- Last Thanksgiving, a tenured math professor at an Arizona
community college sent out an email that could cost him his job. No, it
didn't contain the n-word. It didn't criticize homosexual practices or
point out that Democrats in Congress are trying to turn America into a
police state. It was simply George Washington's "Thanksgiving Day
Proclamation of 1789," with a link to its location on Pat Buchanan's
website, forwarded to fellow teachers in honor of Thanksgiving. Within
weeks, the professor's free-thinking and patriotic colleagues complained
- Come again? The instructors of America's
future leaders can't handle the historic words of our greatest founding
father or a link to a public leader's thoughts on immigration!?
- Washington's "offensive" address
describes the "duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of
Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly
to implore His protection and favor." This political giant prayed
publicly "that we may then unite in most humble offering our prayers
and supplications to the Great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him
to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether
in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties
properly and punctually" and so on, in words that are no longer allowed
at a high school graduation, on a navy shipdeck or, clearly, between full-grown
faculty members at a community college!
- For the crime of emailing Washington's speech
with a link to Buchanan's site, Prof. Walter Kehowski was placed on forced
administrative leave March 9; the school chancellor recommends the governing
board fire him. The college accuses Kehowski of violating their non-discrimination
policy which promises "an environment for each Maricopa job applicant
and employee that is free from sexual harassment, as well as harassment
and intimidation on account of an individual's race, color, religion, gender,
sexual orientation, national origin, age, disabled, or veteran status."
- Hey, that sounds a lot like the federal "anti-hate"
- As we've warned for months, the federal hate
crime bill is another big step toward a nationwide speech ban on "hurtful
words" against protected groups. It's spearheaded and supported by
the same people who support the speech codes that shackle free thought
at universities across our nation and the workplace non-discrimination
laws that do the same at American jobsites.
- The appalling speech code at Texas A&M,
America's sixth largest state university, is another example of these manacles
on the mind. A&M "literally prohibits hurting someone's feelings."
It forbids students from violating each other's rights to "respect
for personal feelings" and "freedom from indignity of any type."
This vague, broad rule could be used to punish all kinds of unspecified
behaviors including protected speech.
- Criminal law should (and does) outlaw violent
actions against the life and property of others. But nowhere does the Constitution
guarantee unhurt feelings! My feelings are my own problem. Hate crime laws,
however, invade the shadowy private space of feeling, bias, and belief.
In 2004, Pennsylvania's hate crime statute was used to arrest and indict
11 Christians for the potentially hurt feelings of homosexuals at a gay
pride parade. The Christians' only crime was to witness and sing hymns
peacefully. They faced up to 47 years in prison.
- These are Bad Laws, Period.
- Many Christians and conservatives understand
hate laws' threat to the First Amendment; we've written extensively about
this reality. But there are also non-speech-related reasons to protest
hate crime laws. They are an enormous threat to one of the essential girders
of a free society: clear, coherent and fair criminal law.
Lynch of the Cato Institute testified April 17 against hate crime legislation
to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. He argued
that not only should the federal hate law be voted down but that all hate
crime legislation should be repealed. He argued persuasively that a federal
hate crime law is unnecessary for the prosecution of already criminal acts
of violence; violates states' rights in law enforcement; will not deter
real criminals any more effectively than current laws; relies on vague,
over-broad, and subjective definitions; will heighten rather than reduce
intergroup conflict; and will lead to prosecution of thoughts and beliefs
rather than criminal acts.
- Lynch's well-stated arguments were informed
by Hate Crimes: Criminal Law & Identity Politics, by James Jacobs and
Kimberly Potter. Their academic title conceals a valuable extended argument
against hate crime legislation. Like virtually all academic studies of
these laws, Hate Crimes vastly understates both the creator role of the
Anti-Defamation League and other Jewish supremacist groups and the threat
of hate crime legislation to the First Amendment. But this book valuably
examines the way "identity politics" distort our political landscape
and the way hate crime legislation enshrines the victim game into criminal
- Earning Big Bucks at the Blame Game
- Jacobs and Potter define identity politics
as those "whereby individuals relate to one another as members of
competing groups based upon characteristics like race, gender, religion,
and sexual orientation." (Hate Crimes, p5) In this political atmosphere,
people get power from being members of victimized groups; they lose by
proclaiming success or accomplishment. You win by whining loudest and demonizing
others most effectively.
- Needless to say, this is a really rotten
way to generate more just laws, lower taxes, purer culture or truer leadership.
Hate crime legislation is based on this game, on the identity politics
we should discourage, not enshrine in federal law.
- Identity politics do not unite Americans;
they fracture us into ever more polarized groups of blame-throwers. Rather
than standing together as Americans against foreign or domestic threats
to our freedom and culture, we instead disassociate into victimized racial
and religious groups, as women against men, or homosexuals against straights.
- Today, our nation is plagued by pundits and
commentators who earn their keep by being professionally aggrieved. Their
fat paychecks come from promoting and exaggerating the gripes of their
victimized group. The worse that racism or anti-Semitism is claimed to
be, the more money and power they receive. These false leaders benefit
from generalizing from criminals' mentality to the general population,
saying that because some thugs spray-paint bad words there's an epidemic
of racism in the general population-or from misrepresenting politically
incorrect but legitimate ideas as racism. Anything goes so long as it serves
to inflate the debt owed by society to the victimized group.
- Hate laws crystallize these social divisions
into criminal law, classifying victims according to their political status.
"The very collection and reporting of hate crime statistics encourages
Americans to think of the crime problem in terms of intergroup conflict."
(p134) This view turns every high profile case into a political competition
rather than an opportunity for the nation to unite against violent crime.
- We'll Pick Your Prejudices
- Hate crime laws thus do not unite our nation
into a less prejudiced society. Instead, they highlight and exacerbate
political and social divisions. By their very nature, they also enforce
specific prejudices. They proclaim some biases bad and criminal, while
others are just fine. This involves the government in the creation of moral
orthodoxy, deciding which biases to prosecute and which to allow. "Creating
a hate crimes jurisprudence forces us to proclaim which prejudices are
worse than others, itself an exercise in prejudice." (p21)
- The whole idea behind "anti-hate"
legislation is that racial, anti-gay, or other forms of anti-group hatred
are the very worst kind. But that's not the government's call. Why is racial
prejudice or "homophobia" worse than other criminal motivations
like greed, power, lust, spite, or pure sadism? The authors of Hate Crimes
raise this question and it's a great one. Why should you receive a triple
penalty if you bludgeon a woman instead of a man? Why is it worse to rape
a woman because you hate her skin color than to rape her because you love
to hear a human voice scream in helpless pain?
- Progressive leftists constantly accuse the
religious right of wanting to legislate morality. Yet they embrace hate
crime laws that do exactly that-these laws proclaim that certain kinds
of criminal motivation or prejudice are morally worse and more socially
destructive than others and should thus be prosecuted three times more
harshly. Who gives them the right to say that?
- Hate crime laws do not (and never could)
prosecute all "prejudice" and all bias. Plenty of prejudices
are in fact encouraged in our society and by big media and advocacy groups.
We're taught it's important to be prejudiced against Nazis, for example
(and also often against Christians, especially Catholics). Hate crime laws
legislate that only some prejudices are evil.
- But that's precisely what the government
is not allowed to do. Legislating beliefs violates the Constitution in
multiple ways and lights a fuse of dynamite at the very foundation of our
free society. Hate laws prosecute the beliefs behind crimes and enhance
the penalties for these kinds of bias. This is essentially the same as
punishing the criminal for his beliefs. (148)
- The world has seen plenty of political systems
that legislate the beliefs their citizens are permitted. We usually use
some pretty unpleasant adjectives to describe those regimes. "Totalitarian"
comes to mind.
- My Stabbing Hurt Worse than Yours because I'm Black
- Hate crime laws are really, really dangerous
and messy to use because virtually any victim of a violent crime could
arguably be the victim of some kind of hate or bias. Think about it. Policemen
could be shot because of anti-cop bias. The adolescent thug might have
robbed the Indian's 7-Eleven because he hates Indians. Some really out-to-lunch
feminists want to say all violence against women everywhere is a product
of misogyny, which would make every man-on-woman crime a potential hate
- See where this leads? Hate crime laws have
unlimited potential to fracture and confuse our justice system. They're
political tools used to make statements about the value of certain groups
and how much the government dislikes certain beliefs. But political statements
have no place in criminal law, which should remain as clear, coherent,
fair, and coldly emotionless as it can be.
- Hate crime laws are neither clear nor fair;
they protect certain groups and classes of victims but not others. When
do we stop adding victim categories? If everyone gets protected, hate crime
is an empty category; it means the same thing as generic crime. But if
not all victims are treated as victims of hate, then why some and not others?
This privileging is wrought with political prejudice.
- Hate Crime Laws Aren't About Crime
- When you think of a hate criminal, who comes
to mind? Major media almost invariably shows a white neo-Nazi as the thug
who needs hate laws to stop him from beating up blacks or homosexuals.
But the reality is pretty different. Despite constant propaganda to the
contrary, "hate crimes" are not a nationwide epidemic demanding
massive federal intervention. Eighty percent of violent crimes involve
victims and criminals of the same race. "For the 20 percent of violent
crimes that are interracial, 15 percent involve black offenders and white
victims" (17) Only two percent are white-on-black.
- Mainstream media and organizations like ADL
focus searing attention on "white supremacist" groups who advocate
limits on immigration or glorify western, Anglo-Saxon culture. This is
because Jewish supremacists desire to silence the ideas that come from
conservative, far-right, and Christian thinkers. These ideas subvert the
drives for open immigration, unconditional support of Israel, and sexual
amorality, among other things that are steadily corroding Christian America.
Ultimately, hate crime laws won't just be used to lock up skinhead thugs.
They were invented by Jewish supremacists who will use them to prosecute
Christian evangelism, opposition to social liberalism, and criticism of
- Hate crime laws are advocated by politicians
who see them as an easy way to win points with the homosexual and Jewish
lobbies. Only this spring do we see the emergence of a vocal "freedom
lobby" composed largely of concerned conservatives and Christians.
It's been difficult for people to even comprehend the way these laws have
already been used and will be used in the future-to jail innocent nonviolent
citizens for exercising freedom of speech. We are used to the seeming freedom
of American life, to easy traveling and outrageous (seemingly uncensored)
media and basic daily liberty. It's easy to forget that the remarkable
freedom and prosperity of the American experiment is an aberration in the
history of man. The overwhelming trend has been toward censorship, oppression,
politically imposed famines, genocide, and lawlessness.
- Any Way Back?
- Jacobs and Potter suggest that hate crime
reporting statutes should be repealed, and so should hate crime sentence
enhancements. Is this possible? Could this ever happen? Yes and yes. It
can happen if enough Americans are educated about the reality of hate crime
laws, and somebody gives the other side of the argument.
- There's a Jewish lobby, a homosexual lobby,
and lobbies on both sides of the abortion debate. Well, it's time for our
freedom lobby. It can grow as broad as the beautiful land stretching from
Oregon to Maine. All Americans should rally against identity politics and
the divisive, unfair, anti-freedom orthodoxies of hate crime legislation.
- Let's quit allowing politicians to score
easy points with uninformed members of victim groups, whose leaders harm
them by emphasizing past grievances at the expense of future success. Don't
let your government legislate your opinions, words and beliefs. Protest
hate crime laws to your Senator today and let President Bush know he must
keep his promise to veto the federal hate bill and also not sign a compromise
bill. Whatever happens to H.R. 1592, we must keep resisting and educating
against hate crime laws. It's time to take back America's criminal law.
- Call the White House, and say, "Thank
you, Mr. President, for promising to veto the hate bill. We expect you
also to not approve a modified hate bill."
- Protest the Senate hate bill! Call your senator
toll-free at 1-877-851-6437 or toll 202-225-3121. Leave this message:
"Please don't vote for hate crimes bill S.1105. Hate laws have taken
away free speech in Canada and much of Europe. If you do vote for the hate
bill, I and my friends will never vote for you again." Send your
senator and his 8-10 influential aides Rev. Ted Pike's powerful flyer "Anti-Hate
Laws Will Make You a Criminal." This flyer and names of aides are
available at <http://www.truthtellers.org/>www.truthtellers.org.
- Come to <http://www.truthtellers.org/>www.truthtellers.org
for the list of the crucial 14 Republicans who have voted for the hate
bill as well as 17 Republicans who are uncommitted. Call and protest immediately.
- Let the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith
teach you how they have saddled 45 states with hate laws capable of persecuting
- Learn how ADL took away free speech in Canada
and wants to steal it now in the U.S. Congress. Watch Rev. Ted Pike's <http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7217700265038533779>Hate
Laws: Making Criminals of Christians at video.google.com. Purchase this
gripping documentary to show at church. Order online at <http://www.truthtellers.org/>www.truthtellers.org
for $24.90, DVD or VHS, by calling 503-853-3688, or at the address below.
- TALK SHOW HOSTS: Interview Harmony Grant
on current threats to our freedom of speech and religion. Call (503) 631-3808.