Monday, April 30, 2007

Hate Crime Law - an X-Ray of Power Hierarchies 

Below is a textual excerpt that delineates part of the problem that I was referring to here: (All violent crimes are not "hate crimes," because I would argue the definition of "hate crime" is selectively myopic and it enforces unequal protection and status under the law. I would even go further and argue that the concept of a hate crime is completely senseless, like saying pigs can fly, because it's flawed in its fundament. )

Engendering Hate Crime Policy: Gender, the “Dilemma of Difference,” and
the Creation of Legal Subjects - Valerie Jenness - Dr. Valerie Jenness is Chair and Professor of Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California, Irvine.


“Who should be represented in hate crime law? Why? On what grounds?”

To emphasize the political, rather than legal nature of this question, Laurence Tribe, Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard University, informed lawmakers that the question of which status provisions to include in hate crime law presents no constitutional problem. As he explained in U.S.

Congressional hearings on hate crime:

Nothing in the U.S. Constitution prevents the Government from penalizing with added severity those crimes directed against people or their property because of their race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, and nothing in the Constitution requires that this list be infinitely expanded.34

If, as Tribe suggests, legislators had considerable latitude, how did they proceed to demarcate status provisions in hate crime law?

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