Wednesday, September 20, 2023

This is sad and detestable, but is it a "Hate Crime?"

by Rod Williams, Sept. 10, 2023- Someone has been throwing anti-Semitic flyers in driveways in Sylvan Park and The Nations neighborhoods and maybe in other parts of town but people living in these two neighborhoods have been posting about in on the Nextdoor website. 

On this page, I have posted some of the pictures people posted on Nextdoor of what was left in their driveways. These flyers are detestable. I, like all decent people, absolutely condemn anti-Semitism. A lot of people commented and denounced it and expressed their disgust. Several called it a hate crime and a few responded and said, while is it disgusting, it is probably not a hate crime. Here is a sample of what people on Nextdoor are saying:

Denise Black of Charlotte Park: Please report this to the police. If you haven’t already, do not touch it with your hands. Take pictures of where you found it and if you don’t have a property camera, ask your neighbors if they do. Maybe they picked up the person or vehicle that left it. I’m sorry this has happened to you. It seems Sylvan Park has been a target for hatred lately. It’s such a same because I grew up in Sylvan Park. It was never like this.

Amy Martin writes, "People, complain to the mayor instead of each other and maybe something in happen."

Kristi Walker of The Gulch: I hope everyone is reporting this to MPD. Maybe someone has ring video of who is leaving this.

Kayleigh Clark of 12 South: Please report this to MNPD. They are currently investigating this as this is a hate crime.

Mary Spencer of South Green Hills: Why can the police not stop this? This is happening way to often. With all the security cameras someone must have pictures of who is doing this.

So, is it a hate crime? Below is what the Department of Justice says about Hate Crimes:


The term "hate" can be misleading. When used in a hate crime law, the word "hate" does not mean rage, anger, or general dislike. In this context “hate” means bias against people or groups with specific characteristics that are defined by the law.

At the federal level, hate crime laws include crimes committed on the basis of the victim’s perceived or actual race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.

Most state hate crime laws include crimes committed on the basis of race, color, and religion; many also include crimes committed on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and disability.


The "crime" in hate crime is often a violent crime, such as assault, murder, arson, vandalism, or threats to commit such crimes. It may also cover conspiring or asking another person to commit such crimes, even if the crime was never carried out.

Under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, people cannot be prosecuted simply for their beliefs. People may be offended or upset about beliefs that are untrue or based upon false stereotypes, but it is not a crime to express offensive beliefs, or to join with others who share such views. However, the First Amendment does not protect against committing a crime, just because the conduct is rooted in philosophical beliefs.

Why have hate crime laws?

Hate crimes have a broader effect than most other kinds of crime. Hate crime victims include not only the crime’s immediate target but also others like them. Hate crimes affect families, communities, and at times, the entire nation.

Why report hate crimes?

The Hate Crimes Reporting Gap is the significant disparity between hate crimes that actually occur and those reported to law enforcement. It is critical to report hate crimes not only to show support and get help for victims, but also to send a clear message that the community will not tolerate these kinds of crimes. Reporting hate crimes allows communities and law enforcement to fully understand the scope of the problem in a community and put resources toward preventing and addressing attacks based on bias and hate.

Experts estimate an average of 250,000 hate crimes were committed each year between 2004 and 2015 in the United States. The majority of these were not reported to law enforcement.


Hate Crime: At the federal level, a crime motivated by bias against race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.

Bias or Hate Incident: Acts of prejudice that are not crimes and do not involve violence, threats, or property damage.

So, what I think we have here is not a hate "crime," but a hate "incident." I would not botther reporting it to the police. 

It appears the leaving of these flyers in driveways is happening cities other than Nashville.  That does not mean it is a big operation. One person could go from town to town and do this. One person, or a small group, on a mission can make it appear it is a movement. 

In Palm Beech County Florida, a Maryland man was distributing these flyers and was arrested, not for a hate crime but for refusing to identify himself to police. "We can’t stop them from distributing; however, littering is littering. And we wanted to cite him for that. That’s not an arrestable offense. However, when he failed to identify himself so we could issue the citation, that is an arrestable offense," Atlantis Police Chief Robert Mangold told WPBF 25 News at the time of the arrest. 

I myself have a problem with the whole concept of hate crimes. Actions should be punished not thoughts. If someone commits vandalism and spray paints "BLM" on a property it should carry the same punishment and be investigated just as vigorously as if someone spray painted "KKK."  If someone kills you, you are just as dead if they scream, "give me your money," or they scream, "give me your money faggot." 

What happened in Sylvan Park and The Nations was littering. 

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

No comments:

Post a Comment