Monday, April 16, 2012

There's No Love Crimes

As I'm sure you're well aware, I don't understand people. They fascinate me, but I just don't get the majority of 'em. Criminals really perplex me, as do some of our laws for dealing with certain criminals. Those laws would include the recently coined "hate crimes". Hate crimes confuse me because they seem to attempt to make horrible things even more horrible if the reasons why the crimes were committed have anything to do with any sort of bias. Like for some reason, if you beat the crap out of someone because they're gay or because they're a certain race you don't care for, somehow that is supposed to be perceived as worse than if you had just beaten the crap out of someone without that bias. I just don't know if the person who was beaten really cares why. I'm guessing that they wished that they hadn't been beaten at all. What I'm trying to say here is that I don't understand how it's "worse" if we know the reason why someone chose a particular victim.

But apparently, it's become a fairly big deal. Let's look at the events that took place in Tulsa on Good Friday of this year. Turns out, that particular Friday wasn't quite so good for a lot of people. That's because a couple of losers decided to go on a shooting spree and ended up shooting five people and killing three of them. Not very good at all. The idiots who are allegedly responsible (Translation: they most likely totally did it) for these acts are now being charged with hate crimes because their victims were black and the assailants are not. I have no idea if they're actually racists or not. But does it really matter? It probably doesn't to the dead people. They're dead whether their killer was a racist or just an idiot. And I still don't see how one is worse than the other.

The LA Times has an article about this very thing. And in it, we learn that one of the shooters, a one Jacob England, would like to assure all of us that he's not a racist. As if that makes this any better for anyone! See how silly hate crime laws are? ("You killed my mother? Oh, but you're not a racist? Well, OK then! I feel much better the senseless slaughter of my relative. Carry on!") You can see the video of Jacob the (allegedly) Guilty at the link above. He's a little difficult to understand because he doesn't exactly enunciate very well, but it's really kind of a moot point since I don't think that anything that he has to say at this point really matters.

In the video, Jacob says, "I always got along with everybody. It didn't matter what color he was." I'm just going to go ahead and guess that he didn't always get along with everybody. And I'm pretty sure that he's not getting along with "everybody" right now. I'm guessing that there are some people out there, say...the relatives of the people that he allegedly shot, that he's not going to be getting along with so well.

For some reason, Jacob's mother had sent a letter to the folks who are now Jacob's lawyers. She probably would have just gone in and talked to the lawyers in person if she hadn't been sitting in jail for the last eleven years for something related to arson. Yeah, he seems to come from a great family. Way to go, Mom! In the letter, she writes "
Our family does not hate black people...Two of my beloved grandchildren are African American." Who CARES?! You're more worried about people thinking that your son is a racist as opposed to them thinking that he is a murderer?! This is what we've arrived at?! For reals?!

She goes on to write that "Jake had a lot of responsibilities piled on him and I think it was too much." Yeah, that's not much of a defense, either. I was unaware that having a lot of responsibilities could cause someone to go out and just start shooting random people one day. I think that I'd prefer that she said that he was a racist. At least that would be relevant. Too many responsibilities? Pipe down.

Do you see what I'm saying? This guy allegedly/probably killed a bunch of people. And really, if it was someone that I loved who had been killed by this guy for what is essentially no reason at all, I don't know if having a reason is going to make it better or worse. That's why the term "hate crime" is ridiculous. It's not like there's any such thing as a "love crime". I think that most crime isn't exactly what I'd call friendly. Giving it a certain name and somehow implying that one sort of murder is worse than another sort of murder doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

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