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.