It’s been in the news lately about a nasty disagreement in an Amish community where a group of people forcibly cut another Amish man’s beard. To the Amish, beards are somewhat sacred, so the perpetrators were charged with a hate crime and some sentenced to long jail terms (one got 15 years!). It’s not like he was a gay Amish man. Can you commit a “hate crime” on someone of your own race/religion/gender identity? Would a black man who attacked another black man be charged with a hate crime? What if two gay men have an altercation and one is injured, would that be a hate crime? What about two white women engaged in a hair pulling battle?
I have a couple of problems with this being labeled a “hate crime.” First, the obvious, if you attack one of your own can you be charged with a hate crime? Another is the fact that these otherwise peaceful, self-governing people are now going to jail. Talk about culture shock! This Amish man has no chance in prison! To me 15 years in jail for an otherwise peaceful, law abiding person is a death penalty. These people who were charged and jailed are probably already experiencing some severe shock and awe. I imagine very few of the Amish have ever seen a jail, not even on TV, since they don’t have TVs. How can this Amish man live among rapists and robbers and murderers? For cutting a man’s beard??
There are people in prison now for rape doing only 7 years. Manslaughter charges get people less time! This is truly ridiculous. I’m not saying the people who attacked the man should go scott free. But let’s be reasonable here. Oh, wait, there is nothing reasonable about our justice system. Pot dealers are considered to be just as bad as the crack dealers. I recall one marijuana case where a 70+ year old grandmother was sentenced to something like 25 years on (I think) a trafficking charge. Really? Exactly how big a threat was a 90 lb old lady to the rest of the public? She was growing in her yard, true. She was selling it, true. She wasn’t some Mexican drug lord pushing tons of dope into the US!
I think the laws in the US are mostly absurd. Pot smokers go to jail for ten years, a rapist gets sentenced to 7 and does 2 years and gets out early because of good behavior, or because the jail is too crowded,. ALL the jails in the US are too crowded. Mostly as a result of the stupid “War on Drugs” over the past 30 years. In the US marijuana is classed as a dangerous drug, right up there with Heroin. The only danger you face is being stuck behind a doper in the drive-thru while the one guy orders enough food for a large family. And do druggies get rehab in jail? NO. Do they get out early? Most times, NO. (Unless maybe they committed rape also, then maybe they get out early for good behavior.)
Now we are putting Amish people in jail for a bad haircut. I believe laws are too black and white. There is no common sense involved any more. To a cop I’m no different than a murderer simply because I smoke a little pot. (Statistic: Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in America (behind only alcohol and tobacco), and has been used by nearly 100 million Americans.) Nothing is bigger news than a big pot bust. You know why they make bit pot busts? Because most growers are dopers and being dopey you make mistakes. Pot smells. A lot of pot smells a lot. It’s easy to find. That’s why they bust the dopers. It’s easier than catching rapists or your run of the mill murderer.
I’m about ready to resign from the human race until sense becomes common again.