I published an op-ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution opposing a hate crimes bill that eventually passed out of the Georgia Legislature and was signed into law, but not before it was amended to exclude victim categories — in other words, it was amended so that it would apply to anyone, not just to members of certain identity groups.
A sort of ecumenical hate crimes law, like those “coexist” bumper stickers, only not like the people who have them on their cars, who, oddly, strongly prefer both exclusion of and differentiation between all peoples into bloody warring sectionalism when it comes to anyplace other than the rear bumper of their Volvo.
A few years later, the Georgia Supreme Court overturned Georgia’s 2000 non-identity-specific hate crime law on the grounds of vagueness, which is an interesting story for another day.
I can’t seem to find my op-ed in the AJC’s digital archive. I think they didn’t archive all op-eds at that time because some of my other ones are there. Or, it’s a vast conspiracy. Very much likely the former.
I have a crude photocopy of a photocopy that wouldn’t do to reproduce here, so here is the text re-typed by hand. If anyone better at using this Interweb thing than I, which is virtually all people, can find a link or a legible copy, I’d certainly appreciate it. Meanwhile, my enemies will certainly attest to its legitimacy. In terms of it existing, that is.
As for me, in some ways I cringe reading this, though the younger me does make some good logical points. What a fussy feminist academic hectorer I was! I’m far less mincingly logical now, yet simultaneously no less accurate. We’re talking about legislation, for God’s sake, not reality.
Far better to be the vigorous yeoman hectorer of today.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March ??, 2000 ...