I’m not a fan of so-called hate crime legislation, which generally tends to give law enforcement more resources and authority to counter a problem that not only are the police incapable of fixing, but one that they often exacerbate. As the professor Tamara Nopper put it in an interview on responses to an uptick in anti-Asian violence in recent months, “Anytime you’re talking about hate crime law, you’re talking about more legitimacy for the police and you’re also talking about, frankly, more funding for the police.”
But what I am a fan of is punching Josh Hawley’s smug little face, which I would dearly love to do every single day of my life but today of all days, because on Thursday, Hawley decided to continue to be a little prick and cast the only “no” vote on the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act, a bill meant to combat rising anti-Asian discrimination and violence.
It would expedite the Justice Department’s review of hate crimes and would designate an official at DOJ to oversee the effort.
It also would task the department with coordinating with local law enforcement groups and community-based organizations to facilitate and raise awareness about hate crime reporting, including establishing an online hate crime reporting system in multiple languages.
As the bill’s Senate sponsor Mazie Hirono put it recently, “At a time when the AAPI community is under siege, this bill is an important signal that Congress is taking anti-Asian racism and hatred seriously.”
So what statement was Hawley trying to make here? I’ll give you one guess!
During a vote on whether to advance the bill earlier this month, Hawley was one of six Republicans—the other five being Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Roger Marshall, Rand Paul, and Tommy Tuberville—in voting against moving it forward.
Congrats on being an even bigger asshole than Ted Cruz, a truly breathtaking accomplishment.