What Constitutes a Hate Crime?

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, Current Events/Politics

On January 5, 2017, we woke up to the news that an 18-year-old man in Chicago with special needs had been beaten and tortured–and it was live streamed over none other than Facebook Live.

My first reaction had nothing to do with what type of crime it was, really. All I could feel was hurt for the boy – or man, really (a boy to me as he’s ten years younger than I am).

But then I read the Twitter commentary, under the hashtag #BLMKidnapping, where I found out that the man’s four attackers were all black. And what I read from all sides of the metaphorical fence was nothing short of appalling.

“Was this a hate crime?” “They were making anti-white speech.” “The attackers were black, it’s a hate crime just the same as a hate crime against black people is.”

Okay. Everyone stop.

We’ve already covered why the #BlackLivesMatter movement…well, matters. But that’s not entirely the point here. The point is the fact that the focus of the commentary was not on the fact that someone – who is part of a marginalized group – was tortured, and not only was he tortured but it was live streamed for thousands to see.

I don’t care what type of crime we categorize that as – that doesn’t matter. It was one of the most humiliating, haunting videos I’ve ever watched, to the point that I couldn’t even get through the whole thing. And the conversation moves to how it’s not fair that this type of beating won’t get categorized as a hate crime because it was done to a white man?

Let’s review, people. Let’s remember compassion for the victim – no matter his race, or gender or his abilities or his religion or his class or his sexual orientation.

And please, please, please don’t blame all black people for what was done to this man. Don’t blame the #BlackLivesMatter movement–in fact, according to reports, members of the #BlackLivesMatter movement spoke out against the crime. Blame the perpetrators, and understand the need for elimination of all hate speech…and the need for us to continue to work toward a culture of greater acceptance for all.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog. 

White Privilege Matters

Author: Alexandra Black, Current Events/Politics

Congratulations! You have successfully clicked on another article about Black Lives Matter with a racy title.

Now whether you’re anti-Black Lives Matter movement, or you’re a radically pro-BLM activist ready to rip me a new one: pause. Before I say my piece, take about 30 seconds to think about why you feel the way you do about Black Lives Matter.

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Sigmund Freud

I’m no doctor or psychologist, but through Freud’s enlightening discoveries (as retold by Saul McLeod), we can dig into our human psyche on a basic level to reason why we think the way we do on this controversial matter.

Stage One: The Id
Your id, or the instinctual part of your personality, is only relevant to BLM in scenarios such as:

a) If a black person were to pull a gun on you right now, you would use the fight or flight response.

b) You’ve developed your own thought process, which is triggered by opinion other than your own on black lives in the U.S.

Both are based on pleasure. You may not feel pleasured having a weapon pulled on you, and you may or may not feel warm and fuzzy about the black community being represented fairly (I’ll get into that later).

Stage Two: The Ego
“The ego is that part of the id which has been modified by the direct influence of the external world.”-Sigmund Freud

You did it! You’ve matured enough to learn how to maneuver the real world enough to access the internet and this article.

Now the big factor: your ego. No, not what inflates your head by you thinking you’re “better” than other people. Your ego conducts deduction just enough to see a person of color and realize, “that person is different from me.”

What do you do when you encounter people of color? Do you smile at them, avoid them, offer to help them bring their groceries to their cars? These scenarios have nothing to do with what is right versus what is wrong – just that you did something and no harm came out of it.

But…what if harm does come out of it? Now you have an anxiety attack, think of 12 different scenarios and list all the people you didn’t get to say goodbye to all in the span of 30 seconds. But you get through it, and go on your merry way. This experience now gives way to your superego.

BUT WHY?

Stage Three: The Superego
“The superego incorporates the values and morals of society which are learned from one’s parents and others. It develops around ages three to five during the phallic stage of psychosexual development.” 

Yes, the young age of “playing doctor” and the Oedipus/Electra complexes. This is the point that you realize you have a penis or clitoris, and not everyone else has the same genitals as you. What? Weird and “icky,” I know. I could go into a rant about men and women, but maybe we’ll save that for another article.

So, aside from touching your “pee-pee,” you form observations from all around you. You learn from your parents, teachers, and most importantly: the media that is everywhere, even when you are five years old.

Okay, Alix, why does my psyche have to do with Black Lives Matter? You’re wasting my time.

What I’m getting at is that during your developing years, your surrounding factors set you up to be subconsciously racist.

You may now believe that a person should be judged on character and not on appearance; however, despite the morals your parents taught you, your psyche has been doomed since you were five thanks to the media’s depiction of subgroups.

ANYWAYS, HERE WE GO:

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We have grown up in a country where the media has portrayed African Americans as “thugs,” poor and unreasonably aggressive.

  • Name five movies pre-2005 where the protagonist is a rich, good-hearted African American… right. You wouldn’t, because according to the entertainment industry, “black doesn’t sell.” Unless it’s 12 Years A Slave or Straight Outta Compton, which still does not fit the previously stated criteria.
  • When was the last time you saw African Americans on the news in a positive light?
    • “Oh, well that’s because everything is Black Lives Matter now, so they’re brainwashing us to think they’re good people.” I mean Martin Luther King, Jr. was the Spawn of Satan, sent to kill off all the whites with his peaceful protests, just like MOST OF these demonstrations – some on SOCIAL MEDIA.
  • police-1567049_640“Hey, but there was a black man who shot white officers! And all of those videos on Facebook of people shooting cops.” That happened, and I will never say that Blue Lives do not matter. It should not have happened based off one man’s vengeance spree, similar to how the Pulse killing spree should not have happened. Yes, compilations constructed by the media reinforce how awful African Americans are. Not to mention that you are now ignoring the thousands of peaceful protestors who just want you to listen and be aware of what’s going on – because their people are dying and oppressed and we still cannot focus on that. 
  • Finally: why #whiteprivilegematters.
    • You have grown up, most likely, in a normal home, got a normal education and never dealt with situations such as gangs and crime-infested neighborhoods.
    • Your community is not plagued with poverty through past generations’ lack of resources.
    • Even if you are black and had a normal life, you still have to deal with that stereotype.
    • You have never been oppressed or judged just off of your appearance.
    • You do not walk down the street praying you won’t be stopped for suspicious activity past drinking alcohol or smoking weed in your neighborhood park.
    • You do not need to protest that your life is important.
    • You do not need to remind your country that you matter.
    • You do not have to wonder if you’re going to be categorized as a threat to society with each person you meet.
    • Most importantly, you have the option to say a movement about race is irrelevant.

BLM supporters just want everyone to listen, to be aware, to learn, to change the standards of acceptance. Black lives are lives. No one is trying to take anything away from anyone else.

Our generation is past the point of basic acceptance. Our phallic stage is far over and now we are producing the next generation who will be more curious and informed than we ever were. But we are the generation that demands change, so we need to be the ones to make it.

Use white privilege. Use it with every decision you make because it affects more than just you. Your one act of acceptance can ripple to others around you and the children you will raise. Black Lives Matter because your privilege can provide a better life for all.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog.