Bananas On Ice In Ontario

A while back, I posted on Scottish soccer fans who threw a banana at Brazilian soccer player Neymar. My tone there was more bemused at the inscrutable foreignness of the Scottish than anything else.

But this incident is different. Say what you will about the Canadians, they are, for us Americans, significantly less inscrutable than the Picts. It’s impossible to see any motive but racism for this act:

The London, Ontario police received some tips yesterday about the identity of the person who threw a banana onto the ice when Wayne Simmonds of the Flyers was competing in the shootout last week. On Wednesday, the department levied charges on 26-year-old Christopher Moorehouse under the trespass to property act, a provincial statute. John Matisz, writer for the London Community News, first reported from the police briefing. …

The fine is little comparted to the shame and ridicule Moorehouse will receive for having committed the act with racial undertones, considering Simmonds is black. On that front, the London police decided against charging Moorehouse with a hate crime.

(I’m glad that he wasn’t charged with a hate crime; I tend to think that punishing a crime as a crime is enough, without adding an extra charge for perceived motivation (especially for something as relatively minor as throwing something on the ice). The counterargument I’ve heard, that we heighten punishment for crimes depending on the identity of the victim, such as a cop or a child, certainly does carry some weight).

Speaking of the intersection of sports, bananas, and racism, Orioles DH Luke Scott liked to throw banana chips at former teammate Felix Pie to remind him not to act like “an animal” or a “savage”. Scott had come to some public attention for his embrace of birtherism. In that interview, Scott also professed his admiration of Ted Nugent: 

I’m a big fan of Ted Nugent because he’s a “keep it real” type of guy. He respects wildlife, he loves to hunt. I look at Ted Nugent and … he’s an American. He has the core beliefs of what it means to be an American in his heart. He lives by those beliefs and those principles. It’s the same beliefs that our forefathers, who fought for our country, have. I’d be real interested in meeting him one day.

In the worldview of folks like Luke Scott and Mike Huckabee, Ted Nugent, who likes to threaten to murder Democrats and dodged the Vietnam draft, is a “Real American” because he’s white, and acts like an asshole.

This is unsurprising, because conservatism in the US has no policy content, and has degenerated into a mere tribal identity.

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2 Responses to Bananas On Ice In Ontario

  1. Herschel says:

    “punishing a crime as a crime is enough, without adding an extra charge for perceived motivation”

    Yes, but in at least several hundred years of the common law tradition, we’ve taken mental state into account in how serious a charge of homicide is–premeditated is enormously more serious than spur-of-the-moment. How is that qualitatively different from taking a motivation of hatred into account?

    • nickgb says:

      Well, premeditation is different than motive. I want my friend dead because he’s a Giants fan, whether I kill him in the spur of the moment or I plan it out the motive is the same. You’re right that motive sometimes matters, but only in very narrow circumstances like killing for hire.

      The reason I don’t like hate crime enhancements is that murder is already a crime, but racism is basically protected speech. How can we say that being a racist is your constitutional right unless you commit a crime, and then it’s grounds for locking you up longer?

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