Cathy's World: "I've heard, for instance, that the families of that pack of black teenagers accused of assaulting three white women in Long Beach on Halloween are trying to spin the possibility that the women had shouted racial insults before the attack. There's no hard evidence for this, but that it's even considered important speaks to the sort of mindset behind hate crimes laws. Because what does it even matter? Mob assault is still mob assault, and should be punished as such. How 'disrespected' the assailants happened to feel shouldn't matter at all.
What if, for instance, Michael Richards had been attacked or killed by those hecklers after he'd yelled the n-word at them? Or what if they'd responded by yelling racial epithets back, and then Richards had jumped off the stage and smashed a chair over one of their heads? Would the insulting racial language preceding the attack excuse the crime of assault? I don't think so. But if you buy into the hate crimes concept, I suppose you'd think it does.
2 minutes ago