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The Hate Crime Double Standard

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/John Minchillo

The entire concept of 'hate crime' has never made any sense to me. If someone makes a conscious choice to kill another human being, is the victim any less dead because the perpetrator disliked their protected characteristic versus a dislike of another, unprotected characteristic? Does the husband who kills his spouse because he hated her deserve less jail time than a killer who murders a black person because he hates black people? If you think so, aren’t you putting the dead spouse on a legal protection level below the dead minority member? Shouldn’t all lives be equal in the eyes of the law? Why should one life matter more than another? And besides, how can you even know for sure what exactly resides in a perpetrator’s heart of hearts? Aren’t ALL violent crimes acts of ‘hate’?


So yeah, for those and a hundred other reasons, the whole mess is absurd on its face. But perhaps an even greater danger is the fact that it's opened the door for the politicization and polarization of a justice system that should be blind and fair to all. When a white person commits a high-profile violent crime against a black person, or when a white police officer uses deadly force against a black suspect, it’s often automatically assumed to be a hate crime and given broad media coverage before the actual facts are known. This can not only lead to an unfair verdict and sentencing, but also to more violence and public unrest that hurts the entire community.

The entire system, from the initial incident to the publicity surrounding it all the way through any court processes that occur, creates an imbalance of justice for white people anytime there is a negative interaction with a black person, even if that interaction in reality had nothing whatsoever to do with race.

Consider this telling description of the tragic case of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger from Cinemaholic (bold emphasis mine):

Amber’s apartment was on the third floor, directly below Botham’s, which was on the fourth, in the South Side Flats unit, an apartment building with almost identical floor plans. When Amber reached the door that day, she found it to be slightly ajar, and then, thinking that Botham was an intruder in her home, when she saw him sitting in the darkened living room, eating ice cream, she shot him. She feared that he would kill her if she didn’t do anything first. After Amber fired, she called 911. Botham was taken to the hospital, where he passed away from his wound, and Amber was arrested three days later, after a quick investigation. The charge against her was that of manslaughter. But after the racial aspect of the shooting resulted in protests, it was turned to murder.


Does anyone of sound mind truly think that Amber Guyger was a racist who wanted to harm Botham because he was black? Of course not. Clearly, even the judge, a black female, didn’t think so. This was obviously a horrible, tragic misunderstanding. Thankfully, despite public pressure, the case didn’t end up being charged as an actual hate crime. Nevertheless, Guyger would have doubtless found herself in a much different situation had the person she shot been white.

Even the less tragic examples can result in ruined lives. Check out this video of a homeowner confronting a supposed passerby in his yard who happens to be black. It looks a bit rough at first glance, but when you read the details - even from CNN - you begin to understand that race had absolutely nothing to do with this confrontation. Yet, the news coverage is brimming with references to race, and the homeowner was predictably tarred with the “racist” brush and suspended from the military. Had the homeowner been black or the passerby been white, however, you would have likely heard nothing of it.

In yet another, more prominent example, 23-year-old Miya Ponsetto recently pled guilty to an actual hate crime (likely to avoid risking significant prison time) for falsely accusing a black teenager of stealing her phone, then dragging him to the floor in an effort to get it back. Sure, she lost her composure and unjustifiably assaulted someone, and that deserved some punishment, but did she do it because of race or because she genuinely thought her phone had been stolen by this person? Is Miya Ponsetto - who also faces a lawsuit for racial profiling - a closet-Klan member? Of course not, but that doesn’t matter because the increasing message is that if you're white and you incorrectly accuse a black person of anything, you WILL be accused of hate and at best face lawsuits and at worst face the loss of your freedom.


That automatic assumption also goes the other way. When actual or even suspected hate crimes are committed by minorities against both whites and Asians, the powers-that-be in the media and political left generally downplay or even ignore them entirely. Yet, even with the hesitancy of authorities to charge minorities with hate crimes, 21.2% of known hate criminals are actually black, significantly above their percentage of the population, while 55.1% are white, significantly below their percentage of the population. This despite a media narrative that portrays so-called “white supremacy” as America’s greatest threat.

For example, take a look at this horrific school bathroom beatdown perpetrated by a much larger black student on a smaller white student. Attacks like this are almost never talked about as potential hate crimes except among small circles on the right. Some even attempt to justify such violence by claiming - usually without evidence - that the victim “said the n-word” or committed some other verbal transgression that, even if true, would never in a sane world justify that kind of inordinate response.

There are, of course, plenty more examples where those came from. Just read any story about any sort of interracial crime from the mainstream media. If a white suspect commits a crime against a black victim, race is always mentioned and usually given prominence. However, when the roles are reversed, the topic of race is avoided like the plague. It’s gotten so absurd, in fact, that the best way to tell if a perpetrator is black is if race is NOT mentioned at all.


None of is fair. None of it is just. But the people suffering the injustice at this point are and will continue to be the only group anyone is allowed to openly criticize. With the creation and propagation of the “hate crime” apparatus, the powers that be have tragically created a world where some are indeed more equal than others.

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