Alex Aichinger
Kirsten Andersen
Brent Barksdale
Jim Couture
Andrew Downey
Natalie Farr
Joe Giardiello
Bret Hrbek
Sang Mi Kim
Ramesh Ponnuru
Tom Scerbo
Dorothy Seese
Jason Soter

Senate Candidate Bob Franks of New Jersey

Myriam Marquez is a columnist for the Orlando Sentinel

The Unseen Consequences of Hate Crimes Legislation

The recent uproar over hate crime legislation is a nearsighted attempt by left-wing radicals to promote their political agenda by further alienating our society, the "us against them" mentality pushed to its extreme. And once again liberals are using their favorite mode of transportation: the backs of this country’s minorities.

The idea that a criminal should be subject to a greater penalty if he commits a crime against someone of a different race is appalling and dangerously shortsighted for the champions of this cause. As Fredrick Bastiat so eloquently stated in his 19th century essay, "That which is seen, and that which is not seen," an economist must investigate the unseen effects of policy just a closely as the visible effects in order to reach a sound conclusion upon an intended course of action. The example he uses in his essay is the economics of a broken window.

The "seen" effect of a broken window is that it is a source of stimulation for the glass making business and is therefore a positive occurrence. The unseen consequences of the broken window are far more revealing. The broken window adds nothing to the economy and in effect subtracts value from the economy as a whole. Money that could have been spent elsewhere is now redirected to pay for a new window therefore no new wealth is created and the world is minus one window. Hate crime legislation is doomed for a similar fate of unseen consequences. The intended, or "seen" effects of hate crime legislation are to discourage hate as a motivating factor in a crime and thereby lessen racial violence. While this appears to be a noble cause it has quite devastating "unseen" consequences. It is a double-edged sword that cuts deeper the other way. No matter how much politicians obfuscate, the truth of the matter is that black youths perpetrate far more crimes against the white majority than do whites against blacks. If this hate crime legislation is passed the effects will have a far more devastating impact against minorities than for minorities. This fact is passed over in the debate for the legislation.

Of course, in the minds of the left-wing politicians that are promoting this legislation, the intent is to use the law to punish white criminals who commit crimes against minorities since in the left's world, minorities can never be racist and therefore can never be held accountable for hate crimes. Minorities are a protected group that can harbor no racist attitudes and even if they do it is the "system" that drives them to it (see "black rage" defense). This "all roads lead to Rome" attitude is a sickness that engulfs the left’s mind. Unfortunately, once a law is on the books it can and will be used by prosecutors both ways, for and against minorities. This would lead to the final "unseen" consequence: a white man’s life is worth more than a black man’s. How so? The biggest problem that the black community faces today in the area of criminality is not white on black crime rather it is black on black crime; nine out of ten crimes against blacks are committed by other blacks. Hate crime legislation, by its emphasis on interracial crime, ignores this important problem and polarizes communities by saying that through law the punishment will be less severe if a black kills another black than if blacks get uppity and try and kill whitey. Even in the slaveholding days of our forefathers they recognized this important tenant:

"In North Carolina, in 1774, the punishment for killing a slave ‘willfully and maliciously’ was a year’s imprisonment; and the murderer was required to pay the owner the value of the slave. In 1791, the state’s legislature denounced this law as ‘disgraceful to humanity and degrading in the highest degree to the laws and principles of a free, Christian, and enlightened country ‘ because it drew a ‘distinction of criminality between the murder of a white person and one who is equally an human creature, but merely of a different complexion.’ Thereupon, by law, it was murder to kill a slave willfully and maliciously."

Now our liberal friends wish us to go back to the days of discriminating on the basis of color. In this perverse way, through sheer statistical numbers, the life of a white man will again be held in higher regard than that of a minority. It is important to realize that regardless of intent, consequences of unjust actions and laws will in the end always cause more harm than good. It is a lesson the left would be wise to learn yet is unfortunately incapable of understanding. Hate crime legislation is a tremendously dangerous idea that will only serve to drive a wedge into our society at the expense of the minority community that it purports to uplift.

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