Newsom Sets Up Soviet-Style Hate Snitch Line

Newsom Sets Up Soviet-Style Hate Snitch Line
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., on May 2, 2023. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)
John Seiler
5/17/2023
Updated:
5/18/2023
0:00
Commentary
We’ve seen this before. California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently established a new hotline, CAvsHate.org, which “provides a safe, anonymous reporting option for victims and witnesses of hate acts,” according to his office’s announcement.

“Here in California, we are sending an unequivocal message that hate will not be tolerated,” said the governor himself.  “We stand firm for a California for All and it is important that we hold perpetrators accountable for their actions and provide resources for those individuals victimized by hate crimes.”

Notice how the announcement and the governor elide between “reporting” hate crimes and actual hate crimes. Who will judge whether such actions are genuine hate crimes?

Under Stalin’s communist dictatorship, the Soviets developed the cult of Pavel Morozov. He was a young communist during the collectivization campaign that killed as many as 7 million people, mainly Ukrainians. According to Britannica’s account, “In 1930, at age 12, he gained notoriety for denouncing his father, the head of the local soviet, to the Soviet authorities.” He denounced his father for allegedly forging documents and “accused other peasants of hoarding their grain and withholding it from the authorities.”
(Far L) The Chicago American’s front page depicting the Holodomor, a man-made famine in Soviet Ukraine in 1932 and 1933 that killed millions. (Top) Carts of grain are taken from a collective farm in the village of Oleksiyivka, Ukraine, in 1932, part of the Soviet regime's policy of deliberately taking away food from the peasants. (Bottom) Emaciated children during the Holodomor. (All Public Domain)
(Far L) The Chicago American’s front page depicting the Holodomor, a man-made famine in Soviet Ukraine in 1932 and 1933 that killed millions. (Top) Carts of grain are taken from a collective farm in the village of Oleksiyivka, Ukraine, in 1932, part of the Soviet regime's policy of deliberately taking away food from the peasants. (Bottom) Emaciated children during the Holodomor. (All Public Domain)

The locals murdered Pavel, after which he was held up as an exemplary communist. In particular, children were encouraged to denounce their parents. California now has its own, high-tech version of the Morozov snitch cult.

Here’s how the state’s Civil Rights Department explained the new program:

“The California Civil Rights Department received funding and authorization from the State Legislature to establish the non-emergency, CA vs. Hate Resource Line and Network to support individuals and communities targeted for hate.

“The goals of CA vs. Hate are to help individuals and communities targeted for hate; identify options for next steps after a hate incident; connect people targeted for hate with culturally competent resources; and to improve hate incident and crime reporting data to enhance hate crimes prevention and response.

“You can report anonymously. Whether or not you report anonymously, your identity will not be disclosed. The only exception to non-disclosure is if a report is made of child abuse, elder abuse, or activities indicating an imminent risk of violence, or if required by law.”

Indefinite Definitions

The site does provide definitions—sort of—for hate crimes. Please excuse the word salad, but the gibberish shows what this really is:

“Hate Incidents: A hate incident is a hostile expression or action that may be motivated by bias against another person’s actual or perceived identity(ies). Perpetrators may be motivated by different discriminatory biases, including, but not limited to, bias on the basis of race, color, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender, including gender identity. There are two main kinds of hate incidents – (1) acts of hate that are not crimes but violate civil rights laws, and (2) acts of hate that may not violate the law but still cause significant harm in a community.”

Tom Garing cleans up racist graffiti painted on the side of a mosque in what officials called an apparent hate crime in Roseville, Calif. on Feb. 1, 2017. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo)
Tom Garing cleans up racist graffiti painted on the side of a mosque in what officials called an apparent hate crime in Roseville, Calif. on Feb. 1, 2017. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo)

And:

“Hate Crime: Under California law, a hate crime is a criminal act committed, in whole or in part, because of one or more of the following actual or perceived characteristics of the victim: disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation; or because of the person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.”

Notice “actual or perceived identity(ies)” and “perceived characteristics.” Here’s the most obvious problem. Take religion. We have many different religions in America. Under our First Amendment, you can worship as you please. But what if you have a friendly discussion with another person of another religion about your differences? You say their religion is wrong, and yours is right. He says his religion is right and yours is wrong. Most of us have these discussions. I do all the time, including with close friends of other religions. I love learning about their religions, and finding areas of commonality, even if we disagree on many things.

But is that “hate”? Obviously not. And my friends wouldn’t say so about our discissions. But under the above definition, if someone overheard us talking, both of us might be reported to the snitch line for “acts of hate that may not violate the law but still cause significant harm in a community.”

Hate Snitch FAQ

The Civil Rights Department also features a “CA vs. Hate Resource Line and Network Frequently Asked Questions.”

Q: “Who can report a hate incident or hate incident?”

A: “Anyone can report a hate crime or incident, including the targeted person, a friend or relative, a bystander, etc.”

Just like young Pavel, someone can rat out a relative, this time for telling an ethnic joke maybe heard on TV by Richard Pryor or Don Rickles, two late comics.

Q: “What if the hate incident or hate crime occurred outside of California, can I still report it via CA vs. Hate? Do I have to be a resident of California to report?”

A: “Yes, you can still report the hate incident or crime, even if it occurred outside of California. Resources are intended to support California residents regardless of where they are harmed as well as non-California residents who are harmed in our state.”

People hold a banner picturing Communist figures including (From L) Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Ilitch Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong, as they gather in Bakirkoy district as part of the May Day rally, in Istanbul, on May 1, 2017. (Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images)
People hold a banner picturing Communist figures including (From L) Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Ilitch Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong, as they gather in Bakirkoy district as part of the May Day rally, in Istanbul, on May 1, 2017. (Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images)
Even Stalin didn’t think up that one. Mainly because the Soviet Union was a closed communist society. It was hard to leave. But under CA vs. Hate, if you travel to Vegas for a show by Chris Rock, also known for his raucous ethnic humor, you could be finked on to the Golden State speech police.

Q: “Am I able to report to CA vs. Hate anonymously?”

A: “Yes, you may report anonymously, if you choose. Although it is important to note that information reported to CA vs. Hate is confidential, including your name.”

If you believe that, I have a bridge over the Bering Strait to sell you. As The Epoch Times reported last June, “Gun Owners’ Private Information Breached After California Unveils Firearms Portal.”
That’s just one example of the state’s notorious incompetence with data systems. Government Technology also reported two years ago, “California EDD Struggles Against Computer Outage, Backlog.”

Fake Hate Crimes and Anti-Christian Bias

Then there’s the problem of fake hate crimes. One of the most notorious was the Duke lacrosse case of 2006, in which three young men were accused of rape. It was so bad, District Attorney Mike Nifong later was disbarred and sent to prison for faking the case. But the three players were suspended for two games just for the allegations. And they have to live with the ordeal the rest of their lives.
In 2014, Houston Mayor Annise Parker subpoenaed five city ministers “for sermons and other private correspondence regarding their opposition to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance,” part of a campaign against alleged hate speech.

At the time, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee asked, “Sure, it happens in North Korea, China and Iran, but should churches in America just sit back and shut up when their religious liberty, free speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion is directly threatened?” Parker later backed down. Will future California prosecutors?

A protester with a bullhorn speaks outside an Orange County Board of Supervisors' meeting in Santa Ana, Calif., on June 16, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
A protester with a bullhorn speaks outside an Orange County Board of Supervisors' meeting in Santa Ana, Calif., on June 16, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Real Tolerance

The main problem with California’s new CA vs. Hate hotline is it will not reduce hate, but do the opposite, further dividing us. Petty squabbles of daily life will be turned into “hate” incidents to gain an edge in court battles, such as the typical tussles between neighbors.

As I keep saying, in this increasingly diverse state, we have to tolerate one another or disaster looms. Real crimes, such as killing someone for racial reasons, obviously ought to be punished. But in those cases, there’s real evidence, such as a dead body, of a real crime that can be prosecuted using laws on the books in every civilized society.

Poor Pavel Morozov himself was a victim, and not just of murder. He was raised in communist society to turn against his own family, friends, and neighbors. He was brainwashed to rip down the very fabric of civility that makes society possible. Is that what we want for California?

John Seiler’s email: [email protected]
Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
John Seiler is a veteran California opinion writer. Mr. Seiler has written editorials for The Orange County Register for almost 30 years. He is a U.S. Army veteran and former press secretary for California state Sen. John Moorlach. He blogs at JohnSeiler.Substack.com and his email is [email protected]