This week's Clickbait Shocker is tailor-made for the types of outrage-driven shares that fuel social media these days — to wit, a young man with "special needs" was abducted by feral youths in Chicago, and then tied up, brutalized, terrorized, and scalped. His captors — one of them in her early twenties, the others teenagers — shamelessly shared video of the whole sordid saga on Facebook Live.
Predictably, this disturbing footage prompted the nation's Legal Experts — i.e., political partisans of every stripe, as well as those compulsive Tut-Tutters who lecture their long-suffering co-workers on "First-World injustices" while waving around the latest iPhone — to mount the cyber-barricades. Opining on how law enforcement should handle the apprehension and charging of the miscreants involved, our keyboard warriors set the Internet ablaze with cries of, "Hate crimes!", "Racism!", "Hypocrisy!", and the ultimate trump card of contemporary discourse, "The Donald did it!"
Amidst this heated cacophony of rage-clicks and the staccato ringing of media cash registers tallying ad revenues, we wonder — is it wise to empower the State to decree what bad actors supposedly think and why? While decent people everywhere should certainly condemn racial hatred and violence, 'hate-crime' legislation assigns the impossible task of mind reading to mere mortals. What was the perpetrator thinking when he committed his crime? Did he hate the victim, or was the victim just kinda irritating? Was the aggressor hugged enough as a child? Was he having a Bad Hair Day? Did I leave the iron on? But I digress.
Any law-enforcement response to a crime shouldn't involve mustering the Precognitives, summoning the Thought Police, or consulting Miss Cleo. Due to perverse systemic incentives, governments do many things poorly, and they already have their hands full with the traditional task of criminology. Pursuing a policy of psychic policing simply diverts scarce resources from other functions. Moreover, anointing one group of people as more deserving of protection than others further inflames existing social divisions.
Isn't 'equality before the law' a nobler approach? Wouldn't society be better served by focusing on punishing criminals for doing whatever it was they done did when they done it? Shouldn't we leave the psychic detective-ing squarely in the realm of bad novels published by "straight to-Amazon" authors who sign their emails "published writer"? We think so, and we hope you'll consider the question too.
WRY GUYS TEE — George Bernard Shaw on Politicians
Funny political t shirt for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and other politicians.