We know they’re not, but Donald Trump’s presidential election is being blamed for a series of racially motivated hate crimes against minorities. Why aren’t we also scrutinizing the oft racist, anti-white sentiments promoted by supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement for inspiring similar misconduct?
A disabled teen in Illinois was recently kidnapped, held against his will, and mercilessly tortured by four young men and women. In a clip broadcasted using the Facebook Live service, the victim’s tormenters can be heard in the background yelling the obscenities “Fuck Trump” and “Fuck White People.” At one point, the teenage male was even made to drink toilet water.
The Chicago Police Department was reluctant to rule the incident a hate crime until almost a full day later. Mainstream media sources such as CNN and Washington Post even tried to downplay the incident as “bad home training” and a simple “converge” of Pro-Trump narratives. A Senior Justice Writer from New York Daily News even went as far as to tweet, “I won’t be fighting for justice for the young man who was assaulted in Chicago.”
Why? The same media alleging America is currently experiencing a record uptick in national racially motivated attacks since Trump’s election victory can’t call this most recent incident what it is — a hate crime? Could the media be working together to marginalize this story because it doesn’t fit their typical anti-Trump narrative? I’m no conspiracy theorist, but it sure seemed like the media’s intention when news of the kidnapping originally went public.
When the story first broke, the term “hate crime” was scarcely used in any headlines. Media outlets displayed harrowing captions about kidnapping and torture as if the race and victim’s reported support for Donald Trump had no involvement in the motivation for the attack. As the public learned more details about the incident, they were quick to react via the social media website Twitter. The name of one of the assailants, Brittany Herring, began to trend as a hashtag on Twitter. The incident itself became synonymous with the hashtag #BLMKidnapping, which briefly trended on Twitter with #BrittanyHerring until they both suddenly didn’t anymore.
The#BLMKidnapping hashtag seemed to outrage Black Lives Matter supporters more than the actual abuse and kidnapping of the victim itself. Prominent BLM media figures were quick to respond to the trending hashtag and shut down claims that the Black Lives Matter movement was directly involved. Certain online groups continued to use the hashtag regardless to bring awareness to the assault and the fact that it was not immediately being regarded as a hate crime. The Chicago PD’s hesitance to rule the incident a hate crime angered so many observers that an official petition was enacted to motivate police and the media to expressly do so. The petition received well-over 40,000 signatures before the case officially became regarded as a hate crime.
Now that it is and justice is being served, the disabled Chicago teen can recover in peace with his loved ones. While this boy and his family attempt to move forward with resolve, people are left wondering why our media and the Black Lives Matter movement can’t seem to. Social media users had to conflate BLM with a kidnapping just to give this terrible incident the kind of attention it would of received had the victim been a minority. When they did, users of the #BLMKidnapping hashtag were immediately met with hatred and vitriol from passionate online Black Lives Matter supporters.
There was no unity, no sympathy, no compassion. One observing the actions of the Black Lives Matter movement would be quick to notice that it’s been a resounding theme and practice of theirs in recent years. From careless responses to violent riots, to blatant appropriation of racist anti-white propaganda. The Black Lives Matter movement might not be inherently responsible for a violent kidnapping in Chicago, but it is responsible for stoking divisive and intolerant sentiments that could’ve prompted a group of ruthless Illinois minorities to feel increased validation in their bigoted attack of a disabled white teen.
While a BLM supporter might read this and immediately disagree with all that’s been said, I implore them to consider what’s been presented when being quick to blame a racially motivated attack on supporters of Donald Trump. It’s honestly not right either way. Especially when a lot of these hate crimes are being dispelled as hoaxes, originally instigated to further divisive political narratives. In my opinion, all of these racial nationalist groups — black, white, etc. — should be disbanded. We need to come together as Americans.
Former American football tight-end and TV presenter, Shannon Sharpe, commenting on how the black community shouldn’t say the types of disparaging racial remarks white people would also get in trouble for. He’s right.