Friday, August 7, 2009

The word "rage"

doesn’t begin to do justice to how I feel about this:

Hate crime disappears into the memory hole

Dudes search for something important in hate crime to be upset about

Somehow I just can’t convince myself that making racist comments is a more serious problem than murdering women. But I guess if the most important thing in your world is proving how vile conservatives are it's easy to dismiss Heidi Overmier, Elizabeth Gannon, and Jody Billingsley as irrelevant to what really matters here.


Anonymous said...

Normally, when I hear about some guy shooting up a place in order to kill the woman who's rejected him (and various bystanders), after the horror, my first reaction is a kind of irritation that a stereotypical man takes leaving a woman so casually, but thinks that if a woman leaves him it's a crime against nature. That is, I do apply a gender lens to the situation.

Still, I don't really think of this kind of thing as a hate crime. For me a hate crime is about xenophobia and projection. I see crimes of sexual passion as being about deranged people who came unhinged when they suffered a primal emotional wound they couldn't deal with. I'm not saying they aren't horrible, just that I don't find the concept of hate crimes all that useful in responding to them. I just want the crazy violent jerk taken off the street, whether he's crazy because he's a sick racist or he's crazy because his sexual dysfunction and resulting intense misery made him hate his life and everyone in it.

I did read the Globe article and was disgusted by the effort to use this sad story as just more fodder for the "racism is the center of the universe" meme. I think you're right that the author of that editorial couldn't seem to summon much outrage against mere violence against women-as-women until racism proved to be a factor as well.

Am I nuts to feel sorry for this murderer? I do feel sorry for him. I can't even imagine what a horror his life must have been to him. I might feel sorry even for a racist murderer if his racism had destroyed his life to the point where he had to kill himself at the end of his murder spree. Strangely, though, after "hate" crimes the criminal seems to feel rather justified than otherwise, even smug -- so I tend more to anger than pity.

-- Texan99

Elise said...

my first reaction is a kind of irritation that a stereotypical man takes leaving a woman so casually, but thinks that if a woman leaves him it's a crime against nature.

This cracked me up - a great analysis.

I have trouble with the concept of hate crimes in general: requires assuming motive; I'm just as dead whether the person who killed me hated me, hated all (fill in the group), or just wanted my money; double jeopardy; the usual litany. So if Reclusive Leftist's point had been simply that no one thought about the LA Fitness shootings as a hate crime I would have shaken my head at the hypocrisy of the world and that would have been it.

What enraged me about this was the grotesque opportunism of using the murder of three women to make a political point that didn't have anything to do with the people who were actually killed. The "dudes" who think the most important thing about three dead women is being able to portray the guy who killed them as a right-winger are seriously unhinged.

I don't think it's crazy to feel sorry for this guy. (Insert usual disclaimer about feeling sorry not equating to excusing, justifying, etc.) I cannot begin to imagine the misery anyone must be in to slaughter innocent strangers like he did. Plus from what little I've read he does seem to have been truly mentally ill and it must be horrible to be trapped in that.

On the other hand, as Miss Marple points out, crazy doesn't always mean evil and provides the example of a man whose insanity took the form of handing out money to strangers on street corners.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, if he was receiving bad messages from outer space through his tooth fillings, I'd feel sorry for him for being crazy and I WOULDN'T want to knock him on the head at the same time. Two completely different processes of reaction.

And yes, the Globe was hijacking the story to score a cheap shot against the enemies of Obama. One-track minds.

-- Texan99