Friday, April 22, 2011

Two suicides in Jersey, but only one hate crime. Why?

Death by suicide is now prosecutable as a hate crime in New Jersey (more below). And one wonders if the case can be make here:

He wasn't PC enough for Princeton.

A vicious campaign to end the unblemished 10-year career of a popular but often politically incorrect Princeton teacher left him so despondent that he took his own life, brokenhearted pals said yesterday.

Spanish teacher Antonio Calvo, 45 -- who stabbed himself to death in his Chelsea apartment on April 12 -- believed at least two graduate students and another lecturer were behind a poisonous political maneuver that robbed him of a contract renewal, two friends told The Post.

Calvo once raised his voice in a meeting with a female graduate student, who interpreted the confrontation as "aggressive behavior," the pal said.

Another incident apparently involved a grad student whom Calvo chided, "You're spending too much time touching your balls. Why don't you go to work?"

"It was interpreted as sexual harassment, but it's a common expression in Spanish," the pal said.

So our liberal Princeton undergrads apparently had no respect for, or understanding of, Calvo's culture, and apparently allowed their hatred and ignorance to ruined his career and his reputation, and eventually force him to take his life.

How is that a hate crime? Well, I don't know, exactly. But if a Rutgers student can be charged with a hate crime for allegedly driving his roomate to suicide, why can't the Princetonians?

The New York Post titles its editorial Vengeful in Jersey:

New Jersey prosecutors, in a substan tial overreach, this week brought hate-crime charges against a former Rutgers student whose roommate killed himself after his gay encounter was secretly videostreamed.

Dharun Ravi was initially charged with invasion of privacy after his roommate, Tyler Clementi, jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge.

But because those charges likely would have resulted only in probation, there was enormous political pressure to upgrade the charges to a hate crime; public figures including celebrities and even President Obama spoke out on the case.

And this is why certain suicides are "hate crimes" and other suicides are simply unfortunate occurances:

We've long been leery of the assumptions underlying hate-crime laws: Under the best of circumstances, they assume prosecutors can read defendants' minds -- and they encroach on free-speech rights.

By definition they require prosecutors to make political judgments -- and that, as the civil-liberties folks like to say, is a very slippery slope indeed.

Moreover, they're nearly always selectively enforced.

As in, enforced on behalf of liberal sensitivities only. If Ravi is to be prosecuted, so must those who tormented Calvo due to his cultural upbringing and lack of understanding of contemporary liberal morals.

Otherwise, as the Post insinuates, we have moved from fairness to vengeance. Welcome to "Justice", liberal-style...

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