The case of the angry white man who in 2015 killed three Muslim college students in Chapel Hill once again turned into a discussion of whether the murders were a "hate crime."
There are plenty of procedural and legal reasons, as well as possible bias reasons, why authorities don't want to call this or other offenses based in hate by the label "hate crime." The legal categories don't quite fit; Hicks would get the same sentence anyway. But a newly released tape from Deah Barakat's phone in which polite students tried to mollify their angry neighbor just before he shot them more than made the case. Here's how the prosecutor responded:
It may seem just words, but naming hate crimes what they are is a significant way we announce that all of us us are in this together.