ADL Wants Mel Gibson Charged with Hate Crime
Mel Gibson’s drunken anti-Semitic tirade over the weekend has yielded an even more bizarre response: The Anti-Defamation League is calling for hate crimes charges to be brought.
JEWISH groups have demanded Mel Gibson be investigated for hate crimes after the Hollywood star allegedly made anti-Semitic comments to US police officers when he was stopped on suspicion of drink-driving and speeding.
Gibson’s reported criticism of Jews, contained in a leaked police report detailing his arrest early on Friday morning, included the phrase: “F*****g Jews. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” He has since apologised for his actions, saying they were “despicable”, but community Jewish leaders called for Gibson to be ostracised from Hollywood, where the A-list actor is considered an industry powerbroker.
Calling for a criminal investigation into the Oscar-winning actor and director’s remarks, Abraham Foxman, the national director of the US Jewish Anti-Defamation League, said: “We believe there should be consequences to bigots and bigotry.”
Gibson, 50, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after deputies clocked his Lexus sports car speeding at 87mph in a 45mph zone at 2:36am on Friday in Malibu, sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said. The actor was later found to have a blood-alcohol ratio of 0.12.The legal limit in California is 0.08, according to the police records.
While I oppose the very idea of “hate crimes” on libertarian grounds, I at least understand the rationale behind them. Painting a swastika on a synagogue or burning a cross on a black man’s yard cause more damage to society than mere vandalism or criminal mischief. How, exactly, drunk driving and speeding–the only laws Gibson is alleged to have broken–can be “hate crimes,” though, is beyond me.
There’s not much doubt that legitimate racism and anti-Semitism are still with us. Still, what remains is a dark shadow of what we had a few decades ago. The professional activist apparatus created to fight them, however, remain. With this announcement, the ADL may be signaling that they’re going the way of the NAACP, PUSH, and many others and simply seizing on every possible opportunity for attention. It’s a pitiful thing to behold. On the other hand, that they have to work so hard to find incidents to publicize is a good thing, indeed.