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No Excuses for Anti-Hispanic Hate Crimes

People in the country illegally should be apprehended and deported by authorities, not beaten and killed by thugs.

by
Ruben Navarrette Jr.

Bio

August 29, 2010 - 12:10 am
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Confronted with such barbarism, good people have choices to make. They can offer excuses for these heinous acts, or claim that these are isolated incidents. Some might even challenge the idea that there is such a thing as a “hate crime” and insist that it’s wrong to distinguish one class of victims from another.

Total rubbish. One of the reasons that haters who turn into bullies and murderers deserve so little leniency is because they don’t just brutalize the individuals they attack and the families they leave behind wounded and scarred. Armed with the deadly combination of ignorance and violence, they savage one of this country’s most important and valuable traditions. In fact, Mr. Jefferson considered it a founding principle:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

It doesn’t say “all U.S. citizens” or “all native-born Americans.” The people he was talking about were neither. It says: “all men.”

If someone is the country illegally — and it’s not clear that all the victims were — then they should be apprehended and deported by authorities, not beaten and killed by thugs.

In the heat of the immigration debate, some people seem to have forgotten that. It’s up to the rest of us to remind them.

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Ruben Navarrette Jr. is a member of the editorial board of the San Diego Union Tribune, a nationally syndicated columnist, a frequent lecturer, and a regular contributor to CNN.com.
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