Arkansas School Board Member Celebrates Gay Suicides

***Update***: McCance is resigning from the school board:

“I’m sorry I’ve hurt people with my comments,” Clint McCance, vice-president of the Midland School District in Pleasant Plains, Arkansas said. “I’m sorry I made those ignorant comments and hurt people on a broad spectrum.”

Clint McCance, a school board member in northern Arkansas, posted the following message to his Facebook wall after a call to wear purple in support of the LGBT community:

“Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers killed themselves. The only way im wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide. I cant believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed thereselves because of their sin. REALLY PEOPLE.”

Ah, yes. That’s some good old Christian love.

When someone called him out on his hate, McCance kept going:

“No because being a fag doesn’t give you the right to ruin the rest of our lives. If you get easily offended by being called a fag then dont tell anyone you are a fag. Keep that shit to yourself. I dont care how people decide to live their lives. They dont bother me if they keep it to thereselves. It pisses me off though that we make a special purple fag day for them. I like that fags cant procreate. I also enjoy the fact that they often give each other aids and die. If you arent against it, you might as well be for it.”

Jesus would be proud.

(How exactly does someone else’s homosexuality “ruin” my life?)

But wait! There’s more:

“I would disown my kids they were gay. They will not be welcome at my home or in my vicinity. I will absolutely run them off. Of course my kids will know better. My kids will have solid christian beliefs. See it infects everyone.”

Love the sin, hate the sinner, and get those damn homosexual children out of my house.

At least the Superintendent of the district has made a statement condemning all of this:

The Midland School District, Board of Directors, administration, faculty, and staff do not support or condone the comments Mr. Clint McCance posted on his personal social networking page. Mr. McCance was not acting as an agent of the school board, but as a private citizen when this comment was posted. This post does not reflect the thoughts of the board or administration of the Midland School District.

The district strives to foster an environment that discourages all forms of bullying and an environment that encourages a safe and productive educational climate of all of our students. The district is very diligent in pursuing and addressing bullying of any variety on our campuses.

Sincerely

Dean Stanley, Superintendent
Midland School District

I don’t think you can ask for much more from the district. It looks like an isolated incident, and if the citizens of the community have any decency, they’ll kick McCance out of office at the earliest opportunity. (Or urge him to resign.)

And maybe a nice atheist in the area can run for his seat. If McCance won in the past, it’s not like the bar is set too high, anyway.

(Thanks to everyone for the link)

  • JoshBA

    I am NOT defending this guy, but I have seen many people harp on what I see as the least controversial and upsetting part of his hate filled ramblings. Namely: “No because being a fag doesn’t give you the right to ruin the rest of our lives.” And I felt the need to comment on it.

    Ignoring the slur, the point is mostly valid. Suicide is, at it’s heart, a self-serving act. That doesn’t make it necessarily wrong, but it really only helps a max of one person namely the person committing suicide (I shall ignore edge cases like Hitler, Stalin, etc.). The people around you suffer so that you don’t anymore.

    Being opposed to that isn’t a monstrous thing, just a collectivist one.

  • Tom Coward

    Nice empathy there, Josh.

  • Claudia

    @JoshBA, he’s not talking about them committing suicide ruining other people’s lives. In fact he’s explicitly pleased as punch when children kill themselves because of people like him. No, for him being gay itself is what ruins other people’s lives. Like all homophobes anywhere, he never explains how this is done. It’s just a more extreme version of Gay marriage being a threat to “traditional” marriage. The accusation of threat is made without ever demonstrating in what way one thing is a cause of another.

    I would at least somewhat dispute your view on suicide itself, but that’s a conversation for another time.

    I’m always a little conflicted about these situations. On the one hand, as a private citizen he does have the right to free speech. On the other hand, he’s being paid by the taxpayer to look out for the interests of children. Some of those children are gay, and his statements make absolutely clear he has quite the opposite of their interests at heart. It could be argued that his views make the carrying out of his duties difficult, at best. Same if he had come out against black people, or said Christians should all commit suicide. However I can also see where this sort of argument could be abused and used to persecute legitimate free speech. I guess we’ll just have to wait to get him voted out of office, assuming the citizens of his town aren’t also batsh*t insane. I would encourage his bosses to keep him the hell away from children in the meantime.

  • ASD

    He should be given the boot.
    Other people have been fired for saying less on Facebook. What is said on the Internet carries even more weight than what is said in public. In public, you only speak to the people around you. On the Internet, you speak to the world.

    What sort of representative is he for Arkansas? He is giving them a bad name, allowing the entire state to be tarred and feathered along with himself. And it’s all over the Internet, so it’s too late for him to apologise. It can’t be removed. Once it is on the Internet, it is permanent. I hope he realises that, because this is going to have a huge impact not only on him but on his kids, and the rest of his family. They will forever have to live with being associated with him and this Facebook post, and every other bit of hate-filled bile that’s spewed out of his mouth..

    (Though with this being Facebook I am shocked that he hasn’t been smacked with the banhammer by the Facebook moderators yet. Once again, other people have been banned for much, much less.)

    As for free speech, while I have always advocated the right for everyone to say what they think, I have also often told people to think before they open their mouths. A little thought goes a long way, for a lot of people.
    Hate speech can have huge impacts on its target group. Everyone wonders why LGTBQ people are the most likely to suffer depression or commit suicide – well, here’s your reason why.

  • Rufus

    I think you neatly answer your own question in this post “How exactly does someone else’s homosexuality “ruin” my life?” followed by the quote saying that he’d disown any of his children who were gay.

    Clearly the way that someone else’s homosexuality can ruin his life is if he disowns enough of his family then he’ll spend his old age friendless and alone.
    Always be nice to your kids, they are the ones who’ll chose your nursing home.

  • andrew

    “Mr. McCance was not acting as an agent of the school board, but as a private citizen when this comment was posted. ”

    I disagree with the Superintendent’s premise that a publicly elected official can separate their private and public life. There is no separation, especially if you say something hateful or stupid that directly relates to your job.

    Similarly when the Irish Minister of Science supports his friend’s creationist book, there is no way to honestly separate these two opposing objectives.

  • MutantJedi

    With the freedom to express your opinion comes a responsibility for your opinion. For example, in Canada, we have laws against the inciting of hate.

    Mr McCance is in a position of responsibility for the welfare of children. He has colorfully and clearly voiced an opinion that puts him at odds with the community’s expectation of him being able to carry out his responsibilities. His opinion gives license to bullies and put kids at risk. It is beyond me why the school board hasn’t, at the minimum, suspended Mr McCance from his duties pending further investigation.

  • sailor

    “Suicide is, at it’s heart, a self-serving act.”
    Joshba you are clearly not one of those evil Darwinists.

  • cypressgreen

    Wow, I had something else to say, but Josh has just changed all that.

    Josh, have you ever suffered from clinical depression or worse? I am bipolar and have been suicidal. A close bipolar friend of mine killed himself a few years back. His note said he’d had 2 psychotic episodes in his life and was afraid of more. He was unable to work because of the severity of his condition. How selfish of him to kill himself and cause me pain!

    That idiot Clint is saying, “No because being a fag doesn’t give you the right to ruin the rest of our lives.” You are sounding like him. Poor, poor people left behind by a suicide! Gosh, they should continue to live in abject misery just to spare your feelings! Was my mom selfish because her poor health habits caused her to die at 57? Should I blame her for her ating habits and smoking because she was so selfish that they deprived me of her at age 27?

    If you are lucky, you’ll survive to old age and see most of the people close to you die. You have to learn to deal with this pain. It’s a part of life. Don’t blame someone else for something we all have to deal with.

  • cypressgreen

    Sorry if I came off harsh, but that “selfish suicide” thing always burns my butt.

  • Silent Service

    Hopefully McCance will have the good grace to resign his office, but I’m not hopeful. Anybody biggoted enough to spew that kind of hate on a public forum like facebook can’t really be smart enough to step aside.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    If Mr. McCance can dial up his rhetoric a bit, he might be able to land a job at Fox news.

  • deong

    @andrew

    I suspect the statement from the superintendent was pretty carefully chosen. It’s an elected position; I’m not sure they can just fire him. It seems like a pretty standard response. Not to say it’s at all adequate; just expected.

    Apropos to nothing, I grew up about half a mile outside the borders of that school district. I still have friends and family who live around there (although I haven’t lived there since high school). I do visit fairly often, though, so I guess I’m possibly in position to add a bit of context.

    Generally speaking, I’d say most people there would not support this guy in any way, but there would be a non-negligible minority that would, and that fraction is going to be greater than would be nationally or even statewide. That’s not terribly surprising; the entire town is little more than two gas stations and a western-wear store. There are still people there who I’ve heard voice opinions on how much better things would be if “the klan” would come back, this despite the fact that during my entire K-12 education there, there was never once a single black student in the district. I doubt there’s been one since. Again though, those people are a minority.

    Basically, it’s a case of it being a rural community where most people are basically good, but way too many have slightly racist and/or homophobic views. I have no way to accurately estimate percentages, but if you said 30-50% fall in that category, I wouldn’t argue much. A small minority, one of which is on display here, go beyond that into full on derangement. About like the rest of the country, only worse, and the degree to which it’s worse is roughly in proportion to the lack of exposure to any sort of multicultural influence that has universally been found to moderate this sort of thing.

  • J. J. Ramsey

    Claudia:

    On the one hand, as a private citizen he does have the right to free speech. On the other hand, he’s being paid by the taxpayer to look out for the interests of children.

    Look on the bright side (such as it is :( ). By exercising his right to free speech, he’s made clear just how unfit for his office he really is. If he had been more careful with his words, he would have been free to act on his anti-gay bigotry behind the scenes.

  • cypressgreen

    Ok, back to comment I originally meant to make:
    1. Any school employee who expresses the idea that he wished *any* group of people would just die is not fit to serve.
    2. I think a board member should actually be able to spell to serve.

  • cypressgreen

    I looked him up on Facebook, and I see there’s already a group called, “Fire Clint McCance” with 40,000 members and one called, “Paint Clint McCance’s house Rainbow” with 37. LOL

  • Guy G

    The district is very diligent in pursuing and addressing bullying of any variety on our campuses.

    But not on their Board of Directors, apparently.

    Being British, the idea of a “purple fag day” brings to mind a completely different message to the intended one.

  • david

    I think the guy is an idiot

    but that aside

    just what exactly is a “hate” crime

    isnt it just some PC BS there is either a crime or there isnt adding the hate tag on any crime is really not needed

  • Claudia

    Anderson Cooper is all over this. Lately he’s been on fire on anti-gay bullying.

  • Chris

    Let’s not let the fact that he’s painfully bigoted and hateful blind us to another pressing dilemma: This man is responsible for the education of children, and he thinks “theirselves” is a word. And he spelled it wrong.

  • Christophe Thill

    AIDS, eh ? Hope this guy catches the swine flu.

  • JoshBA

    I did think that bit I quoted was about suicide. I see that I may have been mistaken but that is no reason to berate me.

    For all of you who seem to think I live in some ivory tower looking down on depressed people I have this to say: fuck you! I, as a matter of fact have been diagnosed as clinically depressed and have been exposed to suicide both in the form of seriously considering going through with it and in the form of holding up my manic-depressive brother while my mother works the noose off from around his neck to keep him from doing what he would not have seriously considered doing a few hours earlier and which he had sought help to overcome.

    Since the disclaimer wasn’t enough, I do not think there is anything inherently wrong with looking out for your own best interest. Maybe “self-serving” was the wrong phrase but it was all I could think of at the time to mean “solely for ones own interest” without being too wordy. I still can’t think of a word that would work but not have unfortunate negative connotations. I don’t believe there is anything cowardly or evil in it. I don’t believe anybody has the standing to interfere with or usurp anyone’s self-governance. Suicide is a means to an end; the end being a cessation of suffering. I am fully aware there are situations where not feeling horrible pain anymore is far more important than causing some pain to people who care.

    All I was trying to do was point out that maybe the attention given to that part was overblown and maybe taken to be something more sinister than it was. There was already so much evil and hate in the man’s words that I thought to focus on that part (not just here but elsewhere and in person I saw this) was silly. I interpreted it as a stupidly collectivist point of view: wrong IMO, but not surprising from a politician and not something that should have stood out, though it did.

    I am sorry for the conflict my attempt to head off needless conflict caused and I am sorry for the pain I have unintentionally caused.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com holytape

    I believe that this man has the saddest and most pathetic life I have ever hear of. How miserable is your existence when being asked to wearing purple is to “ruin the rest of [your life].”

    Well his face book picture is pretty telling.
    A large-mouth bass is being held by a loud-mouth ass.

  • cypressgreen

    Josh, I am very sorry for your troubles. I really hope your brother does better. :(

  • cypressgreen

    Holytape…ROFLMAO!

  • Heidi

    Hate as a Christian value. SSDD.

    Also, this guy’s a school board member? And he uses the word “thereselves”? Really?

  • Heidi

    @Josh: I’m sorry you’ve been through all that. And I’m glad you’re still here.

  • stogoe

    Mr. McCance was not acting as an agent of the school board, but as a private citizen when this comment was posted. This post does not reflect the thoughts of the board or administration of the Midland School District.

    And I’m sure they’ll say the exact same thing when a young female teacher publishes ‘racy’ (read enjoying normal adult activities like having a beer or dancing) pictures on her facebook. Oh wait. No they won’t.

  • Michelle

    JoshBA, thank you for the clarification I’m sure it is helpful. I’m new to this particular conversation, but got what you were saying.

  • JoshBA

    @cypressgreen and Heidi

    Thank you. He found a set of drugs that helped a lot and gave him time to learn some coping mechanisms that seem to work. He is currently fairly stable—the shifts are nowhere near as severe or frequent—and he is off of prescription drugs though I think he probably self medicates with nicotine (not too horrible, it works to counter both the highs and lows, but I wish there was a less toxic delivery mechanism than cigarettes).

  • Carlie

    He’s engaged in bullying students via his facebook page, which was apparently set to be public. Bullying is against the rules of the school district, and he should be removed from his office for it.

  • Claudia

    A large-mouth bass is being held by a loud-mouth ass.

    The thread has been won.

  • stogoe

    david,
    A hate crime is a crime that is committed with the intent of terrifying or intimidating a minority. So like beating up gay people. Or lynching black people who tried to vote. Because it’s more evil than just beating up the guy who made you spill your beer, it deserves a larger sentence.

  • Sue

    Someone on another blog (I think Pharyngula) ran one of McCance’s comments through the Bad Translator , so I decided I would do it with another one.

    Starting from:
    “I would disown my kids they were gay. They will not be welcome at my home or in my vicinity. I will absolutely run them off. Of course my kids will know better. My kids will have solid christian beliefs. See it infects everyone.”
    we get:
    “I will give your child feel happy. This is not my house in my neighborhood welcome. I would definitely stay. Of course, my kids know better. Children have a strong Christian faith. Affects everyone.”
    Makes about as much sense.

  • BamaPolyBiGuy1

    I saw in a news story today that in the election on 11/2, he is running unopposed. So he will continue to be on the school board.

    In addition, in another news story about him, when an Arkansas paper called him, he said he didn’t have any more comments except that this was blown way out of proportion.

    How can the hateful things he said be blown out of proportion?!?

  • http://eternalbookshelf.wordpress.com Sharmin

    McCance is a horrible excuse for a human being. It disgusts me that people brag about how their religion teaches them morality and then act like this.

  • Dan

    No one is FORCING you to wear purple, Clint. It’s something people came up with to show support for their fellow man. Something, I thought was supposed to be one of the solid Christian beliefs you claim you’ll teach your child.

    While I understand suicide can be seen as “selfish”, it’s also just a natural reaction of some to being put in a situation where they feel more hopeless than most of us will ever feel. They didn’t commit suicide because they were eager to know what death was like for the sake of knowing.

    We ask people to wear ribbons for breast cancer too. I don’t hear Clint bashing women with that – another fact of life they can’t control.

    Clint wants all gay people to be dead before he wears purple, which means he doesn’t understand that the only reason we’re asking him to wear it in the first place is for preventative reasons – to prevent current homosexuals from suicide. If they were all dead, we’d have no one left to show this particular kind of support to.

    As he thinks suicide is a sin, then shouldn’t he support a movement to prevent them from that sin? And in terms of their sin of homosexuality, isn’t god supposed to be the final judge, not man? Didn’t Jesus want us to love everyone, even those who sin?

    It also makes me wonder, if he hates gays so much, why wear purple at all, even after “they all commit suicide”? Is he saying only after they all die will he have sympathy?

    No wonder this guy is Christian. He’s a non-sensical hateful hypocrite who leaves so many of my questions unanswered.

    PS: He’s right about one thing. It is an “infection.”

  • Aaron

    Re: hate crime. The purpose of hate crime legislation (more accurately called bias crime)is twofold:

    1. Crimes based on category (such as religion, race, sexual orientation, etc) tend to be overlooked if they happen in a community where bias against that category is widespread. For example, the murder of a black man may not be well investigated in a racist town. Bias crime legislation can take a crime from the state jurisdiction and make it a federal crime (in the US) in an attempt to make sure the local bias against said category is not a factor in poor enforcement of the law.

    2. Bias crimes (or hate crimes) are particularly dangerous. For example, assault. Most assaults are committed by someone who knows the victim and there is usually some sort of history between them. A potential victim may have some warning that this person they know is acting strangely towards them which may give them the ability to avoid that person.
    The numbers dramatically change when it is a bias crime because very often the victims and perpetrator are total strangers which gives the target little chance to avoid danger.
    In addition, bias crimes are especially vicious; the rate at which victims need medical attention among similar crimes dramatically increases in bias crimes (for example, assault).
    Add to that the fact that bias crimes tend to engender more revenge crimes. Since the attack is really an attack on an entire culture with the victim as proxy, the victims entire culture tends to try and find a proxy within the perpetrator’s culture, which can then spark more revenge crimes. Bias crimes have the potential to start race wars. This is the reasoning behind harsher sentencing.
    However, I don’t think bias laws are very effective because of the difficulty in proving the exact motivation behind a crime. In CA for example, you would probably have to say, during the assault, “I am attacking you because you are gay!”

    Also, just in case some fundy is reading this. Bias crime laws protect everyone, based on category. A straight guy attacked because he is straight gets the same legal protection as a gay guy attacked for being gay. A Christian attacked for his religion gets the same protection as a Muslim attacked for his religion. The law is triggers if you are targets because of your category, but it doesn’t care what your status is within that category.

    It is just not that common that someone is attacked because they are straight or Christian. I have never seen someone’s house spray-painted with “Breeders must die!” or anything like that.

    Oh, and has anyone noticed that this tool (McCance) is mocking the deaths of children?

  • http://thesnideatheist.blogspot.com the snide atheist

    Crap! I’ve been saying ‘themselves’ all these years. I wish someone would have told me I was saying it wrong.

  • Steve

    If he said the same against any other group – blacks, Hispanics, Jews, elderly, women – they’d find a way to get rid of him or force him to resign.

  • SwedishSkinJer

    Ugh. Just…ugh. Not only does he start with the victim mentality when he’s in no way being “forced” to wear purple, but he also belittles anyone who disagrees with him by implying that there’s something wrong with their mental state.

    Also, for the people defending him: he SPECIFICALLY SAID THAT HE ENJOYS IT WHEN LGBT AMERICANS RECEIVE AIDS AND DIE. No, he may not be advocating for the widespread annihilation of fellow human beings, but that comment sounds pretty damn close to inciting violence.

  • Dan

    @the snide atheist
    I wish someone would have told me I was saying it wrong.
    I’ll tell you something you’re saying wrong: “would have told me”.
    What you mean is I wish someone had told me.

  • http://www.meaningwithoutgodproject.blogspot.com Jeffrey A. Myers

    So good that he is judging not lest he be judged. Asshole.

  • flatlander100

    ASD:

    You wrote: “He should be given the boot.
    Other people have been fired for saying less on Facebook. ”

    Fired by who? He’s an elected public official. So far as I have been able to discover, Arkansas does not have a recall process for school board members. Unless he’s committed a crime, the only way to remove him from office is for the voters to throw him out next election.

    Appointed officials have been fired for comments deemed unacceptable by the elected officials who appointed them. But this bozo was elected by the people of his district. Absent criminal conduct on his part, they alone have the authority to remove him from office, and they alone should have that authority.

  • flatlander100

    Mutant Jedi:

    You wrote: “t is beyond me why the school board hasn’t, at the minimum, suspended Mr McCance from his duties pending further investigation.”

    The guy is an elected official, not an appointed one. The School Board does not, I think, have the authority to suspend a member, and with good reason. The voters put the man in office. Unless he’s found guilty of criminal conduct, the voters have I think the only authority to remove him.

  • http://brielle.sosdg.org Brielle

    @JoshBA

    I normally don’t like to touch the subject of suicide, since it’s a very difficult subject for me, but after reading what you’ve said…

    As someone who has survived more attempts then I care to remember, as well as someone who has lost at least a dozen friends to suicide, it angers me to see people try to justify messing with someone elses choice of fate in life by saying its self-serving and arrogant. Why should I or anyone else be forced to suffer in this life if we decide to make the pain stop?

    The only resentment I hold towards one of the people who killed themselves, is that after she saved my life, she went off and killed herself a few years later.

  • flatlander100

    Steve:

    You wrote: “If he said the same against any other group – blacks, Hispanics, Jews, elderly, women – they’d find a way to get rid of him or force him to resign.”

    He was elected to office by the people of his district. That is a powerful thing, public election, not to be overturned lightly. I remind you the still-active Klansman and shameless racist, David Duke, ran for the state house of representatives in Louisiana in the 1980s. He won and served I think four years before receiving the Republican nomination for Governor of Louisiana, which race he lost. Had he won, he would have been governor by right of election by the people. His racism would not have invalidated his election any more than it invalidated his election to the Louisiana House of Representatives.

    As an elected official, I don’t think he can be removed from that office unless the voters throw him out at the next election, or he commits a crime while in office. So far as we know, he hasn’t.

  • cypressgreen

    @Brielle, I’m sorry you too have had it rough. Like Josh and me. It’s funny how most people avoid this subject, but once brought up, people appear from seemingly nowhere with stories of their own despair. How odd that you have lost so many friends!

    My only first cousin was also a suicide. His elderly mother told me, “He always was a sad boy.” LOL Understatement of the year!

    My friend Duane, the suicide I mentioned, was the one who talked me off the ledge when I was ready to go. His death was especially painful to me because it showed me how fragile that control could be. I felt like I was on the edge of the abyss myself for a few weeks after that. I finally understood why one suicide in a high school or family can easily instigate more.

  • Ms. Crazy Pants

    I don’t think the right to free speech guarantees that a person gets to keep their job despite what they say. It just means the government can’t put that person in jail for it, unless it relates to leading to an act of terrorism or child abuse.

    Any other free speech I think has to be written into union contracts.

    I once worked for a place where you could be fired for just saying the word “union” while at work. I think that was even put in writing (it’s been 20 years so I don’t remember the specifics), but I definitely remember being told that in training, which then implies that trainers were exempt from punishment.

  • Steve

    @flatlander100
    I know he was elected. That doesn’t mean there aren’t ways. The most common one is that they could pressure him to resign himself. That happens all the time in politics when there are scandals of any kind. Resigning on your own terms is usually a way of saving some face.

    Though one reason they probably don’t bother is that he is up for re-election November 2nd. However, he is unopposed.

  • flatlander100

    Ms. Crazy:

    You wrote: “I don’t think the right to free speech guarantees that a person gets to keep their job despite what they say.”

    Of course it doesn’t. The First Amendment limits what government can do respecting speech, not what private people or businesses can do.

    The the guy we’re talking about was elected by the people of his district, and so can not be removed from his elected position for what he said, except at another election [absent his having committed a crime]. And that’s as it should be. The man’s a pig. On that we can agree. But the people put him in office. It’s up to the people to remove him.

  • flatlander100

    Steve:

    There are hundreds of people, probably thousands by now, signing on-line petitions calling for his resignation. I hope he does resign. I doubt however that kind of moral suasion is likely to have much effect on someone like him. The man’s an ignorant pig. We can all agree on that. But, absent his having committed a crime, there is no way I think to force his un-willing resignation for merely expressing opinions decent people find abhorrent.

  • Steve

    “merely expressing opinions decent people find abhorrent.”

    That’s obviously not what he did. He didn’t act as a private person and as such can be held to other standard. He can’t hide behind his office. On the contrary.

    You take “the will of the people” and the whole election thing way too seriously. There may not be an official instruments in place to get rid him him (like some kind of impeachment or a no-confidence vote), but merely being elected doesn’t make him unaccountable for what he says.

  • http://thesnideatheist.blogspot.com the snide atheist

    @Dan – Thanks! I wish some douchebag would have told me that earlier.

  • david

    the problem with the hate tag is this ….

    two guys in a bar get into a fight over one chatting up the others wife / girlfiend and no one really gives it a second thought two guys were fighting big deal

    the exact same situation where they are of different colour etc and its now not a bar fight its a racial inccident and as such the fight then gets tagged a hate crime

    a crime is a crime REGARDLESS of the colour or religion etc of who commits it

    does the guy on the bar floor feel any better knowing that the guy that kicked the crap out of him because he was the same colour etc do his woulds heal any faster or slower ?

    no

    the hate tag is a pointless tag

  • Steve

    @david
    No. That’s not a hate crime because the attack isn’t motivated by hatred resulting from race or another attribute. Of course there may be incidents that are murky, or people may claim that it was about race when it wasn’t but it ultimately depends on why it happened, not on who was involved.

  • John

    David you said
    “two guys in a bar get into a fight over one chatting up the others wife / girlfiend and no one really gives it a second thought two guys were fighting big deal

    the exact same situation where they are of different colour etc and its now not a bar fight its a racial inccident and as such the fight then gets tagged a hate crime ”

    That is not true, at all. If it was discovered they were in that fight BECAUSE of one’s race, then it is a hate crime. Being attacked for who you are instead of what you have done. That is a hate crime

  • http://fontofliberty.blogspot.com/ Rarian Rakista

    JoshBA is a deluded Objectivist — about as batshit insane as the average Scientologist, unfortunately unlike a troll, JoshBA is incapable of acting any different in real life. Anyone who lacks the critical thinking skills to see through Ayn Rand’s incoherent ‘Philosophy’ is usually not a very dangerous individual, as people tend to punish and ridicule those who act only in their own self interest, so he is likely relatively poor and medicated.

  • John

    I want to enlighten some of you on the difference between crimes and hate crimes a little bit. I’m gay and I have been the victem of several hate crimes, and have seen them perpetrated against other gay men and once against a black man. In his case it was simply because he was black and went to a bar in a smaller community. When he left, he was told they didn’t need any f*cking n*ggers in their town, and stabbed him. He hadn’t even talked to anyone, just came in, sat at the bar by himself, and had a couple drinks.

    Have you ever been the wrong part of a city, down an ally in the dark or something? Where there are people around, maybe watching you and following you, and you have that sense of dread like any moment you will mugged, beaten, killed? The absolute dread and stress of knowing you need to get out NOW or something bad is going to happen to you?

    Ok, now imagine that feeling when you go down any street, all the time. Imagine when you go to school feeling that, all the time, or even going to work. You don’t have to be around bullies you know, people who don’t like you, it could be anyone coming for you. Any minute you could get seriously hurt because of who you are. I had to drop out of school at age 15 because of this. I was getting death threats from people I hadn’t even heard of, and not for any actions of mine. Someone outed me, and the violence began. I would skip school on a regular basis, just so I could have a day where I didn’t fear for my safety.

    Hate crimes target a group of people, not an individual. They terrorize and instil that feeling of fear and dread into that community, not just the individual target. After I left that school I found out the only other gay kid I knew killed himself. Only me and 1 other person knew he was gay until his note, and in it he said he couldn’t stand living in fear. He never had any violence directed against him. This is the perfect example of why hate crimes are different from normal crimes.

    Later in life when I was attacked it wasn’t because I spilled someone’s drink. It wasn’t because I mouthed off. It wasn’t even because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was simply because I’m gay.

    Hate crimes terrorize an entire population for who and what they are, not any of their actions. It’s not even a case of wrong place, wrong time, because those who commit the hate crime paint a target on your back. If you were not black/gay/jewish/christian, whatever, there would have been no crime. It’s not like if someone at an atm got robbed. Well, the next person could have been the target, or the one before. With hate crimes there would be no robbery, EXCEPT if the person was a minority.

  • http://www.nutzak.org/ hnutzak

    This is a few years old, but I just came across it today. It is very poignant, and relevant to this topic.

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=221×32194

  • flatlander100

    Steve:

    You wrote: “You take “the will of the people” and the whole election thing way too seriously.”

    Yes, I do take it seriously. So should you. If, for example, a school board member who thinks science courses should teach science and not the Old Testament, I don’t want a majority of the Board removing him from office or suspending him mid-term because they’re creationists. So, yes, Steve, I take election by the voters very seriously. So should we all. And no, a majority of the Board should not be able to suspend or remove him mid term for expressing opinions they find abhorrent.

    You wrote: ” There may not be an official instruments in place to get rid him him (like some kind of impeachment or a no-confidence vote), but merely being elected doesn’t make him unaccountable for what he says.

    Well, in terms of fulfilling his term on the board, yes it does. If he did not commit a crime in office [he could be removed mid-term for that], and there are as you say no “official instruments in place to get rid of him,” then he can not be held accountable for his comments in such a way as to remove him from office — except by the voters on election day.

    People can shun him, sign petitions calling for his resignation, make faces at him on the street, call him nasty names [however accurate] on blogsites like this one, but no one other than the voters can hold him accountable for his words by removing him from that office. [Arkansas does not have recall for school board members, so far as I've been able to discover, and impeachment,if that applies to local elected officials, generally requires criminal conduct as a justification].

  • david

    I understand the reason that some people need the tag BUT
    that does not take anything away from the crime itsself

    a beating is a beating is a beating

    the motive behind the beating is irrelivent to the punishment the “crime” demants in law

    ive had more than enough beatings because I have ginger hair and glasses ( yes trust me ) does that make it any less or more of a beating than if id just pissed off the wrong person not at all

    people need to realise that no matter what laws are passed or whatever the current political climate is

    not everyone will like everyone else and to think laws will change that is deluded

  • Jamssx

    “My kids will have solid christian beliefs. See it infects everyone.” Yes solid christian beliefs infect everyone with this kind of hatred and stupidity. I hope he disowns them when they eat shrimp or ham and cheese sandwiches as they’re part of the same set of rules…

  • JoshBA

    @Rarian Rakista

    Objectivist? Whaa? No. What the hell did I do to earn that tag? Especially after being interpreted as being a heartless collectivist, you know, the exact opposite of an objectivist.

    The only thing I can of is when I said people should be allowed control what happens to themselves. Oh and calling the thing everyone else is appalled by “stupidly collectivist”, which it is. Ignoring individual people for the whole is an insane way to run a society and so is ignoring the whole for in individual. Just because I am against one extreme, doesn’t mean I am for the other.

  • Sean

    Two things which I don’t think people usually consider with regards to hate crime laws.

    a) We already consider intent in law. The mens rea is key in distinguishing manslaughter from murder, and premeditated (or first degree) murder is different from a sudden rage.

    A hate crime is a crime motivated by prejudice. If a white person kills a black person, that’s not enough. If a KKK member kills a black person, that’s still not enough. The key to a hate crime is that the specific act must be motivated by prejudice. This is in line with the standard common-law understanding that intent, motivation, and state of mind matter when committing a violent crime.

    For this reason, assaulting a straight person who is believed to be gay is also a hate crime, even though the perception is false.

    The issue is somewhat cloudier with non-violent crimes such as vandalism or “hate speech”. Hate speech is legal under the First Amendment, so that issue is moot in the US (which is why this guy in Arkansas probably can’t be impeached or otherwise removed unless voted out of office).

    b) The most important effect of federal hate crime laws is not the actual penalties that come with them.

    The most important part is that federal authorities can investigate independently of local governments. This is crucial because there are still places in the US where local authorities disapprove of certain minorities and may find excuses to ignore hate crimes (effectively letting the perpetrators off the hook). “He had it coming” is a depressingly common line of reasoning (As this school board member demonstrates; can you imagine if he was a DA or sheriff?).

  • Sean

    Meh, to correct above, it should be:

    For this reason, assaulting a straight person because you think they are gay is also a hate crime, even though the perception is false.

    And of course, it’s also a hate crime to assault someone because you think they are white, American, straight, Christian, male…

    So the law is symmetric, it’s just that a lot fewer people get assaulted for any of those things than get assaulted for being black, Muslim, gay…

  • david

    Sean I get it BUT at the end of the day its still a beating or whatever so the punishment should be the same

  • John

    No, it is not the same. Intent does account for major differences in judgement and sentencing. If a beating is a beating, then anyone who beat another in self defense or defense of a loved one should be punished like someone who did it with intent to kill. Someone who’s intent was influenced by a psychological illness they had no control over, or by diminished mental capacity, should also get the same sentence if a beating it a beating. We take the intent of cops very seriously if they were to beat someone. If they did it with the intent to stop an individual from causing harm to others while not intending to do more injury than needed to stop them, then we consider it justified. If they did it it out of prejudice, intimidation, or were completely unprovoked it is another thing entirely.

    It’s like the comparison between a thief who steals for greed and a thief who steals to feed their starving family. If you intentionally assault someone you would otherwise not have, simply because of who they are, the difference in intent makes it a slightly different crime from a provoked assault, an assault of perceived provocation, an assault as a crime of passion (extreme rage, jealousy), assault with the intent of death (attempted murder), etc.

    If intent didn’t matter we wouldn’t have self defense, manslaughter, murder 1, murder 2, insanity clauses, etc in our legal system.

  • John

    You can also have a combination of those crimes in conjunction, it’s not always an either/or scenario.

  • Ben

    Sean I get it BUT at the end of the day its still a beating or whatever so the punishment should be the same

    The problem is thinking that the law, that sending people to jail, is about getting an eye for an eye. It is not — at least, not primarily. It is, generally speaking, about protecting society from offenders, about rehabilitating them from their tendencies, about deterring others from doing the same.

    Higher penalties will have deterrent effects on certain sorts of crime: hate crime being one of them. Somebody might not think twice about at cruising the street, finding somebody they think is gay, and beating the living daylight out of them, if they think all they’re going to get is a community-based sentence (e.g. community service). They will probably think twice if they know that the same beating could attract several years in prison.

    Sure, the physical damage to the victim might be the same as if it was a beating resulting from finding him having sex with his wife, but longer penalties tend not the same effect on crimes of passion (e.g. manslaughter or murder-2). Here, intent is important to take into account because it will determine how much of a deterrent the sentence will make to future crime.

    Some criminals are also harder to rehabilitate. A lover-killing husband takes less time to rehabilitate than a faggot-killing homophobe or black-killing racist or jew-killing “religionist”. It is notoriously difficult to change the opinions of homophobes and racists. The likelihood of them reoffending is much higher. Should we let them out earlier despite the higher risk of killing somebody else? Or should we keep the rest in longer even though the likelihood of them reoffending is very low?

    It’s time people stopped looking at the law as the biblical “eye for an eye” and started understanding what “punishment” is all about. You don’t punish your children just because they stole a lollipop from the supermarket, you punish them to make them not want to do it again, and you do it in front of your other children to make them never want to do it.

    Deterrence, not vengeance. And rehabilitation.

  • david

    your missing one important point about punishment though

    the sentance was originally a “payment” for the crime you went to prison to serve your sentance to pay for the crime

    and when released ie a free man your debt was paid

    though it does not work that way people are tagged now with a conviction and it follows them and thats not how it was designed to work

    saying a guy beat someone up ” well he did it because of X” is a very very dodgy way to play the penalty card

    as its too open for people to play in the ” hate crime ” area when there was probably no hate intent at all but thats the way their lawyers would play it

    again if someone shoots you in the leg it wont heal any faster or hurt any less regardless of teh intent of the crime the effect of the crime on your leg is teh same so the punishment should be the same

    if you go that route the you need different prison terms for different bullet sizes as the intent of the would size would be different

  • JoeBuddha

    Piffle. Bottom line: Someone who cruises the streets looking for queers to bash needs to be taken more seriously than someone who beats someone else up over a spilled drink. It’s not the injuries, it’s the victimizing of an entire community rather than just one person. Putting the queer basher in jail overnight isn’t going to make the GBLT community any safer, but putting him in jail for a few YEARS would probably help.

  • JoeBuddha

    Oh, and while I don’t condone death threats and harrassment AT ALL, I hope he enjoys enduring at least a fraction of what these gay students feel most of the time.

  • James

    David,

    Your delusional and unable to understand what is being clearly spelled out for you.
    Perhaps you need to look a little deeper inside yourself.

    The REASON for the crime is relevant.
    If I steal bread for a party, that is a crime of theft.
    If I steal bread so that my 4 year old child can have something to eat then that is less of a crime, while still being a crime the motive behind it was to prevent the pain of my child.

    One can be understood, the other is simply a crime.

    If you truly cannot see a difference between a bunch of thugs going out and looking for a gay guy to beat down, and a bunch of thugs in a bar playing pool who get into a fight due to a spilled drink then you are truly delusional.

    I posit that I am probably the largest minority in America right now, I am an overweight bisexual white male.
    Or as my wife calls us (She is bi as well) F.A.B (Fat Atheist Bisexuals).

    If you could feel a fraction of what it is like to walk down the streets in Kentucky being FAB you would understand the difference between a crime, and a hate crime.
    This is one of the reasons I packed up my entire family and moved to Washington state.

  • Steve

    FYI, the guy had the common sense to resign

  • muggle

    Got here after the update. Good. Good riddance to bad rubbish. He shouldn’t be in that school making any gay students feeling like he wants them to kill themselves.

    I have no quandry in that. How is this any different that a school board member saying blacks aren’t smart or girls should be in home ec and not shop? Or for that matter, voting against Title XI?

  • david

    james no mate YOUR delusional ( as you put it ) because you cant see that the end result being the same ( regardless of the reason behind the attack ) is what should be punished

    otherwise for EVERY CRIME you would have to spend years arguing back and forth what the reason for the person to do said crime was

    lets say someone in your family was beaten up is your first thought oh well shit happens

    or is it if I find them ill rip their heads off

    or could it be well teh system will find out who did it and punish them accordingly

    I spent 5 years as a police officer and the police these days cant do their job because of all the PC BS and paperwork

    they have to appear to be tollerent etc etc

    a crime is a crime no matter who commits it

    if someone is having a bad day should we cut them some slack if they run over an old lady because they were not looking where they were driving ?

    does the old lady wonder if the guys feeling ok as she bounces over the bonnet and lands in a heap on teh road ?

    no

    if a guys getting beat up is his first thought oh well I had it comming no its shit them fight or run like hell

    the hate tag is pc bs at its stupdest

    people will always settle with like minded people people that look like them its a fact

    people are always going to hate something for whatever reason rightly or wrongly thats just the way of things

    is it right no
    will anything legally change it no
    all that will happen is it goes JUST under the surface which in many ways is more dangerous

    id far sooner live next to a white guy that openly hates blacks or a black guy that openly hates whites than someone who pretends to be all friendly yet still has those kind of feelings hidden

  • Vas

    Hey David guess what… It doesn’t matter what you think on this subject, not one little bit. We have hate crimes laws on he books. You can cry and whine, bitch and moan all you like and we still have hate crimes laws. The debate is over and your side lost. Just as a side note I hope you understand that there are more than a few people who would like nothing better than to crack your stupid cop skull open and laugh at you while you bleed out, just because you are (were) a cop, yup for no other reason, just because you’re a cop. Funny how cops seem to think cop killers should be treated more harshly than “regular” killers, same crime harsher punishment, and yet they feel free to call hate crime laws PC BS.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSvD5SM_uI4
    Suck on that a while cop.


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