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Gitlin’s indifference to hate is not OK

Posted: July 11, 2009 7:42 p.m.
Updated: July 12, 2009 4:55 a.m.

I’m a little concerned with the apparent indifference and apathetic views Roger Gitlin voiced in his commentary regarding the reported increase of hate crimes (“Hate crimes on the rise? Much ado about nothing,” The Signal, Opinion, July 6).

Gitlin believes it’s not necessary to add enhancements to crimes.

He proclaimed the often-used rhetoric of too much legislation, bureaucracy and political correctness when “hate” is attached to a crime.

He feels that crimes filled with venom and hate for others are “Much ado about nothing.”


He should tell the lesbian couple tormented by their neighbor that his acts were not done out of hate.

He stole this couple’s mail, sprinkler heads, used anti-lesbian slurs, wrote those slurs in fresh cement outside their home and wrote profanity in dust on a car parked outside their windows.

The “political correctness” shown by Valencia High School after someone spray painted “No (n-word) A Loud” at the school must have really gotten to Gitlin.

The school acted quickly and began a successful campaign against intolerance.

He should tell the Jewish family in Valencia that found obscenities and the word “Jews” spray painted on their car that it was a simple act of vandalism.

Two Jewish brothers had swastikas drawn on their lockers at school.

Perhaps Mr. Gitlin feels these boys should not take such an act personally; maybe it was a simple case of kids having nothing else better to do?


Whoever did this knew very well who they were targeting, and why.

Maybe Gitlin should explain to the now-23-year-old black man who at the age of 19, while working at our Target store, was targeted by two men (one with a swastika tattooed on his neck) who drove toward him making racist and threatening comments such as: “(N-word), you don’t belong here,” “Go back to where you belong,” “We’re gonna get you, if not today, another,” “Get the (f-word) out of here ... we already told you, you ‘f-ing’ (n-word), you don’t belong here, monkey,” that they were just using their First Amendment right of free speech.

Lancaster has one of the largest Aryan skinhead groups within California (just one of 84 known hate groups in California).

Yet Gitlin believes the above-mentioned crimes should be just crimes without the hate attached.

I think he should look at the victims and personally tell them they’re making “much ado about nothing.”



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