According to today’s Denver Post, the city of Boulder is considering a taxpayer-funded “hate hotline”. This hotline will allow residents of Boulder to call and report racist language. Apparently they think that will put a damper on “hate speech” or something.
Yeah, so if I’m standing on the Pearl Street Mall and some guy is shouting epithets about blacks, Jews, Hindis, Republicans, short people, panhandlers, or whatever, I guess I’m supposed to whip out my cell phone and call the hotline. I’m sure it’ll stop him cold when he realizes what I’m doing. And I’m sure the police will drop everything to rush to the Mall and cuff this guy.
As David Harsanyi, the Denver Post columnist says,
The council should realize, however ugly it may be, Americans still have the constitutional right to be racist, homophobic, Jew-hating or even to make bad jokes.
Even more to the point, he goes on to say
Phillip Martinez beat up a 22-year-old African-American mechanical-engineering student named Andrew Sterling last year in Boulder. He was sentenced to the maximum of 16 years in prison. The jury wisely decided to drop “ethnic intimidation” charges.
Would a hate-line have helped Sterling? Martinez was from Lafayette, not Boulder. He was drunk. He may not have even cared that Sterling was black.
Should everyone keep the hate-line number on their cellphone speed dial from now on? And remember, only call if your attacker uses racist or insensitive language while beating you to a pulp. After all, according to hate-law advocates, it’s not genuine hate unless the perpetrator makes fun of your heritage.
I guess we’ll see how the city council vote goes tomorrow. For now, I just shake my head and wonder who comes up with this stuff.