I heard this on the radio today, and the big neon sign in my head screamed, “No!”:
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Felony “hate crimes” for people who assault North Carolina firefighters, police officers and other medical personnel and who lure first responders to locations to attack them would be created in House legislation.
We know the Art Pope/Koch brothers/ALEC Libertarian/Christofascist NCGOP legislators passed HB2 and are the saddest bunch of skin-headed Visigoths East of Kansas. So, this bit of legal overreach is to be expected.
First responders have the ignominious task of representing those in authority to those most abused by authority. They represent the thin blue/red line. Whereas first responders are misused by white privilege and entitlement, victims are to be further criminalized should they resist.
Hate crimes have traditionally been used to protect a minority from crime solely on the basis of race, gender or religion. First responders fall into none of these protections and the bill is a perversion of the intent of the laws.
Neoliberals long ago abrogated their responsibility to the mentally ill. To subject violent paranoids to criminalization is cruel and unjust. To my knowledge, every first responder is assisted by fire and law enforcement professionals. Let them do their jobs, even as the wealthy and powerful neglect their responsibilities, and don’t look for reasons to throw damaged people in prison.