What about those other groups? Herseth denies hate crime protection to vets and seniors.

A bill was introduced in the United States congress recently to provide additional funding for the prosecution of hate crimes.

HR 1592 the `Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007', protects several groups of people in an effort to protect against violence based on "perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim."

Recently, Republicans offered an amendment to this legislation to expand on who would be protected to include veterans, soldiers, and senior citizens as a protected class under the Hate Crimes bill, since sometimes people in those classes are victims of violence because of their status.

As you'll note here
, on this mostly party line vote, South Dakota's representative, Congresswoman Herseth-Sandlin, voted against providing additional protection for veterans, soldiers, and senior citizens from violence directed at them. But in the final vote, she extended that same protection she denied to vets and seniors to other classes she considered more deserving.

So, according to the Congresswoman's vote, if a soldier in uniform returning from Iraq is attacked by war protesters, it's not a hate crime. But if this same soldier puts on a dress and is attacked, it is a hate crime.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

- from the 14th amendment to the United States Constitution.
Apparently, some people are more equal that others.


Anonymous said…
Hate crimes legislation is just plain wrong and just plain discriminatory. It is nothing more than a PC and feel-good measure. Why is it "more wrong" to commit a crime against certain classes of people than others? Crime is crime. Deal with the perpetrators in the same way, no matter who the victim is.
Anonymous said…
great point, pp. this is one of the most absurd and dangerous pieces of legislation in our lifetime. the nanny state turns big brother by punishing our thoughts. no big surprise sandlin voted for it.

Anonymous said…
The strikes are coming against little miss "perky" as some call her.
People didn't have their eyes open when they voted her in.
As the artist has drawn a leash before will we see it again. But just hink didn'dt people know she would vote this way anyway.
Bad bill, I agree with 8:07 a crime is a crime 8:32 if also on track.
Social-Social-Socialism (new form) that is were we are headed. May they have mercy....and open their eyes..
Anonymous said…
Isn't this an expansion of existing hate crimes law?
i.e.,isn't your point already moot, PP?
Angie said…
A crime is not a crime. The penal system is full of different penalties based on the nature of the crime committed.

In the case of hate crimes, not only are they generally more brutal than say, a random mugging, they are committed to send a message of hate and to instill fear in an entire group of people. I'm sick of hearing "all crime is based on hate," because it just isn't. If I'm walking down the street and someone snatches my purse, it's probably not because of something I've said or done; it's probably because the thief wants my money.

Herseth was not wrong to support this legislation. Not only does it provide important protections to a variety of people, but it's supported by 70% of Americans. That's roughly the same number that death penalty advocates cite when talking about how elected officials need to support "the will of the people."

You can't have your cake and eat it too.
Anonymous said…
Was Herseth's vote a surprise to anyone? At least she's consistant in her contempt of our soldiers and our veterans.

Will the voters remember this vote or her vote setting a time limit in Iraq? Not if we don't remind them and you can be sure some of us will bring it up.

Just don't plan on reading anything about it in the Argus Misleader.
Anonymous said…
I wonder how our soldiers and veterans would feel about the notion that they are victims in waiting?

So the Republican message is that soldiers and veterans fight for us overseas but they need extra protection when they get home? Soldiers and veterans are likely to be preyed upon in their own neighborhoods?

Why is it that Republicans want to pass only meaningless, symbolic, condescending, disingenuous laws for veterans but they consistently oppose making VA funding mandatory?

As to senior citizens, most states already - including South Dakota - have laws specifically enhancing penalties for crimes against them.
Anonymous said…
good point, big liberal. we already have laws and varied penalties depending on the level of brutality and intent. this is nothing more than an increased punishment based on peoples' beliefs, biases, and thoughts.

the law already differentiates between a random mugging and a brutal assault.

all crime is motivated by some form of hate, whether a callous indifference or extreme hostility.

the duty of the government is to punish actions and behaviors. that's it. hate is not an act or behavior. it is an emotion or condition, that is already considered by prosecutors and judges when discerning motive and intent.

the losers who killed matthew shepherd were eligible for the death penalty and got life in prison, without the aid of hate crime laws. what more do you want?

Anonymous said…
Lexrex –
All crime is based on some form of hate? Really? So when I speed, who am I hating? When someone passes bad checks, who do they hate? When Martha Stewart engaged in insider trading, who did she hate? Who did Scooter Libby hate? When a teenager sneaks a beer out of dad’s fridge, who do they hate?
Now if what you mean to say is that all violent crime is based on some form of hate – you may have somewhat more of a leg to stand on…but not much of one. Should someone’s motive come into play when looking at crime and punishment? It always has in the past.
Angie said…

I think you missed the majority of my point, which was that hate crimes are often committed with the intent to send a message to an entire community, not just to one person. They're not often committed by people who know their victim; people identify a characteristic they don't like (whether we're talking about race, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity/expression) about a person they see, and choose to act very violently as a result.

Unfortunately, hate crimes are often ignored by authorities (which you can read more about here as well). This legislation would provide more federal resources for hate crimes, and would make them harder to brush under the rug.

You're right; the thugs who assaulted Matthew Shephard got what they deserved. What do I want? For them to not have happened in the first place.
Anonymous said…
11:10 said "Should someone’s motive come into play when looking at crime and punishment? It always has in the past."

you're right. that's my point. the justice system already considers motive in deciding severity of penalties. "hate crime" laws are unecessary if only to pander to special interests.

Anonymous said…
so, big liberal, do you really think that if getting 25 years to life doesn't stop someone from murdering, adding an extra couple years to the penalty would help?

the point is we already have laws against murder, assault, and even intimidation.

and local police departments already have the ability to ask the feds for more help. they can ask for it in any kind of legislation they want. this just adds an element of political correctness to apply more pressure to congress.

and besides, matthew shephard's killers did know him. they killed him more as a consequence of a corrupt drug (i.e., meth) culture.

does that fact make shepard's murder any less heinous? it shouldn't.

Angie said…
Lexrex, as far as Matthew Shephard is concerned, I think you might have been taking one too many pages from Fred Phelps' book.
Anonymous said…
big liberal, or maybe i just watch the news more carefully than you do.

Anonymous said…
12:14 poster

Being "PC" is what is causing great harm in America and is dangerous.
People are being so PC they cant be themselves. It will cause the fall of free speech.
Before someone goes crazy over that comment think about it.
People are offended at being offended by not being able to express. Sounds like a toung twister doesn't it. I also note that while in college the professors were so busy being "pc" they couldn't teach. I mean i don't understand why people were offended when a prof said okay guys lets get to business. O yes it was the fem's who were offended. I could care less and I am a female!
Anonymous said…
12:14 And a sell out.
Maybe even a harlot.

What did you get for compromising you and your daughetrs right to liberty and equality, bitch?

A nice house?

A car?

What a cu**.
Anonymous said…
8:14, it looks as though you are not capable of making a point without resorting to such name-calling. Heck, even without the creepy words, I can't figure out what the heck you are trying to say. How about being a grown-up instead of a petty little whiner?
Anonymous said…
Forget to take your meds, 8:14? You sound like the type of wacko who would shoot a bunch of people at a college.
Anonymous said…
8:24 Ditto. If you can't figure out what I'm saying, there are 2 possibilities: 1, you don't know how to read, or 2, you don't know how to think. I'm guessing it's the latter, beotch.
Anonymous said…
There is nothing quite so disgusting as a woman selling herself and her sisters, daughters, and grandaughters down the river.

As Jack London said of strikebreakers, they are "lower than the scabs on a snake's belly."

Women who side with their power tripping, sanctimonious, abusive, power-tripping mates just to make sure they get ahead in life are even worse.

Not just scabs... skanks.

There are quite a few of them in SD, unfortunately.
Anonymous said…
8:42 poster
I believe that you are off topic.
I think that I know what you are saying however, it might be more useful if you would put it in better form.
Your post is in very bad taste the way written. Are you someone who is abused then rejected- (don't answer that) Because it kind of sounds like it.
I don't believe that this blog is set up for this type of issue or medical advice.
Try and find some peace for within yourself.
Sorry for my post to the rest of you.
Anonymous said…
Is it possible that this page is not posting right? It does seem as though some of the post are unrelated in many forms not that people are off topic it is like they are posting on the wrong page?
Maybe it is just too late for me to be reading and posting????
Anonymous said…
8:14, what's that about?
Anonymous said…
8:42, you talking about Hillary Clinton by any chance?
Anonymous said…
Typical idiotic remark.
Par for the course around here.
Anonymous said…
3:14, jeez, lighten up and get a sense of humor.

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