April 15, 2014

Kansas City Shooting is Terrorism, Not 'Hate Crime'

What exactly is this mythical 'hate crime' that Frazier Glenn Cross, the man who opened fire at a Jewish center in Kansas, is going to be prosecuted for? The problem I have with 'hate crimes' is not that I don't think that what he did deserves a separate and distinct legal category from ordinary 1st degree murder, it's that we already have a legally distinct category. We call this category "terrorism".

Motive does actually matter in the committing of a crime. For instance, motive is what distinguishes murder from manslaughter. In the former you intended to kill the victim, in the latter you accidentally killed the victim through some act of negligence.

Mens rea is what lawyers call it -- the guilty mind.

The problem I and others have with "hate crimes" is that our betters in Washington have decided that hate as a motive for murder deserves more punishment than, say, greed as a motive for murder. I'll agree that if you accidentally kill someone I know I will be less angry than if you intentionally kill someone I know, but I can't see me being less angry or feeling less violated if you killed him because you wanted his money vs. killing him because he was Jewish.

If I may paraphrase my old skate-boarder buddies: hate is not a crime.

But terrorism is a crime treated differently than other crimes and much (but not all) of what passes for 'hate crimes' is actually just terrorism.

In this case for instance I have no problem calling this particular piece of excrement a terrorist. The fact that he actually killed no Jewish people in his murder spree only shows that he, like most terrorists, was an idiot. The point of his act of terrorism, like all acts of terrorism, was to kill people belonging to a particular class of people (in this case, Jews) in order to send a message to all people in that class: be afraid, be terrorized.

Hence, the oldest terrorist group in the US remains the Ku Klux Klan and those groups related to it. When the Klan would burn a cross on a black family's lawn, they did so not just to intimidate that particular family. No, they did it to intimidate (terrorize) all black families who might challenge the status quo.

Killing random Jews (or trying to kill Jews) is an act of terrorism in the same way that blowing up a pizza shop in Israel is. The perpetrators in both cases aren't targeting an individual out of jealously, greed, or avarice like the more common murderers. The perpetrators are instead randomly killing Jews (or in the Kansas case trying to kill Jews) in order to intimidate all Jews.

The best definition of terrorism is something like this: the intentional targeting of civilians by non-state actors in order to cause fear or intimidation in the furthering of political goals.

This is exactly what our suspect in Kansas City was doing. The fact that his larger political goal -- some sort of white supremacy -- is not feasible and based on delusional conspiracy theories of the ZOG (Zionist Occupied Government) really doesn't matter. In fact, many al Qaeda types would agree with the paranoid ZOG theories and would only replace white control with Islamic control.

Now you might argue that my objection to hate crimes is simply semantic, that in the end what matters is that we recognize that pieces of crap who commit crimes aimed at a race or class deserve prison sentences longer than ordinary criminals and so whether we call them 'hate criminals' or 'terrorists' the outcome is the same.

Maybe. But it seems to me that semantics actually matter a whole lot more than such dismissiveness.

By acquiescing to that am I not acquiescing to the very notion that hate is a bad thing? It seems to me that much of squishy modern thinking starts with that premise, but it is a premise that I cannot agree with. Hate, in my mind, can be a valuable emotion under certain conditions and in certain contexts.

I, personally, hate terrorists. I kind of count that as a good thing.

WaPo:

The suspect, Frazier Glenn Cross, who also used the name Frazier Glenn Miller, is believed to have links to various hate groups. He was a former “grand dragon” of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

The hate crime designation means that Cross could face both federal and state charges in connection to the killings at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and at the Village Shalom Retirement Center, both in Overland Park, Kan., a Kansas City suburb.

“The U.S. attorney’s office will file hate crime charges against the defendant,” said Barry Grissom, U.S. attorney for the District of Kansas. “We will be presenting it to the grand jury in the not too distant future.” ...

Rabbi Herbert Mandl, chaplain for the Overland Park Police Department, told CNN that the shooter was shouting neo-Nazi slogans as he was taken away. Mandl also said he was asking people whether they were Jewish before he fired. And KCTV reported he was yelling “Heil Hitler” during the arrest.

None of the victims of the shooting were identified as Jewish, authorities said.

Also, I hate this guy.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:04 AM | Comments |