In the days following the brutal beating of Joshua Esskew [see post HERE], a gay man, that was caught on a Rock Hill, South Carolina convenience store’s surveillance camera, the sponsor of a hate crimes bill that got nowhere in the state legislature last year, John King, a Democrat from Rock Hill, plans to re-introduce the bill this week and ask that it be discussed immediately by legislators.
Of course, two Republican legislators , who admit that the attack on Joshua Esskew, was “horrific,” say that existing laws are enough to prosecute people who violently attack others. And spokesmorons for our asshat-wingnut governor, The Transparent Nikki Haley, say she doesn’t support state hate crime laws either. Naturally.
|Rep. John King|
John King, however, will still ask that his bill be taken directly to the House floor when the Legislature reconvenes after a week off, because he feels that hate crimes should not be tolerated and deserve harsher punishments: “We need an all-inclusive hate crime law in this state that protects all people regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation.”
Now, for those of you who think that hate crimes laws are unnecessary because we punish people who attack and mug and kill other people anyway, let me offer up a little scenario:
I’m walking down the streets of Smallville, and someone decides I must have a pocketful of money, and they hold me up at gunpoint and steal from me. Then, perhaps they don’t think I’m handing over the cash fast enough, so they beat me to a pulp.
Hateful, yes. Hate, no.
But, say I’m walking down the street and some guy decides that, oh, from the way I walk, or my clothes or whatever, that I’m a big old queen, and he beats me to a pulp just for being gay.
Hateful, yes. Hate, yes.
We need hate crimes legislation, in the states and at the federal level, to protect anyone from being attacked simply because of who they are, or are assumed to be, This goes for your gender, your orientation, your skin color, your religion, your age.
If you are attacked, beaten and killed because of who you are, then it is an attack motivated by hatred.
If you are attacked, beaten, and killed because someone wants your money or your watch or your car, then that attack is motivated by greed.
If you hate someone enough to beat them to unconsiousness, and leave them to die, say on a fence in Wyoming, or on street in Brooklyn, then you deserve the fullest punishment of the law.
Hate is hate and should not be diminished.