in the U.S.A.
| August 30, 2001
I HATE hate-crimes
I hate them because they pervert our legal
system with an aristocracy of victimhood, and I hate them because
they import history’s worst pestilence into my country.
One of totalitarianism’s many obscenities is
the criminalization of thought.
Since an omnipotent regime demands comprehensive authority,
no realm can exist external to the State; any degree of autonomy
would constitute a subversive immunity from political control.
Therefore, conceptions as well as conduct must be regulated.
In this vein, Fidel Castro proclaimed in 1961,
“Dentro de la Revolucion,
todo. Fuera de la
Revolucion, nada.” (“Inside the Revolution, everything.
Outside the Revolution, nothing.”
This echoes Mussolini’s “Everything within the State,
nothing outside the State, and nothing against the State.”)
Pursuant to this totalitarian slogan, every aspect of
Cubans’ lives falls under the communist regime’s purview.
Alma Guillermoprieto observes in Looking
for History: Dispatches from Latin America:
How much can you say,
how closely can you look – even if the dissident before you is
your best friend and you basically agree with the concrete points he
or she is making – before you find that you have all unawares
crossed over to the enemy side?
Seeing becomes a fraught activity, and talking about what one
observes can lead to ruinous disillusionment, or jail.
America in the era of hate crimes is not
Communist Cuba, but it is alarming how many Americans mimic
A couple of months ago, I ran into an
acquaintance. In the
course of conversation, I apprised her of the human rights Web site
I edit (www.FreeEmigration.com).
She then said she had a human rights violation to report:
some people had made negative comments about her religious
background. This had
violated her “dignity.”
Someone in my neighborhood recently called the
police. When the police
are called, one expects it is to report a burglary, an attack –
i.e., a crime. In this instance, the neighbor reported that another neighbor
had made “racial slurs.”
I do not believe these examples are aberrant.
In America today, there is a decidedly un-American trend of
criminalizing particular forms of speech considered “hateful” or
aside the illogic of promoting tolerance by prohibiting
This repressive behavior derives from the
conflation of criminality and offensiveness.
Once acts that aggress and acts that offend are construed
synonymously, the Commissar State arises in displacement of freedom. (It is important to note that censorship is an aggressive
By criminalizing “hate speech,” America’s
PC Leninists have set a precedent for criminalizing any speech.
If racially intolerant speech is verboten, why not
ideologically intolerant speech?
A la Castro’s Committees for the Defense of the Revolution,
why not establish Committees for the Destruction of Racism?
(“Citizens, report racially insensitive comments to your
In his First Inaugural Address, Thomas
Jefferson prizes “the safety with which error of opinion may be
tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.”
When it comes to certain errors of opinion or simply
expressions of opinion, many Americans would foreclose reason with
coercion. And that
isn’t what America is about.