Oct 29, 2009

a compilation of critiques on hate crime legislation

Trans people, people of color, and other marginalized groups are disproportionately incarcerated to an overwhelming degree. Trans and gender non-conforming people, particularly trans women of color, are regularly profiled and falsely arrested for doing nothing more than walking down the street.
If we are incarcerating those who commit violence against marginalized individuals/communities we then place them behind walls where they can continue to target these same people. It is not in the best interest of marginalized communities to depend on a system that already commits such great violence to then protect them. 

Hate crime laws are an easy way for the government to act like it is on our communities’ side while continuing to discriminate against us. Liberal politicians and institutions can claim “anti-oppression” legitimacy and win points with communities affected by prejudice, while simultaneously using “sentencing enhancement” to justify building more prisons to lock us up in.
Hate crimes legislation is a liberal way of being “tough on crime” while building the power of the police, prosecutors, and prison guards. Rather than address systems of violence like health care disparities, economic exploitation, housing crisis, or police brutality, these politicians use hate-crimes legislation as their stamp of approval on “social issues”.

if this interests you read more at BLACKANDPINK.ORG

there will be many times i want to talk about this, but part of IMPRENTA TRANSGENDER LAW PROJECT's mission is to shift the focus of queer/trans legal advocacy from issues of formal equality (such as hate crimes, discrimination, marriage, sodomy repeal etc) to issues that more directly affect the majority of the trans population, the most vulnerable members of our community, ie low income trans people of color. most of us do not suffer directly at the hands of hate perpetrators, although these incidents are grievous, but rather we fall, to varying degrees, within a matrix of race/class/economic oppression which is doubly impossible because of our non-conforming genders. SOO things like access to social services, housing, foster-care, incarceration, immigration etc. these areas need a LOT of work and critique, as opposed to some of these more mainstream causes, organized by the professionalized segment of the LGBT movement, which have more symbolic significance than daily affect. sure these policies are important, but sadly moreso in that they give us more recourse to put people in jail the next time we are killed and beaten. Hate crimes laws basically define "human" in terms of whether you life is worth putting some one else's else in jail.

i could go on but this website is way more consise and organized... so GO.

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