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In American Thinker: What Happens When Ponytailed Defense Attorney Ron Kuby Gets “Mugged”?

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I’ve got an article about Ron Kuby in American Thinker.  Kuby gets punched in the face, and suddenly he’s all for enforcing laws.  I don’t believe he is gay, by the way: he’s posing with a rainbow flag because he’s trying to portray himself as a victim of a homophobic hate crime (people don’t need to belong to identity groups for those groups to be counted as the “real victims” of “hate crime”).

If you’re planning on committing acts of violence against non-protected types of people, Kuby’s still your go-to lawyer, though.

 

Al Sharpton: Why Doesn’t The Media Remember His “Whore” Moment?

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Don’t get me wrong: it’s always nice to see this disturbed hate-clown get even a little piece of what he deserves:

But Sharpton’s distaff comments about gays are not quite the right focus for the current scandal over Rush Linbaugh calling women s***s, Bill Maher calling women c***s, NPR comic Marc Maron wishing violent rape on Michelle Bachmann, or various other public figures and human rights activists dropping b-bombs and other slurs on women (note: by “various other public figures and human rights activists,” I mean every gay male political activist I’ve ever known, several well-placed professional lesbians, Salon’s entire “sex-positive” girl-staff, and the earth-shoe-wearing-man-heroes of the liberal Left).

Too few of the writers objecting to Sharpton’s play-doh-like transformation into cultural decency arbiter on MSNBC are recalling his really relevant slurs — the ones against the Central Park Jogger.

Sharpton and his sidekick Alton Maddox assembled and egged on protesters who called the jogger a “whore” and called her attorney “bitch,” “white devil,” “witch,” and “slut.”  He announced that he didn’t believe that she was actually raped or beaten into a coma.  Sickeningly, he demanded that she be examined by a psychiatrist and accused her boyfriend of being “the real” rapist.  He tried to incite violence against her, nearly succeeding, just as he threatened violence against the Pagones family after orchestrating Tawana Brawley’s false rape accusation against Steve Pagones.  Thanks to the racial hatred stirred up by Sharpton, the Jogger, who had been left for dead by her attackers and also left with brain injuries, was forced to arrive and leave the courthouse under heavy security.

Of course, there were no consequences for Sharpton . . .

Are commentators now worried about bringing up these subjects because of the subsequent vacating of the sentences of the Central Park’s Jogger’s assailants?  They shouldn’t worry: the acquittals were false.

As of today, Townhall’s Larry Elder is the only journalist who has mentioned the lynch-mob hatred Sharpton whipped up against the Jogger and, by extension, other white victims of interracial rape.  Elder writes:

In 1989, a young white woman, dubbed the “Central Park jogger,” was monstrously raped and nearly beaten to death. Sharpton insisted — despite the defendants’ confessions — that her black attacker-suspects were innocent, modern-day Scottsboro Boys trapped in “a fit of racial hysteria.” Sharpton charged that the jogger’s boyfriend did it and organized protests outside the courthouse, chanting, “The boyfriend did it!” and denouncing the victim as a “whore!”

Sharpton appealed for a psychiatrist to examine the victim, generously saying: “It doesn’t even have to be a black psychiatrist. … We’re not endorsing the damage to the girl — if there was this damage.”

Elder feels the need to note that the defendants in the Jogger case had their sentences vacated in 2002, but he didn’t look closely enough:

(The convictions of the accused were eventually vacated, despite their taped confessions, after another man — whose DNA matched — confessed to the rape in 2002.)

The vacating of those sentences was a travesty, orchestrated by activists, an aged and compromised Robert Morgenthau, and a cowardly judge, all of whom knew that the youths’ confessions were limited to information that was not in any way contradicted by the later revelation that the sole DNA found at the crime scene belonged to serial rapist/killer Matias Reyes.  None of the defendants’ confessions indicated that they had ejaculated at the scene of the crime: they had only admitted that another man committed the rape as they helped restrain and torture the young woman.

Reyes himself admitted the crime only after the statute of limitations reportedly ran out — which should never have happened.  He was already serving 33 to life, with the strong likelihood of no release for the serial rapist murderer, whose crime “signature” included offering victims “their eyes or their life” and stabbing them around the eyes to enhance the terror of his attacks.  Already convicted for vicious crimes including the rape/torture/murder of a pregnant woman in front of her children, Reyes’ subsequent “confession” that he was the sole assailant should never have been believed — nor did police and prosecutors involved in the case believe it.

”He is a complete lunatic,” said Michael Sheehan, a former homicide investigator whose work helped prosecute Mr. Reyes for the murder of Lourdes Gonzalez.

Ann Coulter documented the entire sordid saga of the vacating of the sentences in her book Demonic and was hysterically persecuted for doing so.  Prosecutor Linda Fairstein was accused of a wide variety of sins for speaking the truth about the evidence in the case: the few others defending the convictions were also tarred, but not in the personal, racial way reserved for Fairstein, the victim, and later, Ann Coulter.  The Village Voice stooped to new racial lows by insinuating guilt on the part of the victim, who implicated nobody as she remembered nothing of the attack, and sleazily accusing Fairstein of “Ash-blonde Ambition.”

Others who should have spoken out about the travesty of wrongful acquittal remained silent, doubtlessly out of fear of the racial cudgel.

Coulter courageously spoke out:

On April 19, 1989, a 28-year-old investment banker went for a run through Central Park, whereupon she was attacked by a violent mob, savagely beaten, raped and left for dead. By the time the police found her at 1:30 a.m. that night, she was beaten so badly, she had lost three-fourths of her blood and the police couldn’t tell if she was male or female. The homicide unit of the Manhattan D.A.’s office initially took the case because not one of her doctors believed she would be alive in the morning.Confessions were obtained in accordance with the law, with the defendants’ parents present at all police interrogations. All but one of the confessions was videotaped. After a six-week hearing solely on the admissibility of the confessions, a judge ruled them lawful.At the trials, evidence was ruled on by the judge and tested in court. Witnesses were presented for both sides and subjected to cross-examination.One witness, for example, an acquaintance of one of the defendants, testified that when she talked to him in jail after the arrests, he told her that he hadn’t raped the jogger, he “only held her legs down while (another defendant) f–ked her.” (That’s enough for a rape conviction.
In the opposite of a “rush to judgment,” two multi-ethnic juries deliberated for 10 days and 11 days, respectively, before unanimously finding the defendants guilty of most crimes charged — though innocent of others. The convictions were later upheld on appeal.The only way liberals could get those convictions overturned was to change venues from a courtroom to a newsroom. So that’s what they did.The convictions were vacated based not on a new trial or on new evidence, but solely on the “confession” of Matias Reyes.Coincidentally, this serial rapist and murderer had nothing to lose by confessing to the rape — and much to gain by claiming that he had acted alone, including a highly desirable prison transfer.As with the tribunals during the French Revolution, the show trials were based on a lie, to wit, that Reyes’ confession constituted “new evidence” that might have led to a different verdict at trial.In fact, Reyes’ admission that he had raped the jogger changed nothing about the evidence presented in the actual trials. It was always known that others had participated in the attack on the jogger. It was always known that none of the defendants’ DNA — a primitive science back in 1989 — was found on the jogger.This is why prosecutor Elizabeth Lederer said in her summation to the jury: “Others who were not caught raped her and got away.”The only new information Reyes provided was that he was one of those who “got away.”But 13 years later, the show trial was re-litigated in the backrooms of law offices and newsrooms by a remarkably undiverse group of Irish and Jewish, college-educated New Yorkers. They lied about the evidence in order to vindicate a mob and destroy trust in the judicial system.

The sentence vacating was orchestrated and exploited by Innocence Project activists who felt no compunction about subjecting a brutalized rape victim to injustice and even more unnecessary suffering.  It also greased Sharpton’s re-entry into power society — all on the back of an innocent rape victim.

(Guy in the middle is Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan.  Because hanging out with people who try to get mobs to attack a rape victim is so . . . educational.)

Now the Innocence Project  is codifying its lies about the Jogger’s assailants in their false science of “wrongful conviction causes” and shilling state-by-state legislation based on the same.

And abetting them are professors from every law school in the nation.  No legal academician, to date, has demonstrated a drop of intellectual integrity regarding this case or the entirely faked “statistics on wrongful confession,” “statistics” produced almost wholly from this single case.  Law professors collectively lack the spine — and ethics — to risk being targeted if they dare to question the Innocence Project’s increasingly wild statistical and causal claims.

Many people voiced compassion for the Jogger in 1989, but virtually nobody stood with her in the wake of this misogyny-drenched, manufactured, legal re-lynching.  This time, as we revisit Al Sharpton’s violent, prejudiced, hate-mongering, the real story should not be ignored.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tina Fey Defiles Memory of Murdered Actor and Mocks Male Victims of Child Molestation While Denouncing “Hate Speech”

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Tina Fey: hypocritical, thoughtless bitch

I don’t normally commit slurs to the page: I just think them. My non-slur caption for this photo was “Tina Fey: Not Derrida.”  But I can commit the word “bitch” to the page because calling someone a “bitch” doesn’t count as “hate speech” by Fey’s lights.  Unless, of course, it’s said about a man.  Otherwise it’s just banter.  It certainly isn’t something that summons images of men calling women “bitches” as they stomp their faces into gravel, or abandon their broken bodies on the tall grass side of the road, or boil the skin off their bones on the kitchen stove.

Nope, “bitch” directed at females is a freebie, and doubly so when it comes from the mouth of an attractive woman like Fey.  You go, girl.

Fey recently slammed co-star Tracy Morgan for saying crude things about gays during a stand-up routine.  She did so, she said, because of the existence of anti-gay violence in the world.  If this really were the litmus test for comedy, there would be no comedy.  And Fey didn’t merely slam Morgan: she insinuated nastily that he should be on his knees thanking God for being forgiven by her and the gay people who work on 30 Rock. Here is her diatribe, which ugly-juggles sanctimony and threat:

[T]he violent imagery of Tracy’s rant was disturbing to me at a time when homophobic hate crimes continue to be a life-threatening issue for the GLBT Community. . . I hope for his sake that Tracy’s apology will be accepted as sincere by his gay and lesbian coworkers at 30 Rock, without whom Tracy would not have lines to say, clothes to wear, sets to stand on, scene partners to act with, or a printed-out paycheck from accounting to put in his pocket. The other producers and I pride ourselves on 30 Rock being a diverse, safe, and fair workplace.”

Well, slap my ass with a five-pound take-out chicken from Whole Foods, as one of Ms. Fey’s syndicated stereotypes might say.  Look, during a week when a jury in Cincinnati is deciding whether a baker’s dozen of raped, dismembered and decapitated women should equal death for a mere male-on-female hater, you’d think Ms. Fey would be more “inclusive” in her angst over victimization.

You’d think wrong.  In fact, Fey and the rest of the extra-sensitive 30 Rock crew were super busy this week mocking male victims of child molestation.

Thanks to the existence of a politically correct hate crimes movement that assigns wildly different values to different types of crime victims, the arithmetic of outrage has become so warped that Tracy Morgan, a black man who was raised in extreme poverty, whose father died of AIDS, whose brother suffers from cerebral palsy, and who recently endured the horrors of kidney failure, has become a kicking boy for powerful people like Fey . . . who makes her living mocking other people’s misfortune by playing pathetic versions of them while standing on red carpets criticizing “bullying” by others.

But Tina Fey didn’t jump down her ill co-star’s throat on just any day: she did it as 30 Rock was busy ridiculing young male victims of child sexual abuse using a star whose speciality is demeaning murder victims.  You know, real rape, real murder, of real young men, not the chimera of potential future victims Fey waved in all our faces to conveniently distance herself from Tracy Morgan.

This week, 30 Rock featured a disturbing cameo by Susan Sarandon playing a child molester who has come back to reclaim the “affection” of her grown victim, an emotionally damaged character named Frank Rossitano.

Would Fey have approved a script featuring a female victim of child sexual abusing sucking face with her adult male rapist, played for laughs?

Would Fey have approves a script featuring a gay male victim of child sexual abuse sucking face with his adult gay male rapist, played for laughs?

Two guesses.  Hint: one answer.

But Fey’s extraordinary insensitivity to real victims of actual hate-fuelled violence doesn’t end with her choice of plot.  Another choice reveals the depth of her selective outrage.  By choosing Susan Sarandon to play the role of a convict and sex offender, Fey is spitting in the face of a victim whose murderer Sarandon helped free from prison, then continued defending, even after he killed an aspiring young New York actor in cold blood.

This is the actor killed by Sarandon’s acolyte, Jack Abbott, with whom Sarandon was clearly enamored, to the point of naming her unborn child after him:

Richard Adan, aspiring actor.  Killed at 22 thanks to advocacy by Susan Sarandon that freed his killer

Who is Tina Fey to pretend that Tracy Morgan’s comedy act might contribute to anti-gay violence as she prances around with a sick women who is utterly unrepentant about the starring role she played in a real hate killing (all murder is hate killing) that took a young actor’s life?

Don’t expect Fey to answer that question.  In the entertainment world, some people’s lives are just more important than others’.  And some people’s murders, and rapes, are apparently just funnier.

Why Isn’t Mbarek Lafrem Being Charged With a Hate Crime? ***Updated 4/13/10***

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Mbarek Lafrem

Take a good look at the face of hate. This is Mbarek Lafrem, a Moroccan citizen who nearly beat a pediatric nurse to death in a New York City nightclub last month after she had the temerity to refuse to dance with him.  The nurse suffered multiple head wounds, including a skull fracture, broken eye socket, and shattered nose.  She was beaten around the face.  She was also attacked sexually: Lafrem is charged with attempted rape.  And attempted murder, because the attack was so severe.

This is called overkill.  So why isn’t it being prosecuted as a hate crime?

Mbarek Lafram was at first so unconcerned about raping and nearly killing a woman that he found his legal predicament funny.  He laughed and mugged for the reporters.  He announced that he was the real victim, that his victim was actually the aggressor.

Mbarek Lafram Smiling for the Cameras

Later, perhaps after some lawyer apprised him of the fact that women are permitted to refuse to dance with men without being beaten to death as punishment, he changed his tune.  “I wouldn’t want that to happen to my sisters,” he said.  Well, that’s nice.  I wouldn’t want it to happen to anyone’s sisters.  What he did is what ought to matter, not to whom it was done.

But in today’s increasingly identity-politics-saturated justice system, to whom you do something is precisely the thing that matters the most.

Why isn’t the New York City hate crimes squad on this case? What, precisely, is the difference between this assault and the gay bashing outside a bar in Carroll Gardens a week earlier that spurred mass demonstrations, immediate hate crime charges, vehement outcry from elected officials (see below), and all the rest of the activist groundswell that arises when it’s anyone except a woman who gets randomly attacked?  The attack on the nurse resulted in far graver injuries, but the politicians and activists behaved as if the gay bashing was the more serious crime.

Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, Comptroller John Liu, Councilman Brad Lander and others

Will Bill DeBalsio stand outside Mbarek Lafram’s trial holding a little candle in a cup?  How about John Liu?  Don’t count on it.  Some victims are just more important than other victims, thanks to the ways hate crime laws have warped the entire legal and political landscape.

Hate crime activists have long been given the power to influence who’s in and who’s out as victims of hate.  Unsurprisingly, given the results, these are the same activists who machinated quietly for years to ensure that women don’t get called victims of hate, or officially counted as victims of hate, not even in states where “gender-bias” is on the books (including New York).  Their reason?  They don’t want the vast numbers of women who are assaulted “in part or in full” because they are female “overwhelming” the all-important hate crime statistics.

By design (a design kept firmly behind closed doors), the “gender bias” category is used almost exclusively in cases with victims who are transvestites or transgendered.  Biologically-born females don’t count.

These activists get away with denying that “hate means hate” when it’s directed at a woman largely because the N.O.W. and other feminist groups have long provided them political cover, despite occasional press releases like this one that contradict decades of tacit institutional support for reserving the “gender bias” category for non-females like transvestites.  Don’t expect the ladies of New York City N.O.W. to utter a peep about hate crime charges in the Mbarek Lafram case.  Heck, don’t expect them to even mention the case.

They know their place.

All three of the recent crimes being labeled “hate crimes” and widely denounced in New York City are minority-on-minority, though you wouldn’t know it from the speeches being made by politicians.

The media carefully avoided describing the Carroll Gardens gay bashers as Latino youth, but one gay publication on the scene, Lez Get Real, reports that the police are seeking Latino suspects.

That would make it an Hispanic-on-gay hate crime.  Only in reality, it does not, because hate crime activists have also made sure that the “Hispanic” category is only used to describe victims of hate crime, not perpetrators of hate crime.  This is part of the federal reporting rules, thanks to Eric Holder, who was instrumental in drafting them.  When so-called “hate” perpetrators are Hispanic, they are officially counted as “white.”  But when they are the victims, they aren’t “white” but “Hispanic.”

On cue, some early commenters on the Carroll Gardens crime laid blame for the attack on white “xenophobes.”  They don’t know how wrong (and, thanks to hate crime laws, right) they are: officially, the crime will be recorded as white-on-gay.  This useful fiction provides the press and activists with yet another tool to perpetuate the message that “hate” is synonymous with “young white males.”  In other settings, this is called “prejudice,” but within the hate crimes movement, it is called “justice.”

Predictably, such Balkanization and politicization of the law begets not tolerance but more Balkanization and politicization in society — and even internalized Balkanization among individual members of society who find one portion of their identities more politically salient than the other parts.   The Lez Get Real writer, for example, contemplates the problem of ethnic-minority on sexual-minority crime in her column, worried that one movement is trumping the other, but she doesn’t have a thing to say about the fact that she, as a woman, is in practice excluded from hate crime protections — that she would only “count” as a gay victim, not a female one.  People attach to the group that gives them the best status, and this perpetuates divisiveness and identity-mongering, precisely what the American legal system is not supposed to do.

Here is Lez Get Real‘s unintentionally ironic take-away from Carroll Gardens:

[T]he man was attacked last Tuesday morning at Luquer Street and Hamilton Avenue as he left a gay and lesbian party at a bar, about 12:50 a.m. on March 2. Police say, the attackers, called the victim a “faggot” and punched him numerous times in the face, knocking him down and causing him to suffer a gash on the back of his head . . .  The only description of the five men is that they are all Latino. Luckily, there is surveillance video taken outside the bar that will hopefully lead the police to the attackers identities.  City officials, including out lesbian Christine Quinn, gave statements that refer to the diversity of Carroll Gardens as a strength of the neighborhood.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said: “Something like this that still happens in the city of New York is terribly upsetting,” Quinn said. “We’re a city where diversity is our greatest strength.”  City Council Member Brad Lander said: “Carroll Gardens is a diverse community. We have no room for hate in our community. We embrace every race, religion and sexual orientation. We will not tolerate hate and violence in Carroll Gardens or anywhere else in New York City.”

However, it is possible that in this case, diversity has worked against the LBGT community. When you mix different backgrounds and cultures, you also mix together people who may not accept each other’s values and lifestyles. It’s sad but true, diversity is not a panacea to violence and intolerance. Diversity is the first step, but it is not the last. There should be community programs in place to educate people on the importance of tolerance, acceptance and peace. Let’s all hope for the victim’s speedy recovery and for increased tolerance towards the LGBT community.

Yes, that’s what we need, more “tolerance education,” which, in practice, highlights and exacerbates the very differences Lez worries about here — differences hate crime laws then actually institutionalize.  Wouldn’t simple equality before the law send a stronger message?

And as for Christine Quinn, here is what the female city council member had to say about the gender-hate attack on the nurse by Mbarek Lafram:

“                                                                “  Update, see below

Here is what Quinn had to say about the other 109 murders, 290 rapes, and 3500 felony assaults that have occurred in New York City since the first of the year:

“                                                                “

She did hold press conferences to speak out about the two other offenses being called “hate crimes, which include a recent spate of attacks by young black girls and boys on older Asian women living in public housing projects, and a brutal attack and robbery of a Mexican immigrant by a group of three black youths and a Hispanic youth.  What, precisely, triggered the hate crimes charge in the robbery and beating of a Hispanic by another Hispanic?  Reportedly, calling the victim “a [expletive] Mexican” and “a stupid Mexican” while beating him.

And if you believe that women aren’t showered with sexist expletives when they get raped, robbed, hassled on subways, threatened in parks, beaten and battered throughout New York City every single day, in crimes Christine Quinn et. al. won’t call hate, then I have a bridge to sell you that you can then cross in a futile attempt to escape the mounting insanity of identity politics justice.

Hate crime laws destroy the very notion of equal protection.  They’re antithetical to real justice.  Still, so long as these laws are on the books, there is no excuse for not applying them to men who attack women, no matter what Attorney General Eric Holder, city council member Christine Quinn, and others think.

Even if such crimes actually do end up “overwhelming” other crimes labeled “hate.”

Ironically, while the five youths who attacked the Asian women are charged with anti-Asian and not gender bias crimes, local news media, apparently having trouble illustrating the concept of “anti-Asian hate,” resorted to showing the traditional symbol of womanhood as the backdrop for their news stories:

But in this context, the image is officially incoherent, for, according to hate crime authorities and movement activists, the crimes had nothing to do with the gender of the victims.  Legally, too, under hate crimes law they have nothing to do with targeting women, though all the victims are female and doubtlessly chosen because they are female every bit as much as they were chosen because they are Asian.

In a world without hate crime laws, such distinctions would hold their proper place: apparent, appalling, but not relevant in a court of law.  With the existence of hate crime laws, however, the law itself institutionalizes untruths and partial truths, such as: The victims were chosen because they are Asian, but not because they are female.  Once you deem “prejudiced intent” to be all-important — but only some prejudices — then you are declaring to the world that those other prejudices aren’t important after all, regardless of the body count they inspire.

Some people, of course, would certainly agree.

~~~

Update#1: I received a message from Eunic Ortiz, in New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s Office:

I just wanted to reach out with a bit of helpful information, but first introduce myself. My name is Eunic, I work in Speaker Christine C. Quinn’s press office and handle press for her surrounding hate crimes and LGBT/Women’s issues along with a few other colleagues in my office. I noticed there was an error in “Why Isn’t Mbarek Lafrem Being Charged With a Hate Crime?”. The Speaker has long been out front on issues surrounding violence against women and ways to combat hate crimes . . . The Speaker put out statements, her district office worked closely with the precinct from the moment we found out about this incident and we held a press conference and flyered throughout Hell’s Kitchen to find the man who committed this vile crime. The perp was turned in just hours after we saturated the streets of Hell’s Kitchen with flyers that had a sketch and description of the suspect passed out by the Speaker, Council Members and staff.
The Speaker does not stand for nor has tolerance for anyone who commits such acts.
Again, if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call.

Ms. Ortiz covers “hate crimes and LGBT/Women’s issues.”  Note that “LGBT issues” undoubtedly encompasses “hate crimes.”  The same certainly cannot be presumed about “Women’s issues” and “hate crime.”  Not that Ms. Ortiz says so, in so many words, or even one word: she says precisely nothing about it, though that is the blog post’s subject.

Interestingly, however, Ms. Ortiz does not dispute my characterization of Speaker Quinn as being among those who quietly support the practice of excluding women from being counted as victims of gender bias — so that, God forbid, they don’t start demanding equal treatment and end up cluttering the all-important hate crime statistics with their harassed and slandered and beaten and raped bodies.

As per page 10 in the hate crimes playbook, Ms. Ortiz carefully says absolutely nothing that would indicate her boss’ stand on counting or not counting women as hate crime victims — and specifically victims of gender bias.

What would happen if the public were to look too closely at the ways these laws are enforced, and deployed, and reserved for special interest groups?  Might the entire “hate crimes” movement be imperiled, just as it is imperiled to the point of collapse now in Canada, after just a little light was cast on practices there?  Silence is crucial in order to avoid uncomfortable debate.

For it really is ugly, the insistence that one murder is “worse” than another — that one slur word thrown with a punch does worlds of harm, while another slur is just, well, irrelevant.  “Dyke” uttered by a rapist is grounds for enhanced bias crime sentencing; “bitch” thrown at a heterosexual rape victim is not.  At what point does somebody point out that the parsing is appalling?

Hate crimes prosecutions are pure politics.  As special interest groups — illegal immigrants here, homeless people there — jostle for predominance, crimes against people from those groups are systematically declared “worse” in the pages of the New York Times and the press offices of identity politics-playing pols.

And that shrill claim “worse” is beginning, middle, and end of debate.  “Don’t let anybody tell you hate crimes aren’t worse: they are worse,” Attorney General Eric Holder is wont to holler whenever the subject of hate crimes comes up.  That’s all he says, whether he’s testifying in Congress or speaking to the public.  The hate crimes establishment uses shouting and silence, never reason or debate, to address any retrograde who dares to ask: Excuse me, is that murder really “worse” than this murder?

Silence is necessary to keep the hate crimes racket rolling.

Ms. Ortiz is absolutely right about one thing: she is right that I was wrong not to check the Speaker’s website before writing that Quinn didn’t comment on the Mbarek Lafram attack.  I usually check press releases, and I utterly failed to do so in this case: Christine Quinn did issue a press release condemning Lafram’s crime, and she also held a press conference.  But it is disingenuous to imply that holding a press conference is the same thing as demanding that the city treat the crime as the most serious type on the books: as a hate crime.  Ms. Quinn quite specifically avoided doing that, as she does in every case in which the bias is bias against women.

Of course, nobody is accusing the Speaker of standing for or tolerating violent crime.  I’m accusing her of playing politics by endorsing hate crimes investigations in certain cases and remaining silent on the identical hate evident in others.  I’m accusing her of using these laws, not for justice for every New Yorker, or to actually combat hate “wherever it happens,” but to advance the interests of an activist class that views these laws as their fiefdom.

So in the interest of starting up a real discussion about the selective uses of hate crime laws, I sent Ms. Ortiz a list of questions that actually address the subject of women and hate crime.  Here they are:

  • Does Speaker Quinn believe that the “gender bias” category of New York’s hate crimes law is being applied fairly regarding females, that is, in every case in which a female crime victim is targeted “in part or in full” because she is female, is subjected to sexist or misogynistic language in the course of an attack, or is attacked in ways designed to humiliate her as a woman?
  • Does Speaker Quinn agree that the “gender bias” category of hate crimes codes is currently being reserved for crimes committed against transvestites, transgendered people, and cross-dressers, not biologically-born women?
  • Does Speaker Quinn agree that Mbarek Lafrem should be charged with a hate crime?  If not, why not?
  • Does Speaker Quinn agree that the offenders charged with ethnic-bias hate crimes in the attacks on five Asian women should also be charged with gender-bias hate crimes for targeting victims who are all women?  If not, why not?
  • Does Speaker Quinn agree that every incident of gender-based subway and street harassment should be treated as potential hate crimes against women and investigated by the city’s hate crimes department?  If not, why not?
  • Does Speaker Quinn agree that every sexual assault of a woman should be treated as a gender bias hate crime and subject to hate crime sentencing enhancement?  If not, why not?

Hopefully, I’ll receive an answer soon.



Ash Joshi: “But Being a Quisling Apologist for Murderers is my Job”

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Another great in-depth story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about chaos in the courts.  Note that Metro Atlanta courts other than Fulton County aren’t catch-and-releasing murder defendants like muddy-tasting catfish, like Fulton does.

Volume is no excuse: volume of cases means that judges and prosecutors should be appealing to the public for support and banging down doors at the Georgia General Assembly for more resources, not lowering standards.

Note, too, the line-up of apologists who try to explain away the problem rather than admitting that the D.A.’s office needs more and more-experienced prosecutors, and the Fulton Superior Court desperately needs an intervention.

I’m glad to see Fulton D.A. Paul Howard taking a stand:

“I, like law enforcement officials and 99 percent of the citizens I meet, believe such releases should rarely happen.”

In a statement, Howard said judges are blaming police and prosecutors for their own “seemingly poor judgment.”

Atlanta police Lt. Keith Meadows, head of homicide, was similarly annoyed. “To say we’re presenting weak cases, that’s just disingenuous,” he said.

The homicide unit has a 92 percent conviction rate, Meadows said in an interview Friday.

But if things are so bad that murder defendants are getting released because a hearing isn’t held within the required time-period, doesn’t the prosecutor’s office need more manpower?  Howard said recently that he does not need more prosecutors, but evidence suggests otherwise.  Paul Howard would have a very receptive audience if he went to the people of Atlanta and said: “I need 20 more prosecutors to actually put a dent in violent and property crime.”

Meanwhile, spokespeople for the Fulton County Superior Court seem to be arguing that because some people are acquitted of murder charges, it’s OK to routinely release remorseless predators onto the streets before trial:

Downs’ office pointed out several murder cases since 2007 in which charges were either dismissed, reduced or the defendant was acquitted.

This is an argument for releasing dozens of murder defendants on bond?  Well, heck, since some people are acquitted (no proof of innocence, in many cases), why don’t we just do away with the courts?  Why arrest anyone?

Creepy quisling of the week award, however, must go to Ash Joshi, who continues to believe that it was, as Martha Stewart would say, a “Good Thing” that his client, Antoine Wimes (see here and here), managed to bond out on the undisputed and cold-blooded murder of an innocent African immigrant, a gift of trust that Wimes cashed in by battering a woman into a coma and using an infant as a baseball bat:

Ash Joshi, a former Fulton prosecutor who represents Wimes in the murder case, said at first blush, the number of released murder suspects is “staggering.” But “as you have a greater volume of cases, there will be a number of weak cases. What is frustrating to a prosecutor is you believe a person is guilty but don’t have the evidence. A judge has to act on the evidence.”

Joshi said there were several factors in Wimes achieving bond: “His age, there was not a great deal of evidence and he had good ties to the community.” About 20 relatives attended the hearing. Joshi argued Wimes would not be a threat to the community.

Prosecutor Jack Barrs disagreed. “This was just a person who shot and killed somebody for no reason that’s apparent to the state or anyone else,” Barrs said at a pretrial hearing. “It indicates that there is great concern that he is a danger to the community at large.”

Last week, Joshi was unapologetic, saying he did everything he could to get his client a bond, just as prosecutors fought to oppose it.

“They did their job, and I did mine,” he said.

Hollywood and Grisham-esque fantasies aside, Joshi’s job actually is to act in the best interest of his client.  It’s a measure of how grotesque and degraded the defense bar has become that Joshi cannot conceptualize that “best interest” for a trigger-happy, sociopathic adolescent might be restraining him from taking more innocent lives until a judge manages to squeeze his murder trial in between all the other important things they’re busy doing at the Fulton County Superior Court.

Remember Mark Barton, the day-trader killer who gunned down 22 people, killing nine of them, in Atlanta in 1999?  Clever defense tactics protected him from paying the price for murdering his first wife and mother-in-law in cold blood, and so Barton went on to bludgeon his second wife and two young children in a similar fashion, before ripping nine additional, innocent families apart.

Was that in Mark Barton’s best interest?

Remember when the murder rate dropped through the floor in New York City?  That happened because judges, prosecutors, social service agencies, police, council-people, and the mayor (yes, the loud-mouthed, choleric, cross-dressing, adulterous-yet-oddly-effective Giuliani) teamed up to take responsibility for crime, to stop pointing fingers, and to stop defending the lumbering, crumbling behemoth that was the New York State justice system.

Atlanta can’t hope for a loud-mouthed, choleric, cross-dressing, adulterous-yet-oddly-effective mayor in this election season, I think.  But we can still dream.  Imagine the sea change if the people we entrust to enforce public safety actually stood up together and said: “Yes, the system is broken.  We really need to fix it.”

What Works? Overcoming Fatalism by Fixing Broken Glass: New York City

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Back in the 1980′s, when I was living in upstate New York and deciding where to go to college, New York City beckoned as an obvious choice: the schools, the libraries and bookstores, the Village.  I went down to Fordham for a campus visit.  The next day, I returned home, appalled.  The grounds were beautiful, but the neighborhood was so dangerous that security guards would not allow students to leave campus in groups smaller than 12.  Fordham was gated and patrolled like an embassy on enemy soil.  The streets a few blocks away looked like a war zone, and the subways surrounding it were filthy, subterranean toilets filled with more or less aggressive lunatics trying to catch your eye.

I know, I know: I was a wimp for not wanting to become one of those tough city denizens, Blondie-tough, the type who didn’t blink as they negotiated the human detritus piled up in the streets.  I was also a serious long-distance runner, and I couldn’t imagine living in a place where you needed to recruit 11 other people just in order to walk down the street.  And then, parks were off limits for runners at any hour of the day.  Even in the nicer parts of Manhattan, normal people went about their business only by studiously pretending they were not stepping over some zoned-out junkie passed out in a pool of vomit as they made their way from the subway to the street.

People prided themselves on surviving this, but it was not as if they had a choice, unless they had the choice I made, which was to live somewhere else.  Many people made that choice in the Eighties and Nineties, just as they had done in the Sixties and Seventies, fleeing the growing violence of the city.  Back in the 1940′s, my grandparents had made the same choice for the same reason: crime threatened their daughters’ safety.  If you had tons of money, you could live well in the city and insulate yourself and look down your nose at those lesser types fleeing to the suburbs, but for everyone else, living in the city was a matter of narrowing your horizons, watching your back, and lowering your standards to accommodate the chaos.

By the time New York City “hit bottom” in the late 1980′s, it was astonishing how much abuse the dispirited public could absorb.  The few times I traveled through the city in those years, I found Port Authority Station to be a claustrophobic Habitrail of crime.  Betraying surprise at the Hogarthian spectacle merely singled one out.  This passage from an academic study nicely captures the zeitgeist:

“Inside the bus station, people had sex, shot heroin, gave birth and died.”

Less picaresque were the city’s murder statistics: 2,262 dead in 1990.

The people who rescued New York City realized they would have to change the behavior of two entirely different subsets of the population: those who were causing the problems and a public who had trained themselves to silently submit to them.  Much has been written about the “Broken Windows” model of crime fighting, in which quality-of-life violations such as loitering and graffiti and toll-hopping are no longer tolerated, with the goal of raising community standards and entrapping chronic offenders.  I don’t know of any study that tracks the effect of Broken Windows enforcement on the law abiding, but I imagine their tolerance for social disorder must have dropped as the levels of disorder dropped around them.

Nowadays, despite displays of nostalgia in some circles, I doubt very many New Yorkers would tolerate a return to 2,000+ murders a year, or the spectacle of seeing a homeless schizophrenic women wash her privates in the next sink when they’ve taken the kids downtown to see Nutcracker Suite.

It could be said that New York City triumphed over crime simply because the people in charge decided to stop tolerating any more of it.  This seems like an obvious stance, one that any sane elected official would take, but it is not: it took generations of city leaders openly tolerating crime and anti-social behavior for New York City to crawl as far down as it did into the gutter.  Even during the bloody years of 1989 – 1993, many of these same people vehemently objected to any effort to raise the social bar on everyone’s behavior, arguing that criminals and drug addicts and homeless people are both incapable of changing and should not be told to change.  But despite these naysayers, the evidence keeps rolling in that the Broken Windows philosophy of policing did work and was responsible for New York City’s astonishing turn-around on crime.

Atlanta is not New York City: people in sprawling southern cities do not live heel-to-chin on top of each other, and crime is more dispersed as well.  It is therefore impossible to achieve the density of police presence that Mayors Dinkins and Giuliani were able to muster in the early 1990′s.  Nor, significantly, do a critical mass of residents use public transportation in Atlanta, whereas in New York, people from all social strata rely on public transportation, so Police Chief William Bratton was able to demonstrate to the public that cracking down on minor crimes in the subway could transform the city itself.

Still, there are lessons for Atlanta to learn from New York’s Broken Windows success.  The most important lesson might be that charismatic leadership firmly on the side of zero tolerance matters.  Broken Windows is often portrayed as a bottom-up approach because that is what officers are tasked to do.  But it actually requires a much higher level of coordination and involvement from police brass than ordinary policing.  And given the array of activists aligned against quality-of-life laws, it also requires a police force that knows that City Hall, and their own commanders, firmly have their backs.

Atlanta currently has none of these things.

As George Kelling, one of the main advocates of Broken Windows policing, writes in this article in City Journal, New York City’s crime turnaround also took tremendous cooperation between police and the mayor’s office, parks and public transportation officials, city planners, and especially, the courts.

Atlanta currently has none of these things.

In Atlanta, the district attorney is still talking about “understanding” gang members and excusing their crimes, and some judges in the Superior Court have not yet gotten the memo about actually punishing criminals for shooting people, let alone jumping turnstiles.

But Atlanta has one thing that New York City did not have in 1989, or even 1993. It has scores of citizens who are taking leadership roles in the fight against crime, who believe that technology and cooperation and their own efforts can turn the city around.  The public in Atlanta in 2009 is playing the role that a small band of law enforcement visionaries played in New York City twenty years ago.  They are approaching the crime problem with energy, good intentions, and open minds.  They are networking using new forms of communication, demanding zero tolerance for crime victimization, and livable streets, even as their leaders lag behind them.

Atlantans are not New Yorkers: they are not jaded.

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Two recent articles on New York City’s crime turnaround:

How New York Became Safe: The Full Story, George L. Kelling

New York’s Indispensible Institution, Heather Mac Donald