For the record, I don’t like the idea of a “hate crime.” I don’t think the penalty for murder or assault or battery should be worse just because it was revealed that the attacker did it for racial reasons. Motive is important and often necessary in investigating who committed the crime. But the motive itself should have nothing to do with the punishment (save for self-defense). Just because a white racist murders a black person out of pure racial hatred doesn’t mean he should receive a stiffer penalty. He should receive the death penalty regardless of why he did it. Civil magistrates can’t read people’s hearts and minds. All they can do is punish criminal acts.
That being said, I don’t like the hypocrisy that is prevalent in the national media when it comes to race relations and real racially motivated crimes. I know that we’re all tired of the Martin/Zimmerman case, but while the media put Martin on a pedestal, spit on Zimmerman, and try desperately to paint the case as pure racial hatred on Zimmerman’s part, there are so many other cases that happen frequently that don’t end up getting reported because the victims are the wrong race. And so are the attackers.
You may have heard about the recent case in Minnesota where a 26-year-old white man went out walking one night when all of a sudden a group of black men started beating him up for no apparent reason, leaving him on the ground in a pool of his own blood. He was beaten so severely that he had to be taken to the hospital with brain swelling:
“When Raymond Widstrand was discovered, local CBS affiliate WCCO reports, ‘his pants were off and his shirt torn.’ His arms and legs were ‘spread out,’ and he was bleeding profusely.”
If he survives, he’ll likely be permanently brain damaged.
This of course hasn’t gotten any national attention. The attackers were black, and the victim was white. The act of covering such a story would be racist.
Now, police are investigating (sort of) whether the attack was racially motivated. They’re trying to find out if it was a hate crime. If they determine that it is, then it has to be prosecuted as such. But so far, police haven’t found anything that convinces the attorney’s office that the attack had anything to do with race. (?)
Again, I don’t like the idea of “hate crimes.” But if this were turned around, and a group of white guys had put a black guy in the hospital with little hope that he would lead a normal life if he even survived, it would make national news immediately and be branded a “hate crime.” It would be a dream come true for the media.
The media took the few, convoluted and distorted dots in the Zimmerman case and immediately connected them to form a hate crime. But with this white Minnesota victim, no one really even knows anything about it, since it’s not being reported, and those in authority that do know about it don’t really think it’s that big of a deal. “Move along, folks. Nothing to see here.” Way to go, media, for easing race relations.