I opened up Facebook this past Wednesday and saw a horrifying breaking news story. Four black young adults in Chicago kidnapped a white teenager and attacked him. They taped his mouth shut, forced him to drink toilet water and scalped him, among other things. During the attack, the attackers yelled "F*** Donald Trump" and "F*** white people" at the victim. The attack was filmed and streamed on Facebook Live.
As the story developed, it was revealed that the victim was mentally disabled and the four attackers were taken into custody. The video of the attack quickly made its way onto YouTube and clips were being posted on Twitter. The victim was eventually found by police and taken to a hospital. He was said to be treated for undisclosed injuries.
I felt both disturbed and angry as the story was developing. I was horrified that the young man had to go through such a traumatic experience. I was enraged at the blatant racism and hatred directed at him from his attackers. In my mind, there was no question that this was a racially motivated hate crime. It couldn't be denied. After all, there's video evidence of the victim being yelled at in regards to his race.
However, it wouldn't be that easy. It seemed like the authorities in Chicago didn't want to admit the attack was racially motivated. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson claimed that there was no evidence to prove the attack was based on politics or race. Call me crazy, but I think a video of the attackers shouting, "F*** Donald Trump" and "F*** white people" at the victim was all the evidence they needed.
It was later revealed that the four attackers would be charged with a hate crime as well as kidnapping. However, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi claimed investigators concluded the man was attacked because he has special needs. They claim his race wasn't a motive for the attack.
I don't remember hearing the attackers shouting things at the victim in regards to his mental disability. The words I heard them yell had to do with Donald Trump and white people. This blatant denial of the true motive behind this attack makes me angry. Imagine if the races were reversed in this scenario. The authorities would rightly label it a racially motivated hate crime and everyone would discuss it as such.
There is a common argument that the dictionary definition of racism is too simplistic. Some people claim that racism actually has to do with "power plus privilege." In other words, white people can't experience racism. I disagree wholeheartedly. I don't think those people understand how to classify something as racist. It has to do with the way human beings treat each other. A white person still has a race. If someone discriminates against them based on that race, it is racism whether you like it or not.
I am saddened for the victim of this attack, but I am glad he is okay. I am angry at the people who carried out this attack, but I am hopeful justice will be served. I am upset at the authorities for refusing to admit the true motive of the attack, but I still have a voice of my own. I intend to continue spreading a message of unity. Despite what the authorities say, this attack was a racially motivated hate crime.
If we admit this fact, the amount of these hate crimes would decrease on both sides of the racial divide. We would get closer to seeing one another as human beings regardless of skin color. At the end of the day, that is what we should all be striving for.