Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Cam's revenge

After a hate-crime attack against him and his Jewish roomate last fall, Cam Matthews and his family have turned into activists.

The case has echoes of the beating of Angel Santuario, who was pummeled outside a gay bar by three out-of-town construction workers who were putting in the new track at Los Altos High School. Santuario is straight. Matthews is a goy. From the Merc story yesterday:
"Everybody in the community is a potential hate-crime victim,'' Tracy Matthews, 57, told the crowd. "Even if you are not part of a recognized target group, you're not safe. Our son Cameron is not Jewish, but that didn't protect him from an anti-Semitic attack. We have to make it clear that we do not tolerate hate crimes against anyone.''

The two incidents demonstrate the logic behind hate crime legislation: Theoretically, Cam (and his roommate) and Angel were not the only intended victims. The attackers were also seeking, in one way or another, to intimidate every member of a given class of people. Whether or not Cam and Angel are members of that class is almost beside the point.

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