Friday, April 27, 2007
The very fascinating hate law criteria
For example, New Jersey law makes it a “hate crime” to communicate in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm. N.J.S.A. §§ 2C:16-1(a), 2C:33-4.
Washington law makes it a crime to “Threaten a specific person or group of persons and place that person . . . in reasonable fear of harm to person or property. . . . For purposes of this section, a ‘reasonable person’ is a reasonable person who is a member of the victim’s [category].”
One would not expect a reasonable person to feel threatened or feel fear of harm as the result of an innocuous communication. Nevertheless, the entire faculty at Ohio State University’s Mansfield campus apparently agreed that university librarian Scott Savage was guilty of threatening behavior for a simple statement in 2006.
His “threat”? Recommending four books for freshman reading in his role as a member of OSU Mansfield’s First Year Reading Experience Committee. The four books were The Marketing of Evil by David Kupelian, The Professors by David Horowitz,
Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis by Bat Ye’or, and It Takes a Family by Senator Rick Santorum.
Three Mansfield professors filed complaints with OSU’s Office of Human Resources asserting that the suggested reading list made them feel “unsafe” on the campus. The Mansfield faculty voted without dissent to file charges of sex discrimination and harassment against Mr. Savage because they believed the recommendations constituted “anti-gay hate mongering.” The charges were not dismissed until the Alliance Defense Fund came to Mr. Savage’s defense.