- The Washington Times - Monday, June 8, 2009


In his Wednesday letter to the editor, “Have you no sense of decency?” Wade Henderson takes umbrage at the “use” of Emmett Till in the May 24 Hunter’s Big Picture. I think he doth protest too much. Had he gotten beyond his shock over Till’s imaginary participation in the current debate on hate-crimes legislation, he might have been surprised, as I was, to learn that redress over racial hate crimes was made in 1994 — almost 40 years after the murder and under a newly elected Republican Congress.

Hunter’s point clearly was to differentiate penalties for criminal actions based on race and not behavior, as the present legislation proposes. Extreme care must be taken because what is considered hateful by the majority one day can easily be flipped with a change in leadership. The bottom line, of course, is that crimes against human beings are, by definition, hate-filled and we should all be treated equally under the law.

Finally, Mr. Henderson resorts to the urban myth of Joseph N. Welch supposedly speaking truth to power during his May 1954 appearance before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired at the time by Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy. I recommend to him M. Stanton Evans’ extensively researched book “Blacklisted.” The record clearly shows that Mr. Welch’s famous question about decency was in regard to his young associate being outed as a member of a communist front organization — a fact that Mr. Welch himself already had divulged.



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