Reading the headline from CBC, you'd think the sky was falling and that Canada was plagued by an epidemic of so-called "hate crimes".
I've got to admit, it makes for a compelling heading, even if it is incredibly misleading. But the scary rhetoric doesn't stop there. The first line of the story sounds even worse!
The number of hate crimes reported to Canadian police rose 42 per cent in 2009 on top of a 35 per cent increase the previous year, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday.
That's the thing about statistics though, isn't it... they can make anything sound incredibly good, or in this case, incredibly bad, when nothing could be farther from the truth.
Trust the CBC to make a mountain out of an ant hill.
There is no "hate crime" epidemic in Canada. Period. Full Stop.
The actual numbers are so small for any of these categories that they are statistically irrelevant.
For the entire nation in 2008 there were a total of 1,036 reported "hate crimes".
The total for "race or ethnicity" was 563 across Canada in 2008. For the category "religion" that total was 265, and for "sexual orientation" a grand total of 159.
That's the problem with so-called "hate crime" legislation though, isn't it. It takes crime and tries to make this crime an "okay crime", and that crime "hate crime", as though one is actually better than the other.
Crime is crime. Assault is assault, no matter the reason, and if we're looking to justify a law that's on the books, we'll also look for ways to slot it into certain categories,whether or not it belongs there.
Listening to the police spokeslady last night talk about how "proper training" was required to police would know how to detect "hate crimes" was laughable. Beyond laughable, actually.
When someone who is Jewish (or Muslim or Catholic) gets beat up, is it because he's Jewish? Or is it because of some personality trait or action that caused someone else to be upset with him.
If a gay man gets beat up in Vancouver, is that a "hate crime", or was he just an obnoxious asshole who got what he deserved? I once worked with a man who fell into that category. Very talented man, but with the social skills of a gnat. Would go around pcking fights. Is it any surprise he'd come out on the losing end sometimes?
It's sure not "hate crime."
Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics. I just love it when government uses that latter to justify the former.