Thursday, May 03, 2007

Making Hate Constitutional...

Even as the world goes to hell in a shopping cart, it’s easy to lose track of other things that might not affect us every day. The new hate-crime legislation the Dems are pushing through Congress could probably be seen as one such item. It reinforces previous hate-crime legislation, protecting people of different faith and color, and attempts to expand it to protect those with different sexual orientation and gender.

Naturally, the Repugs oppose this. They’ll oppose any legislation that doesn’t put more money into the pockets of the rich. But it’s the reason they give for opposing this that makes their actions so unconscionable, so utterly disturbing. The resistance to this legislation from Republicans in the Senate, from conservative political action groups, and from a White House that says it will veto the legislation says that this legislation will undermine freedom of speech, religious expression, and equal protection under the law.

Think about that. The protection of someone from a hate crime undermines someone’s freedom of speech, religious expression, and equal protection under the law.

Listen, I have plenty of friends who fall into the category of having a different gender or sexual orientation. Clostio stopped talking to me long ago but that doesn’t mean I stopped caring about his rights. And he’s not the only gay friend I have. And, as far as people of other genders go, well, women just happen to be my gender of preference.

But think about the gall it takes to say that we can’t afford to protect a homosexual from being strung up by barbed wire out in Wyoming because that act – that horrendous act – is somehow protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. Consider how evil you must be to declare publicly that beating a woman is somehow part of your religion and must be protected. Just think about the audacity you must possess to say that your right to beat a transgendered individual with a lead pipe until their brains are spread out in an alley is somehow protected by the law!

Where would this country be if, years before these worm-headed pigfuckers lied and cheated their way into power, we as a nation had not declared that hatred towards people of color or people of different faiths (yes, that means blacks and jews) was abhorrent to us as a country? Where would we be if these shit had their way so that lynching and cross burning on lawns and beatings and church burnings and raping of children and being dragged by a car was an issue that could seriously be considered to be protected by someone’s freedom of speech?

I would not want to live in that country. I would not want to admit I’ve ever lived in that country.

Freedom to speak does not include freedom to lynch. And if your religion espouses wholesale violence against a group – and I am not so naïve to believe they are not out there – you should know you will not be protected from those acts. And the day when we are all equally protected under the law will be the day when hate-crime legislation is no longer necessary. But that day is not today.

Remember this the next time you find yourself agreeing with these Republicans. They are truly not even fractions of men. And I don’t doubt this legislation will go through but to even suggest it should not lowers not just them. It lowers us all.

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