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Are “hate crimes” really worse than other crimes? Are these laws applied equally? Who writes the rules for detecting and prosecuting hate crimes?

Lavelle McNutt Sentenced To Life. Finally. After Only 35 Years of Getting Cut Loose for Rape After Rape.

Atlanta serial rapist Lavelle (Lavel, Lavell) McNutt was sentenced to life this week for two rapes and two other assaults that occurred while the convicted sex offender was working in Atlanta’s Fox Sports Grill restaurant.  When you look at McNutt’s prior record of sexual assaults and other crimes, you really have to wonder what inspired the owners of Fox Grill to endanger female employees and customers by choosing to employ him.

Particularly with McNutt’s history of stalking women.  Particularly with the length of his record, and the density of his recidivism.  Was some manager actually sympathetic to McNutt’s hard-luck story?  This is no record to overlook.  Below is my partial round-up of the crimes I could find on-line.  I’m sure there’s more in arrest reports.  This guy is the classic compulsive* offender.

[*Of course, in using words like “compulsive,” I speak strictly as an amateur. Northeastern University Criminologist James Alan Fox has handed down an edict informing all non-criminologists that they are not to use fancy criminologist lingo when talking about crime.  Crime victims, especially, are not supposed to use big words or act like they know stuff.  Furthermore, they’re not supposed to become journalists, because they’re, like, totally damaged.]

James Alan Fox, Professional

We’ll return to Dr. Fox soon.  Very soon.  Back to McNutt:

McNutt’s first adult rape conviction, for two separate rapes in New York State, occurred in 1976, just after he turned 18. When you see an 18-year old convicted of a serious offense, you have to wonder about the contents of his sealed juvenile record: 18-year olds don’t wake up one day, break into the first house they see, and rape the occupant. They usually start experimenting with sexual abuse early in adolescence, victimizing their siblings, peers, and other easy targets. How many children and young women had already been sexually assaulted by McNutt by the time he aged out of the juvenile system?

I believe those victims exist, and that unlike Lavelle McNutt, they were abandoned by society. There’s no way to sugarcoat it: the football coaches and college presidents who treated McNutt like a victim because he was a rapist abetted him in his crimes, thus sentencing his victims to a lifetime without justice.

The two rape victims in the New York State cases were also denied justice, only in a different way. McNutt was sentenced to a preposterously light term of five years for the two rapes. He served less than three years of that, and by 1979 he was a college student at Atlanta’s Morehouse University. Almost immediately, he was charged in another sexual assault, this time for aggravated sodomy. In May, 1979, he began serving a seven-year sentence for that crime. He got out in three years.

In 1982, Lavelle McNutt was 24 years old and already had three adult sexual assault convictions on his record. Two years later, he was convicted of aggravated assault in Clayton County. Was that a rape case, pled down to a non-sexual charge? He also had a burglary conviction in Fulton County, date unknown. Burglary and aggravated assault charges from the early 1980’s might very well have been rapes, or attempted rapes. Atlanta was notorious at that time for going easy on sex offenders — thanks largely to irresponsible jurors who rendered sex crime prosecutions almost impossible to win, regardless of the circumstances. An ugly contempt for victims of rape was the status quo in the courts. The malaise incited by public prejudices towards victims crashed the entire system, and Atlanta was a rapist’s paradise. And a victim’s nightmare. It would be very interesting to know more about those crimes.

In 1984, McNutt was sentenced to five years for the aggravated assault. Oddly, he did serve nearly all of that sentence, receiving only a few months off, probably for the time he was behind bars awaiting sentencing. This is another reason I suspect that the underlying crime was something more serious than aggravated assault. In any case, for five years the public was protected from him. Pre-sentencing reform, this was the best a prosecutor could do. In August, 1989, he was free again.

In 1992, McNutt was charged in Fulton County with the offense called “Peeping Tom.” Funny as that sounds, he was probably casing out a victim to rape or amusing himself between more serious attacks. He received three years for the Fulton crime and 12 months for a crime labeled “other misdemeanor” in Gwinnett County. He was out again two years later, in 1994.

And then the crimes started again. Disturbingly, there are parole officials and possibly prosecutors and judges in Metro Atlanta who then ignored Georgia’s new sentencing laws and continued to illegally grant McNutt leniency, enabling him to rape even more women.  Why is nobody in the Atlanta media looking up these cases and asking the corrections department, to explain their actions?  If I was one of McNutt’s later victims, I’d sue everybody involved in cutting him loose.

Georgia’s sentencing reform law was passed in 1994. It was supposed to enhance sentencing for repeat offenders and extend sentences significantly for so-called “serious violent offenders.” But the law was passed with several default mechanisms that enabled judges to keep releasing repeat offenders onto the streets. Consider this language:

Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this Code section, any person convicted of a felony offense in this state or having been convicted under the laws of any other state or of the United States of a crime which if committed within this state would be a felony and sentenced to confinement in a penal institution, who shall afterwards commit a felony punishable by confinement in a penal institution, shall be sentenced to undergo the longest period of time prescribed for the punishment of the subsequent offense of which he or she stands convicted, provided that, unless otherwise provided by law, the trial judge may, in his or her discretion, probate or suspend the maximum sentence prescribed for the offense [italics inserted]. (O.C.G.A. 17-10-7)

In other words, a criminal must be sentenced to the maximum penalty the second time he is convicted of a felony unless the judge decides to sentence him to something other than the maximum penalty, such as no time at all, as in the case of six-time home burglar Johnny Dennard. What is the point of a law like this? The point is that the criminal defense bar still controlled the Georgia Legislature in 1994, and other elected officials lacked the courage to stand up to them. The rest of the story is that too many judges betray disturbing pro-defendant biases, even when it comes to violent predators like Lavelle McNutt.

Nevertheless, other portions of the 1994 sentencing reform law did strengthen sentences for repeat offenders. In 1996, McNutt was charged with aggravated assault and stalking in Fulton County. Aggravated assault is not one of the “seven deadly sins” that trigger sentencing as a “serious violent felon” under the 1994 act: if it were, he would have been sentenced to life without parole due to his prior rape convictions.

Yet even as a “non-serious violent felon” repeat offender, McNutt was still required under the 1994 sentencing reform act to serve the entire sentence for his crimes. But he didn’t. He was sentenced to six years and served less than four. He walked into prison in January, 1997 and walked out again three and a half years later, in July of 2000. Even counting the time he may have spent cooling his heels in the Fulton County jail before being transferred to the state prison (or maybe not), he was out of prison four years and two months after the date of the crime for which he was sentenced to no less than six years behind bars, with no parole.

Here is the code section that restricts parole for four-time felons:

[A]ny person who, after having been convicted under the laws of this state for three felonies or having been convicted under the laws of any other state or of the United States of three crimes which if committed within this state would be felonies, commits a felony within this state other than a capital felony must, upon conviction for such fourth offense or for subsequent offenses, serve the maximum time provided in the sentence of the judge based upon such conviction and shall not be eligible for parole until the maximum sentence has been served. (from O.C.G.A. 17 -10-7)

Can anybody explain the fact that McNutt was granted parole? Who let him go early, apparently in direct violation of Georgia’s reformed sentencing law? Did the prosecutors fail to record his three prior felony convictions dating back to 1976 — two rapes (counted as one, unfortunately), aggravated sodomy, and the 1984 aggravated assault? Did the judge ignore the law of Georgia in sentencing McNutt? Did the Department of Corrections ignore the no-parole rule? Who is responsible?

These questions remain unanswered since 2009. Heck, they remain unasked, in the Atlanta media market.  More questions:

  • Why didn’t the judge give McNutt a longer sentence in the first place? How could any judge look at the accumulated evidence of violently predatory sexual behavior, of repeat offenses rolling in after each brief incarceration, and not decide that it was his or her duty to protect the public for longer than six years? Does anybody on the criminal justice bench in Atlanta even contemplate public safety in sentencing?
  • Why was McNutt charged with stalking and aggravated assault for the same incident? Was he actually attempting to commit a sexual assault? Could he have been charged with attempted sexual assault instead, a charge that would have triggered the life sentence (read: 14 years) as a serious violent felon and repeat offender? Was he permitted to plead to a charge that didn’t carry life imprisonment? Did the Fulton prosecutor’s office do everything it could do to keep McNutt off the streets, given his disturbing prior history and relentless sequence of serious crimes?
  • Was McNutt’s DNA checked before he was released from prison in 2000? Could other rapes have been solved, and charged, before he walked out of prison again? How many rapes could have been prevented, including the four recent Buckhead-area sex crimes, if this had been done? His first adult rape conviction occurred in 1976 — his latest rape charges occurred quite recently. Does anybody believe he took a twenty-year hiatus from hunting and torturing women?

I have said before that if McNutt had been labelled a hate criminal, someone in the media, or the legal world, or the activist circuit, would have cared.  Serial rapists are hate criminals, at least by the definition created by the activists, no matter how much these same activists try to keep rapes of women out of the discussion.

For, serial rapists choose one random victim after another to target; they attack the things that make their victims women (their sexual organs, and the same goes for serial rapists who target men); they use sexual slurs while violating their bodies; they attempt to degrade them; they spread fear among other women.  So why didn’t the hate crime activists utter a peep over McNutt’s crimes, or the crimes of any of the other serial rapists blighting women’s lives in Atlanta over the years? Why does the media give hate crime activists a pass — the gay groups, the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, CAIR, and Justice Department officials, especially Eric Holder –as they labor hard behind the scenes to keep serial rapes from being counted as hate crimes?

At the very time hate crime activists in Atlanta were busy trying to find the first case that would showcase their new law in the way they wished (the Georgia law is since overturned), Lavelle McNutt slipped out of prison, unnoticed.

Lavelle McNutt had been a free man since July, 2000, working in Atlanta-area restaurants, even managing them. He wasn’t hiding. As if his prior record isn’t bad enough, the current allegations about him are sickening: an informant reported that he carried “duct tape, wigs, lubricant and sex toys” in his car, to use during sexual assaults.

McNutt has now been sentenced for two rapes and two other assaults between 2007 and 2009. And what was he doing between 2000 and 2007?  Where was he?

In April 2007, authorities said, McNutt raped a woman inside her Sandy Springs home on Riverside Drive after holding a knife to her neck and bounding her with duct tape.

Later in February 2009, McNutt was charged with being a Peeping Tom after a woman at Macy’s at Lenox Square in Buckhead discovered a man watching her disrobe in the women’s dressing room.

In March 2009, prosecutors say McNutt attacked a Buckhead woman as she was leaving her apartment on Canterbury Road. He began dragging her away when she broke free and ran for help.

That same day in March, McNutt stole the purse and apartment key card of a woman walking her dog in Piedmont Park. The next day the woman found underwear missing from her home and later discovered hanging in a tree.

She is lucky she didn’t walk in on him.  Lavelle McNutt is a dangerous sadist.  Gerald Ford was president when he was first caught.  Gerald Ford.  The Bicentennial.  Patty Hearst.  Farrah Fawcett.  Apple computers invented.  You know, 35 years ago.

As a society, we simply lack the willpower to behave as if certain crime victims even deserve justice.

It took 35 years to put McNutt away.  Next, I predict, activists will begin trying to overturn his life sentence.  We aren’t done paying for this guy’s lawyers yet.

[formatting updated 8/18/11]

Disappearing Adria Sauceda: The Nun, The SNAP, The Law Professor, The President, His Newspaper and the U.N. Defend Torture-Killer Humberto Leal

The Nun:

This is rapist and murderer Humberto Leal, mugging for the camera beside one of his many supporters, Sister Germaine Corbin.  Not included in the picture?  Sixteen-year old Adria Sauceda.

Adria can’t mug for cameras with nuns because she’s dead.  Not just dead — gang-raped, then kidnapped, tortured, raped, and beaten to death in the desert, her skull crushed with repeated blows from a 40 pound slab of asphalt, her body violated by a fifteen inch broken stick.

But he looks like such a nice boy.  Look at the nun’s smile.

Nuns minister to murderers and Catholics oppose the death penalty.  And so it should be.

But photos like this have nothing to do with ministering to a soul: this is public relations calculatedly erasing the memory of another soul — Adria Sauceda — disappearing her and placing Leal in her place.  Humberto Leal’s supporters — who include the President — want to turn Leal into a mere victim of America’s “vicious and unfair” justice system.  The only way to do this is to lie about the legal record and erase the evidence of his crime, namely an innocent sixteen-year old girl named Adria.  A shopworn way of scrubbing such human evidence is to plaster airwaves with photos of the killers looking shy and boyish in the presence of beaming nuns.

I have a modest suggestion for avoiding such deceptions in the future: the next time Sister Corbin wants to play Helen Prejean by clasping hands for the cameras with someone like this, she should use her other hand to hold up a picture of the victim.  Then things like facts and what is really at stake will not be buried behind the smiles.

A picture of murder victim Adria Sauceda, held in her parents’ hands

The SNAP:

Shamefully, SNAP, the Survivor Network of Those Abused by Priests, has also come out in Humberto Leal’s defense, because, they claim, he was molested by a priest.  But they don’t stop there: in their eagerness to climb into bed with Leal’s Bernadine Dohrn-connected defense team (see below), SNAP is actually promoting the defense’s risible claims of Leal’s innocence.  Their statement of support completely whitewashes Garcia’s crimes, a stunningly cynical act by a group that claims to exist in order to . . . oh, oppose the official whitewashing of sexual crimes:

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, National Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests [contact info deleted].  We wholeheartedly support efforts to postpone the execution of Humberto Leal, and to try and protect kids from Fr. Federico Fernandez, through both secular and church channels.  We believe it is possible, even likely, that Fernandez could be criminally prosecuted, but only if Catholic and Texas authorities aggressively seek out others who saw, suspected or suffered the priest’s crimes. Delaying Mr. Leal’s execution is just and fair and would help this outreach process.

The whitewashing doesn’t end there.  SNAP uses their website to promote a discredited version of Leal’s “innocence.”  This version has been rejected repeatedly by the courts.  Worse, it intentionally minimizes the circumstances of the murdered girl’s suffering.  Here is SNAP’s version, quoting a wildly inaccurate article by someone named Brandi Grissom, who happens to be an anti-death penalty activist writing as a journalist for an online paper.  I’m quoting extensively here to offer some background, but the last paragraph’s the kicker:

One of [a priest’s] alleged victims is Humberto Leal, a death row inmate who in 1995 was convicted of raping and bludgeoning to death a 16-year-old girl. His attorneys this week filed a clemency petition on his behalf. They asked Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to stay his execution and allow him to testify both as a victim and a witness of abuses allegedly perpetrated decades ago by Father Federico Fernandez, who served at St. Clare’s from 1983 to 1988.

Now, others who attended St. Clare’s have been spurred by Mr. Leal’s recent revelations to come forward and report similar abuse. They hope that by telling their stories they can stop the July 7 execution of Mr. Leal, and spur law enforcement to investigate and prosecute Father Fernandez.

The priest, who currently works in a church in Bogotá, Colombia, denies ever abusing anyone.

Church authorities in San Antonio removed him from the parish and sent him to New Mexico for treatment in 1988 after a grand jury indicted him for sexually abusing two other boys. In statements to police, the boys described multiple occasions when Father Fernandez schemed to get them alone and groped them. After the indictment, the boys’ family reached a settlement with the church, and the young men decided not to testify. Charges against Father Fernandez were dropped, and terms of the settlement were sealed.

Even before Father Fernandez arrived at St. Clare’s, he had been accused of sexual misconduct. In 1983, San Antonio police charged him with exposing himself in public, though the charges were eventually dropped. And since Mr. Leal’s revelation, others who attended St. Clare’s have reported similar abuse. . .

As is usually the case in a criminal matter, the facts of what led to Mr. Leal facing execution next month are in dispute — all, that is, except that Adria Sauceda was raped and murdered. Mr. Leal maintains he did not rape the girl and witnesses testified at his trial that she had been gang raped at a party. Witnesses told the authorities that Mr. Leal arrived at the scene and, outraged at what had happened to her, took her away from the party. He admitted that he and Ms. Sauceda physically fought after they left, and that she could have died after he pushed her and she hit her head on a rock. The police found her body about 100 yards from the location of the party.

Hit her head on a rock  . . . as he was rescuing her!  Gee, this Leal guy sounds like he might be innocent, doesn’t he?  And this is SNAP, after all, and they stand beside victims who have had their sexual assaults pushed under rocks, as it were.

Let’s be very, very clear about what SNAP is doing.  They are attempting to deny that Adria Sauceda was raped — again — by Leal as he bludgeoned her to death.  They are using their credibility as a rape victims’ rights organization to say that Leal’s kidnapping and rape of Sauceda may not have occurred.

And this is a rape victims’ rights organization.  Jesus wept, though not just this one time: I’ve seen similar ugliness in other victims’ rights groups hijacked by advocates for offenders.

Regarding the rape, SNAP forgot something.  They forgot the stick.  After the child was taken from the party by Leal, she was raped with a stick.  A jagged stick with screws sticking out of it, to be precise, which, to be even more precise — let’s say discerning — was used on Adria Sauceda while she was still alive.  That’s rape, and SNAP, of all bloody organizations, should know that, rather than quibbling over the number of times a dead girl was violated.  What, are they the only victims who ever matter?  Where is their membership regarding this obscenity?

With this decision to publicly support Leal, and to support him in the way they have chosen, SNAP’s leadership has made itself vulnerable to a common accusation — that they are just left-wing activists using the molestation crisis to attack the growing sexual conservatism of the Catholic Church.  I discount these accusations when they come from people who are themselves busy downplaying the reach of the molestation issue (particularly the cover-ups).  The absurd John Jay “hippies made us do it” “study” is one example of cover-up that discredits its advocates, for example.

But with this swift move by SNAP, such exploitation of victims is full circle now.  As usual, the people left out in the cold are the ones unfortunate enough to have been raped or murdered by one politically protected group or another.

What we’re actually witnessing here is the mundane drumbeat of insinuation, as yet another victims-rights group centrifuges its values and joins its opponents in picking and choosing among victims to support.  In a broader sense, I blame this sort of ethical slippage on the many political satisfactions of “hate crimes” laws, which codify and reward the act of valuing some victims over others.  Once identity politics is larded into sentencing, and activism, it’s easy to throw less politically useful crime victims out with the trash.

Here is the real record of the evidence, from Pro-Death Penalty a serious website that deserves serious attention, especially from those who hold that the death penalty itself is universally insupportable on religious or ethical grounds.  It is especially important for these types of death penalty opponents (I count myself one) to witness the whole truth, to not push away facts, or fall for outrageous claims of innocence, or pose for color glossies with sick sadists, or violate one’s mission statement to defend certain victims by helping bury others.

I encourage you to read the entire story at Pro-Death Penalty, because it catalogs the disturbing censorship by virtually every news agency — and activists at SNAP, among others.  Pro-Death Penalty quotes Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbot.  This passage is long, and painful to read: please remember it as you see the whitewashing of this crime in every media source over the next week:

[A] witness testified that an unidentified male invited him to have intercourse with Adria. The same witness testified that he later observed another man carrying a disoriented Adria to a truck, where he “had his way with her.” Twenty-three-year-old Humberto Leal was also at the party. At some point the intoxicated but conscious victim was placed in Leal’s car. Leal and Adria left together in Leal’s car. About thirty minutes later, Leal’s brother arrived at the party in a car which came to a screeching halt. Leal’s brother was very excited or hysterical. Leal’s brother started yelling to the people left at the party, “What the hell happened!” Leal’s brother was yelling that Leal came home with blood on him saying he had killed a girl. Two of the trial witnesses were present when Leal’s brother made these statements. Shortly thereafter Leal’s brother left in a rush. Several of the party members went looking for Adria in the same area where the party was. They found her nude body lying face-up on a dirt road. They noticed Adria’s head had been bashed in and it was bleeding. Her head was flinching or jerking. These party members called the police. When the police arrived, they saw the nude victim lying on her back. There was a 30 to 40 pound asphalt rock roughly twice the size of Adria’s skull lying partially on Adria’s left arm. Blood was underneath this rock. A smaller rock with blood on it was located near Adria’s right thigh. There was a gaping hole from the corner of Adria’s right eye extending to the center of her head from which blood was oozing. Adria’s head was splattered with blood. There was a bloody and broken stick approximately 14 to 16 inches long with a screw at the end of it protruding from [her body]. Another 4 to 5 inch piece of the stick was lying to the left side of Adria’s skull. The police made a videotape of the crime scene portions of which were admitted into evidence. Later that day, the police questioned Leal. Leal gave two voluntary statements.

Remember this part: it is important, in the context of President Obama’s defense of Leal.  Yes, that President Obama.

In Leal’s first statement he said he was with Adria in his car when she began hitting him and the steering wheel causing him to hit a curb. Leal attempted to calm her down but Adria leaped from Leal’s car and ran away. Leal claimed he sat in his car and waited about ten or fifteen minutes to see if Adria would return and when she did not he went home. After giving this statement, Leal was informed that his brother had also given a statement. Leal then gave another statement. In this statement, Leal claimed he followed Adria when she got out of his car and ran away. Leal claimed Adria attacked him. Leal pushed her and she fell to the ground. When she did not get up Leal attempted to wake her but could not. He then looked at her nose and saw bubbles. Leal stated he got scared, went home, prayed on the side of his mom’s bed and told family members what had happened, claiming it was just an accident. After giving this statement an officer gave Leal a ride home. The police searched Leal’s house. The police seized a blouse which contained several blood stains, hair and fibers. This blouse was later identified as belonging to Adria. The police also seized Leal’s clothing from the night before. Leal was arrested later that afternoon at his home. Leal’s car was also impounded. The police conducted Luminol tests of the passenger door to determine whether any blood was evident. Blood stains were discovered on the passenger door and seat. Detectives testified that the blood stains were streaked in a downward motion, indicating that the blood had been wiped off.  There was insufficient residue to conduct a blood typing of the stains on the vehicle. Other DNA evidence was found on the underwear Leal was wearing that night. That evidence consisted of blood as well as bodily fluid. The DNA test did not preclude Adria’s blood type from the evidence tested. Dr. DiMaio, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy, testified about Adria’s injuries and cause of death. DiMaio testified that even though Adria was intoxicated when she received her injuries, she would have been aware of what was happening to her. In addition to Adria’s massive head injuries, DiMaio testified about injuries Adria received to her chest and shoulder which were consistent with having been inflicted by the stick found in Adria’s vagina. DiMaio also testified about the defensive wounds Adria received to her hands trying to protect herself from some object. DiMaio also testified Adria was alive when the stick was placed in her vagina. Adria’s neck also contained injuries consistent with manual strangulation. DiMaio testified Adria received some of her injuries while standing up. Adria received her head injuries while lying flat. The injuries to Adria’s head were due to blows from the front. These injuries were inconsistent with a fall. Adria’s head injuries were consistent with Adria lying on the ground with somebody standing over her striking her. DiMaio testified the large rock could have delivered the injuries to Adria’s head. Based on the injuries to Adria’s head, DiMaio testified Adria would had to have been struck with the rock two or three times. DiMaio testified Adria died from blunt force trauma injuries to the head. DiMaio could not say for certain that the rock caused the injuries. He testified Adria was beaten about the face with a blunt object or more than one object which could have been the rock or something else. On cross-examination, DiMaio testified that one blow from the rock could have caused Adria’s death. DiMaio also testified about bite marks he found on Adria’s left cheek, the right side of her neck and the left side of her chest. Another witness compared the bite marks on Adria’s chest and neck with dental impressions of Leal’s teeth. They matched. The State’s indictment charged that Leal killed Sauceda while in the course of and attempting either to kidnap her or to commit aggravated sexual assault. Leal was convicted and, after a separate punishment phase, sentenced to death.

Nice work, SNAP.

The Law Professor:

Meanwhile, in the courts, the whitewashing of Adria Sauceda’s murder continues, cradled in the hands of experts trained in such ugly arts.

Humberto Leal’s defense attorney, Sandra L. Babcock, of the terrorist-sheltering law school at Northwestern University, has an interesting vitae.  Ms. Babcock’s research interest is imposing international law on the American justice system, a hobby she practices with her colleague, terrorist-cum-law-professor Bernadine Dohrn.  In 2008, Babcock and Dohrn worked “tirelessly” together to get Chicago’s city council to pass a resolution signing on to the U.N. Convention for the Rights of the Child.  Of course, such things always sound nice.

In 2003, along with the A.C.L.U., The Jimmy Carter Center, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Open Society Institute, Sandra Babcock, Bernadine Dorhn, and Van Jones (he’s listed as “invited”) participated in an A.C.L.U. sponsored conference called Human Rights at Home: International Law in U.S. Courts (program here). The purpose of the conference was to find ways to insinuate international (read: United Nations) laws and resolutions in American legal arenas, as Sandra Babcock is attempting to do to free her client, Humberto Leal.  From the conference program:

The conference will familiarize lawyers and advocates with international human rights treaties, laws and organizing strategies that can strengthen domestic social justice work by:
* Ensuring U.S. accountability for violating international human rights principles in additional to domestic constitutional ones
* Providing new, affirmative protections for workers, poor people, immigrants, and victims of discrimination
* Linking multiple issues to address problems that intersect race, gender, and poverty
* Connecting local advocacy to global struggles

As per her academic research and this movement, Babcock is now claiming that the police failed to inform Leal of his right to Mexican consular support when he was arrested.  Allegedly, this failure violated the rules of the International Court of Justice at the Hague: Leal, as a “Mexican national,” should have simply been able to call “his” embassy and the entire mess — the body, the rock, the stick, the bloody clothes, et. al. could be whisked away like some New Guinean ambassador’s parking tickets.

But there’s one little problem: Humberto Leal has lived in the United States, apparently illegally, since he was two.  Talk about wanting it both ways: Leal was an American until the moment he murdered Adria Sauceda.  That changed in the brief space between bashing in a young girl’s head and wiping down the doors of his car.  Now he’s a “Mexican national,” a term everyone from the President to the New York Times to “human rights” organizations (Leal’s rights, not Sauceda’s) is using with no irony and no explanation, as they lobby to cloak a killer in layers of special privileges while simultaneously lobbying to prevent police from inquiring about immigration status.

Get it?  The police will have to determine if someone is a foreign citizen in order to offer them consular rights, but they’ll also be forbidden to ask if someone is a foreign citizen in the interest of not discriminating against illegal immigrants, a lovely Catch 22 dreamed up by academics.  This cliff we’re careening towards is permanent demotion of Americans’ legal rights on their own soil.  If President Obama, his friend Bernadine Dohrn, and Jimmy Carter get their way, the police are going to find their hands tied in ten different ways, and our criminal justice system will soon be utterly subservient to whatever the hell they dream up at the U.N.

Expect more Humberto Leals.

Why isn’t the president of Mexico (or, say, America) calling for justice for Adria Sauceda?  Is that so difficult to conceive?

In an excellent article in American Thinker, David Paulin writes:

In Mexico, ordinary citizens can expect little from their country’s criminal justice system; it’s not a place where they can count on receiving justice.  So it is surprising that Mexicans on death row in the U.S. can expect so much from their government.  Americans, moreover, have always fared badly when caught in Mexico’s criminal justice system; it’s one of the risks of going to Mexico, and international law does not seem to offer additional guarantees of safety to visitors going there.  Yet in this case and others, Mexico presents itself as a paragon of virtue, committed to the lofty ideals of international law that Texas and other U.S. states are ignoring.

In 2004, Mexico sent its top legal talent to the International Court of Justice in The Hague — and complained about 51 of its citizens being on death rows in various U.S. states; none, they complained, had been advised that their government was prepared to offer them top lawyers for their defense.

That Hague court ruled that the U.S. was indeed bound by the treaty — prompting President George W. Bush to ask the states to apply it and review cases involving Mexican citizens awaiting death sentences.  However, Gov. Perry was unimpressed.  He refused to grant a stay-of-execution for Jose Medellin, 33, an illegal immigrant from Mexico found guilty in the 1993 rape-strangulation of two teenage Houston girls, Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Peña.  Instead, Medellin was executed, despite having never been informed that Mexico was ready to provide him with a great lawyer.

The President and His Newspaper

In order to really disappear Adria Sauceda, fully and truly, you need more than bunches of law professors and activists: you need the media.  The New York Times does not disappoint.  The Times gawkingly refers to Humberto Leal merely as a “Mexican citizen,” as if he wandered over the border one day and ended up smashing a girl’s head in with a rock, his decades of residency in the U.S. tacitly denied.  As they put it:

Mr. Leal, a Mexican citizen, was not immediately informed of his right, under an international treaty signed by the United States, to seek assistance “without delay” from Mexican consular officials in navigating a confusing foreign legal system.  Such help might have been crucial for someone like Mr. Leal who, his lawyers say, had few resources and a limited understanding of his plight.

Poor guy: maybe he didn’t speak English and got lost looking for directions back to the embassy.

Or, maybe people like Northwestern University Law Professor Sandra Babcock have just gotten so used to lying, of not being challenged by the paper of record that they simply don’t expect to be called on even the most astonishing deceptions.  Babcock’s statement is a cringing embarrassment for the Times and Northwestern Law School (which, as Bernadine Dohrn’s employer, admittedly short circuited their ability to blush decades ago).

But Babcock’s Times quote goes beyond lying.  It is direct, false accusation of everyone involved in the Leal conviction, from the police who arrived at the murderer’s house to the U.S. Court of Appeal for the 5th Circuit, which, David Paulin writes, strongly affirmed Leal’s guilt.

Luckily for Ms. Babcock, her accommodating and incurious pals at the Times do not cite the appeals record.  Nor do they interview anyone who might disagree with her fable of “foreigner” Leal’s Bread-and-Chocolate disorientation with the country where he has lived since he was in diapers.  The word of one academician who grotesquely fibbed her way through two previous paragraphs apparently trumps our entire appellate legal system:

“This was an eminently defendable case, and I don’t think it would have been a capital case if he’d had decent trial counsel” from the start, said Sandra L. Babcock, a Northwestern University law professor representing Mr. Leal on behalf of the Mexican government.

Contrast this with the brief summary of Leal’s appeals compiled by John G. Winder.  Brief, but too long to list here.  Would it be too much for the Times to acknowledge that Leal has had at least 45 different hearings and appeals?

Maybe the Times is just practicing for the time when decisions about American justice are being made in the Netherlands, or 760 United Nations Plaza. In any case, reporter Brian Knowlton blithely allows a passel of activists to insist, one after the other, that Leal’s defense was insufficient, without once mentioning those 45 hearings.

Reading Times articles like this one does have its advantages.  It is amazing, the things you can learn when observing activists in their own natural surroundings.  Mexico’s justice system may be incapable of staunching the flow of blood on their own streets, but they’re spending millions of dollars defending outsourced child rapists and murderers from the vagaries of American jurisprudence:

Early assistance in murder cases also matters, said Noah Feldman [continuing the ‘poor Humberto’ meme], a Harvard law professor: [sic] Prosecutors know that seeking the death penalty is a long, difficult, expensive process, and they carefully weigh their chances. Knowing that the accused will be well represented could tip the balance away from seeking death, he said.

With that sort of idea in mind, Mexico in 1999 created an ambitious legal assistance program to aid its citizens in capital cases. The program’s director, Gregory Kuykendall, now heads a team of 32 lawyers; in the year ending in May, Mexico spent $3.5 million on the program, according to the Sunlight Foundation, which focuses on government accountability.

Richard Dieter, executive director of the private Death Penalty Information Center, said Mexico’s active legal support had probably contributed to a decline in death penalty cases in Texas. “I think part of it is just better representation,” he said. “Mexico gives advice to other countries about how to do this.”

So if you want to come to America to rape and murder young women, either tomorrow or some time in 2028, it’s best to get Mexican citizenship first.

However, also according to the Times, the U.S. is not far behind Mexico in preparing the ground, as it were, for the future transition to governance by the United Federation of Planets:

The State Department has held hundreds of training sessions across the country to familiarize federal, state and local law-enforcement officials with the Vienna treaty and has issued a 144-page booklet outlining the requirements, with translations in 20 languages, including Creole and Cambodian.

Written, of course, by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the same “private” organization paid a pretty taxpayer dime to decide and then tell us stuff like why it is that some crimes are called hate crimes and some crimes are just bashing in a young girl’s head while raping her with a stick.  It’s not how laws are written and passed by elected legislative bodies, you see.  What really matters is the opinion of experts like law professors, Eric Holder, the IACP, the United Nations, and the Hague.

At the end of this dark, long road to dismantling the American Justice System, there lies — what?  The District Court of the United Nations Human Rights Council?  The fact that President Obama has joined forces with the United Nations to side with Humberto Leal and against our own courts is terrifying. In the wake of the Casey Anthony verdict, it has also gone unnoticed.  Justice for Adria Sauceda and Caylee Anthony?  Not in this America.

Another Problem With Hate Crime Laws Is That They Make No Sense

Unless, that is, you subscribe to the the notion that sticks and stones and fists and kicks don’t hurt nearly as much as name-calling.  From the N.Y. Daily News, which, like every other newspaper in the country, wouldn’t be covering this garden-variety Florida assault if it were not being labeled a hate crime:

David McKnight, 22, was playing the song “Wasted” by Gucci Mane when, he says, he was confronted by 14-year-old Joshua Lamb, WFTV.com reports.  “The argument involved the black male suspect saying, ‘You shouldn’t be listening to rap music because you’re white,’ ” said Palm Bay police spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez.  When McKnight, who is Caucasian, refused to turn off the music, Lamb and a group of friends assaulted him.  “I couldn’t get away fast enough,” McKnight told WFTV. “One of them spit on me, punched me, knocked me downI got a couple of kicks in from a couple of them.”  McKnight told police Lamb was with at least seven others.  “I told him to drop it. I was like, ‘Just drop it, let’s go, there is eight of you and one of me. Just drop it,’ ” McKnight said. “And he says, ‘I’m not dropping anything.’ Bam! [He] punched me.”  McKnight did not retaliate and, according to the police report obtained by The Smoking Gun, he “fled before any further battery could take place.”  But WFTV reported that he suffered a swollen eye, broken toe, concussion and choke marks around his neck in the fight.

This account raises questions.  Why did the reporter use the term “didn’t retaliate” to describe a victim trying to avoid serious harm while being randomly attacked by a gang of young men?  Why was only one man charged in the assault?

It’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that Joshua Lamb was the only assailant charged because only Joshua Lamb’s assault can be “counted” as a hate crime, also that the other physical attacks on McKnight are being deemed inconsequential precisely because there’s a so-called “hate crime” to trumpet.

That’s the problem with these laws: if you insist that “hate crime” is “worse than other crime,” as our Attorney General is so fond of saying, you’re already half-way to dismissing “non-hate” acts as inconsequential.  Thanks to the existence of hate crime laws, the fact that Joshua Lamb said something stupid to a total stranger is officially of more consequence than the fact that he and a gang of his peers ambushed and punched, kicked, and choked a man, sending him to the hospital.

If Lamb had committed the same crime against a black youth, he probably would not face many consequences: the assault, severe as it was, would merely be filed away as one of the hundreds of thousands (millions?) of non-hate crime assaults that largely get dismissed by prosecutors and the juvenile courts.

If Lamb had not uttered some belligerent teenage nonsense while assaulting McKnight, the same would probably occur: a slap on the wrists in juvenile court, at the very most.  The New York Post, and virtually every other paper in America, certainly would not be reporting the story.  Lamb would not be facing prison time.

And, quite creepily, if McKnight were a female, and Lamb had attacked her while spouting sexist slurs, instead of spouting schoolyard anti-white taunts while attacking a white man, it wouldn’t count as hate . . . though if Lamb had called a male victim “bitch” while kicking him, it might count as anti-gay bias.  Hate crime laws inevitably normalize certain types of hate speech in order to promote the “principled opposition” of other types.

So we now have a legal system that — in practice — minimizes crimes like striking and kicking a person while maximizing the consequences for select types of speech.  And once you get in the practice  of deeming some types of people more important; others things naturally follow, including playing down anything done to the “less important” victims, like normalizing calling a woman “bitch” as you punch her, or normalizing black-on-black crime.

Hate crime laws actually codify prejudice.

Joshua Lamb would have faced no more than a first-degree misdemeanor charge if he had jumped McKnight without expressing his opinion of rap music first.  The maximum sentence for this crime in Florida is one year of incarceration or probation (likely the latter, at the very most).  Now he faces a possible five years in prison because of an opinion he expressed regarding rap music while incidentally beating a total stranger.

Doesn’t this simply reinforce Lamb’s perception that what he thinks about rap music is the important thing?

~~~

Wasted, by Gucci Mane, the song David McKnight was listening to when he was attacked — the song Joshua Lamb felt enough prejudice over to commit a so-called “hate crime” to defend his racial right of ownership  — is littered with hateful slurs and degrading references . . . directed at women, of course:

I don’t wear tight jeans like the white boys
But I do get wasted like the white boys
Now I’m looking for a bitch to suck dis almond joy
Said she gotta stop sucking ’cause her jaw’s sore
Gotta bitch on the couch, bitch on the floor . . .

and so on.

How unsurprising.  Good thing hating women isn’t ever hate crime.  It would simply be impossible to fit it in the headlines.

Gerardo Regalado — Thank God It Wasn’t A Hate Crime: He Was Just Shooting Women

. . . walking past the men to shoot them.

Gerardo Regalado

You wouldn’t know it from the non-existent, non-headlines, but the town of Hialeah, Florida suffered its worst mass murder and hate crime on Sunday when Gerardo Regalado shot seven women, killing four.  All the victims were or are mothers.

Regalado now joins the ranks of other woman-killers who curiously avoid the “hate crime” label, such as George Sodini, the Pittsburgh gym killer who wrote rambling anti-female diatribes before murdering three women, and Charles C. Roberts, who sent all the male pupils away from an Amish schoolhouse before binding and shooting 11 little girls, killing five.  Apparently, shooting every single woman in a restaurant while leaving the men unharmed is simply no proof that you harbor some murderous grudge against the female sex, at least according to the hate crime experts, who dread the day when somebody peers up from the statute book and says: “Hey, wait a minute, doesn’t gender mean female sometimes?”

You know, like killing 3,000 Americans on September 11 counts as anti-American nationality bias crime?

Oops, scratch that.

No, you won’t hear a peep from the experts, unless, that is, they feel the need to do damage control by going on record to deny that targeting females is anything like targeting gays, or ethnic minorities, or Hispanics, or the homeless, or any of the other extremely rare victimizations that contribute to their portrait of America as an immigrant-bashing, racist, homophobic place.  Counting women wouldn’t just crowd the picture frame: it would utterly overshadow all other crimes designated “hate,” and you can’t have that when the picture’s the point.

And so, for instance, in the wake of George Sodini’s carefully premeditated, females-only bloodbath, hate crime experts James Allen Fox and Jack Levin trilled shamelessly in the media that “a friendless society,” not the killer’s own clearly stated anti-female motives, was to blame for the women’s deaths.  That was a close one, owing to Sodini’s voluminous scribbling on the subject of hating women, that is, hatred of people who happen to be female and not male, which looks an awful lot like anti-female bias to anyone except the highly trained.  Fox and Levin had to do a real song-and-dance to avoid the subject of anti-female bias crime in that case.  And so they did, frantically pointing fingers at the economy, the internet, distracted parenting, telecommuting, and (quite horrifyingly when you consider how much this sounds like Sodini himself) people who don’t smile at strangers at the gym.

Yes, the nation’s foremost hate crimes experts looked at the mass slaughter of random women in an exercise club, and rather than acknowledge that the killer left behind a giant, pulsating neon arrow pointing at his own irrational loathing of women, they blamed the victims, musing that if only the dead women had previously been nicer to a future killer they never actually met, he might not have needed to mow them down at a later date.

That’s why the experts get the big bucks.  And the media follows in silent lockstep.

Fox and Levin haven’t weighed in on the Gerardo Regalado killings yet (maybe they haven’t heard about them, given the weird dearth of coverage).  Neither have Mark Potok, Brian Levin, the current or past leadership of the N.O.W., Eric Holder, or any other official or unofficial hate crimes activists, but if they do, it will doubtlessly be to deny that singling out female victims and shooting them in the head has anything to do with bias or hate, especially this year, when the official theme of hate crimes activism is the purported “rising tide” of anti-immigrant hate.

It certainly wouldn’t fit the activists’ message to have a Hispanic immigrant accused of committing the worst hate crime since Maj. Hasan shot dozens of innocent Americans, killing 13, and the “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried, but failed, to slaughter hundreds of American citizens by crashing a plane over Detroit.

Oops.  Scratch that.  Those aren’t being counted as hate crimes either.

Actually, if Gerardo Regalado’s murders were recorded as hate crimes, he wouldn’t even officially be counted as “Hispanic” because he’s the offender, not the victim. When Hispanics are the victims of hate crime, they’re designated “Hispanic.”  When they’re the perpetrators, the government counts them only as “white” or “black” (you can guess which one is useful to the activists).  That this is happening is not some paranoid persecution fantasy lurking in the minds of racists, but a mere fact of the hate crime statistics-gathering protocols implemented under Eric Holder’s leadership when Holder was point person on hate crimes in the Clinton Department of Justice.

It only sounds like some paranoid persecution fantasy.

Sort of like, “Singling out females to kill has nothing to do with hating women, even when you leave a note in your gym bag explaining that you are killing women because you hate women.”

George Sodini

Or, “Raping and beating a woman nearly to death because she wouldn’t dance with you does not indicate gender bias.”

Mbarek Lafrem

Or, “killing Americans whilst screaming anti-American slogans is not an anti-American-nationality hate crime.”

Nidal Hasan

You can see why we need experts to explain all this to us.

Here is the Miami Herald’s description of the murdered and wounded women. Remember, according to Attorney General Eric Holder, hate crimes are “far worse” than these crimes:

• Maysel Figueroa, 32, of Hialeah, who lived with her husband and their small son. She started work at Yoyito only a few days ago, after leaving a job at a discount store.  Late Sunday, Figueroa called her husband and said she would be home soon, the neighbor said. She didn’t arrive, so he went to look for her at the restaurant.

• Lavina M. Fonseca, 47, lived with her daughter across the street from Figueroa. She previously lived in Cuba’s Guantánamo province and studied Spanish and Russian literature at the University of Havana. She came to South Florida less than a year ago.  Fonseca’s daughter, Lexania Matos, 18, is a Hialeah High student.

• Zaida Castillo, 56, of Hialeah, followed her only daughter, son-in-law and grandson from the rural Cuban town of Quivicán to the United States about six years ago. In Cuba, Castillo was a vet, treating chickens on a farm. She cooked in Yoyito’s kitchen and tried to support her elderly mother back in Cuba. Castillo planned to visit her mother in November.

Three other victims who remained hospitalized Monday night include:

• Yasmin Dominguez, 38, believed to be Molina’s cousin, who was there to pick her up, or protect her from Regalado. She was the first to encounter Regalado outside. He shot her, then walked into Yoyito. She remains in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

• Ivet Coronado Fernandez, who came from Havana about four months ago, lived with her mother in Hialeah. She was shot twice. Coronado called her brother Felix Fuentes from the restaurant and told him she had been shot. Fuentes said Coronado underwent two operations but may lose her arm.

• Mayra de la Caridad Lopez, 55, of Hialeah Gardens told her husband from her hospital bed Monday night she might have survived the massacre by diving under a metal table. She was washing pots and pans when she heard gunshots and screaming.  As Regalado entered and began shooting, De la Caridad Lopez dove for cover but was shot in the back.  It was supposed to be a happy day for her. After being unemployed for months, Sunday was her first day on the job at Yoyito’s.

Why Isn’t Mbarek Lafrem Being Charged With a Hate Crime? ***Updated 4/13/10***

Mbarek Lafrem

Take a good look at the face of hate. This is Mbarek Lafrem, a Moroccan citizen who nearly beat a pediatric nurse to death in a New York City nightclub last month after she had the temerity to refuse to dance with him.  The nurse suffered multiple head wounds, including a skull fracture, broken eye socket, and shattered nose.  She was beaten around the face.  She was also attacked sexually: Lafrem is charged with attempted rape.  And attempted murder, because the attack was so severe.

This is called overkill.  So why isn’t it being prosecuted as a hate crime?

Mbarek Lafram was at first so unconcerned about raping and nearly killing a woman that he found his legal predicament funny.  He laughed and mugged for the reporters.  He announced that he was the real victim, that his victim was actually the aggressor.

Mbarek Lafram Smiling for the Cameras

Later, perhaps after some lawyer apprised him of the fact that women are permitted to refuse to dance with men without being beaten to death as punishment, he changed his tune.  “I wouldn’t want that to happen to my sisters,” he said.  Well, that’s nice.  I wouldn’t want it to happen to anyone’s sisters.  What he did is what ought to matter, not to whom it was done.

But in today’s increasingly identity-politics-saturated justice system, to whom you do something is precisely the thing that matters the most.

Why isn’t the New York City hate crimes squad on this case? What, precisely, is the difference between this assault and the gay bashing outside a bar in Carroll Gardens a week earlier that spurred mass demonstrations, immediate hate crime charges, vehement outcry from elected officials (see below), and all the rest of the activist groundswell that arises when it’s anyone except a woman who gets randomly attacked?  The attack on the nurse resulted in far graver injuries, but the politicians and activists behaved as if the gay bashing was the more serious crime.

Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, Comptroller John Liu, Councilman Brad Lander and others

Will Bill DeBalsio stand outside Mbarek Lafram’s trial holding a little candle in a cup?  How about John Liu?  Don’t count on it.  Some victims are just more important than other victims, thanks to the ways hate crime laws have warped the entire legal and political landscape.

Hate crime activists have long been given the power to influence who’s in and who’s out as victims of hate.  Unsurprisingly, given the results, these are the same activists who machinated quietly for years to ensure that women don’t get called victims of hate, or officially counted as victims of hate, not even in states where “gender-bias” is on the books (including New York).  Their reason?  They don’t want the vast numbers of women who are assaulted “in part or in full” because they are female “overwhelming” the all-important hate crime statistics.

By design (a design kept firmly behind closed doors), the “gender bias” category is used almost exclusively in cases with victims who are transvestites or transgendered.  Biologically-born females don’t count.

These activists get away with denying that “hate means hate” when it’s directed at a woman largely because the N.O.W. and other feminist groups have long provided them political cover, despite occasional press releases like this one that contradict decades of tacit institutional support for reserving the “gender bias” category for non-females like transvestites.  Don’t expect the ladies of New York City N.O.W. to utter a peep about hate crime charges in the Mbarek Lafram case.  Heck, don’t expect them to even mention the case.

They know their place.

All three of the recent crimes being labeled “hate crimes” and widely denounced in New York City are minority-on-minority, though you wouldn’t know it from the speeches being made by politicians.

The media carefully avoided describing the Carroll Gardens gay bashers as Latino youth, but one gay publication on the scene, Lez Get Real, reports that the police are seeking Latino suspects.

That would make it an Hispanic-on-gay hate crime.  Only in reality, it does not, because hate crime activists have also made sure that the “Hispanic” category is only used to describe victims of hate crime, not perpetrators of hate crime.  This is part of the federal reporting rules, thanks to Eric Holder, who was instrumental in drafting them.  When so-called “hate” perpetrators are Hispanic, they are officially counted as “white.”  But when they are the victims, they aren’t “white” but “Hispanic.”

On cue, some early commenters on the Carroll Gardens crime laid blame for the attack on white “xenophobes.”  They don’t know how wrong (and, thanks to hate crime laws, right) they are: officially, the crime will be recorded as white-on-gay.  This useful fiction provides the press and activists with yet another tool to perpetuate the message that “hate” is synonymous with “young white males.”  In other settings, this is called “prejudice,” but within the hate crimes movement, it is called “justice.”

Predictably, such Balkanization and politicization of the law begets not tolerance but more Balkanization and politicization in society — and even internalized Balkanization among individual members of society who find one portion of their identities more politically salient than the other parts.   The Lez Get Real writer, for example, contemplates the problem of ethnic-minority on sexual-minority crime in her column, worried that one movement is trumping the other, but she doesn’t have a thing to say about the fact that she, as a woman, is in practice excluded from hate crime protections — that she would only “count” as a gay victim, not a female one.  People attach to the group that gives them the best status, and this perpetuates divisiveness and identity-mongering, precisely what the American legal system is not supposed to do.

Here is Lez Get Real‘s unintentionally ironic take-away from Carroll Gardens:

[T]he man was attacked last Tuesday morning at Luquer Street and Hamilton Avenue as he left a gay and lesbian party at a bar, about 12:50 a.m. on March 2. Police say, the attackers, called the victim a “faggot” and punched him numerous times in the face, knocking him down and causing him to suffer a gash on the back of his head . . .  The only description of the five men is that they are all Latino. Luckily, there is surveillance video taken outside the bar that will hopefully lead the police to the attackers identities.  City officials, including out lesbian Christine Quinn, gave statements that refer to the diversity of Carroll Gardens as a strength of the neighborhood.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said: “Something like this that still happens in the city of New York is terribly upsetting,” Quinn said. “We’re a city where diversity is our greatest strength.”  City Council Member Brad Lander said: “Carroll Gardens is a diverse community. We have no room for hate in our community. We embrace every race, religion and sexual orientation. We will not tolerate hate and violence in Carroll Gardens or anywhere else in New York City.”

However, it is possible that in this case, diversity has worked against the LBGT community. When you mix different backgrounds and cultures, you also mix together people who may not accept each other’s values and lifestyles. It’s sad but true, diversity is not a panacea to violence and intolerance. Diversity is the first step, but it is not the last. There should be community programs in place to educate people on the importance of tolerance, acceptance and peace. Let’s all hope for the victim’s speedy recovery and for increased tolerance towards the LGBT community.

Yes, that’s what we need, more “tolerance education,” which, in practice, highlights and exacerbates the very differences Lez worries about here — differences hate crime laws then actually institutionalize.  Wouldn’t simple equality before the law send a stronger message?

And as for Christine Quinn, here is what the female city council member had to say about the gender-hate attack on the nurse by Mbarek Lafram:

”                                                                ”  Update, see below

Here is what Quinn had to say about the other 109 murders, 290 rapes, and 3500 felony assaults that have occurred in New York City since the first of the year:

”                                                                “

She did hold press conferences to speak out about the two other offenses being called “hate crimes, which include a recent spate of attacks by young black girls and boys on older Asian women living in public housing projects, and a brutal attack and robbery of a Mexican immigrant by a group of three black youths and a Hispanic youth.  What, precisely, triggered the hate crimes charge in the robbery and beating of a Hispanic by another Hispanic?  Reportedly, calling the victim “a [expletive] Mexican” and “a stupid Mexican” while beating him.

And if you believe that women aren’t showered with sexist expletives when they get raped, robbed, hassled on subways, threatened in parks, beaten and battered throughout New York City every single day, in crimes Christine Quinn et. al. won’t call hate, then I have a bridge to sell you that you can then cross in a futile attempt to escape the mounting insanity of identity politics justice.

Hate crime laws destroy the very notion of equal protection.  They’re antithetical to real justice.  Still, so long as these laws are on the books, there is no excuse for not applying them to men who attack women, no matter what Attorney General Eric Holder, city council member Christine Quinn, and others think.

Even if such crimes actually do end up “overwhelming” other crimes labeled “hate.”

Ironically, while the five youths who attacked the Asian women are charged with anti-Asian and not gender bias crimes, local news media, apparently having trouble illustrating the concept of “anti-Asian hate,” resorted to showing the traditional symbol of womanhood as the backdrop for their news stories:

But in this context, the image is officially incoherent, for, according to hate crime authorities and movement activists, the crimes had nothing to do with the gender of the victims.  Legally, too, under hate crimes law they have nothing to do with targeting women, though all the victims are female and doubtlessly chosen because they are female every bit as much as they were chosen because they are Asian.

In a world without hate crime laws, such distinctions would hold their proper place: apparent, appalling, but not relevant in a court of law.  With the existence of hate crime laws, however, the law itself institutionalizes untruths and partial truths, such as: The victims were chosen because they are Asian, but not because they are female.  Once you deem “prejudiced intent” to be all-important — but only some prejudices — then you are declaring to the world that those other prejudices aren’t important after all, regardless of the body count they inspire.

Some people, of course, would certainly agree.

~~~

Update#1: I received a message from Eunic Ortiz, in New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s Office:

I just wanted to reach out with a bit of helpful information, but first introduce myself. My name is Eunic, I work in Speaker Christine C. Quinn’s press office and handle press for her surrounding hate crimes and LGBT/Women’s issues along with a few other colleagues in my office. I noticed there was an error in “Why Isn’t Mbarek Lafrem Being Charged With a Hate Crime?”. The Speaker has long been out front on issues surrounding violence against women and ways to combat hate crimes . . . The Speaker put out statements, her district office worked closely with the precinct from the moment we found out about this incident and we held a press conference and flyered throughout Hell’s Kitchen to find the man who committed this vile crime. The perp was turned in just hours after we saturated the streets of Hell’s Kitchen with flyers that had a sketch and description of the suspect passed out by the Speaker, Council Members and staff.
The Speaker does not stand for nor has tolerance for anyone who commits such acts.
Again, if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call.

Ms. Ortiz covers “hate crimes and LGBT/Women’s issues.”  Note that “LGBT issues” undoubtedly encompasses “hate crimes.”  The same certainly cannot be presumed about “Women’s issues” and “hate crime.”  Not that Ms. Ortiz says so, in so many words, or even one word: she says precisely nothing about it, though that is the blog post’s subject.

Interestingly, however, Ms. Ortiz does not dispute my characterization of Speaker Quinn as being among those who quietly support the practice of excluding women from being counted as victims of gender bias — so that, God forbid, they don’t start demanding equal treatment and end up cluttering the all-important hate crime statistics with their harassed and slandered and beaten and raped bodies.

As per page 10 in the hate crimes playbook, Ms. Ortiz carefully says absolutely nothing that would indicate her boss’ stand on counting or not counting women as hate crime victims — and specifically victims of gender bias.

What would happen if the public were to look too closely at the ways these laws are enforced, and deployed, and reserved for special interest groups?  Might the entire “hate crimes” movement be imperiled, just as it is imperiled to the point of collapse now in Canada, after just a little light was cast on practices there?  Silence is crucial in order to avoid uncomfortable debate.

For it really is ugly, the insistence that one murder is “worse” than another — that one slur word thrown with a punch does worlds of harm, while another slur is just, well, irrelevant.  “Dyke” uttered by a rapist is grounds for enhanced bias crime sentencing; “bitch” thrown at a heterosexual rape victim is not.  At what point does somebody point out that the parsing is appalling?

Hate crimes prosecutions are pure politics.  As special interest groups — illegal immigrants here, homeless people there — jostle for predominance, crimes against people from those groups are systematically declared “worse” in the pages of the New York Times and the press offices of identity politics-playing pols.

And that shrill claim “worse” is beginning, middle, and end of debate.  “Don’t let anybody tell you hate crimes aren’t worse: they are worse,” Attorney General Eric Holder is wont to holler whenever the subject of hate crimes comes up.  That’s all he says, whether he’s testifying in Congress or speaking to the public.  The hate crimes establishment uses shouting and silence, never reason or debate, to address any retrograde who dares to ask: Excuse me, is that murder really “worse” than this murder?

Silence is necessary to keep the hate crimes racket rolling.

Ms. Ortiz is absolutely right about one thing: she is right that I was wrong not to check the Speaker’s website before writing that Quinn didn’t comment on the Mbarek Lafram attack.  I usually check press releases, and I utterly failed to do so in this case: Christine Quinn did issue a press release condemning Lafram’s crime, and she also held a press conference.  But it is disingenuous to imply that holding a press conference is the same thing as demanding that the city treat the crime as the most serious type on the books: as a hate crime.  Ms. Quinn quite specifically avoided doing that, as she does in every case in which the bias is bias against women.

Of course, nobody is accusing the Speaker of standing for or tolerating violent crime.  I’m accusing her of playing politics by endorsing hate crimes investigations in certain cases and remaining silent on the identical hate evident in others.  I’m accusing her of using these laws, not for justice for every New Yorker, or to actually combat hate “wherever it happens,” but to advance the interests of an activist class that views these laws as their fiefdom.

So in the interest of starting up a real discussion about the selective uses of hate crime laws, I sent Ms. Ortiz a list of questions that actually address the subject of women and hate crime.  Here they are:

  • Does Speaker Quinn believe that the “gender bias” category of New York’s hate crimes law is being applied fairly regarding females, that is, in every case in which a female crime victim is targeted “in part or in full” because she is female, is subjected to sexist or misogynistic language in the course of an attack, or is attacked in ways designed to humiliate her as a woman?
  • Does Speaker Quinn agree that the “gender bias” category of hate crimes codes is currently being reserved for crimes committed against transvestites, transgendered people, and cross-dressers, not biologically-born women?
  • Does Speaker Quinn agree that Mbarek Lafrem should be charged with a hate crime?  If not, why not?
  • Does Speaker Quinn agree that the offenders charged with ethnic-bias hate crimes in the attacks on five Asian women should also be charged with gender-bias hate crimes for targeting victims who are all women?  If not, why not?
  • Does Speaker Quinn agree that every incident of gender-based subway and street harassment should be treated as potential hate crimes against women and investigated by the city’s hate crimes department?  If not, why not?
  • Does Speaker Quinn agree that every sexual assault of a woman should be treated as a gender bias hate crime and subject to hate crime sentencing enhancement?  If not, why not?

Hopefully, I’ll receive an answer soon.



Don’t Blame Verizon: Tommy Lee Sailor, Charlie Crist, Walter McNeil, Frederick B. Dunphy, and the Economy of Outrage

The Florida Department of Corrections (headed by Walter McNeil) needs to stop pointing fingers and start taking responsibility for the escape of Tommy Lee Sailor.  They’re the ones who screwed up by failing to notice when the violent serial offender absconded from his ankle monitor on New Year’s Eve, enabling Sailor to attack yet another innocent victim.

The Florida Parole Commission (headed by Frederick B. Dunphy) also needs to stop hiding and start answering questions about their decisions and policies that freed Sailor before his sentence was complete.

But instead of doing the jobs they’re paid handsomely to do — that is, lead agencies, and take the heat like grown men when they fail at their jobs — McNeil and Dunphy are hiding out and letting their press flacks blame . . . Verizon.

That’s right.  According to our fine political appointees, Tommy Lee Sailor wasn’t wandering the streets looking for a woman to rape and kill because the parole board is more interested in cutting the prisons budget than keeping people safe, or because Corrections so fundamentally dropped the ball on monitoring him that they actually feel comfortable verbalizing excuses like: these alarms go off so often it’s hard to tell what’s an emergency, and, the dog ate my rapist-monitoring text message.

Oh no, it was all Verizon’s fault.

From the St. Pete Times, which is doing a good job of questioning the official blather:

Around 12:15 a.m. Saturday, the company hired by the state to track violent offenders got notice that something was not as it should be with Sailor. . . The call center at Odessa-based Pro Tech Monitoring sent text messages to Sailor’s on-call probation officer, Pam Crompton. When contacted by a reporter, Crompton referred all questions about what happened to the Florida Department of Corrections [as she should].  One text message, called an “alarm,” went out to Crompton at 12:44 a.m., Corrections Department spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said.  Another flew at 1:57 a.m. Crompton heard nothing, Plessinger said.

Let’s review:  Pro Tech Monitoring, a private business which profits from policies that release dangerous offenders back into the community with nothing more than a ring-a-ling around their ankles, gets notice that Tommy Lee Sailor, an exceedingly dangerous felon, has absconded on New Year’s Eve.  What do they do?  They send a text message.  Then, after receiving no reply from the parole officer responsible for Sailor, they wait an hour and thirteen minutes . . . before sending another text.  Then they go have a snack or get distracted by the tv, because that’s apparently all they did.

“I’m going to kill you,” Sailor told his victim.  “I’m a serial rapist.” “I’m a serial killer.” “I don’t care about going back to prison.”

Why didn’t somebody at Pro Tech Monitoring pick up a damn phone and call the police?  So asks “Ben Overstreet,” a commenter on the St. Pete Times website.  He modestly suggests:

Send out the first text, and if that person does not call back in 5 minutes send out another to them and their Boss, no response in 5 minutes. Send local Law Enforcement to the address. Problem solved.

Too bad this Ben Overstreet person, whoever he is, isn’t getting the big bucks overseeing violent parolees.  Sounds like he’s onto something which apparently did not so much as occur to all the king’s horses and all the king’s men actually being paid to watch Sailor.

Oh, they did try to call Sailor, but he wasn’t home.  He was out hunting.  Women:

The call center tried to reach Sailor through his monitoring device, but the offender didn’t respond.

Does anyone else find this grotesquely ironic? A recidivist, violent felon and serial rapist absconds on New Year’s Eve, when the police have their hands full and the bars are brimming with amateur drinkers and other potentially endangered species, but when the monitoring company gets no response from the felon’s parole officer, they try to call the rapist himself, instead of calling the police?

What were they going to ask him if he came to the phone?

Meanwhile:

The victim secretly alerted 911 at 4:27 a.m. and dropped her cell phone on the floor. A 911 dispatcher tracked the phone signal to her location, and police arrived at 4:44 a.m. Only then did [Parole Officer] Crompton’s text messages start filling up her in-box.  One, two, three alerts came all at once at 4:54 a.m. to her Verizon Wireless phone.  Crompton checked them.  Two were about Sailor. The third, also delayed in its delivery, was about another offender, [Corrections Department Spokeswoman] Plessinger said.

We’re supposed to believe that the parole officer didn’t receive any messages from Pro Tech Monitoring until ten minutes after the cops showed up at the scene of the attempted rape/murder.  Is that the truth, or just the sound of the bureaucratic hive buzzing?

The real question, the question that either has not been asked or has not been answered, is this:

Why the hell didn’t the Corrections Department and Pro Tech Monitoring have a policy to keep trying to contact the proper authorities until they succeed whenever a violent offender like Sailor breaks loose?

Answer that, Ms. Plessinger.  Mr. McNeil.

Florida Corrections chief Walter McNeil actually does a whole lot of communicating, at least on the Correction’s website, where he posts a blog of passing thoughts and affirmations.  He quotes Oscar Wilde and Teddy Roosevelt, delivers advice about the flu, talks a lot about the value of clergy.

So he should have no trouble articulating a response to this scandal.  And respond he should, because the message coming from his agency’s talking head suggests that the main reason Sailor’s escape (and it is an escape, make no mistake about it) went unnoticed is because it is so very common for these ankle thingies to go off; it’s just not considered a big deal; the policies were followed appropriately, you know, so how dare the rubes imply that we’re not doing our job according to the laughable rules we invented to monitor our own performances?

[Corrections spokesperson] Plessinger said that if [Parole Officer] Crompton had gotten the original text message at 12:44 a.m., she would have gone to Sailor’s house, found that he wasn’t home and notified police to be on the lookout for him.  Police might have been waiting when Sailor arrived home.  Still unexplained is why the text messages weren’t delivered on time. The Corrections Department is satisfied that Crompton followed procedure and that the Pro Tech system worked as designed.  Right now, Plessinger said, they’re asking questions of Verizon Wireless, the cell phone provider.

“Crompton followed procedure and . . . the Pro Tech system worked as designed.”

Other than that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

It is a disgrace for government officials to behave this way. Clearly, the problem is that the bar is set far too low for keeping tabs on dangerous felons who have been released back into society (or not put away in the first place, like convicted rapist Richard Chotiner).  Clearly, the problem is systematic disdain for rape victims and other current and future victims of crime.  Some victims, that is.  Imagine how different the official response would have been if Sailor had been intentionally hunting some type of person other than women, and thus hate crime laws “kicked in.”

Then there wouldn’t be this big reverberating sound of silence coming from the halls of power, nor half-baked accusations flung at a wireless company.  Heck no.  Then the Attorney General would jet in from Washington.  Crist would work himself into a lather denouncing crimes “motivated by hatred” (other than hatred of women, of course).  Schoolchildren around the state would groan collectively as their teachers announced yet another week of anti-bullying-teaching-tolerance re-education in the wake of that crime.

Whew.  Good thing it wasn’t hate, because all those workbooks and classroom posters get really expensive.  Just another garden-variety attack on a woman.  So instead of grandstanding, the heads of state are practicing active hiding.  The head of Corrections is busy reminding his staff that “nobody walks alone,” and to wash their hands after sneezing and bragging about all the grant money Florida just got to implement even more “prisoner re-entry” services and “community-based alternatives to incarceration.”  The governor’s busy burying Chain-Gang Charlie deeper in that huge pile of mothballs in the back of his closet.

The mindset betrayed here is a troubling one, and it isn’t limited to any one political party.  The left-wingers believe criminals are just misunderstood victims of society; the right-wingers, despite all their tough talk on crime, don’t want to pay what it would actually cost to prosecute and incarcerate every dangerous offender: nobody is taking a real stand on any of this.

Not one elected official has bothered to speak out on the travesty in Tampa, a government failure that nearly cost a woman her life.

“I wanted to pick somebody that I knew, that I had confidence in. I just had a personal relationship and an affinity for this man,” Charlie Crist said, in appointing McNeil to head up Corrections.  How about somebody whose priority is being tough on violent criminals?  Tommy Lee Sailor attacked at least two prison guards in incidents serious enough to be prosecuted as felonies: why is the head boss at corrections going on about washing your hands during flu season instead of talking about attacks on prison guards?  Meanwhile,  Crist’s recent criminal justice initiatives include spending our tax dollars on special “outreach” to felons to help them re-register to vote, just in case they’re too lazy to do it the way the rest of us do, by rising off our own tushes and going to the library.

Talk about fiddling while Rome burns.

Here’s an Oscar Wilde quote to chew on: “The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.”

Or, as Tommy Lee Sailor pointedly observed: “I don’t care about going back to prison.”  At least somebody’s telling the truth around here.

So Were the Fort Hood Killings Hate Crimes? How About That Public Lynching in Richmond, California? Killing Eleven Women in Cleveland?

What happens if you sign a hate crimes bill, and then all the wrong types of people commit “hate crimes?”

Well, you keep your mouth shut about it.

Last week, as Barack Obama signed the Defense Appropriations Bill that was being used as a vehicle for his Hate Crimes legislation, he declared:

“After more than a decade, we’ve passed inclusive hate-crimes legislation to help protect our citizens from violence based on what they look like, who they love, how they pray or who they are.”

Who they are.  Except, of course, if they are women being tortured by a cheering mob in Richmond, California; or women being lured off the streets and strangled while their killer spews hate-filled invective about women deserving to die in Cleveland; or random women gunned down while attending a workout class in Pittsburgh.

Or soldiers in Fort Hood, gunned down by a killer attacking what the soldiers stand for — that is, Americans.

Or the 3,000 people killed for being American on 9/11.

Before going on his killing spree yesterday, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan apparently felt strongly enough about vigorously responding to even the most minor identity-based offenses to report himself as a victim of a hate crime after someone (perhaps Hasan himself) keyed his car recently.  So will the feds return the favor?  Will the F.B.I., newly anointed by the President with expanded powers to prosecute hate, declare the murder of 12 and wounding of 31 acts of violence “based on who the victims are”?

Will Obama stand in front of a microphone and declare that Hasan will be prosecuted as a hate criminal, to send a message that in America we will not tolerate violence committed by those who strike out at people because of their identity?

Of course he won’t.

Kill 12 Americans for being Americans and wound 31, and the president and the F.B.I. will refuse to call your actions anti-American hate crimes.

The same thing happened in the wake of 9/11: those 3,000 anti-American murders were not counted.

And the 12 murders and 31 woundings in Fort Hood will not be counted, either.  We couldn’t possibly have the most prevalent form of hatred in our country (by a power of thousands) being nationality-based hatred against Americans, now could we?

Journalistic Ethics Week, Part 2: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — Why the California Gang Rape Wasn’t Called Hate.

In the wake of the Fort Hood shootings, more people are noticing the ways the media takes its marching orders from political activists, abetted by criminologists who use their position to promote political causes through a thin veneer of “academic” observation.  This activism-disguised-as-expertise has played a central role in enforcing the orthodoxy of hate crimes activism for more than a decade.

So when ordinary people ask, “why is this crime not a hate crime?” the media answers by turning to activist-criminologists like Jack Levin and James Allen Fox, who spool out definitions that are utterly irrational on their face but go utterly unchallenged: it is an intricate dance designed to shut down discussion, not actually explain anything.

For they cannot explain, speaking honestly, why writing an anti-female screed, then going out and gunning down a bunch of women in a gym is not a hate crime, but merely the selective targeting of random women motivated by hatred of women, which would be a bias crime if the killer selected blacks, or gays, or Muslims, but is not hate because he selected women.

In that case, the hate crime “experts” took the long road around the words, “hate crime,” and talked about the killer’s feelings of alienation, instead of his expressions of hatred.

Sound familiar?

The Fort Hood case is troublesome because hate crime activists simultaneously wish to depict the murderer as a victim of hate crime, but not perpetrator of it.  Could these troubles be overcome without the media’s complicity?  Nobody will know, for the media has stuck to the activists’ script, reporting on non-existent “backlash” hate crimes against Muslims as if they were real events while studiously playing down the killer’s own expressions of hate.  But this time, for many watching, the veneer is beginning to crack.

A few weeks ago, the movement had a different problem on their hands: they needed the media to deflect attention from the fact that the gang who raped a young women to the cheers of photo-snapping, cheering onlookers actually looked one heck of a lot like . . . a lynch mob.  Journalists did this the usual way: by chattering about other things that became the “meme” of the story.  Avoiding the subject of hate crimes was particularly important in that case because the crime was a rare instance of the type of mass, bystander-witnessed violence activists talked about when they passed hate crimes laws a decade ago — far more so than Matthew Shepard’s killing.

Tragic as it was, Shepard’s murder involved partying and a bar pick-up, exactly like many crimes committed against women that nobody calls hate, just something done to a woman.

If not for the media’s obedience, it also might have been a bit discomfiting for President Obama to sign the Matthew Shepard/James Byrd Hate Crimes Act right on the heels of this victim throwing a giant wrench in the works by getting attacked by a hate mob while just being a female and not one of the groups the President and Attorney General Eric Holder want to highlight.

Obama couldn’t acknowledge out loud that the law he just signed is not really intended to apply to hatred directed at certain types of people (such as women) who get targeted every day because of “what” they are.  To admit the truth would look bad and raise uncomfortable questions.  But he also couldn’t call the gang-rape-with-onlookers a hate crime because the activists who dictate which crimes will count as hate did not want this type of crime against women counted.  Silence was Obama’s only cover.  And so, silence is what he chose.  Luckily, no one questioned him.

~~~

For, imagine what Obama would have said as he signed the Shepard/Byrd Hate Crimes Act, had a white mob attacked a black man five days earlier, instead of just attacking a female.  Imagine if a white gang had just raped a black girl, or if a gang of straight men (preferably white) had sexually abused a transvestite.

Then Obama and Holder would have stood side by side in the East Room and denounced the crime as a blight on America’s soul.  But this victim wasn’t the right type of victim, and the offenders weren’t the right type of offenders, even though crime itself was a textbook “hate crime” according to the textbook Eric Holder wrote back in the Clinton years.

Let us be very clear about what Obama did: he denied the actions of a hate-filled mob as he signed a law that purportedly opposes the actions of hate-filled mobs.

Nobody should ever forget that.

Consider all the ways the California gang rape was clearly a “hate crime”: a crowd gathered to cheer on the girl’s attack; the victim’s genitals were targeted; hate speech was used; photographs were taken (a classic sign of mob violence is taking souvenir pictures), and fear spread among other females in the vicinity (one told the media she was transferring schools immediately).

It takes a real expert to deny that this attack was, in fact, hate.

Luckily, reporters had experts handy, particularly Jack Levin.  Levin is the academic who recently walked the quivering press through the “hey, isn’t blogging about hating women and then going to a health club and shooting a bunch of women a hate crime?” danger zone.  He’s the go-to guy for tamping down such inconvenient questions, the academic reporters turn to when they get that phone call reminding them “not to call this one a hate crime on the news, because, you know, it was just a woman.  Talk a bunch of nonsense about something else, would you?”

Levin and the others swung into action, talked about “snitching” and “group dynamics” and Kitty Genovese; they carefully talked about anything except whether the crime should be prosecuted as a hate crime, though others were certainly asking that question.

Levin discussed “snitching culture” but not hate.  Drew Carberry took an empathetic little stroll in the mob’s shoes:

“If you are in a crowd and you look and see that everyone is doing nothing, then doing nothing becomes the norm.” explains Drew Carberry, a director at the National Council on Crime Prevention.

To say the least, this is not the way spokespeople from the National Council on Crime Prevention talk when they’re talking about hate crimes.  Here is how they talk about crimes that are deemed to be hate:

[H]ate crimes are acts of terrorism.  So let’s think about what we need to do in order to drive these latest statistics back down.  After all, we are at war with terror abroad.  Let’s not forget the war at home.

See, the behavior of the men in the gang-rape was a “cultural norm.”  Hate crimes, on the other hand, are acts of “war” that must be fought with weapons, not “understanding.”

Does anybody actually believe that CNN would be consulting psychologists to talk about the mob’s feelings if the perpetrators were white males and the victim was a minority or a homosexual?  Of course not.  The mere thought is laughable.

As new victim-groups (the homeless, illegal immigrants) clamor to be included in hate crime laws, and established victim-groups accuse others of failing to prioritize their victimization, and the problem of counting or not counting women festers, the hate crimes movement increasingly relies on the media to keep quiet about the enforcement of these laws when the wrong type of victim gets targeted.  Recent random attacks on women, in particular, have been met with a sort of hysterical denial from hate crime activists and reporters, so hysterical that no less a liberal than Bob Herbert grumbled about it in the pages of the New York Times.  Here is Herbert commenting on the failure of the media (which had turned to Levin for deflection) to talk about hate in recent cases of gunmen targeting females:

[T]here would have been thunderous outrage if someone had separated potential victims by race or religion and then shot, say, only the blacks, or only the whites, or only the Jews. But if you shoot only the girls or only the women — not so much of an uproar.

Of course, the activists are absolutely correct when they say that actually counting gender-based violence directed at women would “overwhelm” hate crime statistics.  So would enforcing hate crime laws whenever minority offenders express anti-white bias while committing crimes.  So would counting anti-female and anti-white slurs as “verbal intimidation hate incidents,” as other slurs are frequently reported and counted.

In other words, enforcing these laws with an even hand would spell the end of their political usefulness.

But it never comes to that, thanks to the media and their criminologists.  The Justice Department readily acknowledges the invaluable role the media plays, as this extraordinary quote from a Justice Department bulletin explains:

The influence of print and broadcast media is critical in shaping public attitudes about the hate crime, its perpetrators, and the law enforcement response.

The media is critical in shaping public attitudes. Yes, they actually put that in writing.

~~~

Eventually, however, Americans are going to get tired of being lectured that most murders are not hate-based but that a tiny handful are hate-based and thus far more significant.  They are going to get sick of being told they simply must believe, as Eric Holder lectured Congress, that the crimes he calls hate crimes are “different from” and “spread more fear than” and “are worse than” other crimes.

None of this actually makes any sense, which is why Holder and others keep repeating these words instead of making real arguments.

I suspect the entire hate crimes industry is going to collapse some day under the weight of legal irrationality and their biases, just as the hate-speech courts in Canada lost their credibility and collapsed after a few brave journalists stood up to the mind-bogglingly subjective application of those laws (In America, hate crime activists focus on street crimes because speech is protected).

And when this happens, I predict that the Fort Hood shootings, and Barack Obama’s silence on the California sex lynching (there is no better term for it) as he signed the Shepard/Byrd Hate Crimes Act — will be remembered as a turning point.


Jack Levin, Apologists for (Certain) Brutal Murders: Hacking a Woman to Death is Just a Cry for Help (Updated 11/1/09)

It’s criminal apologist week, and no criminal apologist week would be complete without a deep bow to Jack Levin, the Northwestern* criminologist who has made an art form of claiming that some brutal, senseless murders are serious ethical and social problems motivated by “hate” — while others are just acting-out caused by “ouchiness,” teenage angst, and our cruel lack of interest in understanding where brutal killers are “coming from.”

You can see where this is going: when someone uses certain slur words (not all of them — not the ones about women) while victimizing somebody, it’s suddenly a much more important crime, which means other crimes are less important, in every sense.  Convincing the public that they must accept this inequality is a job for experts, and Levin is the go-to expert for insidiously psychologizing away certain offenders’ actions while demanding allegiance to the urgency of crimes he deems hate.

The professor’s colorful swings between eternal vigilance and cuddly justification would almost be funny, were he not empowered by the hate crimes establishment, the media, and the feds (in that order) to superimpose his world-view separating “moody-teenager crimes” from “hate crimes” onto our allegedly objective system of justice.

After carefully explaining to everyone how the Pittsburgh Gym Killer didn’t actually hate women but was just feeling so rejected by them that he had to strife their bodies with gunfire, Levin surfaces this week calling the four teens who hacked a woman to death in her bed and slit her 11-year old daughter’s throat “outsiders” who were seeking to “bond” with each other and exhibited signs of “unhappiness” but were not hate criminals because, you know, Jack Levin says so.

This is a sign of unhappiness:

This is a hate-driven, sadistic murderer who hacked a woman to death and slit her 11-year old’s throat, and seemed to think the entire thing was pretty funny:

Gribble updated his Facebook page just hours after the attack, writing on Sunday: “had an awesome time with steve and autumn [sic]! dexter is such a funny show!” “Dexter” is a drama on Showtime about a psychopathic serial killer who murders other criminals.

Nice.  Good think they just picked women, or else this all might get much darker.  Here is Levin, and a peer of his, on the young man pictured above:

“A strong sense of community is wonderful if you happen to be accepted,’’ Levin said.

“But if you are regarded as an outsider, you may feel profoundly rejected . . . Their peer group is the only game in town. If they are rejected, they have nowhere else to go.’’

William Pollack, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, said a teen in a small community also might fear confiding his troubles because word spreads fast in a small town.

“These are boys that have a hard time connecting, and so it is that much harder to go and connect,’’ Pollack said.

I’m going to pose a question now that ought to be part of more tenure reviews:

How damn crazy do you have to be to talk like this?

The killers had “a hard time connecting”?  They “might fear confiding troubles”?  Who published this?  That would be The Boston Globe, but don’t they feel a little ashamed?

Peer groups.  Crying out for acceptance.

They hacked a woman to death with a machete.  They slit her 11-year old daughter’s throat.

This is not the way Jack Levin talks about crimes he calls hate crimes, of course.  He calls such crimes a “reign of evil.”

Now imagine what Levin would be saying if the Pittsburgh gym killer or the teen pictured above attacked minorities or illegal immigrants or the latest group to seek hate crimes status, the homeless.  Looking at the totality of Levin’s public statements is good way to get a sense of how the existence of separate “hate crime” laws for select offenses alters the entire justice system.  It undermines two important things we are supposed to believe in: the equality of offenders before the law and the equal importance of all crime victims.

Why is it “hatred” and “evil” for one minority gang member to use an ethnic slur while carjacking a gang member from another ethnic minority gang on the streets of Los Angeles, but it isn’t a hate crime to hack an innocent, randomly selected mother to death in New Hampshire while forcing her to observe the slitting of her pre-adolescent daughter’s throat?

Because Jack Levin says so.  And the Boston Globe prints what he says and carefully avoids asking questions.

*correction: Levin is a professor at Northeastern University, not Northwestern University.