I wrote the following piece last June, shortly after a young man walked into a Charleston. S.C. church and murdered 9 wonderful people as they worshiped God. I didn’t know it at the time, but a month later I would be standing in front of the church where this senseless act of violence took place. As I stood among the makeshift memorials and signed the message boards, the enormity of what had occurred there a few weeks earlier was palpable. People of all races and ethnicities were there and very few words were spoken. We all knew we were on hallowed ground and that no words were necessary.
Whether you call this a hate crime or not, the end result is the same; 9 innocent people are dead. To quote a vile human being named Hillary Clinton, “What difference does it make?”
Intentionally killing an innocent human being is what it is, regardless of whether it makes you feel better to call it a hate crime.
When we confer varying degrees of severity to the act of intentionally killing an innocent human being, we fail to value every human life equally, whether it’s living in the womb or walking among us; and we journey down a slippery slope that can’t possibly end well.
What is a hate crime? This week’s shootings in Charleston, S.C. will be prosecuted as hate crimes. My question is, what violent crime isn’t a hate crime? One can logically conclude that the opposite of hate is love. Is any violent crime not considered a hate crime a love crime? It seems to me that, as a society, we are tying ourselves into knots with semantics; striving to classify the senseless killing of some as hate crimes while failing to even acknowledge the senseless killing of others. Striking out against any innocent human being in an act of violence is most certainly not an act of love, but a manifestation of hate; and what good is done by placing labels on it?
When we call a crime a hate crime we are saying we know what the perpetrator was thinking at the time he or she committed the crime. We…
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