President Obama signs "monumental" legislation in the fight against "hate crimes." Crimes that seem to stem from some inherrant hate are being called "hate crimes." This term, arguably, got its start in the early 1980s (http://www.cahro.org/html/origin
_of_hate_laws.html). Since that
time, law-makers on all levels of Government have set out to put a prohibition on so-called hate--especially when that hate leads to crime. Should criminals be held accountable for their actions? Absolutely! However, the classification of the crime is important. I guess the question boils down to, "Is it OK to hate?"
The ideas of "like" and "hate" are applicable to many aspects of our lives. I like Florida and the fish it bestows while I'm fishing. I like hooking a Snook along rock jetties. But you know what? I hate falling into deep water with a fast current. Am I wrong in hating that? If you say it just depends on the situation, then you've made hate a relative term, which I would agree with. In doing so, relativism cannot be pushed onto someone else. In other words, what I may hate another may like. So, does that make hate a bad thing? No, of course not.
Beyond the inanimate, is it OK to hate humans? I guess as a society we would generally agree it is not OK to hate humans. However, is it OK to hate what humans do? Sure. Hating what they do is hating the inanimate. If another person was attacking, I'd hate being attacked. Am I a criminal now because I hate it? No. Again, the same principle applies, even with humans.
Therefore, to criminalize hate is taking the wrong action. If hate is criminalized, what is stopping law-makers from criminalizing all forms of hate? It will soon be illegal to hate Socialism, etc. The fact of the matter is hate is not a crime. The beatings, killings, etc. - those are the crimes. And, last I checked, we already have laws and penalties against murder, assault, and so on.
This is just more time wasted by our Government. Although, if hate is now a crime, then all those that hate George W. Bush should now be in jail.