They say the Chicago hate crime has no place in the city but history tells us something different.
If four whites had tortured a mentally-disabled black kid, the Chicago hate crime would be getting a lot more media attention and editorial condemnation. As it stands, it seems that while it is admitted by some that racism was a factor, the victim’s mental disability seems to be the deciding factor.
Here’s a partial transcript of NPR’s report,
SUPERINTENDENT EDDIE JOHNSON: Let me be very clear. The actions in that video are reprehensible. That along with racism have absolutely no place in the city of Chicago.
GREEN: Police say because one of the attackers was a classmate of the victim, he may have gone with his captors willingly. At various points in the video, the offenders not only yell obscenities at the victim but direct profanities toward white people and President-elect Donald Trump. Chicago Police Commander Kevin Duffin says the department was seeking hate crime charges from the beginning.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
COMMANDER KEVIN DUFFIN: His diminished mental capacity, the fact that they tied him up, the obvious racial quotes on – that they post live on Facebook – I mean taken in the totality of the circumstances, the state’s attorney agreed with us.
GREEN: Julie Justicz is with the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. She says just because the victim is white and his attackers are black doesn’t make this a hate crime.
JULIE JUSTICZ: If you had four black youth attack a white person and steal their pocketbook, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a hate crime. It’s probably just a crime of theft.
GREEN: She says the racist language used in the video and the fact that the victim has an intellectual disability make a stronger case for the hate crime charge. The video was initially removed from Facebook Live and YouTube but has since popped up again on other streaming services.
When did a hate crime require the victim to have an “intellectual disability”? Dylan Roof was charged with hate crimes and no one argued that his victims were disabled. Racism was all that it took.
And what are we to make of Superintendent Johnson’s statement that the Chicago hate crime has “no place in the city”? It sounds like wishful thinking.
The four torturers broadcast themselves cursing Donald Trump while torturing and humiliating a white. Have we heard of violence against Trump in Chicago? Yes we have. Liberals and establishment Republicans had the temerity to blame Trump for threats of violence that led to a cancellation of a political rally in Chicago!
Everyone saw clearly, despite some hypocritical bleats about not condoning violence, that Chicago hate crimes were acceptable to the rulers of the city and to the media. Subsequent reactions to violence against Trump supporters made the lesson even clearer.
The media and many people in power have been encouraging the attitude that all violence against Trump is the fault of Trump, not the violent aggressors.