What Is A Hate Crime?

I have been thinking about hate crimes. It seems to me that any crime has a certain amount of hate attached to it. No matter what the crime, there must be a certain amount of hate for the rules of society to even consider participating.

When a person or group targets another group, especially those who have received protected status, then the people who commit the crimes are charged with a hate crime. Our society can not be satisfied with charging people with assault or vandalism. No, we have to tack on “hate crime.” This is what happens when swastikas are painted on buildings, crosses are burned in front of homes, or Stars of David are knocked over in cemeteries. I believe that while these acts are despicable, we only call them hate crimes to appease a certain portion of the population.

Take cross burning. The only reason this is a crime, and a hate crime at that, is because white supremacist groups burn crosses to intimidate minorities. If those crosses were burned as a slap to Christianity, then no one would consider it a hate crime. Swastikas are associated with the Nazi party and anyone who displays one is labeled as anti-Semitic. Why are people ridiculed and labeled for wearing the symbol of a group to which they wish to be associated? A lot of people ran around with the X for Malcolm X, who was a violent person and they are free to do so. Let a person from the South who is proud of his heritage display the Confederate Flag (his X, if you will) and he is labeled a racist and possibly guilty of a hate crime.

Why is it that these displays are not protected as free speech? I know the obvious law breaking, such as vandalism and destruction of property do not count, but as I’ve stated, we already have laws against those things. The others are only exercising their right to free speech and should be left alone to do so. The United States and the liberal party, in particular, have decided that these actions are criminal and need big brother to police them up.

I would like to add another item to the hate crime list. Burning the American Flag. I feel that if people burn the American flag they are demonstrating hatred toward America and Americans and they should be arrested and charged with a hate crime. The precedent has been established by the government with regard to hate crimes and I know that burning a US flag fits in with the rest. No longer are we allowed to call this despicable display “Freedom of Expression.”

There are people out there who have opined that they wish to burn their flags in protest. They have often done so. I want them to ask how they would feel if the KKK decided that they wanted to burn a cross in the street as a symbol of protest? How would the flag burners feel if a person in their neighborhoods put up swastikas as a symbol of protest? How would it be received if people burned the Koran as a symbol of protest for what the radical Islamic terrorists did to our country?

We can not have it both ways so it is time to stop allowing some forms of expression and not others. From now on, when a person burns the American Flag he should be arrested and charged with a hate crime. I urge anyone who is bothered by flag burning to call the police and press charges against the burners who are participating in a hate crime. If that does not work, get a fire hose and douse the flag and the person holding it. Perhaps if you do it right you can bounce him off a few curbs with the water pressure. Be careful though. You will probably be charged with a hate crime.

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4 Responses to “What Is A Hate Crime?”

  1. Adam says:

    I disagree with you on many levels on this one.

    First of all, not all crimes are hate crimes simply because they show a “hate for the rules of society.” Frankly, not all crimes show hate for the rules. A mother committing the crime of prostitution to feed her kids is one example. Our society puts these choices in front of some of us. It doesn’t mean she necessary hates the rules of society.

    I think it’s easier to argue against the term “victimless crime” than the term “hate crime”. The term “hate crime” changes from time to time though. It is always debated and new things are added to it. Crime against sexual preferences is one example that hasn’t always fallen under the category.

    Secondly, what I see from your message is that you confuse the difference between protest and crime. Wearing a swastika is not a hate crime, nor is cross burning in the pure sense. At a protest against the Iraq war back in March of last year, I saw a band of Neo-nazis at the peace rally. They had tattoos with the full face of Hitler, and swastikas on their arms. This is no crime. I’m also from the South, and I’ve seen Ku Klux Klan rallies. They, like most normal protests, cannot get out of order, or they become unlawful. Burning a cross, or burning a flag, is not legally wrong if you’re doing it safely. Burning a cross on somebody’s yard is a hate crime. Burning an American flag on somebody’s yard might not be a hate crime by definition, but it is certainly a crime punishable by law.

    Hate crimes against Christians are either less rare, or less documented. It is probably just the latter. I believe they should receive equal justification as a hate crime though. Burning a flag might demonstrate hate towards America or possibly Americans, but it is not a crime. I can find no place where somebody was charged with a hate crime for flying the Confederate flag, or simply wearing a swastika. This is protest, albeit justifiably distasteful protest. It is just as distasteful though as burning an American flag is to many veterans.

    The act of “bouncing” someone “off a few curbs” is however against the law.

  2. Big Dog says:

    The fact that someone bounces off a few curbs is not wrong if your intent was to put out a fire that might cause someone harm. Remember, public safety.
    It does not matter what kind of demonstrations you have witnessed. I have seen people arrested for painting offensive items on houses. They were arrested for vandalism, and rightly so, but also charged with a hate crime.
    I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the instance of a mother prostituting herself to feed her kids is probably very rare. The fact is, she probably made other choices like having sex and getting pregnant while engaging in risky behavior. The fact that she engages in prostitution and probably caters to some men who are married shows contempt for the institution of marriage. She does not care how she affects others so long as she gets her money.
    Why is it that burning a cross in someone’s yard is a hate crime but burning the flag in somone’s yard is not. They both show contempt for a segment of our society.
    I have witnessed people denied their rights based on this political correctness. I know of a fellow who was not allowed to have a confederate flag in his living area because it offended others who lived in a nearby area. The post also said “possibly guilty”, just for clarity.
    I believe that people have the right to protest. I also believe that the rules need to be the same for everyone. Burning the American Flag is a HATE CRIME directed toward America and Americans. I think putting the fire out is another form of protest against open burning and we should pursue this avenue vigorously.

  3. Adam says:

    I never said painting on houses is not a hate crime. Of course it can be. I also never said it was okay to burn flags in yards, just that it might not be a hate crime by definition. It would probably qualify though.

    I’m still not sure how burning a flag overall qualifies as a hate crime though. How does flag burning show contempt for a segment of society? The crime is relative really. If I spray painted “you suck” on your house, it wouldn’t always be a hate crime. But if I spray painted “die cracker” then it would most likely qualify. The same with a flag.

  4. Big Dog says:

    How does flag burning show contempt for a segment of society?
    It is an American Flag. It shows contempt for Americans.