Four ghouls are in jail after posting a Facebook Live video where they tortured a mentally disabled young man, kicking and beating up the tied-up special needs victim, burning him with cigarettes, cutting his scalp. He is in the hospital after being found dazed on the street. On the video, you can hear the shouts of, "F Donald Trump" and "F white people."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: [bleep] Donald Trump. [bleep] white people, boy. [bleep] them. [bleep].
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Goof.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: [bleep].
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My sister said that's not funny, y'all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
So that sounds like a hate crime, yet, for some, it is still a debate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, CNN)
SYMONE SANDERS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: We cannot go about classifying things of the hate crime. Motive here matter.
If we start going around any time someone says something or does something really egregious, really bad, and sickening in this instance in connection with the president-elect or Donald Trump or even President Obama for that matter, because of their political leanings, that is slippery territory. That is not a hate crime. Hate crimes are because of a person's racial ethnicity, their religion, their gender, their disability. It is your political leanings because someone doesn't like your political leanings and they do something bad to you. That is not a hate crime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Translation: These days a hate crime must always validate assumptions about a bigoted America -- meaning the crime must be purchased perpetrated by angry whites who voted for Trump -- and then of course later, proven false.
But what of this one? Here the fiends actually filmed the proof. They are not just evil but they're stupid. It is black on white crime, there is no hijab on the victim, so it doesn't fit media narrative.
That is my hate crime law sucks. Everyone ends up obsessing over whether the assault qualifies or not rather than focusing on the crime itself. But evil should unite us in horror, not divide us over classification. And we should really not pay attention to a thug's thoughts and let it define our response. Better that we define ourselves by our own clear-eyed punishment. Because a violent crime is a hate crime no matter who the victim is.
The last point: What about those who watched this on Facebook who didn't call the cops? What do you make of them? I mean, the only silver lining here is that crimes like these still managed to repulse us. But what if they didn't?