Tombstones, Cannibals, and Hate Crimes

Author- William Baumgarth Sr.

Listening to the news four nights ago, I heard something that really grabbed my attention. Over 100 tombstones had been overturned in a jewish cemetery in Pennsylvania. The news reporter indicated that this may not have been a hate crime. It was past my bed-time, but this report had really grabbed my attention. I stayed up to hear the details.

Yes, the tombstones were damaged, overthrown, and leveled, but there was no message from the perpetrator indicating any kind of bigoted intent. That is to say, I imagine the police were on the look for swastikas or quotations from “Mein Kampf,” and were unable to find them.

Clearly, in solving this or any other crime, the discernment of the motivation of the criminal is an important part of effective police work. But, there is no indication of any kind of bigotry, simply the intent to destroy and deface. Such constitutes, I assume, a violation of the NAP. I am not concerned with why the perpetrator did what he did, but only with the aggression that that displayed against the innocent individuals who trusted the bodies and memories of their loved ones to the safety of this graveyard. But clearly also, in the mind of the press and perhaps the police, the importance of the episode need to be linked to some form of bigotry, some form of thought crime, some form of hate crime.

Now I think that some acts of aggression might actually be based on love rather than hate. For example, Othello’s murder of Desdemona. Whether he loved Desdemona or hated Desdemona, the crime remains the same affront to the right of a innocent human being’s right to life. Objective law, I believe, ought to be more concerned with objective displays of such aggression than hypothetical aggressive attitudes. I believe that unsuccessful efforts at vandalism based upon bigotry would be more morally censored and perhaps legally punished, than successful vandalism connected to no such hate motive.

Jeffrey Dahmer, serial murderer, human butcher, and cannibal was upset when he thought that people believed that his acts were acts of bigotry. He might’ve been a serial murderer, but he said he was not a racist. What kind of a perverse, loathsome, Orwellian society do we live in, where the moral stature of serial murderers, cannibals, and vandals, is at a higher level than that of the simple bigot?

*– Tombstone Story Link-

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