On May 2nd, a man in Santee, California gained national attention after he wore a Ku Klux Klan hood while grocery shopping amid coronavirus measures requiring Californians to wear face masks in public. Now, it appears that local law enforcement is investigating the man to determine whether or not his actions constitute a hate crime.
The man elicited outrage on social media when he entered a Vons grocery store wearing a white hood. Store employees ordered him to remove the head covering or vacate the premises. The man decided to remove the hood and finished making his purchases.
A KKK hood worn openly at a Vons in Santee, CA, near San Diego.
The area’s been a hub of white supremacist and skinhead activity for many years, earning the nickname Klantee. pic.twitter.com/uB5ai0wETB
— Nico Pitney (@nicopitney) May 3, 2020
On Monday, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department announced that it is considering whether or not to charge the man with a hate crime for wearing the hood. Lt. Ricardo Lopez, the department’s spokesman, stated that law enforcement “will pursue any appropriate criminal charges,” if the man’s actions are determined to be a hate crime. “The Sheriff’s Department does not condone hate or any acts of intolerance in our communities,” the department asserted. “We are a county that is welcoming of people from all backgrounds.”
In an age when corporate media outlets want us to be outraged, this is one of the few stories that is worthy of condemnation. Any moron who wears a KKK hood to go grocery shopping to intentionally offend other shoppers deserves widespread condemnation.
While this idiot’s actions are reprehensible, the notion that government officials would be investigating him for a supposed “hate crime” is also suspect. As a conservative who happens to be black, I abhor anyone wearing a KKK hood. But I also distrust a government that wishes to use its power to regulate speech, no matter how detestable.
Most progressives would likely see this story and celebrate the fact that the government is seeking to use its power to punish a reprobate who is clearly a racist. However, as a black man and a conservative, I despise both entities, and would say, “a pox on both your houses.”
Sure, the government might start with the “safe” approach, targeting racists and others that none of us like. But how long will it be before they are using this authority to target others whose speech they deem to be unacceptable?
The man in the store has the First Amendment right to express his stupidity. And people like us possess the right to excoriate racists like him who deserve to be ridiculed and his ilk ostracized. However, the government, which previously enabled the type of evil that the KKK represents, is s far more dangerous entity than some guy in a white hood.
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
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