Another shaving taken from the First Amendment

Check this out.

First and foremost -- listen up!
The writers of this blog do not advocate criminal activity. Should criminal activity come to our notice, we will not emulate the French, we will report it to authorities. We work very hard at presenting interesting news items that support our closely-held belief that our civilization is in danger of erosion by both internal and external forces, and our main goal is to wake folk up and provide alternatives to mind-numbing mainstream media so that the people of this Nation we love can make their own decisions, free of bias.

That said, I think it's great that the FBI is keeping an eye on the scuttlebutt going around the Web. After all, even Hizbollah posts their manifestos, and it seems logical that a canny investigator can catch wind of criminal plans before they occur, and work to squash them.

Nevertheless, I want clarification of the FBI's definition of the term "hate group". If I were to say, "I hate Joe Blow, and I think he needs to get his ass kicked from here to the Mason-Dixon line," would that constitute a hate crime that could result in this blog being shut down? If so, we're in trouble. Deep Trouble.

Or would investigators have enough common sense to recognize venting as opposed to premeditation? The example in the previous paragraph was an emotional outburst designed to express frustration with someone. Premeditation, on the other hand, is rather more specific: "I hate Joe Blow and I think he needs a good ass-kicking. Let's get together at (insert time and place) with (weapon of choice) and deliver it personally."

That, Virginia, is a hate crime. A hate crime is also committed when the violence is premeditated not because of anything poor Joe Blow said or did, but because of his skin color, religion, or political platform.

Linda's Incomplete List of Hate Crimes
Nazis exterminating Jews in the 1930's and '40's? Hate crime.
Matthew Shepherd's murder? Hate crime.
Oklahoma City? Hate crime.
9/11? Hate crime.
Palestinians blowing up buses filled with Israeli school children? Hate crime.
Burning crosses on the lawns of a family who happens to be black? Hate crime.
Planning the murder of someone with a different ideology? Hate crime.

What is not a hate crime is saying, "This pissed me off," or, "I hate this person because they did (this) to me...", or "I think you're an idiot for saying...." Those are not hate crimes, even if the recipient of the statement happens to have a religion or skin pigmentation differing from your own.

So, in order to make sure that guidelines are clear for law enforcement personnel watchdogging "hate groups," get on the horn with your Congresscritters. They won't defend our Liberties unless we make them.

posted by Linda on April 28, 2004 06:29 PM