With all the laws on the books, one must view the hate crimes legislation as ulterior in motivation. I suggest that we look, in an ironic way, at the thoughts behind the hate crime legislation and the antecedent laws produced thereby. When a murder is committed, laws exist to punish the perpetrator(s) of the crime. When harassment, assault and malevolently prejudicial actions happen to people, likewise laws exist to punish those who would do such. Legal remedies exist; case closed. However, to serve a political agenda and a political constituency, liberals have enacted "hate crimes legislation" to portray their concern for the disenfranchised; i.e.: gays, blacks, Asians, et al to effect empathy with those so victimized. Simply put, the politicians who vote for the hate crimes legislation will receive the votes of those groups.
Myopic in nature and simplistic in the reasoning behind them, these laws and those who create, endorse and support them, have unwittingly opened the door for the criminalization of thought. Ask yourself what happens when the government deems certain thoughts "hate" and the purview of the "hate crimes" becomes politically useful in other areas of social intercourse? Bottom line; can one trust the government not to use this (hate crimes) for it's own corrupt end? Of course not, that is why every thinking American should oppose this type of nascent thought control.
The history of "unintended consequences" speaks to and prospectively mitigates the enactment and enforcement of any of these laws. We cannot allow the government to go down this path where thoughts can be criminalized. Without dissent we are slaves to the thoughts that the government would have us to have; and all of such thoughts would be in approval of and approbation for whatever the rulers deemed appropriate for the "ruled". That is the harvest in years to come from the seed of "hate crime laws". I ask that you look panoramically at the big and complete picture and from such derive your conclusions. Reason it out, government serves itself as it portrays itself as a servant of the people. Group- think- passion is a poor substitute for an informed perspective.