Are All Hate Crimes Equal?

Hate crimes, if they mean anything, have to be assigned in an equal manner. Will that happen for a case of arson against a church?

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A church experienced some vandalism and arson. According to WKMG channel 6, “Vandals set fire at Florida church, write ‘Allahu Akbar,’ draw swastika.”

A possible hate crime is under investigation after a fire was set at a Central Florida church, where vandals also spray-painted “Allahu Akbar.”

The incident happened around 3 a.m. Monday at the New Shiloh Christian Church in Melbourne on Sarno Road. About 1,500 members attend the church.

Melbourne police said officers and firefighters discovered the blaze after a fire alarm sounded. Arson was the expected cause, police said.

Fire sprinklers helped contain the flames to a storage unit connected to the 125,000-square-foot building.

The words “Allahu Akbar” were spray-painted on the storage unit. “Allahu Akbar” is an Arabic phrase typically translated as “God is great” and is a common expression used in various contexts.

A swastika was also scrawled on church property. Inside the swastika was written, “We see u.”

“To find something like that in 2015 is unbelievable. It’s just disheartening,” said New Shiloh Christian Church Bishop Jacquelyn Gordon. “They told us that this is definitely a hate crime and that they’re going to patrol our area even more and just look out for us and they thought it was senseless and I feel the same way.”

Police have not confirmed to Local 6 that the case is being investigated as a hate crime, but say they are investigating the fire and vandalism as arson and criminal mischief.

So the police are being ambiguous about it. What about the FBI?

The FBI told Local 6, “We are aware of the incident and reviewing the matter.”

It seems to me that finding the vandals and arsonists and making them pay restitution is enough of a punishment. I’m not sure why their motives matter. (Of course, if they aren’t caught right away, their motives matter from a security standpoint since they help predict whether they will strike again.)

But since our ruling class makes a big deal about hate crimes, and isn’t backing away from their use, I have an interest in seeing the law applied equally.

Hate crimes are perceived by some as a way to gain leverage in society—so much so that they will make false police reports.

So, if we’re going to have hate crimes, let’s have them for everyone!