27 January 2007

KingCast presents: Hate Crimes Updates.

As I hosted a Hate Crimes forum as a 3L at Case Western Law School, I believe in the value of fair application of Hate Crimes legislation, which basically enhances an existing crime if it can be proved that it was committed primarily because of racial, ethnic, sexual or sexual orientation antipathy. My view is that it is a separate and distinct crime, but whatever the case, I discussed the recent Nashua Hate Crime with Jewish victim Michael Goldstein the other day, and he and I agree that while things are getting better we've yet a long way to go to fully actualize the Dream envisioned by Martin Luther King, as I noted in this post celebrating the beauty of successfully working with an all-white Nashua School Board as an outsider black man.

There were 680 hate crimes reported in California in 2005, and just the other day some black youth were convicted of assaulting a white woman, yelling "I hate white people." Even though it was only one youth who explicitly said that, I think I still favor the application, and you know why? If it happened to me and only one white person said "I hate black people," I would say that crowd's specific intent to harm me because of my race could be readily inferred. Here's a California black man who got the KKK treatment just like Mr. Goldstein in Nashua.

Enough already, people, damn. We got rid of invidious discrimination in my family when I told family matriarch Mother Ann (RIP) to make sure she understood to take people on an individual basis, and that all white people are not evil. Thing is, she at least had some reason to feel that way, having grown up being spat on by them and refused service, watched them cross the street away from her, etc. etc.

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Just what excuse did these "middle class" black kids have? In this apologetic blog entry, Earl Ofari Hutchinson, a writer with whom I typically agree, misses the boat. Earl, I grew up middle class and had white folks instigate hate crimes against me often, but I never instigated any against them. There's simply no excuse for it, brother.

Peace.

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