Saturday, December 02, 2006

Scotland Limits "Hate Crime"

Is a crime worse because it is directed against a minority member? "Yes" seems to be the universal claim of the Left. And that idea has been enshrined in law in various places -- notably in Canada. Scotland, however, is holding back a bit. Despite considering making it especially bad to commit crimes against certain privileged groups -- such as homosexuals -- they have decided that it is only crimes involving race and religion that will be especially penalized.

Why a crime against someone who happens to be regarded as part of a majority should be treated more lightly never seems to be answered. If someone bashes me, do I hurt less because I am white and heterosexual? Is crime against me less important? One is reminded of Shakespeare's powerful reply to antisemitism in "The Merchant of Venice":

"Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases. Heal'd by the same means, warm'd and cool'd by the same winter and summer as a Christian is?"

These days, one could substitute "white man" for "Jew" and "homosexual" for "Christian" in the above.

Details of the Scottish legislation here

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