I’m putting my money on the notion that there was at least one gay-rights group that didn’t cheer when President Barack Obama signed the most recent “hate crimes” bill last week.
That would be the group known as the “Pink Pistols.” They’re the one gay-rights group you can bet Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and virtually every other liberal in the country have absolutely no use for, but more about it later.
First, let’s get down to the real nitty gritty about what the new “hate crimes” bill will do, and what it won’t do. If you live in the alternate universe our president frequents all too often, then you really believe the new law “will strengthen the protections against crimes based on the color of our skin, the faith in your heart, or the place of your birth.”
Yes, Obama really said that. And he added this: “We will finally add federal protections against crimes based on gender, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation. And prosecutors will have new tools to work with states in order to prosecute to the fullest those who would perpetrate such crimes.”
Have you noticed that when our president talks, he sometimes lets his inner demagogue kind of ooze out of him? Early in his prepared statement he mentioned the name of the new law, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
Shepard was a gay man beaten to death in Wyoming in 1998. That same year, three white supremacists chained Byrd to the back of a pickup truck in Jasper, Texas, and dragged him to death.
In BOTH cases the accused murderers were tried, convicted and sentenced. In Byrd’s case, two of his murderers were sentenced to death.
In Obamaworld, this does not constitute being “prosecuted to the fullest.” In Obamaworld, the death penalty for a brutal murder is wrist-slap stuff. In Obamaworld, Byrd’s murderers — and Shepard’s — got off easy. If we really wanted to get tough, we’d have nailed ’em with violating “hate crimes” laws. Why?
Let’s visit Obamaworld again. There, Americans must legislate against those crimes that “are meant not only to break bones, but [also] to break spirits. Not only to inflict harm, but to instill fear.”
Now if you believe that’s a definition of all violent crime — not just crimes committed against people in those groups Obama has a preference for — then, apparently, you’re just being silly. Our president says we’re not prosecuting “to the fullest” those crimes that “instill fear” and “break spirits.”
The families of Jennifer Morelock and Jason Woycio had their spirits broken in April 2006, when both were fatally shot on a Baltimore street.
The suspect — nailed dead to rights with a cell phone that contained a text message in which he said he committed the crime — walked on a technicality. The suspect is black; Morelock and Woycio were white.
And the man suspected of murdering them hasn’t been prosecuted at all, much less “to the fullest.” And you can bet that with Obama in the White House and Holder as the head of the Justice Department, he certainly won’t be, our president’s crowing about the passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act notwithstanding.
That law was designed to make gays and lesbians feel good. It won’t protect them. If they want protection, they’ll have to sign up with a group formed for precisely that purpose. I’m talking about my favorite gay rights group in the entire country, the Pink Pistols.
The group’s Web site describes its purpose: “We are dedicated to the legal, safe, and responsible use of firearms for self-defense of the sexual-minority community. We no longer believe it is the right of those who hate and fear gay, lesbian, bi, trans, or polyamorous persons to use us as targets for their rage. Self-defense is our right.”
They’re danged skippy it is their right. Gays and lesbians who face violent attacks don’t need the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act to protect them. They don’t need Mr. Obama hailing a new law for them; they don’t need Mr. Holder prosecuting gay bashers for them.
Gays and lesbians seeking protection need two other guys, the ones who go by the name Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson.
Examiner columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.