If someone is killed because of their race, sexual orientation, or religion, they are no deader than the person who's killed for their wallet. More importantly, the damage to their families and the unimaginable grief felt by their loved ones is no more poignant, and no more important.
In our opinion, the very idea of a "hate crime" cheapens the very real suffering of the victims of non-hate crimes. It also creates opportunities for unscrupulous people and organizations to cry "hate crime" for their own gain and to achieve their own objectives.
The Center of the Race is one such organization. More commonly known as El Centro de la Raza and founded in the 1960's their stated mission is to celebrate Latino cultures. They are also the group given permission to raise the Mexican National Flag in order to celebrate Mexican Independence; the group that also "forgot" to return and remove it. They were the first to raise the banner of victimization, the first to cry "racism" and "hate crime," and the last to admit any responsibility for their roll in a series of screw-ups that lead to Peter Ryan Lynch's removal of and subsequent shredding of the Mexican flag.
(Sidebar)In point of fact, El Centro de la Raza still has not taken any responsibility and our Eyes tell us that they have forwarded to the U.S. Attorney a photo taken from a MySpace video of Mr. Lynch shooting targets at a range as proof of his racist beliefs (view the video here). The Center of the Race wants Mr. Lynch to be prosecuted for "hate crimes."
When you read "The Center of the Race" what group did you honestly believe we were talking about? When translated to English El Centro de la Raza sounded to us like some white supremacist organization. Since "race" is part of their name, could it be that race plays an important role in their thinking? Isn't that a form of racism in and of itself?
The target being used looks to us like the one to the right. Could it be a man that comes from an ethnic minority... sure. But our Eyes tell us that the same target is used by a number of police departments across the country, including the Miami Dade police department. We hardly believe that shooting at a commonly available target is evidence of racism.
Even if the video was proof positive of some form of racist belief, it's not proof that Mr. Lynch's actions including ripping the Mexican flag to pieces, was racially motivated.
As further proof of "hate," El Centro de la Raza, on its website presents a couple of posts that they attribute to Mr. Lynch; posts that were found on MySpace.com. Let's assume that they are genuine ( in fact we believe they are), when we read his comments in context and not parsed for effect, we find the language a bit too vulgar and probably over the top, but Mr. Lynch is actually advocating open boarders stating "seriously stop wasting our time on them, let them in and tax them." (Read the la Raza PDF of Mr. Lynch's post here.)
Would we choose to express our beliefs in the manner that Mr. Lynch did... no. But one of the freedoms that the flag he is so concerned about honoring - the flag of the United States of America - is the freedom to express himself. You may not agree with him, you may not like his message, and you may not like the way he said it, but at least for now he has every right to say it.
We'd point out that those same freedoms are guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, symbolized by the flag that they helped dishonor and are being freely exercised by students who are members of El Centro de la Raza; a group with "race" in their name and "hate" on their lips. Frankly, we wouldn't have it any other way.