Anti-Jewish hit in Waxahachie a hate crime?
JOEY G. DAUBEN
The Ellis County Press
WAXAHACHIE – Jewish families were the target of shoe-polished terror attacks on their vehicle windows and doors in the Spring Creek neighborhood recently, but was that a hate crime?
Now would be a great time to consult the phony Republican leadership of Gov. Rick Perry, who signed the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act into law, just for good measure (and since it’s also election season.) The legislation had the support of so-called conservative state representatives Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie and Kip Averitt, R-McGregor.
Averitt is now a senator, but he was a state representative at the time of the hate crimes laws adoption.
"I voted for the hate crimes bill because it will essentially increase the amount of time certain criminals spend behind bars," Averitt said to a gathering of Baylor University’s Young Conservatives of Texas chapter in 1999.
"The folks in my district would not have wanted me to vote for this bill. But, it was something that after I researched it, I felt was a good bill."
Aside from hate-crimes, the law also protects gays, minorities, religious groups and others from ideologies. To put it another way, if you’re white and you utter racial epithets or publicly proclaim your hatred towards blacks, homosexuals or Jews or whatever protected group, it can be prosecuted as a hate crime.
Not sure if the recent "hit" on the Jewish families will be prosecuted under the hate crimes law, but it was vandalism pure and simple. Sure, it was incendiary to wake up and find "KKK" and "dirty Jew" scrawled on windows, but it’s simple criminal mischief.
I’m not Jewish, but I am Torah-observant and I keep the Biblical Holy Days, keep kosher and wear a Star of David bracelet, but I don’t believe in hate crimes legislation.
Currently, Pitts has no primary or general election opponent, and Averitt has to fend off a challenge from conservative Tea Party activist Darren Yancy on March 2. Perry has two challengers, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who recently voted for the federal hate crimes legislation, and Tea Party activist Debra Medina.