This writer has been a vocal critic here on these pages and elsewhere regarding the notion of “hate crimes.” When viewed dispassionately, all crimes are a form of hate if we accept the premise that hatred is an extreme form of disrespect. That disrespect can be directed at individuals or property and can be manifested, in the criminal sense, from the extreme of homicide which is an expression of a disrespect for human life to so-called victimless crime which could be a disrespect for societal norms. Robbery and burglary could be a disrespect for the property of others. Hence, in the end all crimes are “hate crimes.”
But, hate crimes, as used today through legislation, serve little purpose other than to enhance an already stringent penalty for crimes such as homicide, assault or even rape. Of course, the enhanced sentence makes little difference to the actual victims of these crimes who often end up maimed physically or psychologically for life, or worse- dead. A perfect example is Dylann Roof. There is no doubt that his horrific act was motivated by hatred towards African-Americans. Charged with nine counts of murder, he deserves the full penalty of the law for but one murder. Yet, he is also charged with committing a “hate crime.” Well, duh! Hate crimes serve two purposes.
First, they make the legislators who pass these laws feel good about themselves under some misplaced perception that they “are doing something.” You cannot legislate hatred out of the hearts and minds of haters no more than a prohibition on taking another person’s life stops a murderer. A corollary effect is that it gives the civil rights, feminists and gay advocates something with which to label their opposition. If one opposes the concept of hate crimes, one must naturally be a bigot, homophobe, or misogynist. To them, opposing hate crimes is the equivalent of embracing hatred.
The second, and more insidious effect, is that it creates a class of victims and elevates that class above other classes of victims. A black victim dead at the hands of a white or black perpetrator is no less dead than a white victim at the hands of a black or white perpetrator. But invariably, a white-on-black homicide will be treated as a hate crime because the law has codified and elevated one race above the other, singled it out for special treatment, and proscribed penalties. But it really makes no difference to the victim(s) to have the perpetrator officially designated a “hater.” This should not be misconstrued or interpreted that if three white guys drag a black man behind their truck for two miles over the road in Texas, hatred was not involved. It does not “excuse” the actions of Dylann Roof in that church where he was welcomed with open arms.
As a result, any demographic group that considers itself the victim of societal oppression- real or perceived- will then feed at the trough of “victimhood.” Not every death of a black person is racially motivated by hatred. Not every death of a white person is a racially motivated act. Of course, hatred can be introduced as an aggravating factor when meting out sentences, but designation of the act being a “hate crime” serves no tangible purpose in the end. The verdict in the case must be based on the evidence presented and in that case, justice must be colorblind, or just plain blind.
Which brings me to the greatest scourge of modern liberal democracy ushered in by the digital age- the social justice warrior. Today, with a click of a mouse, we are inundated with these self-proclaimed “activists” for social justice where words and thoughts are turned into hate crimes. It is one thing to read their screeds on blogging sites like Twitter (in 40 characters or less), Facebook (less frequently) and others and quite another thing to witness their self-produced videos on YouTube where they lecture the viewer as to proper use of the English language and a proper way to think where they define the parameters of “proper.”
For example, there is Jenny McDermott who rails against sexist microagression. Hint: if you (a) have to make up a word like “microagression” and (b) use the prefix “micro-,” chances are it does not exist, at least to the extent these miscreants represent. Jonathan McIntosh is an atheist who defends Islam and makes victims of terrorists while proclaiming himself a feminist. The irony is not lost on many given Islam’s acceptance of feminism (sarcasm intended). Brianna Wu is a transgender “something” who baits people to attack her then plays the victim card after the attacks come. Steve Shives is another who apologizes for not only being white, but being male. He gives autism a bad name. And no discussion would be complete without mentioning Anita Sarkeesian, a woman so demented she actually sends herself death threats to prove her “oppression.” And her biggest rants are reserved for the “obvious” sexism and misogyny in video games, many of which she has never seen nor played.
The scariest part of the social justice warrior phenomena is that these voices, many of whom have experienced very little in life given their ages, perpetuate the cult of the victim, even when there are no victims. They then, when confronted, have to resort to being victims themselves because when called out on their proposed solutions which usually involves some form of censorship they have no coherent, logical rebuttal. Today they cry to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and others about the “abuse” they suffer at the hands of trolls as if they are actually being “assaulted” physically.
There is the case of one blogger taking a comment to task because that person who commented referred to something as “dumb.” Because they- the blogger- could not rationally defend their view, the person making the “offensive” dumb comment was lectured on the fact they were being an “ableist” given their use of the word “dumb.” In the end, they had no logical response to what was objectively a dumb original post.
But, that is how the SJW works. They proclaim to be activists and advocates for “the oppressed” which is real easy when they get to define oppression and who is oppressed. They create victims. And they go one step further: they proclaim themselves victims when someone points out there may not actually be a victim.
The end result is that the phrases “hatred,” “victim,” and “justice” have been so over-used that their meaning is now meaningless. When you cry “victim” so many times and have to create your own victim status or even perpetuate hoaxes to prove a point (then defend that hoax as justifiable), you hurt only the true victims. When you argue that one in five female college students will be the victim of sexual assault- despite statistics to the contrary- unless you (1) lie, (2) create hoaxes, or (3) change the definition of sexual assault- it falls on increasingly deaf ears when a true victim of sexual assault seeks real justice. According to the SJW, Americans are so seething with hatred of everything, we should be torn apart by civil war by now. When you cry “wolf” too many times when no wolves are around, no one will believe you when the wolf truly shows up. It’s the Chicken Little effect of social media.
They are not “warriors” and they care little about justice. Nor are they “activists.” An activist acts in the real world, not on the safety of social media spouting lines they learned in some college-level sociology class. In fact, they care little about hatred, victims or even justice. What they do care about is how many “likes,” “shares,” “followers” or “YouTube views” they receive. They really care only about their virtual 15 minutes of fame. To the cyber SJW, who likely blogs and films themselves for YouTube after a busy day of folding sweaters at Forever 21 or The Gap, one supposes it gives them some sense of self-worth. What a sad state youth has become. It says little for education today and even less for these “warriors.”