At times of heightened tensions, freedoms tend to disappear. New York Democrat Governor Kathy Hochul (D-NY) has long been a zealous promoter of strict hate crime laws in the Empire State. Sensing opportunity with the war in Israel, Hochul is seizing the moment to enact measures that may feel good to many today but may ultimately doom the liberties of her constituents tomorrow.
Hochul, on October 31, “announced a series of actions to deploy all available resources to keep New Yorkers safe following a surge in hate and bias incidents in the weeks following the October 7 Hamas terror attacks,” a statement from her office declares. Who could have a problem with that? The governor is making “$50 million available for local law enforcement agencies to prevent and solve hate crimes and other crimes [and] $25 million in security funding for at-risk community groups and cultural centers,” the release continued. Well, that doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
The money will also fund “an expansion of the New York State Police’s social media analysis unit, and a new initiative from the Division of Human Rights,” the governor’s staff added. Uh-oh. Pair that last excerpt with a quote from Hochul, and it’s clear what is going on here.
‘Every State Resource to Keep New Yorkers Safe’
“My top priority is to protect the safety and well-being of all New Yorkers,” Hochul asserted. “We cannot allow hate and intimidation to become normalized. As governor, I reaffirm that there is zero tolerance in New York for antisemitism, Islamophobia, or hate of any kind, and it’s critical we deploy every possible state resource to keep New Yorkers safe.”
There’s a war in the Middle East that has Jewish, Arabic, and many other New Yorkers inflamed. Note how Hochul covers both sides of the conflict at the same time in her “zero tolerance” proclamation while crucially adding a limitless “hate of any kind.” She then tells residents that the state will “deploy” all the resources it can muster to fight this wholly ill-defined threat. And her office further reveals that social media monitoring of citizens is to be part of the package.
If you were seeking a classic progressive ruling establishment example of the phrase “never let a crisis go to waste” in action, here you go.
It Takes a Village to Eradicate Hate
We’ve seen this iron-fisted “safe from hate” approach from the governor before. In May, Liberty Nation reported that Hochul had convened New York’s first “Unity Summit.” A page on the governor’s website neatly outlined the culturally oppressive nature of the affair.
“During the Summit, [Hochul] announced an additional $25 million is available through the FY 2024 budget to support organizations serving communities at risk of hate crimes and vandalism,” the statement read. “State, local, and federal partners, community-based and faith leaders, and advocates shared policies, programs, and practices to build safer and stronger communities where hate has no place,” the release goes on. It seems that all elements of the state are to be harnessed in support of the officially sanctioned agenda.
“Participants also presented their extensive efforts to address hate-motivated crimes, prevent the spread of violent extremism, and promote unity and reconciliation,” Hochul’s staff stressed. The language is frankly Marxist, reminding one of productivity pledges made by Soviet factory workers in the 1930s, or something of that sort. What are you doing to build the new society?
LN in May also documented similar efforts by Democrat governors in California and Michigan. The latter, saddled with perhaps the most radical state attorney general in the nation, has taken the shocking tactic of vowing to punish Michiganders who commit lesser crimes judged to be motivated by “hate” more harshly in order to “prevent” these people from committing more serious crimes in the future. Slice that any way you like; it amounts to incarcerating American citizens for actions they have not even performed yet but are deemed likely to because of detected thought patterns.
On October 10, Hochul ominously called for social media crackdowns on so-called “hate speech.” “Now, it’s time for social media companies to… monitor the speech on your platform and crack down on incitements to violence – before it’s too late.” Again, note the dangerous new norms that are being pushed via the convenient excuse granted by understandable public disgust over outrageous remarks made by some regarding a war abroad.
There is an enormous difference, of course, between the state’s rightful role in probing an individual who publicly threatens to bomb a place of worship and sweeping surveillance of public speech platforms in search of wrongthink. The line is not just blurred, but entirely wiped out by elastic “monitoring” programs crafted in an atmosphere of fear and malice.
“We have the power as individuals, as a government, as society to pull back and say no more,” Hochul boldly exclaimed in New York City in November 2022 while again touting the regulation of hate crimes. “And never forget that this is our city, this is our state and today we reclaim both from the haters, the bigots, the white supremacists. It starts right here, right now.”
You may also never want to forget that in the eyes of a good number of progressives, your average Trump supporter or local school board critic is a “white supremacist.” See how quickly this can go from terrorists in the Middle East to hundreds of millions of Americans?