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What is a ‘Hate Crime’? The Atlanta-Area Spa Killings Ignite New Fears, Divisions

Clarence Page, Tribune Content Agency on

But that usually means the perpetrator has to make some expression of bias, verbal or otherwise, to reveal their biased motivations. One thing the FBI presumably must investigate is whether Long’s allegedly confessed “sexual addiction” would be enough to justify the “hate crime” designation.

Lawmakers unfortunately added more confusion during a previously scheduled House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on bias-based violence that devolved into debates over free speech and hurt feelings.

While acknowledging that victims of race-based violence deserve justice, for example, Rep. Chip Roy, a Texas Republican, hit a sour note by adding he was concerned about “thought police” stifling free speech. Then he followed that with a jocular reference to lynching (a “rope” and a “tall oak tree”).

Among those taking umbrage, Rep. Grace Meng, a New York Democrat and first vice chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, later complained that Republicans had helped incite violence against Asian Americans by using language like the “China virus” to describe the coronavirus.

“This hearing was to address the hurt and pain of our community, to find solutions, and we will not let you take our voice away from us,” she said.

 

Yes, every voice must be heard. We all need to listen too.

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(E-mail Clarence Page at cpage@chicagotribune.com.)

©2021 Clarence Page. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

(c) 2021 CLARENCE PAGE DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.
 

 

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