How the "hate crime" label diminishes the evils of anti-Semitism and Nazism.
Former KKK leader Frazier Glenn Cross's Sunday shooting spree that left three dead outside a Jewish retirement home and a Jewish community center in the Kansas City, Mo., suburbs was a heinous atrocity, and the reflexive "hate crime" label being applied to it diminishes the true scope of the evil at its core.
Calling Miller's acts hate crimes trivializes anti-Semitism, the evil that was Nazism and the monstrosity that was the Holocaust. The "hate crime" designation is over-relied on nowadays and this overuse has diluted its meaning. Spray-painting graffiti on a church or defacing a statue can be considered hate crimes.
The bar has been set so low that refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple is a hate crime in the eyes of many left-wingers. Miller's acts hardly belong in the same category.
Although all three apparently randomly selected victims were Christians, not Jews, the feds appear to be leaning in the direction of a hate crime prosecution. The attack "strikes at the core fundamental freedoms ... of how our country was founded and what we live by every single day," said FBI agent Michael Kaste. "We've now determined that the motivation behind this was a hate crime. The acts that this person committed were the result of beliefs ... that he had."
Interviewed in 2010, the now 73-year-old Miller was asked whether he hated Jews or African-Americans more. He replied, "Jews. A thousand times more. Compared to our Jewish problem, all other problems are mere distractions."
Miller complained that Jews were running the U.S. government, mass media, and the Federal Reserve Bank. "And with those powers, they're committing genocide against the white race," he said. Miller also said he had "a great deal of respect for Muslim people" and referred to Adolf Hitler as "the greatest man who ever walked the earth."
People like Miller "praise Hitler and they praise [Nation of Islam leader Louis] Farrakhan and of course Farrakhan was one of this guy's heroes along with Hitler and David Duke," said Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, reacting to the events of Sunday.
Dershowitz seemed to suggest that the very idea of a hate crime is constitutionally dubious. It's an Orwellian concept wherein the ideological component of an ordinary crime is singled out for special punishment over and above the underlying crime itself.
In other words, even in America, with its extraordinary protection for free speech and freedom of conscience you can be prosecuted for your ideas and beliefs. No matter how odious or unpopular those ideas and beliefs may be, it is unjust for courts to pass judgment on them.
“When we were kids we learned sticks and stones will break your bones but names will never harm you," Dershowitz told MSNBC's Ronan Farrow. "That’s a lie. Names hurt. They are horrible, and we shouldn’t be tolerating them in society. But the law under our Constitution can’t move against people simply for expressing views.”
For his part, President Obama condemned the attacks, saying the right things as he pretended to be religious for the benefit of the assembled media.
"We have to keep coming together across faiths to combat the ignorance and intolerance, including anti-Semitism that can lead to hatred and to violence, because we’re all children of God."
It was "all the more painful" because the attacks came as Jews were preparing to celebrate Passover and Christians were observing Palm Sunday. "Nobody should have to worry about their security when gathering with their fellow believers. No one should ever have to fear for their safety when they go to pray."
Obama's words may have comforted some people, but they ring hollow.
Some of the president's best friends are terrorists and Jew-hating Islamists. It was just a few days ago that Obama attended a New York rally hosted by longtime anti-Semite Al Sharpton and his thug protest group, National Action Network, whose inflammatory motto is, "No justice, no peace."
And it was President Obama who tried to steer aid to an al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria last year and who threw his support behind former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, leader of the genocidally anti-Semitic Muslim Brotherhood, who called Jews the "descendants of apes and pigs."
Miller's views aren't markedly different from those held by Morsi, former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Islamic scholars, Louis Farrakhan, or President Obama's longtime pastor, Jeremiah Wright. Their hatred is derived from a common, age-old bloodlust that, if not challenged, metastasizes in horrific ways. Unfortunately, the disease appears to be once again on the rise.
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