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Bishop Harry Jackson on Hate Crimes–Not Enough to Justify Action?

June 20, 2009

Bishop Harry Jackson, who leads Stand4Marriage in DC, appeared on the Diane Rehm Show with Joe Solmonese, the President of the Human Rights Campaign.  The episode was on the Obama Administration and gay rights.  It was a fascinating episode that also included an interview with John Berry, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management and the Obama Administration’s highest ranking openly-gay official.  In the section with Solmonese and Jackson, the issue of hate crimes comes up and this is what results.

To Jackson, it seems, equal rights have to be fought for by each group in a vacuum.  The progress that one group has seen should not help any other group.  He argues that only a few people have been victims of hate crimes, but ignores the fact that makes hate crimes unique.  The crimes are to inspire fear in others.  The victim of a hate crime is an individual and everyone who fears because of it.  I don’t buy his statistics that there are only a handful of hate crimes towards gay and transgendered individuals, and more importantly, there were more than 4,700 victims of the crimes he describes against African Americans.

Hate crimes legislation is to prevent the terrorizing of a group of individuals and it’s to help communities investigate and prevent more crimes like this.

Two questions for Bishop Jackson:

  • How many victims would it take for you to support Hate Crimes legislation, Bishop Jackson?
  • Don’t you wish there had been Hate Crimes legislation to try and stop the crimes that took those 4,700 lives?

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