Two students at the University of Missouri-Columbia were suspended Wednesday after their arrests in a case of cotton balls thrown across the lawn of the campus black-culture center.Let's be clear, these two young men committed a crime--vandalism.
Campus police on Tuesday evening arrested the students, one of whom is from the St. Louis area, on suspicion of a felony hate crime. The two were released on bond, and charges were pending.
The incident happened early Friday at the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center, near the middle of campus. Nathan Stephens, the center's coordinator, said students were offended because of the "symbolic violence" that harkened to days of slavery on cotton plantations.
I don't know if that is a felony or a misdemeanor in Missouri or not, but make no mistake, these two chuckleheads did commit a crime.
But they didn't commit a hate crime. Being offensive is not a crime, being tasteless is not a crime. Having lacivious thoughts is not a crime. You see, mental thoughts are not a crime.
But because someone was offended and the cotton balls "harkened back to days of slavery" these two idiots are being charged with a felony "hate crime." How do you convict someone of "hate?" We are policing thoughts, and if you choose the wrong litter you can be charged with a felony. That is dumb.