Scott Tibbs

Hate crime laws are based on lies

By Scott Tibbs, March 16, 2022

When college students do not know that lynching is already illegal, our educational system has failed. Rather than given an education, someone who actually believes this has been given propaganda:
There have been over 200 failed attempts since 1918 to approve legislation which would make lynching illegal.
Lynching is banned by every state in the union under existing laws against murder and has been for generations before I was born. So this statement is simply factually wrong. But factual errors are not the only problem with this column, as we also see this dishonest argument:
Three Republicans voted against the bill even though the bill itself was sponsored by both major parties.
The legislation passed 422 to 3 in the House of Representatives, and it passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate. We live in an incredibly partisan time, so the fact that legislation can get passed unanimously in one chamber and almost unanimously in another is a significant accomplishment that speaks to the broad support this legislation unfortunately has. Pretending that three representatives voting against expanding federal power signify a broad-based opposition to criminalizing lynching is dishonest.

So why does a college newspaper opinion column matter? As we have seen, "woke" ideology on campus has now infected institutions and corporations across the country. Conservatives were once content to believe that once people got into the "real world" they could not behave like they did in college, but that has been proven false over the last decade. Conservatives should not ignore the propaganda spread on campus, because what was seen as radical yesterday is official policy in human resources departments in large corporations today. That is destined to keep happening unless it is reversed. Not stopped. Reversed.

This is also one of the reasons many parents are worried about "Critical Race Theory" in our schools. Obviously, we should teach about our nation's history about race, and those claiming CRT opponents are opposed to that are setting up a straw man. No, the concern is teaching that this nation is intrinsically evil and oppressive to Blacks, with dishonest and counterfactual premises used to support that theology. We can have a balanced education about race without feeding students propaganda.

As to the law itself: One of the excuses for passing an anti-lynching law is that existing laws are not being enforced, and that too many people get away with it. Passing a new law is not the solution to that problem. If laws against murder are not being enforced, the solution is to find the corrupt politicians or "deep state" bureaucrats who refuse to enforce the law and get them out of government.

But is that actually true? The men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery - one of the cases mentioned in the column - were sentenced to life in prison by a Georgia state court. This was before the federal government jumped in to increase the punishment. Two of the three men who lynched James Byrd in 1998 were executed by the state of Texas, while the third will be in prison for the rest of his life. If we are going to make the case that an anti-lynching law is needed in 2022 (not in 1902) then we need actual statistical evidence that such crimes are not being prosecuted and punished.

It is very politically difficult to oppose legislation like this, which is why only three members of the 435 member House had the courage to stand up and say "no." But we do not need to make things extra illegal when those crimes are already illegal and are punishable by life in prison or the death penalty. We do not need to expand the federal government's role in local law enforcement, an authority which the federal government was never intended to have. Policy should not be made to make a political or cultural statement. It should be to actually address problems, and the anti-lynching law will not solve a single problem.

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