It’s impossible for civilized people not to be sickened at the gleeful victimization of any individual, let alone, as described in this case, a person with special needs, without the standard capacity a healthy 18-year-old male has to defend himself. As you likely know, the perpetrators of the Chicago crime – posted on Facebook for the world to see – were black, and the survivor was white.
The victim of the depraved crime captured in a Facebook Live video recently, a mentally disabled 18-year-old bound and gagged by tape, seemed confused and terrified as his assailants, at least one of whom he regarded as a friend, gleefully humiliated and tortured him. They cut off part of his scalp with a knife, punched and kicked him in the head, and forced him to drink toilet water, laughing all the while. According to Chicago police, the ordeal went on for hours.
To pour more fuel on the fire, the black assailants added an element of electoral politics to their onslaught:
In the video, someone is heard yelling, “F**k white people.” And at one point, the victim was threatened with a knife and told to curse President Donald Trump.
“Say, ‘F**k Donald Trump,’” someone is heard saying.
“F**k Donald Trump,” the victim says.
Those statements led to an explosion on the internet, where so much of the sound and fury was dedicated to the idea that the perpetrators of the crime were guilty of a “Hate Crime” and should be punished in a special manner.
The world lost a great champion for liberty when Nat Hentoff died a few weeks ago. He was a liberal who concerned himself not with political justice, but real justice, the rule of law and equal treatment under it. Hentoff stood up against “hate crime” legislation early and often because he recognized the threats these laws present to free speech and equal treatment under the law. In this speech from 2009, he includes a quote from James Madison: “I’m flattered to say that in this country we will not be penalized by our thoughts,” and laments that this is no longer true in jurisdictions with hate crimes.
While helping people who are (or would be) victims of crime is a noble and just cause, turning to the false god of government to solve the problems of a vicious humanity, and believing that some new law, regulation, or government solution will fix a problem or behavior is short-sighted, counter-productive, and in clear violation of the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the accused.
Bill Clinton and other Democrats pushed for hate crime legislation shortly after the murders of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, with the Hate Crimes Prevention Act in the 106th Congress.
Mr. Byrd, a black man, was viciously murdered. Of his three murderers, one has been executed by Texas for the crime, another is on death row, and the third is serving a sentence of life without parole. In Mr. Shepard’s case, it was widely reported at the time that his murder had to do with him being a homosexual. Whether that is true or not, his murderers – facing the death penalty – were given life without parole, reportedly due to Mr. Shepard’s parents, who wished to show mercy to the killers.
Writing against the federal law when first proposed, the Cato Institute’s Tim Lynch writes:
But once hate crime laws are on the books, the law enforcement apparatus of the state will be delving into the accused’s life and thoughts in order to show that he or she was motivated by bigotry. What kind of books and magazines were found in the home? What internet sites were bookmarked in the computer? Friends and co-workers will be interviewed to discern the accused’s politics and worldview. The point here is that such chilling examples of state intrusion are avoidable because… hate crime laws are unnecessary in the first place.
A decision to prosecute a hate crime is a political one. That is a difficult enough pill to swallow, but when thought crime is added to the mix, it becomes even more likely to yield a result colored by the inflamed passions of the public at a given moment, rather than sober analysis and attempts at justice.
Today, no one of any race or group (unless they are police officers) is immune from prosecution based on the selection of their victims. A credible case can be made that the opposite is true, meaning that in some cases when the narrative fits just right, the alleged perpetrators will face increased scrutiny and criminal jeopardy based on the race of those involved, rather than less. Those examples feature whites and Hispanics who underwent prosecutions driven by racial politics, not justice. In the case of the Chicago Facebook attack, the four black assailants and their enthusiastic videographer are already facing charges for their crimes, and the added “hate crime” charge only serves to stoke public outrage and stroke political egos.