For reasons I detail throughout this blog, and in editorials including this one published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution in 2000 and this one in Insider Advantage in 2019, I have been fighting against the passage of hate crime laws since the late 1990s. I’ve lost a lot professionally by taking on this fight, yet I have every intention of opposing the legislation again this time.
But looking at the crowds outside the Georgia General Assembly’s Gold Dome yesterday, I don’t think I will be physically safe if I come down the Capitol to testify against HB 426. I think most reasonable people would agree that anyone publicly identified as an opponent of hate crime laws would not get safely through that crowd of raucous protestors who circled the Capitol demanding hate crimes laws or else.
They were blocking streets. Did they have a permit to block those streets? Protestors in Atlanta have repeatedly grown violent, burning buildings and cars, hitting police with bricks and bottles, running down police with vehicles, and even attacking three officers at their family homes. The inherent threat is mob rule on the streets. On the streets outside the democratically elected legislature, mob rule suppresses speech.
That’s only one way speech is being suppressed. David Ralston can come and go from the Capitol under armed guard as he eggs on the crowds outside for political gain and denounces his opposition as “a stain” . . . “that can never be washed away.” Ordinary citizens who disagree with him cannot hope to make their voices heard in ordinary ways, cannot safely plan to testify in committees, and if they dare speak out in other ways in the current climate, they risk their jobs by doing so.
The Chamber of Commerce can sleazily influence the political process the way they always influence the political process: by threatening the economy of Georgia if they don’t get what they want. Meanwhile, people who would rather that citizens, not multinational corporations, make our laws face hopelessly clogged message systems and (understandably) unanswered phones.
The media has been reporting on hate crime laws without seeking out a single person opposing these laws. Months ago, I informed the AJC that I was available to oppose these laws: I haven’t heard a peep from them, nor from WSB or any television station despite efforts to offer the opposition’s case to them. It is deeply, deeply disturbing that not one single reporter has bothered to quote one single opponent of hate crimes.
Democratic lawmakers are supported by the mob, even if they (secretly) don’t approve of its tactics, but none of them have had the backbone to publicly denounce the violent protests and looting. These people aren’t just attacking police and intimidating citizens: they are suppressing speech.
And the hate crimes movement has a long and sordid history of suppressing the speech of the opponents of these laws. When I first spoke out against these laws in 2000, I was labeled a troublemaker by my academic department, and it was made clear to me that I was not welcome there. The Anti-Defamation League’s Southeast Regional Director called me at my home to warn me that I was now “an enemy of Abe Foxman” and that was “something I didn’t want to be.” As I persisted researching the implementation of these laws for a dissertation, Chuck Wexler, director of the Police Executive Research Foundation (PERF) in Washington told me angrily that I was on a list of “bias people” and so he did not have to speak with me, even though his organization was given quasi-official powers to steer the implementation process, and that authority merited open, public scrutiny.
What “bias list”? I tried for years to find out, but I knew this: PERF was one of the main contractors with the Department of Justice to roll out hate crimes in the states. They were and are a very powerful organization.
PERF, the ADL, the NAACP, the SWC, the HRC and other unelected nonprofit organizations were given tremendous and previously unheard-of powers by Bill Clinton’s Department of Justice to train prosecutors and police to “interpret” these laws — really to pick and choose behind closed doors what would and would not be investigated or prosecuted as a crime of hate. The result is the shamelessly biased hate crime enforcement system we have today, where racial and ethnic name-calling against certain types of people — but explicitly not against others — is counted as a hate, while even kidnapping, raping and murdering one random woman after another isn’t counted as gender-bias hate crime because it is, after all, just killing a woman (or 100 women), not attacking a gay or transgendered person — or even merely calling a gay or transgendered person names while robbing them, or committing even simple assault.
The “gender/sex/sexual orientation” categories of hate crimes laws have been especially manipulated. Legislators passing these laws were made to believe that “gender” obviously includes “women” and “men,” but across forty-six states (which have no other language excluding “women” and “men” from the category), “gender bias” is used exclusively for transgender people, transvestites, and what used to known as cross-dressers. But even when state hate crime laws list both “gender” and “sex” as separate bias categories they still systematically exclude mere “women” and “men” from being recorded as hate crime victims when someone is randomly targeting women or men.
Curiously, yesterday’s Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County only muddies these waters even more. The Court has ruled that gay, transgender, and transvestite employees are protected under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act on the grounds that the Act bans discrimination “because of sex,”and the Court believes sexual orientation and transgender status fall under the category of “sex” as defined in 1964. Well, there’s a surprise, because under hate crime laws, an enormous body of case law has been invented that very specifically differentiates heterosexual women and men from gay, lesbian and transgender people, on the precarious, subjective, and exceedingly extralegal grounds that “gender” is different from “sex.”
Heads, I win; tails, you lose. The activists can’t have it both ways. Bostock v Clayton County proves that the 46 states that have hate crime laws are systematically discriminating against many heterosexual victims of crime, especially victims selected randomly on the basis of their sex, such as the 10,000 victims of stranger rape per year. Let the lawsuits begin!
Nowhere in the language of 45 state and several federal hate crimes laws does it say that heterosexual women shouldn’t count as victims of hate crime. But everywhere they are not counted. Whether women are targeted with threatening slurs on the street, fondled on the subway, assaulted by someone using misogynistic language, or, even randomly attacked by serial rapists and rapist-murderers, those crimes aren’t classified as hate crimes because women aren’t counted as gender bias victims. Serial killers who snatch one female (or gay male) (or little boy) after another off the street aren’t considered hate criminals even though these killers are obviously targeting random victims based on their identities, then brutalizing and killing them because of their identity.
Meanwhile, federal agents descend on communities where “hurtful graffiti” has been found. College campuses shut down and cancel classes when someone writes a bad word on a wall — and more often than not the perpetrator is a student or professor committing a hoax for attention. The DOJ helicopters in when someone gets in a minor tiff with a Muslim woman in a grocery store — as happened in the wake of the Major Hasan massacre. Major Hasan even reported himself as the victim of a hate crime before he shot 43 people, killing 12, because, he claimed, his car was keyed. Barack Obama wasted no time claiming that Hasan’s motive for mass murder was “workplace violence” not hate. Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder conducted a federal investigation of a brief and minor dust-up between two women arguing over the massacre.
When George Sodini went out to murder women after saying he was going to murder women because he hated women and shot five women, murdering three, The Boston Globe wrote an editorial about how terrible it was that he had posted racist comments about Barack Obama online.
This is what is coming for all of us if we pass these laws: minor incidents will be elevated above serious violent crimes. Select groups of people will matter far more than others in the eyes of the law. Some types of victims will matter more than other victims of identical crimes. Ironically, among the people who will be such lesser victims in the eyes of the law, black male victims attacked by other black males probably have the most status to lose. If you think these murder victims don’t get enough attention now, just wait until the hordes of activists and journalists descend on Georgia eagerly anticipating the countdown to the first “hate crime” prosecution, then the second, then the third.
Hate crimes laws are mob rule, not justice. Haven’t we had enough of that?
Some more articles detailing the gross abuse of these laws:
And here’s what’s coming for the schools: