This one could be an actual "hate crime." This article does a pretty good job of reporting the story:
I believe that it is very possible that when a young white punk sucker-punches an elderly black man, the fact that the victim was black probably was part of the motivation to do the deed. Consequently, I'd charge this one as a hate crime and let the court sort it out.
Having the "hate crime" clause in the legal system is horrible; because it interjects politics into our laws. The legal system should be based upon factual evidence. A murder is a murder, whether it was committed out of hatred or a simple burglary. One life isn't more valuable than the other, nor is one "murderer" worse than the other. But the hate crime clause, does just that...it relays the message to society that this murder was more evil, so the punishment will be more severe. Will every victim who is attacked in the "knockout game" by a person of a different race, or sex, or sexual orientation now have their attacker charged under the hate crime standard. I can guarantee, that will not happen. The Texas case is really pretty simple, a thug brutally attacked an old man, and when this thug is found guilty, he needs to be punished according to the statutes of the law in Texas...period. This crime is no worse or better, than all of the rest of the other attacks, by other thugs, playing this "game."
Thank you. ;)
But to get serious:
"Having the "hate crime" clause in the legal system is horrible..."
Perhaps - but it IS there, supposedly for a reason. According to our friends at Wikipedia.org:
"Hate crime laws in the United States protect against hate crimes (also known as bias crimes) motivated by enmity or animus against a protected class. Although state laws vary, current statutes permit federal prosecution of hate crimes committed on the basis of a person's protected characteristics of race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability."
So when you have "protected classes" of people, you have the potential for "hate crimes." Under the law in the case cited in the basic blog post, the perp specifically sought out a "black person" to "knock out." Under the existing laws in which blacks are a "protected class," the facts at the very least suggest that there is probable cause to believe a "hate crime" has been committed.
I, too, believe that "all men are created equal" and as such there should be NO "protected classes." But the ideal is different from the actual. I'd prefer no welfare, food stamps, Obama phones, or endless unemployment compensation, too. But as long as we have all of those, we might as well have "hate crime" legislation, too - no?
After all, this is the society we have constructed for ourselves......
"we might as well have 'hate crime' legislation, too-no?"
In my opinion "no" that is why I support the GOP at the state and national level; because we have too much legislation (government) and intrusion in our lives. Regrettably we now have a majority of our population that wants to be "taken care off" and terms like rugged individualism, individual responsibility, free-market system, and republic...they have no comprehension of them. You have noted, though unintentionally I believe, the larger problem in our country, much larger, than hate crime laws. But as I have stated before, the views that I have are from another time, one that I look at as much better. Others disagree, their views are valid and with merit. But I see us in decline, and from my stance the pendulum has swung too far, to be corrected.
On a side not, most of the time there is always good dialogue in these rooms. All of you keep up the good work, many in here are very good writers and very knowledgeable. I do get to follow most of you, even if I don't make the time to contribute. In my opinion the postings in here are an asset to the paper and the community. Open communication is always good!!!
I hear ya, MLC. As to our population being taken care of - I think they call it being "our brother's keeper." (And my reference was not unintentional - just understated so as to minimize the broken record aspect of my postings.) I do believe in a hand-up, but our government has been in the hand-out business for many years now. You have to draw the line somewhere; otherwise prepare to have your fiscal situation in the same category as Greece and Italy.
I read a good article just this morning which discussed the "global retirement crisis" which will soon hit the "developed" countries. It reminded me that in the 21st Century, everything seems to be interconnected in one way or another. This is especially the case in how countries and individuals have managed their finances/money (or NOT). The article is here:
The discussion demonstrates there IS NO FREE LUNCH. Sooner or later those who dance have to pay the band. If they don't pay themselves, their children, grandchildren, etc. have to pay. In our current "anything goes" society, nobody in government seems to care about how much debt we are piling up, both as a country and as individuals. Nobody except the Tea Party crew that is - and they get demonized for doing so.
We truly live in a Bizarro World.