Letter: Any hate crime is a hate crime
To the Editor:
Late last month, our Senator Bob Duff and Senate President Pro Tempore Looney announced “A Just Connecticut,” one of four legislative agendas for the 2020 General Assembly session. One item within this particular agenda “Combatting Hate Crimes & Violent Right-Wing Extremism” would have Connecticut finance and create a new state police division specializing in “investigating far right extremist groups and individuals.”
Pardon me? Isn’t hate just hate, regardless of whom that hate is directed towards? Of course it is. Shouldn’t we be fighting all hate and especially all hate crimes? Of course. Are we intending, as this agenda item seems to suggest, to give a pass to hate crimes committed by “left wing” extremists? Of course not. I am sure that in their hearts, Senators Duff and Looney know all of this, but in a misguided attempt to incite partisan fervor, they choose to use dangerously polarizing language in connection with a very serious, emotionally charged issue. It shows incredibly poor judgement at best, but why should we be surprised?
Our state has been run financially into the ground for decades by our General Assembly and now two of its leaders would have us spend even more money we don’t have to score cheap political points. I am fairly certain all hate groups and all hate crimes are already very much on the radar screen of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
If they truly feel the serious issue of hate crimes is not being adequately addressed in Connecticut by the FBI (or Connecticut state troopers) perhaps Senators Duff or Looney should ask Governor Lamont or Senators Blumenthal and Murphy to apply pressure? Sure, it may not raise as much for political campaigning, but a few phone calls would certainly cost the state a lot less than a whole new police division, and they would actually be serving all their constituents instead of grandstanding once again.
Yet another example of why we need better leadership in Hartford.