If we are truly to become a society that sees beyond race to the individual character of each individual, we must not have any double standard when it comes to hate crimes.
The recent attack on a mentally challenged white man by four black individuals in Chicago has ushered in a debate about whether it should be referred to as a hate crime.
The mentally challenged man was abducted, and then abused. The victim was even forced to drink from a toilet.
The perpetrators were Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper, and Brittany Covington, all 18 years of age. The fourth was Tanishia Covington, who is 24-years-old.
While the suspects have now been charged with criminal hate crime, aggravated kidnapping, as well as other felony charges, there have been some who tried to pass off the attack as “just some stupid kids,” downplaying the role of racially motivated prejudice. A police commander in Chicago even initially passed it off as “stupid decisions.”
Here’s the problem with that: The whole attack was live-streamed on Facebook, and the suspects can be heard saying “Fuck Donald Trump,” and “Fuck white people.”
This is where political correctness goes too far. By explicitly bringing race into it, the perpetrators left no doubt that it was a hate crime. To ignore that is to ignore reality.
Political correctness should not be a tool to obscure the truth: There is no doubt this was a hate crime, and it must be referred to as such.
Imagine if the tables had been turned, and it was four white people who attacked a mentally challenged black person while yelling anti-black slurs. There would be no hesitation to call it a hate crime, and it would absolutely be a hate crime.
The same holds true in this case.
It is clear that members of minority groups face racism in much of the world, including in free and democratic nations. That racism must be confronted and addressed.
It is also true that members of minority groups can be racist. And when that happens, it must also be confronted and addressed.
If we are to build a world where all are treated equally, then all of us, of all races and all backgrounds, must be held accountable for our actions. We are each individuals, and at the end of the day our actions are our responsibility.
Anyone who commits a racially motivated act of violence – especially against someone with mental disabilities – whether they are brown, black, white, or whatever, needs to be punished severely.
Racism is racism, and a hate crime is a hate crime, no matter the colour of the victim or the perpetrators.
There must be no double standard.
Photos – Facebook, Chicago PD