I was watching the local news yesterday and the lead story was about some asshole who painted KKK on a number of buildings and school buses, including a Jewish women's center. The graffiti included the symbol for anarchy, and a bull's eye on each location. Yes, it's a pain in the ass for the people who have to clean that up. Yes, it's scary for the people who it was targeting. Yes, the moron who did this should be found, arrested, and made to pay both financially and punitively. Here is the only problem I have with what the police spokesperson was saying. She said it was being considered a "hate" crime, and the person who did, if caught, would be charged with the extra crime of hate. I have never understood this. Hate is an emotion. How can you make an emotion illegal? I don't see it as any different than making love or desire a crime. The crime here was vandalism. Now if it is vandalism to intimidate certain people, say so. Make that the crime, not hate. A lot of people have killed their husbands, wives, and lovers out of hate. Does that make it a worse crime? Is the person more dead because hate instigated it? Unfortunately Americans are a simple minded people in many ways. Look how easy it was for the W. Bush administration to talk us into war. We are burdened with horrible politicians because of our simple mindedness. We can't handle nuance, we vote for good looks, good speeches, and for what seems cool to us. Making laws that call one thing a hate crime and another vandalism is simply politicians pandering to the gut instinct. It's as stupid as calling stalking somebody you are obsessed with, a 'love' crime.