As noted by Howard Portnoy, CNN had its commentator on Tuesday creating an exception to the “hate crime” principle so that the enormities committed by the Chicago Four against a disabled man while they shouted ‘F**k Trump!” and “F**k white people!” could be talked away.
Now MSNBC weighs in. Our colleague Joe Newby and the Daily Caller picked up on the comments made by MSNBC correspondent Ron Mott during a discussion of the horrific attack, which reportedly went on for up to 48 hours, and was streamed live for part of the time on Facebook.
Mott stipulated that what the perps had done was, yeah, kidnapping, torture, breaking and entering, auto theft, and an attempt to collect ransom from the young victim’s parents.
“Well, you look at it on the surface and you think kids can make some really poor decisions from time to time,” Mott said. “But when you add in the criminal element here, the fact that they stole someone’s vehicle, the fact that they apparently broke into a house where this alleged attack took place, the fact that they, you know, physically harmed this young person, held him against his will and then apparently, you know, texted the parents demanding some sort of monetary exchange to send him home.”
But, like CNN’s Symone Sanders, he added a note of caution as well. These 18-to-24-year-old “kids,” all of whom are adults in the eyes of the law, don’t seem to have been really trying to behave criminally.
“It goes beyond just stupid decisions by kids,” he added. “But because they made so many errors, if they were truly trying to be criminal, to obviously broadcast your crime is not a smart thing to do.”
Um, OK. So where do we go with that? They sure enough engaged in kidnapping, torture, breaking and entering, auto theft, and an attempt to collect ransom from the young victim’s parents. But they did these things stupidly, so…we should alter our mindset about these crimes in some way?
This is why the whole category of hate crimes is such a bad idea, and why shifting our sentiments about crimes based on the races of the perps and victims never leads anywhere good. It is not possible to have a rule of law, and a government of laws and not of men (i.e., however those men and women happen to feel today), while trying to make excuses based on race ideology and the biased logic of “hate crimes.”
The soft bigotry of low expectations. We’ve been calling it that for a long time. Now low expectations have become a great bronze idol, and nurturing them a rallying cry.
There are sometimes mitigating factors for manslaughter and theft. Perhaps even for auto theft (e.g., if someone who has been kidnapped finds an opportunity to get away, but has to steal a car to do it). Perhaps even for breaking and entering, in the kind of extreme and unusual circumstances that movie plots like to set up. They could happen in real life. That doesn’t mean the crimes can ordinarily be excused, but sentencing can be lighter.
There is never any mitigating factor for kidnapping, torture, and attempts to collect ransom. These are crimes that are inherently, always, without excuse. They can’t be crimes of negligence or bad judgment in reacting to extreme circumstances. No one kidnaps and tortures another person out of absentmindedness or a response to life’s vicissitudes.
But now that we’ve got hate crimes and race ideology ruling the public square, we find comfortable middle class people arguing, precisely, that these classic crimes of malicious intent can just kind of amount to someone being stupid, and there’s some undefined way that we, the responsible public, have to account for that — other than holding the perps fully accountable.
And you know what? That’s a sign we’re doing it wrong.