Charleston authorities, ignorant of motive, proclaim church shooting a 'hate crime'

The shooting deaths of 9 people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC is a horrific crime, one for which the perpetrator deserves the death penalty.

But the crime features a depressingly familiar scenario: a ready-made motive for the killings before anyone knows anything about the genesis of the crime, or the murderer's state of mind.

It hardly matters who or what is blamed.  Liberals automatically blame conservatives; the right blames the left; if a gay person is the target, it's homophobia; religious killings elicit cries of anti-Muslim bigotry.  And, in this case, the killings are called a "hate crime" despite no one having talked to the murderer or heard anything he said that would remotely connect this barbarity with "hate."

The problem with this is that it creates unnecessary tensions – tensions to be exploited by politicians and racialists.

At a 1 AM news conference, the chief of police said, "I do believe this was a hate crime."  Why rush to judgment?  Because unless every white official in Charleston signs off on the narrative immediately, they all will be accused of being less than supportive of their black constituents.

What else could it be besides a "hate crime"?  Someone listening to voices in his head is incapable of love, hate, or any other rational emotion.  Anyone who lives in an altered state of reality, by definition, cannot be held responsible for his actions and therefore cannot "hate" in any legal sense of the term.  Perhaps the man had a dispute with one of the members of the church having nothing to do with race.  There are any number of motives for these killings, and identifying the act as a "hate crime" before one sliver of evidence is gathered is politics, not reality.

Some other choice quotes from those guessing about motive for this horrific act:

"The only reason someone would walk into a church and shoot people that were praying is hate," said Charleston Mayor Joe Riley....

"As the #Charleston police deem this horrific act a hate crime," the King Center tweeted, "we pray vigorously that this person's hate does not cultivate more hate."

The shootings may very well be a "hate crime" as defined by law.  But just once, I'd like everyone to wait for the facts to come out before prattling on about something no one knows anything about.  The only reason to proclaim this act a "hate crime" at this point is to curry political favor with the black community, rushing to be seen as sympathetic and empathetic to African-Americans.  And I find that despicable.

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