’s Safety Act of 2005, expands the definition of hate crimes to include offenses involving actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

Of course, since it is praised by the ADL, I have to assume something is wrong here. I oppose hate crime laws for two main reasons. First, they offer too much redundancy to the legal system. Chances are most hate crimes you commit are already crimes. Killing someone for ethnic reasons is still murder etc.
Second, I cannot fathom why the US elites would sponsor such a bill. Sure, we could assume that the ADL and the Jewish lobby forced them too, but I fear the problem could be far greater and more general. Put simply, I am convinced that this is just another one in a long line of peripheral laws and bills that are designed to empower government and the well-to-do. Just like my favorite example, the Data Quality Act. Like the DQA, this hate crime bill promises a lot but ultimately will deliver little and most likely in a very skewed demographic. The DQA promised that anyone could question federal funded research on basis of factual accuracy. Sounds great doesn’t it? I mean, opposing that makes you seem like someone who favours flawed research. In reality, more than three quarters of all cases brought about have been from corporations trying to overturn the publication of economically damaging data. Such as when the salt industry argued against salt (sodium) intake causing cardiac problems. Likewise, this could be a calculated risk that they are taking in order to curb civil liberties. Not protect them. I see a particularly good application for the new hate crime concept on the Internet. Since much of the Wired is controlled by (nonvoluntary) and operated on US soil (voluntary), we should be very worried. These types of laws are chimeras that rarely, if ever, are constructed for the benefit of little people, be they an ethnic, religious or sexual minority.

Daily Telegram - While the intent of hate-crime legislation is noble, laws against hatred are every bit as much an attempt to legislate morality as sex laws or liquor prohibitions. Instead, we should focus on controlling our actions under existing laws, and then tell government to stop trying to read our thoughts.

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