Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

26 July 2008

State Supreme Court squeals like the pigs the middlestaters are

Good morning. Actually, good afternoon. Still dragging a wee bit from a late night of live Coldplay (really good show last night at the new Spectrum. They hit all the hits, and sounded very crisp and tight, though numerous times, I also caught myself wondering why they have a little U2-envy, and feeling that they didn't need to throw "Philadelphia" in the lyrics a few times to get love ala "Cleveland rocks!") Too late to check them out in Philly, but well worth catching them the next go 'round.
An interesting nugget in this morning's Inquirer though, about the state Supreme Court, in its infinite wisdom, breaking out their old jug band and white hoods to strip Pennsylvania of hate-crime laws protecting, among others, gays, womenfolk and the disabled.

Now, I've never been the biggest fan of hate-crime legislation. Hate to see people's thoughts legislated. But Kooky Kreepy Kristian warriors like Michael Marcavage and his Repent America minions are wrong when they call this a "victory for constitutional government."
Wake up, white people: What it is is a victory for hate.
And ignorance.
And small-minded stupidity.

(Actual photo of one justice deliberating)

If you set out to solely harm someone because of their physical, religious or any characteristic, the charge should reflect that.
The irony here? Well, after reading the Inky's front-page piece about the Supremes' decision, head on back to page B2. Headline: "3 coal-region teens held in hate-crime killing."

According to a police affidavit, the defendants and three 17-year-olds were drinking alcohol in a wooded area of Shenandoah, then went to a block party. After leaving the party around 11 p.m., the group walked toward a park, where they encountered Ramirez and a teenage girl.
The youths goaded Ramirez and the girl, saying, "You should get out of this neighborhood" and "Get your Mexican boyfriend out of here," documents said. After Ramirez and the girl began walking away, someone yelled an ethnic slur at him, court documents said. He responded, "What's your problem?"
A fight ensued, during which police said Walsh punched Ramirez in the face. The victim fell and hit his head on the street, leaving him unconscious, after which Piekarsky kicked him in the head, police said.
The suspects fled. Ramirez underwent surgery but died about 30 hours later.
Crystal Dillman, the victim's 24-year-old fiancee, who is white and grew up in Shenandoah, said yesterday that Ramirez was walking her sister to a friend's house that night.
"He was just trying to be a good person, making sure she got [there] safe," said Dillman.

I would love to hear what the Marcavages of the world have to say about whether this is a hate crime or whether the Mexican boyfriend just shouldn't have been walking around in public. I mean, the nerve, right?


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