Slider and B757300 are worried some one will get more 'rights' than they will that's why their reply is based on uninformed ignorance.
Hate Crime legislation on the surface basically is used to serve notice to those of the mentality that by 'killing, brutalizing an asian, black or gay' is no longer exceptable behavior. It's simplistic because for most of America's history up and into the 1990s many white-on-white crimes would seen justice balanced out and despensed while black-on-white crimes were persued like ... cops were looking for Saddam Hussein-- with great vigor vs white-on-(black/any other minority) was persued with much less zeal, interest on the behalf of law enforcement agencies..on all levels. For years you could beat the living-shit out of your wife/girlfriend and the worse thing that would happen is the cops would show up and say 'Don't do it again' this went on well into 60's/70's... you know what happens if you try that shit today don't you.
Now for Hate Crimes Legislation's (HCL) true meaning... it's targeted towards two unique groups -- cops and perpetrators.. who posses the propensity not to enforce them (cops) and to commit them (perps).
Law enforcement has been the adversary of minorities since it's inception, for years it did little or nothing at all, when a minority was assaulted or murdered. Our history is littered with both, stories of abuse on minorities by law enforcement just for the hell of it and abuse under the color of authority.. there's plenty of film footage of it to see first hand. So to tackle that mindset it must be a proactive effort..waiting for people to change can take years,epochs, who knows... so laws that were meant to cover everyone but only covered a select populous needed a boost to get law enforcement (they are people too) to apply the law equally across the board to everyone. That's exactly what HCL is doing. It forces law enforcement to take notes on the race, sex and sexual orientation of the parties involved.. and the DA will take it from there and decide whether or not to prosecute under HCL violations.
Now the perps -- If you are use to getting liquored up (or not) on weekends and going out to beat up a few jews or mexicans (illegal or not).. and were getting away with it... why change? But when your buddy gets popped for doing it under HCL laws and ends up doing 10-20 (years)... you'll rehabilitate quite quickly.. so I guess laws can be quite persuassive when it comes to making people change.. and change in a hurry.
A fine example of this is the Jeremy Strohmeyer case, he and and his friend while visiting Vegas lured a 9 or 10 year old black girl into a casino restroom. His friend, David Cash, kept look out, while Strohmeyer raped then strangled the child. Strohmeyer was tried and sentenced to something like 20 years. Cash got away scott-free and even said afterwards 'Had he known Strohmeyer was going to kill her... he would not have turned him in anyway (security camera caught it) and he was felt no remorse about not cooperating in the follow up investigation. Now, reverse the situation, had both guys been black and raped and murdered a 9-10 year old white girl..blood still would be simmering and there's no way a 'black' David Cash would have gotten off.. no way.. no how! (Nevada law says because a witness sees a crime.. doesn't mean he has to report it).
LAPD in 1960, 70, 80,90 versus LAPD today is completely different organization.. they would never recognize each other. Unfortunately, that kind of change does not reach every corner of the USA.. but it's coming and as much as it hurts some people to change... there's not much they can do about it.
With Terrorism being atop the agenda worldwide today... groups like the KKK are effective put out of business. But for individuals who have problems with people of different persuasions AND
who choose to act upon them based solely on those feelings.. there's a little something extra in the envelope these days.. getting away with it is a lot harder than it use to be.
In about 10 years of aggressive HCL enforcement.. the laws will be obsolete, because the mindset to 'do the right thing' will come as natural as breathing for most if not all law enforcement agencies. But as for people... the desire to hate (based on physical, sexual, religious differences) will never leave us. But it will be on the minds of more people than ever before... and each will have to make their own choices about doing the right thing.
"Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson