Monday, July 4, 2016

Planned Parenthood: Champions of the Modern High Tech Lynching

"Let's kill the retards."
"Let's kill the girls."
"Let's kill the blacks."

There are three sentiments that would, in many States of the Union, and under certain federal criminal laws, result in enhancement of criminal sentences (increased jail time) if they explained the motivation for acts of violence and murders.

You can see an extensive list of State laws defining and punishing hate crimes here.

For certain criminal acts covered by federal law (crimes affecting interstate or international commerce, or targeting specially protected persons), federal law imposes significant punishment for hate motivated violence.

Yes, you've heard of so-called "hate crimes."

For some of you the notion expresses a redundancy, because you understand that at their root, almost all true crimes (not administrative crap like drug possession and use, speed limits, and litter laws) are rooted in some level of disdain or hatred for the integrity of others.

For others, who complexify criminality unnecessarily, that basic broken condition of the human heart has other explanations, explanations that somehow bear less opprobrium than do acts of violence that target others because of some immutable and distinguishing characteristic, such as race, gender, or condition of disability.

But let's face it.

We all know there is a gut level wrongness about murder that stretches across societies, cultures, eras, and eons. That wrongness is embedded so deeply that it appears in the formative folklore and literature of cultures (for example, Cain killing Abel (Hebrew mythology), Medea killing Apsyrtus (Greek mythology), Hoor killing Baldur (Norse mythology), Romulus killing Remus (Roman mythology), Set killing Osiris (Egyptian mythology), and
The Pandavas killing Karna (Hindu mythology)).

Yet, in a culture that has adopted the notion that a man should be separated from responsibility for his acts, there are these strange and paralyzing notions that circumstances can and do mitigate personal responsibility. At the same time, in our culture, perhaps for the sole reason that we continue to live under the shadow of the Peculiar Institution of African Slavery more than 150 years after its end, we have thought it a necessary and appropriate instructional tool directed against invidiously discriminatory prejudice to make certain crimes MORE SO by taking note of the particular motive of hate directed toward another because of their race (and then, by extensions, to other categories reflecting ugly periods of American brutality).

We are in that place where the murder of a man because he's black or a woman because she is a woman is, in terms of punishment, seemingly more wrong than a murder for convenience, for seeming economic necessity, out of passion, etc.

Then along comes the State of Indiana.

In Indiana, the legislature banned abortions performed because of the race, gender, or genetic disability of the unborn child. In doing so, seemingly, Indiana did nothing more than to adopt the same principles that warrant taking special notice of hate motivated crimes in other cases.

I've mentioned before my love of Stephen King's book, Dreamcatchers. It's a great summer read, and the movie is a great flick too. Aliens, mass destruction and extinction, shit weasels, the story has all the elements of a page turner.

For me, though, Dreamcatchers is a wonderful story because it takes us inside the everyday possibility of heroism in folks. The backstory of Dreamcatchers is, in my thinking, one of the most beautiful, heroic moments in literature. The heroes of Dreamcatchers, then junior high students, stumble across a group of high schoolers who have stripped and shamed a boy, Douglas. Douglas is, seemingly, mentally disabled. Stripping, hitting, and taunting a disabled child with animal feces is a particularly pernicious form of bullying. These junior high boys know wrong when they see it. And these junior high boys rise above the natural fear of taking on those bigger than themselves. They rescue a kid who calls himself "Duddits" because he can't pronounce "Douglas."

"I, Duddits!" the youngster proclaims. And their lives are changed forever.

Times have changed mightily in the years since King published "Dreamcatchers." One of this summer's early hits, "Me Before You," a story about assisting in a suicide, celebrates the decision to allow the triumph of despair over hope, of surrender over struggle.

On June 30, 2016, a federal trial judge (an Obama judicial appointee) has ordered Indiana NOT TO ENFORCE its restriction on what I will now call hate-based abortions (hate retards, hate offspring of color, hate girls/boys). For a muckety muck federal thug, er, judge to bar a State from protecting the targets of hate-based abortions, what could possibly be the reasoning? You can read Judge Walton's opinion here.

Judge Tanya Walton Pratt gave two reasons for suspecting that the Indiana abortion ban would violate women's rights. First, in Judge Pratt's view, these hate-based abortion restrictions would be “inconsistent with the notion of a right rooted in privacy concerns." Second, stopping a woman for targeting her child for death by abortion because of its disability, gender, or race, would, in Judge Pratt's view, interfere with "a liberty right to make independent decisions.”

In a certain sense, Judge Pratt is on to something.

There is a "privacy concern" that is at play when folks go to committing murder. William Faulkner, in his book, Intruders in the Dust, explained that, along with defecation and copulation, murder is an act for which most perpetrators desperately seek privacy. So, just as one would take steps not to leave a forensic trail and would typically murder in secret, so too a woman desires as little notice as possible in the act of killing her hated offspring.

Judge Pratt's alternate theory, that Indiana's law banning hate-based abortions that target offspring due to disability, gender, or race, because doing so interferes with a woman's "liberty right to make independent decisions" would, writ large on society, be the mother of a million mayhems. So, with Indiana barred from enforcing its law, women will be free to make "independent decisions." Those "independent decisions" will include "deciding" to kill them because their babies have genetic disabilities, or are the wrong gender, or are the wrong race.

Odd, right?

The hate crimes statutes I pointed out above demand that we inquire into a man's biases against blacks or asians or latinos and, when such bias confirmed, those statutes demand increased punishment for the crimes prompted by the bias.

Yet, when an identical form of disdain is directed toward an unborn child -- because of a condition of disability, or its race, or its gender, Judge Pratt tells us that a woman must be allowed to act on such motivations. To prevent her from doing so, in Judge Pratt's view, would savage a Constitution that she understand to prize "rights rooted in privacy concerns" and a "liberty to make independent decisions."

Fact is, it is wrong and stupid and often self-defeating to hate those with disabilities, those who are of other races, and the like. But how, please explain to me, is it less wrong when that hatred, that bias, is born in a mother's heart and given full vent on an abortionist's table?