Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ginger kids and hate crimes

Last week in Southern California there was an incident at a middle school involving "ginger" kids. These students were targeted for their red hair and freckles; and were kicked, hit and beaten up. It was called "Kick a Ginger Day" on Facebook. Authorities have stated that this would not be classified as a hate crime.

I don't understand how people can say that this is not a hate crime when the kids were targeted solely on the color of their skin and hair. If this was called "Kick a Latino Day" or "Kick a Black Day" it would instantly be classified as a hate crime. Why is this not the case when the color being targeted is white with freckles?

Honestly, I think hate crime laws have gotten so nit picky that anytime race is involved in a prank, fight, scuffle, or any type of crime, it is instantly classified as a hate crime. I don't think that this is right. I think that having these types of laws actually perpetuates ideas of racial injustice in society, because many of them have gone to far. The law can charge a white man with a hate crime for getting into a fight with a black man, even if the black man is the aggressor, and even if the fight is not racially motivated by any means. This inequality in the administration of justice promotes racial tensions.

Now don't get me wrong, there are some hate crime laws that do serve an actual purpose. The laws that protect victims of organizations such as the KKK, and the laws that protect against crimes that were committed blatantly due to the race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual preference of the victim are necessary. But BLATANTLY is the key word. I think that for someone to be charged with a hate crime, there must be proof that the crime was committed due to prejudice, and not motivated by anything else. We need to stop making laws that treat people differently based on differences that the perpetrator may or may not have with the victim. Doing so will lead us one step closer to true equality.

Now back to the ginger kids...I honestly don't think this should be classified as a hate crime. This was a stupid middle school prank that went to far. Nobody was seriously hurt, and I don't think that any of the kids involved should be subjected to criminal charges that will destroy their chances of having any type of future-all because of one stupid decision in junior high. Hopefully, these kids will be punished by their parents and by the school system, and they will learn that kicking people is not appropriate.

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