Monday, May 14, 2018

Turning the tables

These tweets were posted by the ACLU on May 8, 2018 as a reaction to a Senate bill that would classify violence against police officers as a hate crime. Such a law already exists in Louisiana.

Apparently the irony of the situation was lost on the leadership of the ACLU as this is just the latest logical extension of the push for hate crime legislation over the years. I've written before on why hate crime legislation should be found unconstitutional and how it's just a bad idea.

For every offense that someone wishes to attach the label "hate crime," a criminal act was already committed. If a person yells out a racist epithet and then shoots and kills the target of his ire, he's looking at a murder charge. There is no reason to try to enhance the sentence because of what he said beforehand.

With the right in power, the state's backlash against Black Lives Matter is in full force. There are plenty of dog whistles - from Blue Lives Matter to US flags with a blue stripe to ribbons to support law enforcement - about our everyday lives. The next step is to make it a hate crime to attack a police officer.

Never mind that assaulting a police officer is already a more serious offense that assaulting someone on the street. Never mind that killing a police officer makes you eligible to get the needle. No. We need a law that we can use against folks who have the temerity to stand up against police brutality and racist killings.

And this is how you do it. You give the same people who cower under the table when faced with charging a police officer for killing an unarmed black man yet another charge they can use against a person accused of assaulting a police officer.

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