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Recognition and the Other
Unformatted Document Text:  Recognition and the Other, p. 13 The liberalist disdain for difference can also be seen in the legislative debates over the 1999 Hate Crimes bill where reciprocity and symmetry become the exclusive measures of justice. Proponents of the bill argue that the legislation is needed to address the symbolic significance, the communicative dimension if you will, of violent crimes directed against people based on their "otherness," their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, or disability. "Hate crimes are especially odious because they victimize more than just the individual victim. They are acts of terrorism directed against an entire class of citizens" (Nadler, 2000, Congressional Record). Frequently discursive efforts to mark this difference, to create a public response to acts of violence against despised "others," were met by the liberalist equation of difference as unfairness. Since all crime is committed by reason of hate, asks Rep. George Gekas (R-PA), why we should make a distinction? What rationale do you employ, Mr. Holder, when someone poses a hypothetical of the type that an assault with intent to kill on X, and an assault almost simultaneously with intent to kill to Y, who happens to be one of the protected classes in the hate crime arena, what rationale do you employ to respond to say why is the one being treated differently? They’re both victims. They’re both maybe paralyzed for life, maybe hurt beyond reclamation. What rationale do we employ in saying one should be treated differently from the other in the consequences to the assailant? (Gekas, 1999). The ethico-political question is one of response -- how should the society respond collectively to violence against despised minorities as a symbolic, and at a symbolic, level? Gekas discourse ignores the symbolic communicative question by focusing only at the individual level where values of reciprocity and symmetry are firmly entrenched. A just response, in his

Authors: Lipari, Lisbeth.
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Recognition and the Other, p. 13
The liberalist disdain for difference can also be seen in the legislative debates over the
1999 Hate Crimes bill where reciprocity and symmetry become the exclusive measures of justice.
Proponents of the bill argue that the legislation is needed to address the symbolic significance,
the communicative dimension if you will, of violent crimes directed against people based on their
"otherness," their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, or disability. "Hate crimes
are especially odious because they victimize more than just the individual victim. They are acts
of terrorism directed against an entire class of citizens" (Nadler, 2000, Congressional Record).
Frequently discursive efforts to mark this difference, to create a public response to acts of
violence against despised "others," were met by the liberalist equation of difference as unfairness.
Since all crime is committed by reason of hate, asks Rep. George Gekas (R-PA), why we should
make a distinction?
What rationale do you employ, Mr. Holder, when someone poses a hypothetical of the
type that an assault with intent to kill on X, and an assault almost simultaneously with
intent to kill to Y, who happens to be one of the protected classes in the hate crime arena,
what rationale do you employ to respond to say why is the one being treated differently?
They’re both victims. They’re both maybe paralyzed for life, maybe hurt beyond
reclamation. What rationale do we employ in saying one should be treated differently
from the other in the consequences to the assailant? (Gekas, 1999).
The ethico-political question is one of response -- how should the society respond
collectively to violence against despised minorities as a symbolic, and at a symbolic, level?
Gekas discourse ignores the symbolic communicative question by focusing only at the individual
level where values of reciprocity and symmetry are firmly entrenched. A just response, in his


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