Scott Tibbs

Hate crime laws should be abolished

By Scott Tibbs, March 8, 2022

I have been writing against "hate crime" laws for more than half my life, and it appears that battle is lost with even many “Republicans” supporting them. But reform is always possible. The fact that these laws are now in place does not mean they cannot be repealed, but we are losing even more ground as Leftists make the law into a "statement" rather than something that protects everyone's rights, lives and property.

Congress has passed another law against lynching. Of course, lynching is already illegal in all fifty states. Indiana passed a "hate crime" law after years of pressure to do so, finally relenting under Governor Eric Holcomb and pressure from corporations and the Chamber of Commerce. Corporations falsely claimed that without a "hate crime" law, employees would be "unsafe" in Indiana, which already has laws making violent crimes like murder, rape, arson and assault illegal.

The lesson from "hate crime" laws and "anti-lynching" laws is obvious: Conservatives have to go on offense. It is not enough to oppose Leftist legislative agendas, because Leftists never give up. They will keep pushing and pushing until they get what they want. They will take a little at a time, to advance their agenda piece by piece. Conservatives are content to oppose the agenda, and then give up the battle when we eventually lose. There is no effort to actually roll back or outright repeal the Left's agenda once it actually becomes law.

The only two segments of the conservative movement that "get it" are gun rights advocates and the anti-abortion movement. Both of them work to actively repeal restrictions on gun rights and to impose more restrictions on abortion, respectively. The rest of the conservative movement never tries to regain ground that was lost even last year, much less decades ago. So when the populist "new right" asks what conservatism has actually conserved, they actually do have a point a lot of the time.

The law needs to be tough on crime. Murderers should be swiftly executed, not allowed to live for decades after their horrible crimes. But it is dangerous to apply extra punishment because a criminal has beliefs or opinions that are hated by society. Criminalizing hateful beliefs connected to a crime leads to serious restrictions on free speech and freedom of religion. This is not hyperbole. We have already seen this in Europe and Canada. These laws put everyone's First Amendment rights in danger.

The march of these laws through our state legislatures and even through Congress demonstrates that it is not enough to oppose new hate crime laws. We should seek to repeal "hate crime" laws and actually make "hate crime" laws illegal under our various state constitutions. Ideally, we should have an amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning "hate crime" laws in all 50 states.

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