The latest black on white attack in a McDonalds has gone bigtime viral, and as it just seethes with Culture War subtexts, I find myself unable to ignore it as I perhaps should. (Alas. Sometimes I think that what Trotsky said* about ignoring war applies to ignoring the Culture War.)

Drudge has been linking the video and the stories for days now, and there is of course much clamoring for hate crime prosecution of the attackers. Once again, I should point out my stubborn opposition to hate crime laws. As I said in an earlier email to a friend (who thought this was really ugly incident, which it was),

If prosecutors did their job and went after violent criminals, no one would be clamoring for hate crime legislation. The problem is that aside from the constitutional issue, they create priority victims. Then everyone clamors to be included on the list.

And in this case, which list do we use? Obviously, the victim was white and the attackers were black. But the victim was also transgendered, and for the life of me, I find it hard to ignore that. This is not to say that I support special protection for any category, but as I watched the video I just found myself wondering about something….


The victim was not an “obvious” M2F and I doubt most men would have been able to detect that this was someone who had crossed that divide.

The attackers, however, were women. Did they know? My theory (and it is just a theory) is that they probably didn’t know it in the conscious human sense, but that they may have been able to sense it in that ill-defined animal sense. You know, the sense that tells people whether they’re compatible by things like subliminal odors they’re unaware of, or the sort of sense that causes women who are infused with regular amounts of sperm to mutually adjust their monthly cycles. Things scientists study but which we don’t consciously understand, and for which we can get into serious trouble for discussing (assuming we belong to the educated and civilized classes of people whose civilized colleagues go ape over discussions of things that make trashy people go ape.)

What if there were subliminal pheromonal issues at work?

If such things can trigger violence, is it necessarily hate? Or does hate have to be a civilized and conscious decision? Do such distinctions matter? 

I think what happened is simply violent criminal behavior, and people who do things like that should be punished severely, whether they do it out of conscious hate or unconscious animal instinct. I’d like to think that’s what laws are for.

Once we start rating crime according to their level of “hate” we end up giving the non-haters a pass.

* Actually, Trotsky didn’t say it about war; he said it about the dialectic! Same difference.

I may not be interested in the Culture War, but the Culture War is interested in me?

Nah, I shouldn’t be taken in by such solipsistic drivel. I must resolve to valiantly continue to hide my head in the sand and hope it goes away.