In the wake of the sentencing of Dharun Ravi for alleged bias crimes leading to the death of Tyler Clemente, I wrote an essay for Fox News’ opinion page about why, as a progressive, I oppose enhanced sentencing hate crimes laws — and believe we all should.
I fundamentally believe that the way to root out bias crime in America and bias in general is by acknowledging all of our inherent prejudices and judgments and dealing with them openly.
In that case, hate crimes laws create a sort of false comfort that suggests we are not infected by nor furthering bias unless we’re blurting out epithets or scrawling hate screeds. That’s a dangerous and ultimately defeatist message to send to a society that has much work to do in rooting out discrimination from every crevice of our existence, not just in crime.
NEW YORK TIMES PROFILE
JOIN SALLY’S EMAIL LIST
FOR A GOOD TIME, FOLLOW
RUMORS ABOUT MELoading Quotes...
TV DOESN’T PAY THE BILLSMake a tax-deductible contribution via our fiscal sponsor, the Grassroots Policy Project
POPULAR TAGS2012 Election 2012 Elections barack obama budget capitalism civility Congress corporations debate debt deficit democrats economy feminism financial reform Fox News gay rights Glenn Beck government greed ideology inequality jobs marriage equality Mitt Romney Obama occupy wall st occupy wall street Paul Ryan popular education populism president obama progressive protests race racism Republicans Right wing sexism social movements taxes Tea Party unions values Wall Street