“Hate Crimes” and the Thirteenth Amendment
So-called “hate crimes” are manifestly unconstitutional, for they are irreducibly thoughtcrimes. How can an emotion or a feeling so nebulous as “hate” be criminalized? “Hate crimes” are the bloody shirt of Black Lives Matter and other “minority” power organizations, and, just as Civil Rights, seek not to dissolve hierarchy, but rather to generate and enforce new hierarchies. A “hate crime”, which of course is rarely enforced against the thousands of murders and other crimes committed by “minorities” against whites solely because they are white, is a declaration which posits that “minority” lives simply matter more. Is a murder any more or less a murder because it was committed against a black rather than a white? Of course not. To create a new category of “hate crime”, akin to the fallacious doctrine of “hate speech” which conflates thoughtcrime with physical violence, is to state that a crime is somehow more invidious because it was committed with a motive that the Regime deems improper. The first federal “hate crime” statute was included in Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, codified as 18 U.S.C. § 245(b)(2), permitting federal prosecution of “whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, by force or threat of force willfully injures, intimidates or interferes with, or attempts to injure, intimidate or interfere with…any person because of his race, color, religion or national origin and because he is or has been” engaged in any of six defined protected activities, which encompass most human activity. In 2009, President Barack Hussein Obama enacted the “Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act”, attached as a rider to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2010. This law, codified as 18 U.S.C. § 249, expanded the aforementioned provision by defining “hate crimes” as not only “offenses involving actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin”, but also “offenses involving actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.” The circumstances which activate the statute were just as, if not more, comprehensive as the Civil Rights Act had been. Leaving aside the fact that Matthew Shepard was killed as the result of a drug feud, not because of his proclivity for sodomy, this law is even more ominous in its ramifications than the first federal “hate crime” statute had been. The expanded law has been challenged twice to date; the first challenge was dismissed, and the second occurred in United States v. Hatch, wherein the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction under the statute, citing Supreme Court precedent involving the Thirteenth Amendment. From whence did Congress’ power to create “hate crimes” arise?
The Thirteenth Amendment states very simply that “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction”, and that “Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.” That is it — slavery and involuntary servitude. Some judicial revisionists have argued that a handful of members of Congress appealed to the Thirteenth Amendment ban on “slavery” for their constitutional authority to enact the Civil Rights Act of 1866, but this was vigorously opposed. The Radical Senator Henry Wilson said that the Thirteenth Amendment “was never understood by any man in the Senate or House to confer upon Congress the right to prescribe or regulate the suffrage in any State…If [that] had been supposed…the Thirteenth Amendment would never have passed the Congress, never have received the sanction of the States.” Republicans generally agreed that suffrage was not a “natural” or “fundamental” right, and emancipation was targeted only at the vitalization of fundamental, not political rights. In fact, Berger noted that “considerable impetus to the Fourteenth Amendment was given by [Representative] Bingham’s insistence that there was no constitutional authority for the Civil Rights Bill and that an Amendment was required…the fact that Congress went on to enact the Fourteenth Amendment refutes the view that the Thirteenth Amendment was conceived to be ‘open-ended’, to authorize legislation going beyond emancipation.”
Following a by now all too familiar course, the Supreme Court expanded the Thirteenth Amendment by reading into it nonexistent language. The Civil Rights Cases deemed the Civil Rights Act of 1875 to be unconstitutional with respect to its attempt to apply the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to allow blacks “equal enjoyment” of public accommodations, i.e., private businesses and individuals. Justice Bradley wrote that Congress had the power to enforce the Thirteenth Amendment by passing “all laws necessary and proper for abolishing all badges and incidents of slavery in the United States”, “for the obliteration and prevention of slavery with all its badges and incidents.” The Thirteenth Amendment was drafted to “eradicate all forms and incidents of slavery and involuntary servitude”; unlike the Fourteenth Amendment, which could only be employed against State actors, the Thirteenth was necessarily targeted at private actors. Bradley did, however, make sure to state that “it would be running the slavery argument into the ground to make it apply to every act of discrimination which a person may see fit to make as to the guests he will entertain, or as to the people he will take into his coach or cab or car, or admit to his concert or theatre, or deal with in other matters of intercourse or business.”
Indeed, Bradley expressly restricted his unnecessary “badges and incidents” conception. He wrote that “when a man has emerged from slavery, and by the aid of beneficent legislation has shaken off the inseparable concomitants of that state, there must be some stage in the progress of his elevation when he takes the rank of a mere citizen, and ceases to be the special favorite of the laws, and when his rights…are to be protected in the ordinary modes by which other men’s rights are protected. There were thousands of free colored people in this country before the abolition of slavery, enjoying all the essential rights of life, liberty, and property the same as white citizens; yet no one, at that time, thought that it was any invasion of his personal status as a freeman because he was not admitted to all the privileges enjoyed by white men, or because he was subjected to discriminations in the enjoyment of [public accommodations]. Mere discriminations on account of race or color were not regarded as badges of slavery.” The Court affirmed this again in Plessy v. Ferguson, where Justice Henry Brown dismissed the idea that segregation conflicted with the Thirteenth Amendment. In his words, “that it does not conflict with the Thirteenth Amendment…is too clear for argument. Slavery implies involuntary servitude — a state of bondage; the ownership of mankind as a chattel, or at least the control of the labor…of one man for the benefit of another, and the absence of a legal right to the disposal of his own person [and] property…A statute which implies merely a legal distinction between the white and colored races — a distinction which is founded in the color of the two races, and which must always exist so long as white men are distinguished from the other race by color — has no tendency to destroy the legal equality of the two races, or reestablish a state of involuntary servitude.”
The Court injected a world of new meanings into the Thirteenth Amendment in 1968 with its decision in Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Company. The Court, after a duplicitous and cherry-picked account of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments’ legislative histories, held that it was a “badge or incident of slavery” for a party to refuse to sell his home to blacks because of their race, conferring extensive deference upon Congress to define “badges or incidents of slavery.” Justice Potter Stewart wrote, “Surely Congress has the power under the Thirteenth Amendment rationally to determine what are the badges and the incidents of slavery, and the authority to translate that determination into effective legislation. Nor can we say that the determination Congress has made is an irrational one.” He continued that a man would be “reduced to slavery” if he was barred from purchasing any property on account of his race. The right of “property” guaranteed by the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and its constitutional vehicle, the Fourteenth Amendment, was construed to mean that blacks had the right to purchase anything that a white might be able to. This is, as we have seen, completely contrary to the explicit statements by the framers in the Thirty-Ninth Congress; however, assuming that Bradley’s “badges or incidents” expansion of the Thirteenth Amendment is valid — which it is most certainly not — this construction of the fundamental “property” right is at least grounded in some form of rational logic.
As the adage goes, if you give a mouse a cookie…The Court’s holding in Jones, giving Congress the power to “rationally” define the “badges or incidents of slavery”, was a foot in the door through which the deluge now pours. As aforementioned, the newest version of the federal “hate crime” statute was challenged in United States v. Hatch, where the Tenth Circuit upheld a man’s conviction for branding a swastika on the arm of a developmentally disabled Navajo man under the statute, affirming that indeed, Congress has the power to pass legislation targeted at whatever it chooses to define as the “badges or incidents of slavery.” The Tenth Circuit concluded that Congress’ authority to enact the “hate crime” statute rested on the Thirteenth Amendment, and that “Congress rationally determined that racially motivated violence is a badge or incident of slavery against which it may legislate through its power to enforce the Thirteenth Amendment.” Does that seem “rational” to you? The judiciary has presupposed that one must be “irrational” to argue otherwise. It is worth noting the logical contradiction whereby the Thirteenth Amendment, in its new “badges or incidents” expansion, has been applied to “all races, not just those that had been subject to slavery in the United States.” And so, we are presented with yet another example of the fact that whatever the Regime wishes is “constitutionalized” by reading new doctrines into old words with highly limited meanings; the framers of these Amendments, along with the Framers of the Constitution, shudder in their graves.
We have now traced the Egalitarian Regime to two of its three major foundations, only to find that those foundations are cracked, poured in quicksand. The basis of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which reorganized American society, was a facially fraudulent misconstruction of the word “commerce”, whereby everything that might conceivably have some relation to economic activity was deemed to fall under the power of Congress. In other words, the Civil Rights Act was then and is now unconstitutional. Congress had no power to enact it. The basis of Brown v. Board of Education, which transformed American life and by any honest analysis destroyed the American public-school system, as well as Roe v. Wade, Obergefell v. Hodges, and essentially every single “legal” achievement of Regime goals, was an equally specious, though more elaborate, judicial revision through “interpretation” of the Fourteenth Amendment, which is itself unconstitutional. As we have seen, even if we were to put aside the fact of its unconstitutionality, the uses and meanings to which the Amendment has been put are nakedly the opposite of what its framers intended. Our nation was thus stolen from us while we slept. We enacted no constitutional Amendment to initiate these enormous changes in our lives; indeed, the Regime used the judiciary to do so specifically in order to circumvent that amendment process. We have simply taken it on faith that the Supreme Court has the power and the intention to divine “what the Constitution means.” In reality, the Regime has rewritten the United States Constitution, such that it no longer retains any semblance of its original meaning. It is our solemn obligation to interrogate the source of the powers claimed. We may now conclude that there isn’t any. Now is the time to take back our Constitution, and thus to take back our nation — this is the first step in dismantling the Egalitarian Regime.
Neil Kumar is a law student who lives in the Arkansas Ozarks. He is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and Sons of the American Revolution, with blood that has been Southern since the seventeenth century. His work can also be found at the Abbeville Institute, American Renaissance, Identity Dixie, Lew Rockwell, The Political Cesspool, Truth to Power, The Unz Review, and VDare.