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January 30, 2009

Hope and Change Will Mean Abandoning Equality Before the Law

Chairman Zero's website features a promise to expand hate crimes statutes:

President Obama and Vice President Biden will strengthen federal hate crimes legislation, expand hate crimes protection by passing the Matthew Shepard Act, and reinvigorate enforcement at the Department of Justice's Criminal Section.

"Hate crimes" is a concept by which the notion of equality before the law is discarded in exchange for special legal protection for groups favored by liberals. In other words, those who are not blacks, Muslims, or homosexuals are officially classified as second-class citizens. To get an idea of what this will mean to our society, we need look no farther than Europe, as documented at The Brussels Journal:

One of the famous victims of hate crime legislation in Europe is Brigitte Bardot. Last June the former sex symbol, once considered to be the very icon of France, was given a two-month suspended prison sentence and fined €15,000 by a court in Paris. Mrs. Bardot was convicted for "instigation of hatred" towards the Muslim community because in December 2006 she had sent a letter to Nicolas Sarkozy, then the Interior Minister of France, to demand that Muslims anaesthesize animals before slaughtering them. In the letter she said, referring to Muslims, that she was "fed up with being under the thumb of this population which is destroying us, destroying our country and imposing its habits." Harboring and expressing such sentiments is a crime in France.
Dieudonné M'Bala is one of France's new icons. He is a French comedian who is known for his anti-Semitism. Mr. M'Bala claims Jews are "a mafia that controls everything in France" and harbors feelings about Jews which are similar Mrs. Bardot's feelings about Muslims: France is under the thumb of the Jews, who are destroying it and imposing their values. In 2004 Mr. M'Bala was taken to court in Paris for violating French laws against incitation to racial or religious hatred, but the court ruled that he was not violating the law. Why did Mrs. Bardot get a suspended prison sentence and a fine of €15,000, while Mr. B'Bala went free? Because Mrs. Bardot and Mr. M'Bala are no longer equal under the law.
In October 2006 Codie Stott, a 14-year-old schoolgirl from Salford, England, was arrested for racism and spent three-and-a-half hours in police custody because she had refused to study with a group of five Asian pupils who did not speak English. When the Asians began talking in Urdu, Codie went to speak to the teacher. "I said 'I'm not being funny, but can I change groups because I can't understand them?' But the teacher started shouting and screaming, saying 'It's racist, you're going to get done by the police'." A complaint was made to the police and Codie was placed under arrest. She was not prosecuted as she was too young, but the experience was traumatic for the young girl. The same applies to Jamie Bauld from Cumbernauld, Scotland, an 18-year-boy with Down's syndrome and the mental age of a five-year-old. In September 2007 he was charged with "racial assault" after he had pushed an Asian girl on the playground.

There's more…

Hate crime legislation is used to silence the famous and the innocent, but also the people's democratically elected representatives. In January 2007 Christian Vanneste, a member of the French Parliament, was convicted by the Court of Appeal of Douai because two years earlier during a debate in the parliament and afterwards on television he had said that "homosexual behavior endangers the survival of humanity" and that "heterosexuality is morally superior to homosexuality." Mr. Vanneste, a member of the governing UMP party of President Sarkozy, was fined €3,000. The Court also ordered him to pay €3,500 in damages to each of the three homosexual activist organizations that had taken him to court, plus the expense of publishing the verdict in three newspapers. The three organizations welcomed the court ruling, saying that it "aims to punish homophobic comments which should be fought because they inspire and legitimize verbal and physical attacks."
Last week Susanne Winter, an elected member of the Austrian Parliament, was convicted by a court in Graz to a suspended jail sentence of three months and a fine of €24,000 for "inciting racial hatred and degradation of religious symbols and religious agitation." At a meeting of the Austrian Freedom Party FPÖ in January 2008, Mrs. Winter had said that the prophet Muhammad was "a child molester" since he married a six-year-old girl, and that he was "a warlord" who had written the Koran during "epileptic fits." She had also said that Islam is "a totalitarian system of domination that should be cast back to its birthplace on the other side of the Mediterranean" and warned for "a Muslim immigration tsunami," stating that "in 20 or 30 years, half the population of Austria will be Muslim" if the present immigration policies continue.
Following these remarks, Muslim extremists threatened to kill Mrs. Winter, who was subsequently placed under police protection. This did not persuade the judge, Christoph Lichtenberg, to be more lenient. He told Mrs. Winter: "You have only one goal: to gain votes by a despicable method, by appealing to xenophobic feelings." Judge Lichtenberg said a severe punishment was asked for in order to prevent Mrs. Winter from voicing similar opinions during her next election campaign.
Also last week, the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, decided to prosecute Geert Wilders, an elected member of the Dutch Parliament, for "the instigation of hatred against Muslims" as the producer of Fitna, a short documentary about the Koran. In his movie, which can be seen here, Mr Wilders says that the Koran calls for violence against Jews and other non-Muslims. Mr. Wilders lives under constant police protection following death threats from Koran readers.
A few weeks earlier, on 3 January, Harry van Bommel, a Socialist member of the Dutch Parliament, took part in a demonstration during which he called for an "intifada" against Israel and marched with demonstrators who were shouting "Jews to the gas." Will Mr. van Bommel, like Mr. Wilders, be charged with incitement to racial hatred? Will he be given the same treatment as Mr. Wilders? Considering that equality under the law is no longer guaranteed, this is far from certain. Indeed, while Mr. Wilders will be prosecuted, Mr. van Bommel is likely to go free.
One noticeable fact in hate crime prosecutions is that those prosecuted are often members of European majority groups, such as heterosexuals, non-Muslims or non-Socialists. Hate speech, racial slurs or religious insults directed against a majority group do not seem to be as equally punishable under hate crimes legislation as those directed against minorities. Unlike Susanne Winter, Alfred Hrdlicka, an Austrian "artist," who last year depicted Jesus and his apostles engaging in homosexual acts of sodomy during the Last Supper, has not been indicted, let alone sentenced. Depicting Jesus sodomizing his apostles is not considered to be a "degradation of religious symbols" in Austria, but referring to the historic fact that Muhammad married a six-year old girl is.

To some extent the First Amendment protects Americans from the censorship hates crimes legislation have imposed in Europe. But liberals regard the Constitution as a "living document" — i.e., it says whatever they say it says. It will take armed resistance to prevent the First and Second Amendments from going the way of the Tenth.

Anyone who has suffered the misfortune of being surrounded by liberal elitists knows that they strongly prefer Europe to America, so it's hardly surprising that their conception of "Change" involves remaking the country in Europe's image. Unfortunately, they are enamored of an image of Europe deep into decline.

On a tip from Puffdaddy.

Posted by Van Helsing at January 30, 2009 8:13 AM

Comments

"January 2008, Mrs. Winter had said that the prophet Muhammad was 'a child molester' since he married a six-year-old girl, and that he was 'a warlord' who had written the Koran during 'epileptic fits.' She had also said that Islam is 'a totalitarian system of domination that should be cast back to its birthplace on the other side of the Mediterranean' and warned for 'a Muslim immigration tsunami,'"

Hey, this is an insult to epileptics!

Otherwise, it's accurate.

Posted by: forest at January 30, 2009 8:34 AM

Silly me, I thought a crime was a crime, and justice was blind. Under the equal protection clause, couldn't this be unconstitutional?

Posted by: Karin at January 30, 2009 8:48 AM

You say true, Karin.

This "Hate Crime" crap really gets me steamed. Isn't ANY crime arguably a Hate Crime?

We had a recent case here in Maryland where a teenager killed his mother with a hammer and attacked his father, due to an argument about grades. Would it be a "Hate Crime" if the kid had been white, but adopted by black parents, and if he had shouted the N-word while he crushed in his mother's skull? The same people are still dead/injured and the same wackjob needs to be locked up for life.

Posted by: The MaryHunter at January 30, 2009 9:03 AM

Karin

As of 11/4 that has changed. If you are white in this country the main difference between you and a milk cow is that they aren't supposed to eat you. Otherwise, you have about the same status.

How did it come about that 10% of the population can tyrannize 90%?

Posted by: SnowSnake at January 30, 2009 9:04 AM

You only have to look north to Canada to see what our "Human Rights Commissions" can to do. Recent victims have been conservative bloggers and Mark Steyn.

Posted by: violet at January 30, 2009 9:10 AM

You only have to look north to Canada to see what our "Human Rights Commissions" can to do. Recent victims have been conservative bloggers and Mark Steyn.

Posted by: violet at January 30, 2009 9:10 AM

You only have to look north to Canada to see what our "Human Rights Commissions" can to do. Recent victims have been conservative bloggers and Mark Steyn.

Posted by: violet at January 30, 2009 9:11 AM

Karin,

You bet. If some guys tied me to a post and beat me to death for any reason, I'd want them to get the same punishment as they would get for doing it to a gay guy such as Matthew Shepard. There are already enhancements for "premeditation", so that can be taken into account, but the status of the victim should not have anything to do with it.

If the charges and punishment are different, the gay guy clearly has more protection under the law than I would have making it unconstitutional IMHO.

Posted by: forest at January 30, 2009 9:16 AM

You only have to look north to Canada to see the consequences of hate crime laws. Our Human Rights Commissions go after every and anyone who has "offended" the sensibilities of non-white Canadians. A recent victim has been Mark Steyn who wrote " American Alone."

Posted by: violet at January 30, 2009 9:19 AM

"Anyone who has suffered the misfortune of being surrounded by liberal elitists knows that they strongly prefer Europe to America, so it's hardly surprising that their conception of "Change" involves remaking the country in Europe's image."

And Republican wingnuts want to remake America in their image - somewhere along the lines of Nazi Germany where "freedom" is extended to wealthy land owners who are not black, Muslim or queer and we murder everybody who provides scientific evidence for evolution and climate change. We'll see who wins, I guess.

Posted by: Todd Flanders at January 30, 2009 9:52 AM

I don't support legal action, but I want to take some of those people and slap them silly.

Why? They take perfectly legitamite points about immigration and culture clash and trivilize them by adding in sweeping generalizations and petty insults. People who actually want to make valid points are then shouted down.

Like in this country, I can't point out the crisis of fatherhood in the black community without some idiot assuming I want to start burning crosses.

Use civil discourse and maybe we'll be able to get our point across!

Posted by: Anonymous at January 30, 2009 10:15 AM

"somewhere along the lines of Nazi Germany where 'freedom' is extended to wealthy land owners who are not black, Muslim or queer and we murder everybody who provides scientific evidence for evolution and climate change. We'll see who wins, I guess.

Posted by: Todd Flanders at January 30, 2009 9:52 AM"

You don't know much about Nazis (or conservatives), do you?

The Nazi's power base, especially as they rose to power, was the "working class", not so much the wealthy land owners. The traditional German power brokers in the military and industry were eventually co-opted or simply crushed by populist Nazism. The nature of Nazism was socialist/collectivist. They favored creating unequal protection under the law for different groups of citizens which is something I oppose (see hate crime laws). They favored big government projects like today's liberals do. The "cult of personality" and hero worship were big factors in Nazism, which is also obviously problem with today's liberals. They subsidized politicized "science" such as eugenics and "frowned upon" traditional religion and independent science. Again, this is much like today's liberals. The Nazi's were allied with Muslims such as the rabidly anti-Semitic Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and actually formed a Bosnian Muslim Waffen SS division to combat the Serb rebels in Yugoslavia. Again, today's liberals tend to align themselves with, or at least make excuses for Muslims fighting against the Jews in Israel or against Western Civilization in general.

To sum this up, Todd, you are an ignoramus, and you should learn something before you spout off.

Posted by: forest at January 30, 2009 10:48 AM

Hey Forest,

I referenced Nazis because they are a convenient symbol of fascism, which was the main point I was trying make. As demonstrated by reactionary blogs like this one, a lot of right wing folks truly do not want a free society or democracy. They would prefer something more akin to a Christian theocracy or fascist government that could enforce the laws of a ruling class. Every op/ed piece that claims to be about the "freedom of ideas" or "equality under the law" with regards to intelligent design or hate crimes is not without an underlying agenda to eventually cast such ideas as reprehensible and, eventually, illegal. Conservative evangelicals who voted down prop 8 don't want to live peaceably with homosexuals - after all, they are sinners and will one day roast in hell. This and other beliefs of the far right are blatant examples of their "freedom for some" ideology.

As for the history of Nazi Germany, I believe it is you who probably needs a refresher. Nazi Germany was socialist in name only - it was Hitler's vehicle to motivate German citizens to blindly follow him. Similar populist tactics such as advocating tax cuts and "Christian morality" have been employed by the right in the United States. The big "socialist" program that Nazi Germany implemented was during WWII which, much like US efforts during WWII, was an enormous public works project that achieved full employment for their people. Hitler has been quoted as saying he was pro-private property and Nazi Germany eventually developed strong ties to big business and abolished trade unions.

Posted by: Todd Flanders at January 30, 2009 1:43 PM

True story-Illinios 2008

Young man (white)uses the dreaded 'n' word, in the privacy of his own home. No kids around, only his wife and her friend. Friend repeats story to her father, in front of her 10 year old brother. Little bro goes to school, spreads story.
Two days later, while walking daughter to school, young man is arrested- for assualt on a minor. The School principal(black) reported him for saying'N'to a child(black).(Remember, no kids were there.) DA(black) wants to up it to 'hate crime'.
Court day-judge(black) refuses the notion of heresay although no one in the courtroom had heard him say it. Parents of supposed child admit kid wasn't there, heard nothing.
Judge reduces charge to simple assualt-$1500 fine and 100 hrs. community service.
Young man now has record- for talking in the privacy of his own home.

Posted by: jomama at January 30, 2009 1:51 PM

As the INCA DOVE calls out NO HOPE,NO HOPE,NO HOPE and absolutly NO CHANGE its going to remain the same in the DISTRICT OF CRINIMALS as kenobi called it A WRETCHED HIVE OF SCUM AND VILLIANY

Posted by: Spurwing Plover at January 30, 2009 3:23 PM

Hey Todd...

"...a lot of right wing folks truly do not want a free society or democracy. They would prefer something more akin to a Christian theocracy or fascist government..."

I just have to ask... what color is the sky in your world?

Posted by: hiram at January 30, 2009 3:28 PM

Todd, your two posts are nothing but a pile of lies, slander, and stereotypes.
Neither I, nor anyone else here, would seek to treat minorities as second- class citizens or kill those who disagree with us as you ignorantly claim we all secretly desire to.

"Conservative evangelicals who voted down prop 8 don't want to live peaceably with homosexuals - after all, they are sinners and will one day roast in hell."
That is too stupid for words. I voted for the Florida equivalent of Prop 8, and I'm all for living peaceably with gay people. In fact, from what I've seen of the protests and everything, it is largely the gays who don't want to live peaceably with Christians, Mormons, or anyone else who refuses to openly accept and celebrate homosexuality.

Posted by: Adam at January 30, 2009 5:11 PM

Someone should explain to the MSM - and to liberals - that a hate crime is a thought crime. isn't that chilling enough?

Posted by: puffdaddy at January 30, 2009 6:45 PM

"I voted for the Florida equivalent of Prop 8, and I'm all for living peaceably with gay people. In fact, from what I've seen of the protests and everything, it is largely the gays who don't want to live peaceably with Christians, Mormons, or anyone else who refuses to openly accept and celebrate homosexuality."

Ok, I have to admit to curiosity here. Could you clarify this?

You don't want gays to marry, fair enough. You live peacefully with gay people, good, that's the good Christian thing to do.

Now, a lot of Christians don't. From almost any Christian source you can hear a stream of invective and insults and on up through death threats against gays. Now, this isn't even remotely Christian. (Picture Jesus. Do you really think he would add "except gays" to any of his preachings of peace and love?) Read this blog for a list of insults and erroneous accusations.

It's a common reaction to show hate to people who show hate to you. Are you surprised that many homosexuals have strong feelings against religious establishments?

In a larger vision, how can you expect them to live peacefully with a world which is not peaceful towards them?

Homosexuals are doing what a good minority group should do in this situation, which is build a strong internal culture based on common positive ideals. This is what Jews have done so well and African-Americans have done so poorly. From your perspective, they picked the wrong issue to unite on.

What would you say would be a positive step for homosexuals?

Posted by: Anonymous at January 31, 2009 1:48 AM

"From almost any Christian source you can hear a stream of invective and insults and on up through death threats against gays."
That is a stereotype, and I cannot recall hearing any death threats against gays. The few radicals who make such threats are usually private about it. Again, many of the prominent supporters of Prop 8 and similar measures have been the ones receiving death threats from gays.
"In a larger vision, how can you expect them to live peacefully with a world which is not peaceful towards them?"
Peaceful, tolerant demonstrating worked all right for Gandhi, Dr. King, etc. Maybe the gay activists should take a page out of that playbook.

"What would you say would be a positive step for homosexuals?"
For one thing, the homosexual protestors could stop resorting to threats, vandalism, and violence against the individuals, businesses, and churches that supported Prop 8 and similar measures. If they demonstrated more tolerance and respect in that way, it would probably cause many Christians to be much more friendly and tolerant towards them, while not necessarily condoning their lifestyles.

Posted by: Adam at January 31, 2009 4:38 AM

P.S. Another positive step for homosexuals which would lead to them being more trusted by the rest of Americans would be if they at least lessened how much some of them blatantly and publicly flaunt their sexuality in ways which the vast majority of the people find genuinely disgusting.
Take, for instance, San Francisco's Folsom Street Fair. The event is essentially an open- air public gay orgy. An Internet photojournalist who covered the event for his rather conservative website/ blog had to put up big disclaimers before the story warning potential readers about the graphic sexual content seen in many of the photos from his report of the event.
Many gay pride parades are filled with drag queens in lingerie, and people publicly doing obscene things.
Some gays even bring children to these events. With incidents like that, is it much of a surprise to you that so many conservative Americans view homosexuals as perverts and deviants?
If gays could encourage each other to tone down these more open and public displays, it would almost undoubtedly help to alleviate a lot of the mistrust that Americans can feel toward homosexuals.

Posted by: Adam at January 31, 2009 7:34 AM

Is it time to fight yet

Posted by: Anonymous at January 31, 2009 9:03 AM

...and justice for all? No?

Posted by: shorteststraw at January 31, 2009 9:40 AM

Liberals have never wanted 'equal rights'. They have only always wanted 'special rights'. Each time they press an un-Constitutional piece of legislation like this, they prove that statement true.

Posted by: SK at February 1, 2009 12:09 AM

As I read the comments above I came to the conclusion that there might be misconceptions as to what hate crime laws should do. Hate crime laws should protect people (including white people) from attacks that are caused exclusively by the race/sex/orientation of the victim. They should be reserved for people who attack others because of their race, sex, etc. Hate crime laws should not be applied to every case where people of different races have a fight. The controlling factors are whether one of the people has a history of hatred towards that race and whether that was the reason for the fight.

You might ask yourself why it is necessary to have these laws at all since all violent crimes are the same to the person being attacked? Its is a combination of historic necessity and a societal moral judgment call.

If you look at the history of the US there have always been racial and social groups that have been targeted for discrimination and in many cases violence. To this day there are many groups in the US that were created for the sole purpose of hating certain groups (and in some cases advocating violence against them). Hate crime laws were designed to discourage these activities. In this case, ignoring America's racial divide would be intellectually dishonest and would only contribute to its continuance.

Regarding the moral angle, society has simply made a judgment call where it says it is more offensive to beat/kill someone if you do it solely because of race than if you do it because you wanted to steal from them or because they insulted you. It is the same type of judgment that makes is acceptable for a soldier to kill during war. Morally, white people should also be included in hate crime legislation.

Finally, I know some hate crime laws have been abused, but that is not a suffiently powerful reason to do away with the laws in their entirety. You should advocate corrections of the laws not their complete destruction.

Posted by: LR at February 1, 2009 11:04 AM

"I said 'I'm not being funny, but can I change groups because I can't understand them?' But she[teacher] started shouting and screaming, saying 'It's racist, you're going to get done by the police'."
...
A complaint was made to a police officer based full-time at the school"

Saddam Hussein had teachers that informed on Children to agents of the State too. What a very enlightened, progressive place England has become.

Posted by: xantl at February 1, 2009 9:31 PM