Crying Wolf

Christina Engela's picture
"In a multiple-bias incident [of reported hate crime], two conditions must be met: (a) more than one offense type must occur in the incident and (b) at least two offense types must be motivated by different biases."

Sounds like the definitive intro to an episode of "Law & Order", doesn't it?

If there were no statistics to show the high incidence of hate crimes committed against GLBTIQ people specifically on the grounds of their sexual orientation or gender identity, the Religious Right could go on making false claims that hate crime is "thought crime" and that the concept of hate crime was no more than a gay rights propaganda tool, and that it is their religion which is under attack, and not the pink community. In fact, this is exactly why they have been fighting tooth and claw to stop the passage of hate crimes laws. Why? Because without them, the FBI could not legitimately record such crimes - and the statistics would not be made available - and they could go on trying to obscure the fact that GLBTIQ people are indeed under attack - by themselves.

The recent passage of hate crimes laws in the USA have made such statistics valid and are currently available on the FBI website. To start off with, yes, these are American statistics - but as in America, the bigots and anti-gay activists in South Africa echo the very same rhetoric and follow the very same strategies as they do there, in fact to a large extent they have been influenced and even mentored by the American religious right. If accurate hate crime statistics were available in this country, there is no doubt in my mind they would reflect a very similar result demographically.

The FBI reported the following reported incidents of hate crime involving physical violence in the USA in 2008:

On the basis of religion:

Against Catholics, just for being Catholic:
Murder = 0, Forcible rape = 0, Aggravated Assault = 1, Simple Assaults = 3, Intimidation = 3.

Against Protestants, just for being Protestant:
Murder = 0, Forcible rape = 0, Aggravated Assault = 3, Simple Assaults = 3, Intimidation = 1

So we're looking at 14 victims who were violently attacked or intimidated, just for being Christian.

Let's take this a step further and compare anti-Christian incidents to other faiths:

Against Muslims, just for being Muslim:
Murder = 0, Forcible rape = 0, Aggravated Assault = 50, Simple Assaults = 30, Intimidation = 48

That's 128 victims. (A whole 114 more than the Christian total for the same period).

Against Jews, just for being Jews:
Murder = 0, Forcible rape = 0, Aggravated Assault = 25, Simple Assaults = 58, Intimidation = 201

Another 284 victims. (That's 270 more victims than the Christian total for the same period.)

That's their 14 Christian victims vs 128 Muslim victims and 284 Jewish victims of hate crime. Things don't look too good for the radical right argument, do they?

Kind of odd for the mighty Christian faith to be complaining that it is being "persecuted" and that Christians are "under attack" for their faith - especially when it comes to "defending biblical principles" and vending hatred against the pink community, don't you think? Perhaps it is more a case of "persecuted church syndrome"? But wait, there's more...

Against gay males, just for being gay males:
Murder = 3, Forcible rape = 1, Aggravated Assault = 152, Simple Assaults = 312, Intimidation = 238

Against gay females, just for being gay females:
Murder = 0, Forcible rape = 5, Aggravated Assault = 22, Simple Assaults = 58, Intimidation = 61

Against gay people in general, just for being gay:
Murder = 0, Forcible rape = 0, Aggravated Assault = 51, Simple Assaults = 111, Intimidation = 110

Against bisexual people, just for being bisexual:
Murder = 2, Forcible rape = 0, Aggravated Assault = 2, Simple Assaults = 12, Intimidation = 3

That comes to a total of 1143 victims of hate crimes on the basis of their non-heterosexual orientation.

Now let's compare that with one other sexual orientation - heterosexual people. (That's right, "heterosexual" is a sexual orientation too - and most of these bigots forget that when they complain about laws preventing discrimination on the basis of it.)

Against straight people, just for being straight:
Murder = 0, Forcible rape = 0, Aggravated Assault = 3, Simple Assaults = 8, Intimidation = 7

That's 18 straight victims vs 1143 non-heterosexual victims.


Now let's look at the stats given per group - of all of the above, the only groups who were murdered for their sexual orientation were gay and bisexual people. That's 5 - 0.

Forcible rape on the basis of group hate - once again, gay and bisexual people: 7 vs 0.

Aggravated assault on the basis of group hate 227 vs 4.

Simple assault on the basis of group hate - 493 vs 14.

Intimidation on the basis of group hate - 412 vs 11.

It seems that any way you cut the cake, it still seems unbelievable that the group with the least to complain about is also making the most noise. In effect, crying wolf.


If data on hate crimes based on gender identity had been included, the tally would have looked even worse, fortunately the recent Federal Hate Crime laws in the USA were passed, DESPITE STIFF OPPOSITION. Until now, the FBI wasn't allowed to count hate crimes against transgender people, but we know just from US newspaper reports that at least 19 people were murdered simply for being transgender. It will be interesting to see next year's statistics, which will include a more accurate reflection.

Notice how the group with the biggest mouth about persecution (Christianity) has a figure so much smaller than the total for incidents of hate crime based on sexual orientation? AND on the basis of religion as well! So much for their "persecuted church" claims!

While religion is covered by hate crimes laws, sexual orientation and gender identity were not until recently. Now that it is, we can see why they opposed it.

This is the REAL REASON WHY the religious right OPPOSES HATE CRIMES LAWS intended to give EQUAL PROTECTION to the GLBTIQ MINORITY.

Preventing hate crimes laws prevents these incidents from being recorded properly, which prevents gathering accurate statistics, which conceals and covers up the direct results of their anti human rights agitation and campaigning - and makes it possible for them to claim that their religion is "under attack" and that gay people are lying when they complain about hate crime - when the facts (i.e. statistics) prove otherwise.

Because statistics show the facts, and in this case the truth - that the bigots are and have been exaggerating - and that the real reason behind their opposition to hate crimes laws protecting sexual orientation and gender identity is to cover up the truth - that we really are a threatened minority - a minority threatened by them.

(Posted at Sour Grapes)

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