Eric Holcomb, hate crime legislation and Mack Trucks.

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The topic is hate crime, and as an aside, it’s instructive to consider Governor Eric Holcomb’s feat of juggling.

Holcomb was praised by the customarily milquetoast News and Tribune for his stand in favor of hate crime legislation, then opened for Donald Trump in Evansville and was almost completely ignored by statewide media.

Now, it just might be that so few states remain without hate crime legislation that there’s no political capital to be expended by Holcomb in conceding the inevitable.

And, there is no way Holcomb would NOT warm up the crowd at an in-state rally for a president and senatorial candidate of his own party, with the latter poised to topple a Democratic incumbent.

Perhaps there are some tightropes to be walked, though in a state as red as this one, they’re as wide as an Ohio River bridge. As always, the devil lurks in the semantics, but a hate crime law is overdue, and if the sitting governor supports it, let’s get it done.

Following are two local chain newspaper articles on the topic, neither of them authored by Tom May. That fact alone is noteworthy.


OUR OPINION: Hate crime law overdue in Indiana
, by the editorial team at the Tom and Maybune

 … For too long Hoosier lawmakers have been content with giving only lip service to acts of hate. Their failure to act has left us self-righteous — we’re “shocked” and “saddened” at these “senseless” acts — but impotent.

No more, if Gov. Holcomb has his way. He responded to the hate vandalism with determined eloquence.

“No law can stop evil, but we should be clear that our state stands with the victims and their voices will not be silenced,” Holcomb said. “For that reason it is my intent that we get something done this next legislative session, so Indiana can be 1 of 46 states with hate crimes legislation—and not 1 of 5 states without it.”

The other four states void of hate crimes laws are Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina and Wyoming.

Praiseworthy and in-depth coverage of the issue is here, so check it out.

In Southern Indiana, victims of hate say it’s a crime in need of a law, by Aprile Rickert

WHAT IS A HATE CRIME?

The FBI defines a hate crime, for the purpose of collecting statistics, as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.” Although the Bureau recognizes that hate alone is not a crime, and free speech rights are protected.

Indiana’s neighboring states of Kentucky, Illinois and Ohio already have hate crime legislation in place, although the language varies on who is specifically protected.

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