Hate Crimes Coalition Split Over Cardin Bill | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Hate Crimes Coalition Split Over Cardin Bill

Play associated audio

By Rebecca Sheir

A bill co-sponsored by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) would count crimes against homeless people as hate crimes.

But members of a national coalition against hate crimes are split on the issue.

The FBI tracks hate crimes committed on the basis of a person's race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, gender and gender identity, plus crimes committed by juveniles and against juveniles.

But Michael Lieberman, co-chair of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Hate Crimes Task Force says homelessness is different.

"Homelessness is not an immutable characteristic," he notes. "Society is actively trying to end homelessness.

Lieberman, who serves as Washington counsel for the Anti-Defamation League, opposes Cardin's act. Fellow Task Force member Neil Donovan, who directs the National Coalition for the Homeless, supports it.

"I think hate crimes are crimes against an individual because of what they represent to another person," he says. "And we have countless examples of people assaulted based solely on the fact that the person either believed that the person was homeless or knew them to be homeless."

Maryland, D.C. and Maine already have extended hate crime protection to homeless people. The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to take up Cardin's bill Thursday.

NPR

Author Explores Armenian Genocide 'Obsession' And Turkish Denial

As a child, Armenian-American writer Meline Toumani was taught to see Turks as a bitter enemy. She wrote her new book, There Was and There Was Not, in an effort to understand that conflict.
NPR

Nutmeg Spice Has A Secret Story That Isn't So Nice

Nutmeg is a feel-good holiday spice. But it once caused serious bloodshed and may have even been a reason the Dutch were willing to part with Manhattan in the 1600s.
WAMU 88.5

Special Prosecutors Should Handle Civilian Shootings By Police, Holmes Norton Says

Norton says mayors and governors could stem anger over civilian shootings by police by appointing special prosecutors to handle them.
NPR

Pyongyang Blames U.S. Amid Reports Of New Internet Outages

Pyongyang has accused President Obama of "reckless words and deeds" and said the U.S. is "playing hide and seek as children with runny noses would."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.