Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Action Item: Ask Virginia Representatives in Washington D.C. to Sponsor a Bill to Add RSO’s to Protected Group Under Federal Hate Crimes

Many people think Hate Crimes shouldn’t exist at all. That a crime by anyone against anyone should be equally prosecuted and punished; well that’s a debate for another day.

Hate Crimes first at a Federal level and then the States followed, do exist and it’s time for Congress to consider adding a new group to the Federal list. 

The definition of a Hate Crime:
Hate crime (also known as bias-motivated crime) is a usually violent, prejudice motivated crime that occurs when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her perceived membership in a certain social group. Examples of such groups include but are not limited to: ethnicity, gender identity, language, nationality, physical appearance, religion, or sexual orientation.[ 

In Virginia it’s any criminal act committed against a person or his property with the specific intent of instilling fear or intimidation in the individual against whom the act is perpetrated because of race, religion or ethnic origin. 

So what “group” of citizens do I think needs to be included under Hate Crimes?  

Registered Sex Offenders (RSO) are a “certain social group” and any violence against them should be punished as such. 

The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) added "Sex Offenders" to their list of people to target in 2009, possibly earlier.  In a Google search you can easily find videos and news articles about it. The KKK is motivated by theological and political ideologies, but mostly it’s an “Us” versus “Them” movement. 

The KKK is the oldest and most notorious Hate Group in America with a history of fear, violence and vigilantism. They are anti-African-American (Pro-Caucasian/White Supremacy), anti-Jew (Pro-Christian), anti-LGBT, anti-Immigrant, anti-Communist AND anti-Sex Offenders. These are all “undesirables to target” according to the KKK.

Because of this the U.S. Government should include those listed on the 50 State Sex Offender Registries who are copied onto the National Sex Offender Registry under the Federal Hate Crimes statute.

The U.S. Government has allowed each state to post a variety of personal information of their RSO’s online including home addresses, name of employer, address of employer, phone numbers, license plate numbers and maps right to their front doors. It’s practically a Government sponsored invitation for a vigilante to strike a vulnerable stranger because they are part of an undesirable group. 

While most Americans would agree any Hate Group is despicable and if they commit a crime against others based on race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation, they should face Federal charges. Most Americans couldn’t care less about Registered Sex Offenders (or their family members) being harassed, intimidated, threatened, vandalized, beaten or even killed, after all they are a Registered Sex Offender. 

But that’s the point here.  

Selecting and then targeting someone from a “list” because the U.S .Government has claimed the public has a right to know who these “Predators” and “Pedophiles” are and where they live actually creates paranoia and fear within the population that wouldn’t exist if there weren’t Registries. By posting RSO’s information online and mapping right to their front door the U.S. Government has made every RSO vulnerable to harassment, intimidation or worse.

A Hate Crime is a law intended to deter bias-motivated violence; it does NOT include Hate Speech. 

In America Hate Groups can exist, they have a right to their Freedom of Speech, but the Federal Government has banned them from targeting the very groups that the Hate Groups hate with a crime of violence including assault, battery, arson or murder except against the 843,000+ Registered Sex Offenders in the U.S. 

As long as the U.S. has Hate Crimes we need to revisit the list every few years and see if race, religion, ethnicity and sexual  orientation is enough or has a new group of our population emerged that has become a target of hate, like Registered Sex Offenders. 

Whether the members of Congress want to admit it or not they have created a group of citizens that most Americans hate when the Registries went online. And as soon as the KKK added Registered Sex Offenders to their list of “targets” Congress should have added RSO’s to the list of possible victims under a Hate Crime. 

Whether you like the group being targeted or not doesn’t matter, the fact that they are a target especially by America’s  most notorious Hate Group is what matters and even RSO’s deserve equal protection. 

Contact the Federal Virginia Representatives in Washington, D.C. today and ask them to propose a Bill adding RSO’s to the Federal Hate Crimes list!

Thank you. 

Mary Devoy

Congressman Dave Brat

Congressman Donald Beyer

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock

Congressman Gerry Connolly

Congressman J. Randy Forbes

Congressman Bob Goodlatte

Congressman Morgan Griffith

Congressman Robert Hurt

Congressman Scott Rigell

Congressman Bobby Scott

 Congressman Robert Whittman

Senator Tim Kaine

Senator Mark Warner