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Idaho’s “Anti-Hate” Law Harsh, Unjust

In Idaho, saying the "n" word can get you five years in prison

by Rev. Ted Pike

While our judicial system indulges the right of Jews to describe those who criticize them as "anti-Semitic," or homosexuals to deride Christians as "homophobes," yet, with the passage of "anti-hate" laws, there is zero tolerance for a white male who might let slip a verbal slur against protected minorities.

A glaring example of such hypocrisy is illustrated in a landmark "hate crime" case that comes up for trial on Dec. 17, 2001, in Payette County, Idaho.

It all started when Kimberly Rae, photographer for the local newspaper, the "Adams County Record," angered a black referee by taking his picture without permission. The referee, grabbing her from behind, tried to wrestle the camera from Mrs. Rae, causing strap burns on her neck. He was interrupted in his assault by husband Lonnie Rae, who forcibly separated the referee from his wife.

After her assailant removed himself to the locker room, Rae shouted after him, "Tell that nigger to get out here, 'cuz I'm gonna kick his butt." However, after taking his wife to the hospital to be treated, and filing charges for assault and battery - guess what? - the authorities refused to press charges against Mrs. Rae's black assailant. Instead, they charged Lonnie Rae with "malicious harassment," a felony under Idaho's "anti-hate" law.

Under most of the "hate crimes" laws, which have been passed by forty-nine states, "bias motivation" must be proved. Was Lonnie Rae biased? Under extreme provocation, Lonnie Rae let slip the "n" word. But there is no evidence that his anger and threat were motivated by bias against blacks. There is compelling evidence that he was motivated by outrage because his wife had been assaulted, injured and deeply shaken.

If a white referee had attacked his wife, he would undoubtedly have reacted just as impulsively, substituting an insulting, yet different epithet. In fact, "threats" similar to "Get out, 'cuz I'm gonna kick your butt!" are probably exchanged dozens of times every Saturday night in the bars of Idaho, with no thought of criminal charges.

What makes Lonnie Rae's case different? He uttered a word with connotations of oppression and contempt for a member of a federally protected group. "Thought police" consider such expression of bias by a white man very, very bad - much worse than a 230+lb, 6'3" black man grabbing a 5'3" white woman from the back, mauling and insulting her. As a result, the state of Idaho is prosecuting Rae as a hate criminal. The penalty? Up to five years hard time.

Edgar Steele, feisty anti-big government lawyer from Sagle, Idaho, is defending Rae without charge, determined to take the case to the Supreme Court, if necessary. It is vital that Steele and Lonnie prevail. Why?

The strategy of the "thought police," in both the United States and Canada, is: first, enact what seem to be reasonable anti-intimidation laws, banning "bias-motivated" verbal intimidation; second, broaden them by prosecuting and winning flimsy cases, like the one against Lonnie Rae.

Thus, corrupt local judges and bemused juries lay down legal precedent, extending the net of whom may be entrapped under the original "anti-hate" law. In the end, mere name-calling, causing "hurt feelings," becomes the basis for felony prosecution and imprisonment.

Our "kinder, gentler" society clucks its tongue at such "barbaric" injustice as the medieval English law of death for killing a king's deer; or, in Saudi Arabia, amputating a woman's hand for adultery. Yet, sentencing an American citizen to five years in prison for uttering a taboo word in a moment of emotional upheaval can only be rivaled by the capricious vengeance of Stalin or Attila the Hun.

Christian, if you do not resist and repeal “"anti-hate"” laws, it is you, not Lonnie Rae, who will be facing felony charges for 'verbal intimidation' of sinners and homosexuals.

Update: Lonnie Rae was acquitted of "malicious harassment" under the enhanced penalties of Idaho's "anti-hate" law. Yet, because he "verbally intimidated" the black referee, he was convicted of the lesser charge of assault. Attorney Edgar J. Steele will appeal.

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