At this point, I'm sure many of us have heard about the horrific hate crime that unfolded in Chicago last week. If you haven't, this article gives a pretty good account of the tragic events.
Now if you are aware of what happened to the 18-year-old mentally disabled victim, and the nearly 30 minute Facebook live video that was streamed of his attack and torture, then I would hope you are able to understand that we need to be straight forward about what really happened.
Police and prosecutors have avoided using the term "hate crime" when discussing this brutality. I do so unabashedly because a hate crime is exactly what this is. Many people say they are afraid of a Donald Trump presidency and of the treatment they may receive from his extremist supporters. However, what the media conveniently seems to forget is that the assault and hostility goes both ways.
I'm sure many of us remember this story of an elderly man being dragged from his car, brutally beaten, and then having his car ransacked by a group of teens. If you don't, you should be aware. This video, like the stream of the recent attack in Chicago is difficult to watch: a crowd stood around, cheering on the attackers. Why did this horrific attack happen in the first place? The man beaten was a Donald Trump supporter, no other reason.
We should be angry, on both sides of the racial divide our society has unfortunately imploded on itself. We should not be afraid to use the term hate crime, in fear of the backlash our words may receive. The attack has been officially filed as a hate crime, and it's time we start using the dialogue to call it that.
There is no gender qualification to a hate crime. There is no religious qualification to a hate crime. There is no color qualification to a hate crime. There is no sexual orientation qualification to a hate crime.
What happened in Chicago was a hate crime, plain and simple. Recognizing the problem is the first step in reaching any solution and the solution comes when all people can learn to look past the amount of melanin a certain individual has in their skin. This logic applies to all people equally, and until we can, as an entire nation, look past this purely cosmetic quality of every other equally valuable human life, we will never be able to heal our damaged world.
Because the real problem lives in the world we created for ourselves.
We live in a world - we have raised our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters in a world - where vicious crimes like the one committed last week in Chicago are not only okay, but something to be proud of. The victim of this vicious crime was tortured for nearly 30 minutes while two individuals stood laughing and filming. There is no excuse, and there will never be one for the complete disregard of human life these actions portrayed.
Black, white, and rainbow we are all one culture at the end of the day. Why must we pour salt into the cuts that already mangle our society?
The simple fact is that the attackers could have been purple with turquoise stripes on their skin and what they did would still be just as horrific and unacceptable.
We should be concerned how Americans are treating each other, regardless of skin color or political affiliation. We should be concerned about the lifestyle we are modeling for our children.
And we should be concerned about what happened in Chicago.
The hate crimes must stop.