President Barack Obama has signed into law the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Actually, he signed into law the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act tacked onto which was the hate crimes legislation.
Sen. Harry Reid, our brave Democratic majority leader, slipped the hate crimes bill into the defense authorization bill to avoid having to have our senators consider the controversial hate crimes bill on its own.
It's for good reason that our Democratic legislators wanted to hide under a rock while passing this terrible piece of legislation. It may help them with the far left wing of their party. But weakening and damaging our country is not something to be proud of. And that is exactly what this new hate crime law does.
The bill adds extra penalties to violent crimes when they are deemed motivated by gender, sexual orientation, or disabilities. It's the first major expansion of hate crimes legislation originally passed in 1968, targeted then to crimes aimed at race, color, religion, and national origin.
After signing this new law, Obama celebrated it by saying that in this nation we should "embrace our differences."
But law isn't about embracing our differences. It is about providing equal and non-arbitrary protection to all citizens.
Equal protection for every individual American under the law is what the 14th Amendment to our Constitution, passed after the Civil War, guarantees. That this nation takes this guarantee seriously -- that there are no classes of individuals treated differently under the law -- has been a justifiable obsession of blacks.
A society in which all life is not valued the same, where murder of one citizen is not the same as the murder of another citizen, is a horror that black Americans have known too well.
So it is a particular irony that this major expansion of the politicization of our law has been signed by our first black president.
What could it possibly mean that the penalty for the same act of violence -- for murder -- may be different depending on what might be deemed to be the motivation?
Can you imagine a football game where the penalty for roughing the passer is 20 yards rather than 15 yards if the referee concludes that the violence perpetrated was motivated because the quarterback was homosexual?
Is it not a sign of our own pathology that we now have codified that it is worse to murder a homosexual than someone who has committed adultery, even with your husband or wife, or who has slandered or robbed? Isn't the point murder?