There are several laws on the books making “Hate Crimes” punishable by a tougher penalty than the same act not committed out of “hate.” But what exactly constitutes a “Hate Crime?”
If a white man beats up a black man because he is black it is a hate crime…but if a black man beats up a white man because he is white it is not. If an arsonist lights a church on fire it is a hate crime. But if that same arsonist lights a store on fire because he hates the owner it is probably not going to be classified as a hate crime (unless the store owner is a minority).
So why do we have hate crime laws? The logic was that it would give a stricter punishment for performing a malicious act out of spite. But is this reasonable? Is the victim any less victimized if they are not being targeted because of prejudice or if the bias is not recognized in one of the special groups that these laws apply to?
So in reality, by passing a law that gives special consideration to some groups over others, we are actually committing what equates to a “hate crime” in that we are singling out individuals and leveling a greater punishment on them than the crime would otherwise warrant. It would be different if the standard was applied equally across the board, but it is not. Plus we are telling certain victims that they don’t rate as high on the scale of justice when we don’t classify theattack on them as a hate crime. All men are supposed to be equal in the eyes of the law. They are all supposed to have the same rights and protections. Justice is supposed to be blind…but is it?