Not A Hate Crime?

I’m utterly against Hate Crimes legislation in the first place but, if we’re to be forced to endure the evil of criminalizing thought and motive in addition to action, the standard and the law should be enforced fairly and equally, irrespective of the minority status of the perpetrators and the victims. Sadly but quite expectedly, the people who created these “thought crime” laws had no such equality in mind when they did so and enforcement of these laws is very unidirectional.

Recently a woman living in East Austin, TX was awakened by a brick being thrown through her 4 year-old son’s bedroom window. Attached to the brick was a note reading, “Keep Eastside Black. Keep Eastside Strong.”

Austin Police say that the incident doesn’t fall under the hate crime category, which is a classification of a charge but not a charge itself. The excuse is that the the note attached to the brick didn’t include hate speech.

The truth, after the apologetics and dissembling are removed, is that the incident won’t be allowed to fall under the hate crime category because the women in question, Barbara Frische, and her young son are White.

Detail’s via The Austin American-Statesman:

Early Friday morning, Barbara Frische said she woke up to the sound of glass breaking inside her East Austin home.

She called police but didn’t learn what had shattered the double-paned window in her 4-year-old son’s room until after police arrived. Officers showed her a brick with a note attached: “Keep Eastside Black. Keep Eastside Strong.”

“It’s the first time anything like this has ever happened to me,” said Frische, who is white. She has lived in her house on 13th Street for about 10 years.

The incident doesn’t fall under the hate crime category, which is a classification of a charge but not a charge itself, said Austin police Sgt. Richard Stresing. He said the charge probably would be criminal mischief and deadly conduct, both misdemeanors.

Crimes based on race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability or gender are flagged as hate crimes, Stresing said, so they can be referred to the Department of Justice. The note attached to the brick didn’t include hate speech, he said.

Frische was featured in a Statesman Watch article in May in which she lobbied for action to be taken on a charred house that neighbors said had been a gathering place for drug dealers, prostitutes and squatters.

Frische said she received no negative feedback from area residents after the article ran and said she does not think this incident is connected to the article.

Nelson Linder, president of the Austin chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said incidents such as the one that happened to Frische are rare.

“Throwing a brick into somebody’s home, that’s a crime,” Linder said. “It’s a criminal act, and that’s how it should be addressed.”

Linder said this incident is linked to an undercurrent of racism that city leaders have yet to address in East Austin.

Even Nelson Linder, president of the Austin chapter of the NAACP, amid his apologetics admits that the crime is linked to an undercurrent of racism in East Austin. Yet the law will not address it as such.

If Barbara Frische and her son were Black or Hispanic and living in a White neighborhood in western Austin such an incident would certainly be treated as a hate crime because a note reading, “Keep Westside White. Keep Westside Strong,” would definitely be classed as hate speech – even if it’d been taped to her front door instead of hurled through her son’s bedroom window!

But, of course, hate crimes laws were never meant to be enforced evenly. The people who championed them are primarily minorities and White ethno-guiltists who operate under a particularly self-serving (mis)definition of racism. In their minds only Whites can commit hate crimes based on race because only Whites can be racist.

If this wasn’t a hate crime then neither was anytime the Klan burned a cross in some Black’s front yard.

Related Reading:

For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood... and the Rest of Y'all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education
The Politics Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained
The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air)
Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination: 3rd Edition
Black Knight Squadron: Book 1: Foundations

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2 Responses to “Not A Hate Crime?”

  1. zhann Says:

    I would love to see someone run an experiment in East Austin … simply do what you mentioned, throw a brick through a black/mexican/whatever person’s window with the exact same sign replacing “black” with “white”. If a second incident so close together occurred I am curious to see how the police would react.

    … what scares me is that I think I know the answer. They would label the ‘test’ a hate crime and completely ignore/deny its similarities to the original act.

  2. jonolan Says:

    Well, you’d have to do it to a Black or Hispanic in the primarily western Austin area to be a decent test. Doing it in the predominately and historically Black and Hispanic dominated East Austin would be ridiculous enough to not be a fair test of the police’s response.

    I can tell you though that the outcome would be assured; it would be a hate crime. Worse, coming in response to the attack on Mrs. Frische, it would be seen as partially revenge motivated and be considered as a sign of “growing hatred of Blacks and Hispanics by Whites.”

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