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Opening Arguments

Hateful days

The good news is that there are apparently very few of us who hate everybody. Of the 7,783 hate crimes reported to the FBI in 2008, only 8 were for "multiple biases." The bad news is that the overall number represents a 2 percent increase from 2007. Of course there may not actually be more hate crimes, merely more emphasis on them and awareness of them. And sometimes, it can be difficult to say what exactly is a hate crime. If you burn a cross in somebody's yard, that's pretty obvious. But if you beat somebody up, is it really because of the victim's race or religion or sexual orientation or just because you're a mindless bully? And how will you know for sure without asking the perpetrator? You gonna believe what a criminal says?

And for those of you under the impression that we are a bunch of Muslim-hating fanatics driving people like that poor major at Fort Hood over the edge with our intolerance:

Out of the religion-motivated hate crimes, 65.7 percent were anti-Jewish, 7.7 were anti-Islamic, 4.7 were anti-Catholic, and 3.7 were anti-Protestant. A little less than one percent, meanwhile, were anti-Atheism/Agnostic/etc.

Here it is 2009, and we still can't get over the Jews. Guess all you a


Tue, 11/24/2009 - 2:23pm

I'm constantly puzzled by the long, apparently ineradicable history of anti-Jewish hatred. I've heard the various suggestions of what may be behind it, most of which seem to point to envy, but I still don't get it. Jews have never done anything nasty to me.
Just out of curiosity, Leo, where do you stand on hate crimes legislation? Do you oppose it on grounds that all crimes are hate crimes, or that it outlaws "thought crimes"?
If you don't oppose it, do you object to extending hate crime protection to gays and atheists, whom conservatives traditionally dislike? Just wondering.

Leo Morris
Tue, 11/24/2009 - 3:28pm

I tend to be in the "thought crimes" camp -- it scares me when the authorities start trying to get inside people's heads. And as someone with libertarian tendencies, my goal in general would be fewer laws more easily understood, rather than more laws harder to fathom.