Saturday, May 1, 2010

Vicious, Unprovoked and Cowardly


That's what you can expect to hear when you walk up to a guy on the street, punch him in the face, breaking his jaw, and then stand over him yelling pleasantries, like, "FAGGOT!!! HOMO!!!"

Especially when it all gets caught on videotape.

In sentencing Michael Kandola to 17 months in jail, Mr. Justice Joel Groves added, "It is hard to believe that something as innocent as two men holding hands could cause such a visceral assault. In Canada, people are free to choose to live their lives as they choose, regardless of sexual preference."

So, in essence, Judge Grove has found Kandola guilty of a hate crime.

Many people argue that hate crime laws are unnecessary because we already have many laws on the books prohibiting violence against others.

That is true and often that is enough.

But what are we to do when a person or group assaults another person or group because the latter is Catholic, white, male, female, gay, Fijiian, left-handed, a member of the Cello Players of America, Jewish, black, Japanese or Swiss?

8 comments:

Gary L. said...

Well David, I would "see him, and raise him". My reaction would equate swatting a flea with a sledgehammer.
Would I be right, or would I be wrong?

I don't care.

David Berner said...

Dear Gary,

I'm afraid I don't understand your comment.

"I don't care."

What does this mean?

If you truly don't care, why write?

If you mean that you don't care that someone beats the hell out of another human being and then yells things that suggest he hates an entire group of people because of who they are, I would ask you to consider this:

When they come for all the Garys in the world, what then?

What if your child is mentally challenged and is assaulted or taunted for her handicap?

What if people of some other persuasion decide to target, say, all the Christians in the world?

Or all the atheists or fence-sitting agnostics, or sell-out Lutherans?

When do you begin to care, Gary?

From your many previous comments on a broad range of subjects, I would guess that you care very deeply about some matters.

If this subject is one that doesn't seem to affect you, I would suggest you look into it a bit more.

It's worthy of care by you and everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps this cretin, judging by his actions and physical appearance Just may be "batting for the other team" himself, so to speak. IMHO

Anonymous said...

hmm...I read Gary's comment to state that he doesn't care whether his sledgehammer reaction is right or wrong, not that he doesn't care about the issue discussed.

Perhaps I'm wrong?

Chris M said...

I believe I understand Gary.
Last week I had two people crying on my shoulder about their terminated jobs (cut backs),
Another person whose elderly parent has been moved (against their will ) from a seniors home. To another home in the area but very scary for the senior.
Also
Three seniors (in a building that has been converted from seniors to mental health and addiction ) phoned me in a panic about what was happening in their building.
I said to myself "I DON"T CARE ANYMORE"
Actually, i care too much and can't do a damn thing.

Norman Farrell said...

Perhaps Gary is suggesting that his response would have been much more severe had he been issuing a sentence. Maybe he sees the criminal as a flea in need of sledgehammer treatment.

If he is saying that, I would agree because a peaceful citizen should be able to walk anywhere without risk of physical assault. Smith threatened or interfered with no person.

I'm disgusted that crown agreed to reduce the charge that Kandola faced. It was totally a financial decision. Parliament defined aggravated assault and allowed for jail sentences up to 14 years. The typical sentence is in the range of five years for that serious crime.

This act of assault certainly qualifies as aggravated. Read the act, it is clear. The Criminal Justice Branch (CJB) cut Kandola a break before this sentence was imposed. With credit for time served (BTW, look at the reason his bail was revoked) he could be applying for parole in two months, about the length of time that Smith's jaw was wired and pinned shut.

I think there were two crimes here. One in the assault and the second in the lenient treatment of the criminal.

David in North Burnaby BC said...

"But what are we to do when a person or group assaults another person or group because the latter is ..."

Treat it like the assault it is. Nothing less, nothing more. Setting up special victim groups destroys equality before the law. Criminalizing thoughts and emotions leads to a totalitarian nightmare.
There is also something absurd in the assumption behind the idea of a "hate crime". How many assaults, murders, etc. are motivated by affection, goodwill?
If someone assaults me while yelling of their high regard and affection for old, straight guys, is that a "love crime"? Should they get a lesser sentence?
Treat assault, murder and such as the crimes they are and not as somehow more or less serious based on the opinions of the attacker.

Gary L. said...

Well, folks once again I have proven that I read better than I write!
Just to clarify, my reactions to witnessing injustices have reached a point where they are "way over the top". Hence me swinging a sledgehammer to quell a flea {perp}.
And the " I don't care" weather my response is "right" or "wrong", I am more than willing to sort that out after the Perp/perps have been dealt with.
Cheers