Leftist Hate Crime Hysteria
Two Democratic Congressman and Attorney General Eric Holder are spearheading equally disturbing efforts to monitor and control the behavior of Americans – even if the Constitution and the truth get trashed in the process.
Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) have introduced a bill known as the The Hate Crime Reporting Act of 2014. It would require a relatively obscure government agency, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), to “update a report on the use of telecommunications, including the Internet in the commission of hate crimes.”
“We have recently seen in Kansas the deadly destruction and loss of life that hate speech can fuel in the United States, which is why it is critical to ensure the Internet, television and radio are not encouraging hate crimes or hate speech that is not outside the protection of the First Amendment," said Senator Markey. "Over 20 years have passed since I first directed the NTIA to review the role that telecommunications play in encouraging hate crimes. My legislation would require the agency to update this critical report for the 21st century.”
Jeffries heartily concurred. “The Internet has proven to be a tremendous platform for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. However, at times it has also been used as a place where vulnerable persons or groups can be targeted,” he said. "I commend Senator Markey for his longstanding leadership with respect to combating Hate Crimes in America. He understands that in the digital era it is important to comprehensively evaluate the scope of criminal and hateful activity on the Internet that occurs outside of the zone of First Amendment protection. With the introduction of Senator Markey’s bill, we have taken a substantial step toward addressing this issue.“
As it is with so many leftist agendas, it remains up to the bureaucrats at the NTIA to determine what constitutes unacceptable speech that falls outside the purview of First Amendment protections. The bill leaves such interpretations up to the Justice Department (DOJ) and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, who will "analyze information on the use of telecommunications, including the Internet, broadcast television and radio, cable television, public access television, commercial mobile services, and other electronic media, to advocate and encourage violent acts and the commission of crimes of hate.”
Civil liberties lawyer Harvey A. Silverglate clarifies the agenda here. “This proposed legislation is worse than merely silly. It is dangerous,” he explained. “It is not up to Sen. Markey, nor to the federal government, to define for a free people what speech is, and is not, acceptable.”
One might think it is also unacceptable for the federal government to define racial bias based on the number of police stops and arrests of Hispanic and black Americans relative to those of whites. One would be wrong. On Monday, the Eric Holder announced the DOJ would begin collecting data on such police activity in five American cities in order to address possible racial bias within the criminal justice system.
“This overrepresentation of young men of color in our criminal justice system is a problem we must confront – not only as an issue of individual responsibility but also as one of fundamental fairness, and as an issue of effective law enforcement," Holder said in a video address released Monday. "Racial disparities contribute to tension in our nation generally and within communities of color specifically, and tend to breed resentment towards law enforcement that is counterproductive to the goal of reducing crime." Thus, the DOJ has aligned itself with the the NAACP and the ACLU both of whom contend that higher arrest rates for blacks and Hispanics demonstrates racism.”
Holder cites familiar statistics to back up his claim, noting that half of black American men have been arrested at least once by the age of 23 and that black men were 6 times more likely, and Latino men were 2.5 times likely, to be imprisoned than white men in 2012.
Unsurprisingly, as is often the case with Holder and his ongoing efforts to use the DOJ to advance an agenda, truth is the first casualty. The reason blacks and Hispanics are arrested and imprisoned at higher rates than their white counterparts is because they commit crimes at much higher rates. For example, black males between the ages of 14 and 17 commit homicides at ten times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined.
If Holder wants to collect data, he might begin with data already collected by the NYPD using their crime fighting analytical tool known as CompStat. In 2010, when civil rights activists began complaining about the disproportionate amounts of pedestrian stops of black New Yorkers relative to the representation in the population – 55 percent stops in a community that comprises 23 percent of the city’s population – CompStat data popped a giant hole in the activists’ balloon, when the kind of statistics Holder cherishes revealed what occurred in the Big Apple in 2009. From the New York Times:
Based on reports filed by victims, blacks committed 66 percent of all violent crime in New York in 2009, including 80 percent of shootings and 71 percent of robberies. Blacks and Hispanics together accounted for 98 percent of reported gun assaults. And the vast majority of the victims of violent crime were also members of minority groups.
Non-Hispanic whites, on the other hand, committed 5 percent of the city’s violent crimes in 2009, 1.4 percent of all shootings and less than 5 percent of all robberies.
Stats released for the city of Chicago’s 2011 homicide rates tell a similar story. In the Windy City that year, 94.8 percent of homicides were committed by blacks and Hispanics – and 94.2 percent of their victims were black and Hispanic as well.
Furthermore in 2012, the year Holder cites as the impetus behind his agenda, even more inconvenient realities are revealed. According to the FBI’s 2012 Uniform Crime Reports, black Americans committed more than 49 percent of all homicides, and 55 percent of all robberies, despite representing less than 13 percent of the nation’s overall population. This compares to 48 percent of homicides and 43 percent of robberies perpetrated by whites and Hispanics combined.
None of this matters to racialist bean-counters like Eric Holder. Thus he will proceed with launching a new National Center for Building Community Trust and Justice, a $4.75 million pilot program funded by taxpayers that essentially starts out with the assumption that police are being over-zealous (read: biased) in their efforts to combat crime.
Tellingly Holder’s real agenda is revealed by what he contends motivated him to undertake this initiative: the not guilty verdict for George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of murder for fatally shooting teenager Trayvon Martin. “Last July, following the verdict in the case involving the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, President Obama spoke out about the need to promote better understanding between law enforcement and young men of color,” Holder stated. “ He specifically directed the Justice Department to work closely with state and local law enforcement agencies to develop training and other innovative tools that can help to reduce discord and restore trust.”
Such discord and distrust is regularly ginned up by race hustlers like Al Sharpton, who played a major role in turning the death of Trayvon Martin into a national referendum on race. One so transparently dishonest, it required the media to label George Zimmerman a “white Hispanic” to maintain the fiction. Even Zimmerman’s subsequent acquittal was insufficient to blunt the DOJ’s agenda: more than a year and a half after they began investigating him, Zimmerman remains in the agency’s cross-hairs for possible civil rights prosecution connected to the case.
The thinking behind both of these efforts is clear. Democrats and the Obama administration believe there is nothing wrong with using the federal government as a club to advance a progressive agenda that threatens free speech on one hand, and the ability to effectively fight crime on the other. In a time when the American left is attempting to promote the idea that America is cesspool of hate and racism – due in large part to “white privilege” – the public might be forgiven for being highly suspicious of how the NTIA might determine when the Internet is being used to commit hate crimes, and how they would prioritize their pursuit of ostensible violators. As for Eric Holder, he has made it painfully clear he is willing to use the DOJ to pursue a racialist narrative, even when the facts get in the way.
Republicans need to make it clear that another hate crimes bill has no chance of passing. Americans need to make it clear they are tired of an Attorney General willing to call them a “nation of cowards” when it comes to discussing race, even as his latest effort implies that America’s top law enforcement official believes his fellow law enforcement officials are motivated by racial prejudice, rather than the pursuit of crime.
Originally published at FrontPage Magazine.