The white, middle-aged men are out in force today (May 9, 2007) arguing against LLEHCPA. Today’s group seems to be arguing almost in lockstep that hate crime laws are “thought police” laws. The articles:

Ed Feulner, president of the Herritage Foundation:
Thought police on patrol in D.C.
Ed Feulner

Syndicated columnist Jacob Sullum:
Looking for Hate in All the Wrong Places
Jacob Sullum

Southern Baptist Convention Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s Richard Land:
Hate Crimes, Thought Police, and Religious Freedom
Richard Land

Congressman/Presidential Candidate Ron Paul (R-TX):
Unconstitutional Legislation Threatens Freedoms
Ron Paul

It seems kind of strange to me that today’s spokesmodels arging against hate crime legislation are all white, middle-aged men — not a minority individual in the bunch.  This isn’t to say there aren’t people who belong to minority groups that oppose LLEHCPA, but it appears that the loudest group arguing against this legislation are middle-aged white men. 

Looking at this small sea of white, middle-aged male faces speaks loudly to me about the lack of empathy that these folk who aren’t likely to be victims of hate crimes have towards hate crime victims.

John IrelandFortunately, John Ireland has put out some talking points out as to why a national hate crime law is needed. In his article Defining Hate in the United States, he points out that Hate crimes are underreported, nineteen states fail to include sexual orientation in their hate-crimes legislation, data collection for the FBI’s annual hate crime report is inconsistent, and that the “thought crime” law enforcement perspective needs to be contrasted against the benefits that hate crime laws provide as a crime prevention tool. I recommend reading Mr. Ireland’s piece.

Further reading from Findlaw Writ: The President’s Disingenuous Arguments Against Expanding the Federal Hate Crime Law

Crossposted to:

Autumn Sandeen

Autumn Sandeen