A federal hate bill would give complete "police state" powers to big government to swoop down to investigate and prosecute "hate-motivated" crime. But liberal activists hardly need to wait for such legislation. Increasingly, the government uses the vagaries of civil rights laws and the FBI to leap over established barriers to federal intervention in state law enforcement.
Founding father James Madison warned that, if the federal government can spend money indefinitely for “the general welfare,” then its powers will “subvert the very foundation, the very nature of the limited government established by the people of America.” The Constitution and legal precedent have limited the federal government from meddling in states’ law enforcement, except in small numbers of instances.
Today, all it seems to take is a request from a local police or government agency or an offended homosexual screaming, "Hate crime!" to bring the feds running. And since September 11, domestic hate crimes are often linked with that inflammatory one-word excuse for abuse of government power—“terrorism.” The FBI’s website proclaims, “Investigating hate crime is the number one priority of our Civil Rights Program. Why? Not only because hate crime has a devastating impact on families and communities, but also because groups that preach hatred and intolerance plant the seeds of terrorism here in our country.” Wow, the seeds of terrorism. This fire-breathing rhetoric is used to justify federal involvement in crimes that should be dealt with by local authorities. The FBI instead sweeps in to investigate minor vandalism crimes, proclaiming that America ’s epidemic of hate must be stopped before it rips our nation apart.
Here are some examples. The FBI is investigating an Idaho incident where a couple of thugs allegedly punched a young black girl after egging her parents’ car and shouting harassment outside her home. The feds got involved when a swastika was scribbled on the van of a predominantly black church in Indiana. Local news described the incident with these throat-grabbing words, “Hate has the potential to destroy a community.” (The story admits the vandalism might have been the work of a bored teen. The church’s pastor said he lived in that town for 23 years and never saw this kind of activity. But federal agents got involved and it’s being investigated as a hate crime.) FBI might also join prosecution of a Texas “hate crime” where hate graffiti was scribbled on a car with a Sharpie marker. (Its black owner said, “I have actually been in Nashville for 16 years…I have never seen anything like this.” Despite this, he says, “It takes you to the core. It just hits you right in the core.”) A California man was recently sentenced to six and a half years in prison for “a series of race-motivated threats” against a black man and his family. Again, this brought in the FBI. Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Grace Chung Becker said, "Hate and intolerance tear at the very fabric of our great nation --- a fabric that is strengthened by its diversity of races, religions and national origins."
Last year, House majority leader Steny Hoyer repeated the tear-the-fabric metaphor during debate of the expanded federal “anti-hate” bill. He said “brutal hate crimes motivated by race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation and identity or disability not only injure individual victims, but also terrorize entire segments of our population and tear at our nation's social fabric." Hate crime laws say bias against certain groups is so bad—and those groups need such special protection—that we need extra laws and penalties against those beliefs; fragile minority communities are at risk from the statement made by bias-motivated crimes.
Of course, any crime, regardless of motive, hurts communities. But, while the expression of hate can devastate individuals, the danger to society from “anti-hate” laws is far, far greater.
Freedom of speech and ideas provide access to the very truths and free protest that combat hatred. Also, the expansion of federal power in law enforcement poses a far greater threat than even the most unpleasant rash of hateful graffiti.
The real threat of hate crime laws is that they are actually thought crime laws—a terrifying prelude to an Orwellian society that cracks down on unapproved beliefs. “Hate” and “intolerance” are feelings that rise from convictions. The next obvious step is to criminalize those convictions, and statements about them, even when they aren’t connected to an act of violence or a crime. Since the federal government has already assumed tremendous power to act against hate crimes, it won’t just be one or two states prosecuting free expression of bias. Federal prosecution of public “hate” will shatter America ’s remaining freedoms.
Once that happens, America is dead. Freedom made our nation great and unique. When we lose freedom, we lose America .
Harmony Grant writes and edits for National Prayer Network, a Christian/conservative watchdog group.
Let the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith teach you how they have saddled 45 states with hate laws capable of persecuting Christians: http://www.adl.org/99hatecrime/intro.asp.
Learn how ADL took away free speech in Canada and wants to steal it now in the U.S. Congress. Watch Rev. Ted Pike's Hate Laws: Making Criminals of Christians at video.google.com. Purchase this gripping documentary to show at church. Order online at www.truthtellers.org for $24.90, DVD or VHS, by calling 503-853-3688, or at the address below.
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