"There is difference and there is power. And who holds the power decides the meaning of the difference." --June Jordan

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

You've got to be kidding me.

"At one point, an assailant cut the woman's ankle with a knife and used the N-word in telling her she was victimized because she is black, according to the criminal complaints."
If that's not a hate crime, I don't know what is.
"Logan County Prosecutor Brian Abraham said his office would pursue other charges first because they carry stiffer penalties. West Virginia's hate crime law carries a sentence of up to 10 years."
I suppose it's not so bad if it's a strategic move for toward a tougher sentence... But wait.  It IS that bad.  Why on earth would a hate crime law carry a maximum sentence of ten years?!  Isn't there something wrong with a hate-crime law that prosecuters have to avoid when it comes to crimes that should result in longer sentences? 
Or maybe THIS is the reason it's not being called a hate crime:

"One of the six suspects arrested in the case, Bobby Brewster, had a previous relationship with the victim, Abraham said. He said Brewster had been charged in July with domestic battery and assault after a domestic dispute involving the same woman.

"She obviously had some sort of social relationship," Abraham said. "That is based on the fact that she was present at his residence on a prior date."

If true, that evidence would undercut the hate crime law, which applies to crimes motivated by racial hatred and not by non-race-related conflicts."

I don't understand why previous relationships would "undercut" hate crime law.   Assuming "racial hatred" can't exist if the parties are acquainted?  A previous relationship excludes the possibility of "race-related conflicts"?  This just doesn't make sense to me.

And if this horrific event and its non-hate-crime status haven't outraged you enough, it also seems that the insidious victim-blaming has already begun.


1 comment:

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