This week, Louisiana became the first state to enact a “Blue Lives Matter” law, which makes attacking police a hate crime. Now, New York is considering a similar law. This is the inevitable political evolution of our well-intentioned but misguided hate crime laws.
Defining an attack on agents of the state empowered to use violent force as a “hate crime” is, of course, a mockery of the hate crime concept. But this has always been the unavoidable endpoint of such laws.
Eventually, every single sub-group of people will have their own hate crime law. At that point, we will be back to the exact place we were in before hate crime laws.
Instead of passing laws that encourage our legal system to venture into Thought Crimes charges—while having little deterrent effect on crimes—we should fairly and intelligently enforce the laws we already have. That is a far thornier and more useful task than watching grandstanding politicians of all political persuasions crank up penalties on specific crimes for purely demonstrative reasons. You would think that after incarcerating two million people we would be skeptical of such remedies, but apparently not yet.
Assaulting or murdering a civilian or a police officer is, in fact, already illegal. Look it up.