The crime of hate

freedom       2000-10-11 
In some quarters, it has become a badge of civic virtue to be ardently in favor of hate-crimes laws. Vice President Gore regards its passage by Congress as essential to the public weal. Meanwhile, more states keep enacting these statutes that provide for additional prison time for anyone convicted of "bias" crimes. The most recent hate-crimes law was signed this summer by Gov. George Pataki of New York. As he wielded his pen, he made an astonishing statement. He said that if such a law had been in existence in Germany, it could have prevented the Holocaust.