**Originally printed January of 2017)
If you’ve spent any time in front of the television, on the internet, or virtually anywhere in public over the past few weeks it has been extremely difficult to not be exposed to, take part in, or overhear reports and opinions about an incident that transpired in Chicago, IL. In this situation, there were three African American eighteen-year-olds, two male and one female, as well as a twenty-four-year-old African American female who tortured and tormented a mentally challenged Caucasian man, also eighteen.
The victim was reportedly missing two days and the situation culminated with live streaming of a thirty minute video to Facebook. Echo was immediately heard from President Obama at the white house, throughout social media networks and, subsequently, the Chicago Police Superintendent himself, Eddie Johnson. Initially, the incident was investigated as a hate crime as most are connected to the victim’s race but investigators later dismissed that concept. In the state of Illinois, however, hate-crime charges could still be sought if a victim’s mental disability is determined to have sparked the attack.
It is truly unfortunate that one of the individuals involved had been associated with the victim for some time and actually lured him away from home under the pretense of attending a sleep-over. That proved to not be the case as the “friend” drove the young man around for two days in a stolen van and eventually to a house in Chicago where the others were waiting.
In fairness, I’ve shared opinions on a few occasions regarding injustices linked to police brutality toward Blacks and other crimes of racial constitution. Though the police investigation determined this incident didn’t fit the “typical” classification of a hate crime I, in my opinion, have to adamantly disagree. I honestly feel if the roles were reversed and it had been Caucasian aggressors who’d detained and tormented an African American, every civil liberties organization along with Reverend Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton riding shotgun, would have converged on Chicago within twelve hours of the first report.
I have a really difficult time digesting the fact people tend to view certain issues with a peculiar “slant” that makes distinctive behaviors wrong in one case but permissible in another. It truthfully doesn’t matter about the color of the perpetrator’s or victim’s skin; any violation of the rights of others is ultimately grounded in hate; whether its hatred of a person, particular group or classification of people, or even hatred of oneself that compels an individual to unjustifiably lash out at others.
Simply put: there’s no excuse for injustice, hatred and/or bigotry of any sort regardless of the extent. Even the Lord directs us in Ephesians 4:26 (King James Version) “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” Therefore, it is biblically demonstrated that we are permitted the emotion of anger but violation of both God’s and man’s law generally occurs when that hatred is assigned a purpose coupled by physical action.
Granted, it’s been historically proven that the quintessential “deck” has always been stacked against the Black man but that doesn’t provide a verifiable excuse for bad behavior. If you’re aware that the game of life is rigged it doesn’t justify not playing according to the established rules. Yes, that might mean you’ll have to work harder or maybe even engineer inventive methods that ultimately result in your gaining the advantage. It has, of course, already been demonstrated time and time again that breaking the rules will definitely not prove beneficial.
Whether it is Black on Black, Caucasian against Black or Caucasian against Caucasian shouldn’t make a difference. Any unjustified assault on one individual by another is simply wrong and cannot be excused. Our legal system has gotten bogged down with semantics that ultimately have prosecutors and defendants debating the degrees of right and wrong. The end result generally comes in the form of some plea-bargain that, in many cases, equates little more than a slap on the defendant’s wrist.
I, for one, do believe people sometimes make mistakes and suffer critical errors in judgment but it goes to an altogether different level when hatred is involved. That is the one catalyst for which no viable excuse can be rendered as it’s almost always grounded in pure and simple ignorance. One’s refusal to know or understand is never justification for irreverent behavior that results in emotional, psychological, or physical harm to another person.
All of life; all of nature basically consists of numerous different systems operating unique unto themselves but as part of a uniform whole and man is no exception. We have to first be willing to rise above the stigmatism that teaches anything or anyone perceived as different is strange, harmful or threatening. I could be wrong but it’s just something to consider.