|When a child of 17 is the victim of a hate crime, they can suffer intense trauma and need a lot of help from others to get back on the road of recovery. One place people can look is family, your mom and dad, but what if they where the ones who committed the crime? This is what a 17-year-old Bronx Boy must deal with for the rest of his life. He had informed his parentís 6 months before that he was gay, and he was kicked out for the house. He stayed with his Aunt after that, but one-day they came for him. This itself is a form of abuse to their sons, who has to deal with the fact that even his parents, are against him. Outside of mentally, this can present a challenge to youth who now have to deal with school (if they even keep going) and trying to find a job and a place to stay. But the parents of this kid where not happy with this, they being the god fearing parents they where, felt the best way to deal with their son was to beat the gay out of him. God will punish you for your lifestyle!" they screamed. "You canít be gay!"
The boy (name withheld do to his age) was treated for 22 welts across his body at the hospital, but was released. The Parents charges where dropped to misdemeanors when the police could not find evidence of a weapon. The parents said they where only trying to disciplining their son who had behavioral problems and for missing school. In a time where even spanking is under debate, I think that when your child is taken to the hospital, it was not ďdisciplineĒ One of the saddest parts of this case, is that the state of New York passed laws that gave much harder punishments for crimes like this, but they took effect 3 months to late for them to help in this case.
This hate crime is one that ends better then many others, He is not living with his Aunt and Uncle, and is said to adjusting well. He has kept in school, and has found support with other gay and lesbians who have had some of the same issues. Many people who suffer from an attack like this at this age feel the effects long after, and some end up living on the street, unable to cope with their sexuality.
What causes such hate, and spreads it? Well in todayís high tech world, hate has gone online, and is viewed as a major reason for the spread of hate crimes in the world.
One that I have looked at for some time is Stormfront.org. If you came looking to find people saying kill the Nigerís, kill the Spicís, then this is not it. Internet hate groups often are very aware that such postings would have them pulled of the net and face charges in court. Even if you wish to post to the board on the site, it is stated that any such post will be deleted. One may think this is good, but it does very little to stop the underlining tone of hate directed at others, that often fuels people to commit acts they never would have considered before. Having visited the site about a year ago, I thought it odd that they all said they are not racist, only proud of their white race, but yet post often would use from 3-15 terms such as Niger, spick, fag, and some terms that I never had ever heard. (I guess you get bored with the same terms after a while). One paper that is listed on this site is Proof of Negro Inferiority this is a exert from it
ďIt would be proper to raise the question whether the Negro is capable of appreciating, desiring and conserving the benefits of civilization. The inertia of the Negro in a state of servitude; his scarcely improved condition, and certain diminution in numbers, since enfranchisement in the United States; his political and social career in Hayti 2; his massacre of the agents, and destruction of the agencies of civilization in St Thomas; his helplessly subordinate station in the northern states of our Union and in Canada; his indifference to the benefits of civilization in Liberia 3; the persistent vitality of Voudouism among American Negroes, in the close environment of a high civilization, and the Negro's facile relapses, as in the Congo nation, ď
Other sections you can find are a kids section, set up by a 11 year old boy, a pictures section will a nice selection of Swastikas, and a message board where people can post links to hateful speechís, and other white pride issues. One post that I found that shows how hate is spreading worldwide talked about David Dukeís trip to Russia. Russia a place where with its horrid economy like that of pre WWII Germany, is very susceptible to this type of speech. In this trip he told Russians they need to take against "the Aryan race's main enemy ó world Zionism" and that "the Jews have brought us to our knees," according to the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews.
Should we have laws to prevent these hate crimes, or are existing laws sufficient to stop them? While on the surface one would say of course, but there are many issues that need to be thought about before such a choice can be made. One issue is that we already have laws in most cases that cover the crime, it is a mater of to what extent do we punish for them. If you kill someone for money or kill them for being of a race you donít like, there already are laws on the books for that crime. The reasons for the crime already are considered in sentencing so if the length of the punishment is not high enough, it is possible that that the issue may be in how long one can be sentenced in the first place.
Legislating the mind is wrong, and a can be a slippery slope if not kept in check. Having thoughts or saying things that people are offended by should be protected under normal circumstances. The point of such the right of free speech is there to protect speech that people donít like; otherwise there would be no need for it. Of course you cant advocate the murder of people, and other crimes, but just the statement that you hate blacks or some other group, and that you think you are better should not be a crime. There was a time when peoples thoughts and speech where used against them, and I know that with my views I would have been probably jailed for them, the McCarthy Trials. Also I could look at things said by many Politicians that hold office, including our probable next president, and say that he does many of the same things, he creates hate in me, anger, and fear. So who will make sure the laws are not used or things other then their intended purpose? The US has its own history of going against groups and making laws that today we cant see how they could have ever passed, but none the less the courts passed them, and the people where all for them. The last issue I will bring up is that of the issue of intent. People may at times say things that they donít mean, that where meant in a way other then how it was taken, and if they intended to follow threw with what was said. One thing that also needs to be known is that someone can make a hateful speech, but not lie. Sure they may not use the info in the same way as others, but can we punish someone for telling people facts, even if they are not told in the most partisan way? Of course there is the issue that this crime is against a group. This is true, and that is why these crimes are so bad, and need to be dealt with. I know that laws wont stop these crimes, but we do need to send a message to people that this will not go on. I think this message must be sent not by the courts, but by the people. If people donít stand up against this, then they will only serve to help those who wish to scare and harass people. Courts can stop crimes, they should and can not stop thoughts, and ideas.
While I do agree that reason for the crime, such as hate and as a way to send a message to other minority (and majority) groups should be a factor in punishing those who have committed a crime. But as for making thoughts and speech a crime, I feel that it is dangerous of a precedent to set in todayís courts.
|Due to Error, the first page of this is missing, I wll try to get it up soon|
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