Critics of Hate Crime legislation often argue that the true purpose of the laws are to advance a particular narrative. Certain organizations and media outlets campaign for hate crime legislation. When a crime occurs that fits their narrative, they lobby for hate crime charges to be applied. However, sometimes these same people will lobby against hate crime charges.
Recently, two black women in Maryland were charged with second-degree arson, trespassing, and hate crimes for setting a large Donald Trump sign on fire. The sign belonged to a Sporting Goods store owned by Robert Wink in Princess Anne, MD. The fire only damaged a small piece of the sign. However, it spread across the grass and vegetation causing $800 in damages before it was put out by firefighters.
The arson attack was captured on surveillance camera. Princess Anne police say that the two women targeted Wink because of his race and his political views.
The Baltimore Sun, ACLU, and a laundry list of major left-leaning online media outlets all rushed to their defense. Salon wrote that the hate crime charges are an outrage. Daily Kos not only defended the girls, they equated the arson with freedom of speech.
Princess Anne police and the county prosecutor gave in to the lobbying and dropped the hate crime charges.