The decade's most triggering comedy
Police departments nationwide regularly receive a document from the DOJ entitled “Hate Crime Data Collection Guidelines And Training Manual.” The point of the manual is to educate officers on how to identify hate crimes and report them to the feds for the all-important hate crime statistics you often see in the media. They were everywhere during the Trump presidency. You still see these hate crime figures cited today, in fact. These are the statistics that supposedly prove white supremacy is the greatest threat this country has ever faced.
Given all the reliance on these numbers, it’s strange that no one ever talks about the DOJ manual. You’d think there’d be some curiosity about how these numbers are determined. So I decided to read the document myself. One of the most extensive sections of the manual, as it turns out, is the “exercises” section. These are hypothetical scenarios that the DOJ provides to police departments to help illustrate hate crimes law. One of the exercises is about two gang members who assault a random Hindu person with a baseball bat. The exercise states that, “When taken into custody, the two juveniles reported they committed the assault because they want the Hindu people to go back where they came from.”
As you can probably guess, the DOJ’s manual instructs officers to categorize this incident as a hate crime because of “the offenders’ derogatory comments about the Hindu community.” Seems straightforward enough. If you beat someone up while yelling, “go back where you came from,” then you’re committing a hate crime. If “hate crime” means anything, then that would seem to qualify.
What’s interesting is that a real-life version of this exercise just played out earlier this month in New York City. 51-year-old Asian American Sue Young was traveling on a subway train in Greenwich Village — supposedly one of the nice areas of the city — with her husband and her 11-year-old twin girls. That’s when three black teenage girls started screaming and cursing at Sue Young. She tried to play it off. Her husband suggested the girls might be “uneducated.” A rather plausible theory, I would say. Then the teenagers told Sue Young to go back where she came from. Within seconds, one of the teenagers, a 16-year-old girl, began attacking Young. Then, for good measure, the teenager beat a bystander who recorded the incident.
Given all those facts, you’d think it’s safe to call this incident a hate crime, since it pretty much mirrors exactly the scenario in the DOJ’s hate-crimes manual. “Go back where you came from” is an admission that the attack relates to the victims’ national origin, race, or religion. It’s pretty straightforward to any reasonable person. But it’s not straightforward to New York police, apparently. They have decided not to charge the teenager in this case with a hate crime. They found her. They arrested her. They know she told her victim to go back to her country. But there won’t be any hate crimes charges.
That’s not because the evidence is unclear. There’s no dispute about any of these facts. It’s all been established. Watch:
“Go back where you came from,” followed by a beating. Under the DOJ’s guidelines, that’s a hate crime. It’s literally one of the exact scenarios they specify as a hate crime. But it won’t be recorded as one.
If you’re the kind of person who trusts government statistics on crime — or on any topic at all — then this development is mind-blowing, to put it mildly. It’s the kind of thing that might make you ask some unapproved questions. For example, you might wonder: Is it really true, as multiple outlets have reported, that the “anti-Asian hate-crime epidemic” is caused by all those MAGA Republicans that secretly live in New York and San Francisco? Are MAGA Republicans not only controlling the weather and melting the ice caps, but also patrolling the streets looking for Asians to randomly assault? Can we trust that data?
Here are the real numbers. As The City Journal recently reported, “While black perpetrators account for 27.5 percent of violent attacks against Asians, Asians commit less than 0.1 percent of violent attacks against blacks, indicating little role for proximity. Most violent attacks against individuals of a particular racial group are committed by other members of that group — except for Asians, where a plurality is committed by blacks. In fact, blacks are responsible for 305 percent more violent crime against Asians than neighborhood demographics would predict, while whites and Hispanics commit significantly fewer attacks against Asians than would be expected.”
What this suggests is that hate-crime statistics are meaningless. Totally bogus. They misrepresent and vastly underreport the amount of anti-Asian racial violence committed by black people, particularly young black people. What happened in Sue Young’s case isn’t as unusual as it might appear.
To be clear, there are many other reasons to conclude these hate-crime statistics aren’t reliable. The overwhelming majority of police departments report zero hate crimes every year, for example. You heard that right — zero hate crimes. In 2019, fewer than 15% of the nearly 16,000 jurisdictions reported a single hate crime to the DOJ, even though they participated in the DOJ’s reporting system. This is a tiny sample size we’re talking about here.
And these police departments — the few that are reporting hate crimes — are not verifying, as a legal matter, that any hate crime occurred. The hate-crime statistics don’t refer to hate crimes that have been proven. They refer to reports of hate crimes, as the DOJ manual says. All it takes is a cop to code a case as “hateful,” and boom, you have a hate crime. No jury or judge is required.
These are the gaping holes in the hate crimes reporting system that you never hear about. So you have to ask: Why do we have this hate-crimes system, if it’s not producing anything remotely resembling accurate results? And for that matter, even if we could measure this accurately, why does anyone bother recording hate crimes? Why not record crimes that are motivated by, say, greed or lust? Why does the “hate crimes” designation persist? As I’ve often argued, the most dangerous people in society are those motivated not by hate but by indifference to human life. Why don’t we have a separate federal category for Indifferent Crimes? Why give hate crimes this special place of honor, especially when they aren’t being recorded in any kind of honest or consistent way?
Well, Sue Young and her husband offer us some clues on that front. They’ve come out and given interviews absolving their attacker of personal responsibility. Watch:
“We don’t know what battles other people have in their lives, but I can imagine they’re probably not as privileged,” Sue Young’s husband said. He’s apparently justifying why he allowed his wife to be accosted right in front of him. He adds, “That probably has a lot to do with their outlook on the world and the anger they may have.” Therefore, the couple agrees, what happened to them was not a hate crime. They’re happy they took their beating instead of fighting back.
What that couple is saying out loud, without realizing it, is the real reason hate crimes persist as a category. The point of hate crimes isn’t really to measure hate. The point is to measure victimhood, where the victims happen to be the primary voting blocs of the Democratic Party. If you have “privilege” — meaning if you’re Asian or white — then hate crimes can’t happen to you. If you’re attacked because of your ethnicity, you should rationalize it. Justify the actions of your attackers.
One of the many problems with this reasoning — other than the fact that “lack of privilege” cannot conceivably justify beating up a woman in front of her kids — is that plenty of poor people don’t commit violent crimes. We can measure this. The assumption that Sue Young and her husband have — that their attacker must have a really hard life — isn’t an explanation at all for what happened. The Twitter account “Monitoring Bias” has looked into the numbers on this. The account found that, “In NYC, where the percentage of Asians who live in poverty is close to that of blacks, the black arrest rate for murder was 13 times higher than for Asians in 2020.”
In other words, black people aren’t simply committing acts of violence because many of them are poor. The black violent crime rate is still disproportionately high even when you control for income level and economic class. The point is that these punks on the subway aren’t really “angry” or going through any great personal struggle. They are bored and spoiled, and they’ve been empowered to act however they want, with the knowledge that their behavior will always be excused no matter how heinous it is. They have no fear of any punishment. In that way, they’re like the rich Antifa kids who spit on cops or the lawyers who threw firebombs at a police cruiser during a BLM riot. They’re like the thugs who you see going into Nordstrom or the Apple store and walking out with all the merchandise. They know they’re not going to suffer immediate, severe, and long-lasting punishment. They know they might not suffer any punishment at all. They know their victims are weak and often lack the will to defend themselves. So they take advantage of it.
That’s the reality. Some people won’t acknowledge it even when it hits them in the face, many times over, on the subway. They’ve been fed so many lies, including from the DOJ’s hate crimes reporting system, that they’re incapable of diagnosing the problem, much less trying to solve it. Their weakness will perpetuate violence on all sides. People can only take so many subway beatings and “random” stabbings before they start defending themselves.
The Youngs were proud of themselves for not “attacking” the black teens who were harassing them. But people are growing weary of this kind of passivity — of this submissiveness in the face of lawless, violent thugs. The dam can’t hold forever. There will be a lot more Daniel Pennys coming soon. And when that happens, the DOJ will call it hateful. They’ll call it a sign of rampant white supremacy. What they’ll never admit — what they know is true — is that it will be their fault.