Last week I discussed the Exodus media blog’s distortion of hate-crimes statistics — and its
unapologetic republication of violent threats against gay people.
On Friday, Exodus blogger Nancy Brown — speaking for the organization on its main web site — once again distorted FBI hate-crimes statistics.
Brown jumbles the hate-crimes data, throwing physical assaults, robbery, vandalism, and death threats into the same category as mild insults and “a friendly pat on the back,” as if to dismiss the entire subject of antigay violence. She argues that such crimes are innocent or "at worst" non-violent — and therefore, it stands to reason, not worthy of prosecution.
Instead of blaming perpetrators for antigay violence and hate, Brown claims that the hate “is from the victim toward himself.” Without clinical substantiation, Exodus blames the resulting pain of a hate crime not on the physical and emotional assault, but on “psychological re-enforcement of the underlying belief I had that I was not worthy.”
With this sort of quackery, Brown exonerates perpetrators of all but the most brutal assaults and murders. Speaking for Exodus, Brown does not merely oppose hate crime laws that enhance the penalties of existing laws. Exodus also disputes the notion that violence is, in fact, "violence." Coincidentally, this dispute arises when the victims — especially students — happen to be gay.
Brown argues that “for centuries others have experienced those same insults, rejections and slurs without resolution, intervention or de-constructing our constitution and way of life.” This is, of course, false. And even if it were true, Brown’s suggestion that crime victims might simply grin and bear the pain is morally offensive.
Laws were passed in the United States and Europe to halt defamation, discrimination and hate crimes based on race and religion. Canada and some European nations went further, passing measures enforcing civility in public discourse and declaring some extremist groups illegal. Does Brown resent that gay people now seek equal coverage under modest U.S. laws? Or does she long for a white Protestant lifestyle of decades past, before laws against racism and anti-Semitism were enacted? This remains unclear.
Brown asserts, “We cannot build special housing, special schools, special resorts, special restaurants etc. etc. etc. for each sub group of society.” But every sizable ethnic and religious group in America has already built these. Jewish-run retirement homes, fundamentalist schools, hetero-only resorts, Ethiopian restaurants, African-American holidays. The U.S. Constitution permits groups the freedom to associate for the benefit of their members and the preservation of their culture. Brown sloppily lashes out against these groups, as if to oppose any group of Americans that does not conform its housing, schools and resorts to her own cultural bias.
I haven’t had time this week to go back to the actual FBI data and discuss the actual counts of murders and violent assaults that Brown repeatedly distorts and buries.
I welcome others to do the research and comment here.