According to a report by the county's human relations commission, hate crimes in L.A. County hit a five year high in 2007. 763 hate crimes, 310 against blacks and 125 against Latinos. Not sure what the other 328 were all about, but I suspect it's women, gays, guys on cell phones in the movie theater. You know, the usual.
Sixteen percent, 120, were gang related, 116 non-gang related were of Latinos against blacks and 26 were blacks against Latinos. 131 were from white supremacists, a group I've never understood. Dude, Aryan does not mean white. Pull your heads out of your asses and get a fucking education.
Now, I'll be honest, I've never quite understood the point of a hate crime category. Yes, I get the whole stamping out racism thing. Yes, continuing to allow certain activities and language during a crime against a particular group helps perpetuate it. I get all that. I see the reasons.
However. What is it that makes a white man killing a black man worse than a white man killing a white man? Murder's murder regardless of the gender, race, sexual orientation, fashion sense, penchant for silly hats, body odor, or any of another thousand things that might define a particular victim.
And, yes, if everything were equal and everyone was on the same footing we wouldn't need it. Maybe I'm just an idealist... Ha! Yeah, that one cracked me up, too.
We don't have to like each other, we just have to not kill each other. Tolerance. For example, I don't like the French (which considering my background is rich in irony, believe me). I think they're stinky. But I'm not going to go shoot a Frenchman just because he's French. Or deny him basic human dignity, or keep him down, or try to stimy his advancement in the world or any other asshat thing a person could do.
Because I believe on one basic commandment, which admittedly, I sometimes have trouble following: Don't Be A Dick.
Seems L.A. has some problems with that one.