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.