It’s fun to mock the authoritarian left. These people tend to provide a lot of ammo with their absurd antics. But some situations are too severe to approach with simple mockery. The story of a homeless New York man being charged with a hate crime is one of those scenarios.
In New York City, a homeless man has been charged with two hate crimes for defecating on a Pride flag and using another to clean himself at a restaurant in Manhattan. The incident took place on April 15 when Fred Innocent, 45, entered a tapas bar and took two rainbow flags from a table.
He proceeded to defecate on one flag and used the other to wipe himself. The restaurant owner, Courtney Barroll, described the act as a total hate crime and emphasized that the flags were displayed to create a welcoming environment for the LGBTQ+ community.
Detectives worked to track down Innocent, and the New York City Police Department had appealed for information on the suspect via Twitter. A porter at the restaurant discovered the flags while cleaning. “I smelled something really bad,” he said. “When I started to clean near the corners – that’s when I saw it.”
Naturally, many on social media balked when they saw the news:
Weren’t NY residents just all about caring and services for the homeless and mentally ill?
Petty theft or indecent exposure maybe…but to label this as a hate crime is political posturing and totalitarian nonsense. https://t.co/WQ3PnEeO1G
— Rhonda Mary (@iamrhondamary) May 12, 2023
Remarkable that NYC has “hate crime detectives” who “worked tirelessly to track down” a homeless down-and-out who happened to shit on a symbolic totem rather than a random stretch of sidewalk or subway platform. https://t.co/seVteXdtJs
— Geoff Shullenberger (@g_shullenberger) May 11, 2023
New York defines a hate crime as an act targeting an individual or group based on a belief about their race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability, or sexual orientation. In this case, the defendant is facing hate crime charges because the act was committed with the intention to express intolerance towards the LGBTQ+ community.
The restaurant owner, who indicated she supports everyone regardless of background or lifestyle, stated that Innocent purposefully chose the flags as an act of discrimination. “Obviously we thought it was disgusting,” owner Courtney Barroll told The New York Post after the incident occurred.
“It was sad, it was disgusting,” she added.
Currently, it is not clear how much of a sentence Innocent might face, but hate crimes typically carry a lengthier sentence. This means the suspect will likely remain imprisoned for longer than he would have if he had done the same act with, say, an American flag.
The concept of hate crimes is often criticized for several reasons. Hate crime legislation creates a hierarchy of victims, prioritizing certain groups over others. By specifically designating certain motives as more severe than others, it implies that some victims are more deserving of protection and justice than others. This approach can undermine the principle of equal treatment under the law and potentially contribute to divisiveness in society.
The idea that the government would give harsher punishments to people based on their views is antithetical to liberty. Crime is crime. The suspect vandalized the restaurant’s property. The reason why he did it is irrelevant. Hate crime legislation has a political dimension to it that should not be present when it comes to dishing out justice. He will receive additional punishment because of his thoughts, not his actions.
This is what happens when authoritarian leftists are allowed to make laws retaliating against people for expressing contempt for their beliefs. The fact that they are willing to use the power of the state to this end should be terrifying to those who love liberty – especially since it won’t take much for these authoritarians to define our benign thoughts as “hate.” If we want to diminish hateful attitudes, persuasion is a much more appropriate method than using the government.
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Originally Posted on: https://redstate.com/jeffc/2023/05/12/new-york-city-reveals-why-hate-crime-laws-are-crappy-with-case-of-homeless-man-lgbtq-flags-n745034