Don't you wonder how they're going to decide if it's a hate crime? The kids' comments are almost there, but not quite, it seems to me. "Unpatriotic" isn't the worst thing we've ever been called... I guess this is where my Libertarian streak comes out... I've never been a big fan of hate crimes anyhow - they've always seemed to me to be punishment for thinking or feeling something. And as far as I know, you're not supposed to get jail time for what you think - as long as you don't act on it. Once you act on it, then you get punished for the act. Not the thoughts or feelings. Hate crimes punish you for feeling/thinking hatefully. And "unpatriotic" just isn't that hateful.
Negative, yes. But not a hate crime.
What do you think?
The 17-year-old boys took the flag from outside of David Wade's culinary supply store, called Inner Chef, according to Bloomington police. Wade said the flag, called the "New Glory," shows that all Americans are welcome at his business.
A witness saw the boys take the flag and took a picture of their license plate with a cell phone camera. Police later tracked the plate and questioned the boys, who said they burned the flag because they felt it was "unpatriotic," police reports said.
Bloomington's Safe and Civil City Director Beverly Calender-Anderson said if there is a suspicion that the flag burning was a hate crime, the incident would get reported to the Human Rights Commission.
"We do value and honor the diversity in our city and do not condone discrimination or any kind of acts against people because of their sexual orientation, gender, race, class or anything else," she said.