Prosecute Racially Motivated Statue Vandalism as a Hate Crime
It’s time to hold the statue vandals accountable.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
“It’s important to tear down these vestiges of white supremacy,” Takiyah Fatima Thompson, an admirer of the racist Black Panther hate group, declared by way of explanation for her role in the vandalism of a Confederate statue.
Ngoc Loan Tran, another of the vandals, blamed their arrest on “white supremacy.”
In the intersectional left, “white supremacy” doesn’t mean Neo-Nazis or the KKK. Instead it’s equivalent to “whiteness”. White supremacy is anything that normalizes whiteness. In essence, it’s white people.
A show with white actors, an ad with white models and a coffee shop full of white people are all forms of white supremacy. A math textbook listing key pioneers in the field who happen to be white is white supremacy. Anything that is not properly diverse is by definition, “white supremacy.”
The color coding was literal. In Phoenix, a Confederate monument was vandalized by painting it white. At a Houston protest, a Black Lives Matter agitator denounced, “whiteness”.
In Baltimore, a statue of Columbus was smashed to fight against a “culture of white supremacy.”
“Christopher Columbus symbolizes the initial invasion of European capitalism into the Western Hemisphere,” the vandal declared.
The Columbus monument had been built in 1792. It, like Columbus, long preceded the Confederacy. But the issue wasn’t really the South. It was Europeans. It was white people. Or anyone that leftist racists see as white.
A few years ago, the Columbus statue in Richmond was vandalized on Columbus Day. When the statue came to Richmond in the twenties, the KKK opposed it because Columbus was a Catholic who had “stolen” the credit from the Vikings for discovering America. Black racists have taken over from white racists.
Detroit’s Columbus statue has been hit with protests against “white supremacism.” The Detroit statue was put up in 1910 by an Italian immigrant newspaper on behalf of the “Italians of Detroit.”
When the Columbus statue was put up, white supremacists did not consider Italians to be white people. The single largest mass lynching in American history didn’t kill black people, but Italian-Americans. KKK marches targeting Italian and Irish Catholics in Ohio and Massachusetts led to major street battles between Catholics and Klansmen that could last for days and occasionally culminated in martial law.
The Italian-Americans who dedicated that Columbus statue spent the next decade being terrorized by the Black Legion, a KKK splinter group operating in Detroit, that didn’t consider them “white”.
If Detroit’s black racists really want to target a memorial to Italian “white supremacy”, they can find the bust of Dr. Joseph De Horatiis on Grand Boulevard. During the race riots of ’43, the 64-year-old doctor ignored warnings by police not to enter a black neighborhood. He told officers that a patient needed him. He was stoned to death by black rioters. His bloody battered body was recovered from the car.
Perhaps the black nationalist racists can finish the job they started by destroying his memorial.
What made the Italians of Detroit “white supremacists”? Only that the intersectional bigots perpetrating these racist attacks choose to see them as white.
That is what all this is really about. It’s not about the Confederacy. It’s about identity politics racism.
And that’s a hate crime.
The FBI defines a racial hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race.” The vandalism of a range of statues from various historical periods has one thing in common. Race. The statues targeted were of white people. The perpetrators had made it very clear that they believed that whiteness was somehow evil.
Under Federal law, a hate crime involving property is committed when the defendant targets “the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual or perceived race… of any person.”
Under North Carolina’s cross burning laws, it’s unlawful to engage in any kind of “exhibit” to intimidate people. That certainly covers vandalizing a statue for racial intimidation. And damaging property because of “actual or perceived race” is considered ethnic intimidation under the latest North Carolina bill which will take effect later this year. North Carolina also criminalizes Antifa style masked protests.
Arizona treats racially motivated vandalism as an enhancement of the crime. Maryland’s hate crimes cover the destruction of property. Earlier this year, there was even the possibility that two leftists who torched a Trump sign might be prosecuted for a hate crime. The basis for hate crimes charges for racially motivated property destruction is far more compelling than for politically motivated vandalism.
Virginia and Ohio, where statue vandalism cases have also occurred, have similar laws covering racially motivated defacement. It is quite possible that some or all of these jurisdictions may refuse to prosecute racially motivated statue vandalism as a hate crime.
But the Federal government has extensive hate crime laws on the books.
Some of the attacks at issue, on both people and property, involved activists who crossed state lines. As the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act specifies, the Federal government can get involved if state prosecutions fail to “vindicate the federal interest in eradicating bias-motivated violence” or if “a prosecution by the United States is in the public interest and necessary to secure substantial justice”.
The Act may not necessarily apply to property destruction, but it would certainly apply to anyone injured as a result of racially motivated protests that target statues for racial reasons.
The Federal government has two extremely compelling reasons to be involved.
First, these attacks are the product of an interstate conspiracy funded by a network of national and international organization whose scope is far beyond the ability of any single state to investigate. Suspects in some attacks have shown the intent to escape across state lines. Funding for racist hate groups such as Black Lives Matter has been in the millions. Behind it are politically influential groups such as the Ford Foundation. The Workers World Party, whose activists took the lead in the Durham attack, is a national Communist organization with deep roots in the radical left.
Second, they were set into motion by the actions of the previous administration. Racist activists were aided and abetted in their violent protests and harassment of white people by the Justice Department. It falls to the DOJ to atone for its recent past by not only disavowing the support that racists received from the DOJ under Holder and Lynch, but to take the lead in cracking down on black nationalist hate groups. The DOJ’s Civil Rights Division played a large part in creating this mess. Now it needs to clean it up.
The statue vandalism is racially motivated. It fits the definition of a hate crime and must be prosecuted as one. It’s time to hold the racist left accountable for the violence of its racial supremacism.