We call for hate crime as an antidote to gender, orientation, ethnic, religious discriminations. And when the legislation of a Country includes those aggravating factors to already considered felonies we think is a step towards a more civilised society, finally equal. But if we change perspective we could think that those laws are contradictory, and the only reason to be happy is the awareness of the institutions that something isn’t going on right (euphemism).
Is funny that we have to make it clear that a crime is always caused by hate, is there any driven by esteem and respect? Maybe just by lack of empathy, like small robberies, where there isn’t aversion for the rich ones. Than it seems another way to divide society, labelling it in opposing groups,when what we need is more unity, acting as one. Plus, it’s a failure because it’s a proof that we have to regulate our coexistence with prohibitions that should be acquiride since decades.
Is really a step backwards. Let’s take police brutality. Sure, in the U.S.A. there’s also a racial problem behind, but we can’t say that the murder of Mike Brown is really different from the one of Stefano Cucchi in Italy. Shouldn’t we focus more on the oppression, arrogance and impunity of the power instead of just pointing out at racism, remarking that Mike Brown was afroamerican like it was the only thing that defined him?
Killing your too loud neighbour isn’t a hate crime just because, by chance, the executioner and the victim share race, gender, sexual orientation, religion? Or assaulting the driver that crossed your route? Should we update to dietary orientation? Forcing a vegan to eat meat isn’t a hate crime? Or, viceversa, if a vegan attacks you for a ham and cheese sandwich? And what distinguishes the motivation behind a hate crime and a terrorist act?
In 2009 the Ministerial Council of OSCE, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, incited the member States to take the right path to fight prejudice, to not jeopardise fundamental rights and equality, cornerstone of any democratic Nation. Which sounds obvious, but…
The more a legislation is complex, the worse is the situation. We should just keep in mind those few basic principles, like don’t hurt or harm or damage nobody, in a phisical and psychological way. A “nobody” that includes “everybody”, no matter what.
In the U.S. statistics pay also attention to black on black crime, felonies committed by black people against black people, which sounds as bad as hate crime, because it destroys a sense of identity – just based on skin color instead of things that really matter. The Huffington Post found out in 2015 that there is white on white crime too, ignored because in a “whitecentric” view we don’t need to stick together like blacks, women or homosexuals, all treated like minorities with no internal differences. Great! The important thing is to associate crime to a color, not to look for the roots of dissatisfaction.
Probably that old pessimistic Thomas Hobbes was right. In the state of nature the will to dictate is stronger than solidarity and common sense. So we make a social contract to give a piece of freedom in exchange for a bit of safety, because a law alone can’t be a deterrent – that’s a fact – unless we let all powers to a totalitarian police State. Or we could prove Hobbes wrong, make a u-turn and build a unitary society where a so called hate crime becomes a superfluity, an antique to place in a museum or an attic, with all the useless things.
Is that an utopia?