by Michael Shellenberger at PUBLIC
The public’s hatred of racial, sexual, and religious minorities is so out of control that it imperils our democracy. At least, that’s what influential leaders from Joe Biden and Barack Obama to former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden and California Governor Gavin Newsom want us to believe.
Last week Newsom announced a state initiative for citizens to report disfavored speech (non-criminal “hate incidents”) they see online:
California’s “Civil Rights Department” (CRD) invites citizens to speculate about the motive of the “perpetrator.”
In a statement, Newsom’s office said the legislation was “in direct response to the rise in reported hate crimes in California, which in recent years, reached their highest levels since 2001 – jumping almost 33% from 2020 to 2021.”
But convictions of hate crimes have been flat. In 2012 there were 107 hate crime convictions in California. In 2021, there were 109, according to the same data.
It’s possible that hate crimes really did rise by 80%, and juries decided not to give prosecutors convictions. In San Fransicko, I assemble a large body of evidence to show California residents have become more tolerant of crime.
But it’s also possible that convictions stayed the same because…Continue Reading