Friday, April 20, 2007
Harmful Hate Ham
On April 11, a white student placed a ham steak in a bag on a lunch table where Somali students were eating. Muslims consider pork unclean and offensive.Certainly, this prank deserves repercussions, but not as heavy handed as are being dealt. Mr. Wessler overstates his case when he claims it is "part of a process of escalation." Reading the article the complaining Somali student's words seem rehearsed. His (or maybe Mr. Wessler's) thoughts seem to well defined for a middle school student.
Placing ham where Muslim students were eating was "an awful thing," said Stephen Wessler, executive director of the Center for Prevention of Hate Violence. "It's extraordinarily hurtful and degrading" to Muslims, whose religion prohibits them from being around ham. It's important to respond swiftly, Wessler said.
"Incidents like this that involve degrading language or conduct are often said by the perpetrator as a joke. I know that conduct is never static," he said. "It's part of a process of escalation."
One thing is for certain, these words will become even more true due to the heavy-handed, totalitarian approach of the principal and Mr. Wessler, "At the school the next day, I didn't feel safe. I felt like everybody was against me. Before I felt like I fit in, and everything was normal."
Indeed, taking heavy handed approaches, such as used by the principal and advocated by Mr. Wessler, to inappropriate pranks increase the likely hood of increase violence in the future. Somali students are given the message that they deserve special treatment, that their rights supersede those of non-Somalis. What happens if they don't get the special treatment they have been taught they deserve? The paranoia in the "didn't feel safe" statement could be the beginning of "a process of escalation" that ends in violence.
The way this incident has been handled is not good for either party.
Anyone with a simple understanding of human nature would realize that. Apparently Mr. Wessler and the principal have a poor understanding of human nature or believe that ramming their "values" down others throats is perfectly acceptable. Their approach will do more harm than good. Friends of the disciplined boys will harbor bad feelings towards the Somalis, the principal and others, as will many parents.
Christ realized this. Thus the teachings of turn the other cheek, walk a mile in their shoes, and love your enemies. None of us are perfect Christians but it is good advice for many situations, including this one, none the less.
But, of course, many left wing radicals ridicule Christianity and despise it. Yet, they seem to love the religion that degrades women and has no respect for other religions.
According to Aafaq, the dean of student affairs at American International University, Abu Hamza Hijji, responded, writing that Allah the Most Merciful forbids praying for mercy for the non-Muslim dead, or even for the non-Muslim living,...More here at Dhimmi Watch.
We've already seen people in the United States jailed on these ridiculous "hate crime" laws for openly speaking out against someone's lifestyle without doing anything physically to the person.
So...when your (talking to no one in particular) beliefs become unpopular, are you ready to be jailed for simply expressing them?
Silencing the Liberty Bell: 11 Christians falsely jailed for 'hate crimes' for peaceful counter-demonstration in Philadelphia.
Hate crime legislation had absolutely nothing to do with state and local officials not prosecuting or investigating seriously those very real attacks on people based on race, religion, or support of justice. < / sarcasm> The legislation was originally intended to allow Dept. of Justice investigations when none arose at the local or state level, and Federal prosecutions when none existed at the local or state level. It also existed so that state and local officials and citizens, who could not for fear of Fallujah like reprisals, 'punt' said prosecution and investigations somewhere else to protect their families and friends.
We used to have a pretty big problem with that down this-a-way. Not too long ago, either.
< sarcasm > Don't know how things were up in the utopian fields of Tennesse, Kentucky and Ohio, but y'all might consider exporting that 'turn the other cheek' business to some of our more 'rowdy' Christian 'pranksters' down here.< /sarcasm>
Pranks are pranks, I've known my share. But they very, very rarely have anything to do with someone's religious beliefs, unless that said someone is in on the joke already (Adam Sandler comes to mind). The same thing would happen if someone did that to Jewish students, too, I'm sure.
I can't even begin to tell you how much crap I've had to take from folks since I started not eating meat on Fridays. Most notably from our fellow Followers of Christ.
Anyway, is throwing ham sandwiches around a 'hate crime'? I don't think so, because it really makes light of 'hate crimes' and is just another example of the real problem we face in this country: incompetency at the hands of the people in charge of things. They're suspending honor roll students for possession of Swiss Army knives, for cryin' out loud, all in the name of 'zero tolerance.'*
That some bozo administrator tries to invoke a very necessary law inappropriately does not surprise me a bit.
* Official name: Zero Tolerance/No Common Sense Required
I don't believe that all liberals or even most want to control our every thought and action. But, I do believe Mr. Wessler goes way over the line and is on "a mission," as are the folks at the Southern Poverty Law Center and their "tolerance" project, which is very untolerant of those that don't agree with them.
There's a big difference between people giving you crap about eating meat and people in official government positions, like principals, taking certain actions. I had wonderful Southern Baptist classmates in high school who wouldn't go out with me because I was Catholic. One of them actually asked me out to a city wide formal dance but when she discovered I was Catholic, she wouldn't go out again.
Hate crime laws prosecute you for what you think. Virtually every case I've heard of where a hate crime law was invoked the actions of the perpetrator were already illegal. The hate crime law is tacked on because of what the person is thinking while committing the crime.
But, then again, hate crime laws are applied in a very biased manner. It has been shown statistically that blacks commit a higher proportion of crime against whites than in proportion to their population. Why wasn't this prosecuted as a hate crime? Because the victim was a white male, probably.
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions and we are well on our down that road. It's time to go in a better direction.
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