3 Replies to “Jacksonville shooting’s larger trend: Hate crimes rise across US”

  1. As I was reading this article speaking about the rise of hate crimes and how serious the problem itself is, I kept thinking about the racism presented by police departments as well as the huge problem with killing people of color. This brought me to the question of, why won’t police hunt down white supremacists if hate crimes are such a huge problem? The police are constantly singling out suspected ‘gang members’, why can’t they go arrest suspected white supremacists? In this article, it explains that a letter had to be sent to politicians to stop using white supremacist and anti-immigrant rhetoric in their campaign speeches, why are they not being arrested? If hate crimes are illegal, why are they only being taken seriously when someone is ultimately injured or dead?

    1. While I agree with your question of why they only single out “suspected gang members”, one could say that it they don’t go after white supremacists because that group’s rhetoric is technically protected under the first amendment as free speech (as much as some would like for it to be banned).
      As for your question about the action of the politicians using anti-immigrant rhetoric and white supremacist sayings, while a lot of people would like for these kinds of incidents to stop, in recent years, they’ve only increased because of certain political stunts.

  2. The reason police can often single out gang members (who have committed acts of violence) but not white supremacists (who have not) comes down to freedom of speech. Hate speech is not a hate crime—at least in the U.S. In some European nations, publicly expressed hate speech is unlawful (these post WWII laws stem from the horrors of the Holocaust).

    But many people argue that banning hate speech is problematic. The definition of what constitutes “hate speech” can be ambiguous. Different people may interpret hate speech in various ways, leading to inconsistent applications of the law. There’s also the potential for abuse: a risk that governments or other entities might abuse these laws to suppress political dissidents or unpopular viewpoints under the guise of combatting hate speech.

    To qualify as a hate crime in the U.S., hate speech must be paired with some other violation of the law. Ultimately, that means that law enforcement legally must wait until there is violence or credible threats of violence before depriving someone of their rights.

    Consider also that gang members work with many associates, some of whom leak their criminal enterprises, whereas mass shooters are frequently loners with no social system to monitor or interfere.

    I would go so far as to argue that events like the one in this article are acts of terrorism—and the vast majority of terrorism currently happening in the U.S. right now involves right-wing terrorism, often with close ties to nationalism and white supremacism:


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